Friday, July 26, 2013

Design Challenge: Decorating a Room with Bold Colored Furniture

A few months ago, my sister, Jamee, decided her Chicago walk-up needed a make over (yes, there are actually three of us girls in the family!). Like most homes in Chicago, her house is long and narrow. This is the view as you enter the front door. The hallway next to the steps leads to the kitchen/ hearth room at the back of the house.

The view of the front door.

As you can see, this is a huge room furnished as a sitting room and formal dining area.  Unfortunately, the family lives in the small hearth room off the kitchen and this entire space goes unused most of the time. My directive has been to help her transform their large front room into a family room/foyer. 

My challenge is working with a very bold cranberry colored sectional that she recently purchased. (Our other challenge may be working around Bennie!)

I like the color of the couch, but because of it's scale (it's a full "u" shaped sectional), it is a visually heavy piece to balance in a room. I started looking for pictures with cranberry and found the following potential color palettes.  

Color palette #1: Cranberry, Teal Blue and Soft White
I love how the boldness of cranberry and teal balance one another and make the white accents pop.

I found this teal chevron fabric that has the geometric feel of the curtains pictured. All it needs is a cranberry trim.

Photo: Pinterest
Anthropologie Coqo Floral Rug

 Color palette #2: Cranberry, Teal, Soft White and Chartreuse

As a slight variation on the first palette, I found this fabric that adds the yellow/ chartreuse hue.

Color Palette #3: Cranberry, Platinum, Silver and White

I love the modern and sophisticated vibe of this color palette.

Loving these palette accessories from West Elm.

You could add pops of chartreuse to this palette as well.

Color Palette #4: Cranberry and Navy with Yellow, White and Light Blue.

 I found this rug with several shades of cranberry and blue.

Photo: Rugs USA Radiante Ning Multi

The sky is really the limit with this rug, but I love it paired with navy blue.
Anthropologie Coqo Floral Curtain

Color Palette #5: Cranberry, Navy, Chartreuse and Pink

 This room really inspired this palette. I love how the chartreuse is a main color instead of just an accent.
 Photo: Barrie Benson via Pinterest
 And I found this rug that brings the chartreuse to the forefront of the color palette. Juxtaposed with a navy wall, this would be a dynamic color combination!
 World Market
We will be revealing Jamee's transformed living space in the next month! We are also working on her kitchen and hearth room, so stay tuned!

And as a side note, if you ever have hard colors to work with in a room, take a look at the The Perfect Palette.  It's a great website to start looking at color palettes. It gives you collages of color combinations so that you can see the colors in action in a multitude of applications. 



  1. Oh WAY TOO many options! hmmmm.. I love #4 the most because that rug gives you so many options that you can change around! I also love 5 and 2! But that rug is calling to me! Good luck! Can't wait to see the process!

  2. I'm loving the rug too! We will see what my sister decides on! Thanks for the comments!

  3. I can't wait to see it. So many fun patterns and inspirations! Love the first curtain fabric.

  4. I enjoyed reading this article. PLease continue publishing helpful topics like this. Regards, from


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