Great Room Quandry

Hello friends!

I hope you had a great weekend and are getting into the swing of a new week.  I have been hopping from one project to the next, with a lot of painting involved.  Similarly, I’m questioning my painting decisions in more than one place, so there are lots of disaster zones unfinished projects in my house at the moment.

I have been wanting to paint out the area in our great room where we have our tv and built-ins, so I finally made a trip to see my Paint Guy and he color matched the paint to match my trim.  The idea here was to give it a more cohesive look, and now I’m wondering if it just looks too … sparse.

You be the judge.

Here is the before:

And here it is now.

Is it too stark?  Does it need something more?  Or should I just mark it as an “epic fail”, repaint it and move on?

On the upside (no pun intended), I did manage to tackle the band of paint around my coffered ceiling that had been bugging me since I repainted this room in the first place.  It’s funny, I was up on the ladder, and I thought, “I wonder if I can reach up here on this ladder?”  And after a(nother) realization that I’m not a big fan of heights, I got my bearings and got to work.

Here is a refresher, since I’m sure you have more on your mind than the paint colors in my home.  See that greenish band around the outer perimeter?  That’s it.  Painted.  Done.  Off my list.

I’m happy with that piece of my painting project in here.  And I added a chair from our bedroom that had been unused and deserved to have some face time.  Plus, it looks nice in here (unlike the unsightly red ottoman/bench). 
I loved this chair the moment I saw it, but the pricetag, not-so-much.  (And so goes my love/hate relationship with Arhaus Furniture.)  So, when it went on super-sale because of an itsy bitsy defect, I snapped it right up for about a third of its original price.  Awww yeah

I’ll share some more basement work and painting dilemmas soon.  In the meantime, I’d love your thoughts on my current quandry.  What do you think?  Too stark?  Repaint?  Or let it marinate for awhile? 

Any epic fails in your decorating world lately?

And I know you haven’t forgotten – nor have I – those lost on 9/11, eleven years ago.  I can’t believe it’s been that long.  Do something nice for someone today, and never forget. 

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest


  • Reply
    Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
    September 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    i love the white! i think it looks beautiful, but i do feel like there is an empty space above the tv…. i don't have any great ideas for it though. 😉

  • Reply
    September 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I actually had almost forgotten until I saw "Sept. 11" on Something this morning and then it hit me. But I didn't think of it when helping my daughter with her homework yesterday and she asked if it was the 10th. Interesting, huh. But "9/11" or "September 11" will always remind us. Yes, let's always remember.

    About your room… I like it better this way. I LOVE trim work but never like it when it is painted to stand out. For example, I love chair rails, but not if the moulding doesn't match at least the part of the wall above it or below it. But that's just me. Coffered ceilings possibly being the only exception; I really do love your coffered ceiling even with the ceiling between the beams not the same color as the beams. Oh, that gives me an idea – sometimes there is beadboard inset between the beams in a coffered ceiling which gives it great texture even if it is painted the same color as the beams. What if you tried something like that with your tv wall? In any case, I would definitely not paint over it right away until you've let it sit with you a while. Take care!


  • Reply
    Andrea @ Decorating Cents
    September 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I like the white on the built-in. I wasn't crazy about the two tone there before. Good for you to get up on that ladder and make it happen.

  • Reply
    Maury @ Life on Mars
    September 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I like the white on the built ins. What about something like a graphic or vintage clock in the space over the TV? I think it needs something up there, but I do like the white. It looks much cleaner.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I Think you need some metal hanging above tv. Or a trio of mirrors. It need something hanging in the space your home is coming along beautifully

  • Reply
    September 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I like the white, it makes it seem like custom wainscoting. It definitely needs something above the tv, tho. Treat it like a mantel. I'm not sure how a mirror would work above the tv. Two reflective pieces might be a bit much, but some pretty artwork or an iron or wood piece would look nice there.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I know I will probably be the odd man out here, but before you asked for advice & I saw the photos, I thought to myself I liked the "before" better than the all white. I think it makes it appear larger & doesn't make the shelves looked undersized. I think the color gives it depth & adds spacial orientation.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    You have a beautiful home. I wanted to ask about the painting you feature in your Design Trifecta Post as well as your basement reveal. My wife has been scouring all the TJ Maxx's looking for it and can not find it. I wanted to know if you had any information about it, item number, SKU, anything that would help us to find it. I think it is just what we need to pull our living room together and make our new house start to feel like a home.

    Thank you,

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Town and Country Living
    September 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Jenny, in the end, you need to go with what you like. The white is pretty, but I tend to agree with Jerri. I like the two-tone, but that's just my taste. So I started thinking about it and wonder what it would look like if you went back to the two-tone but painted that lower row of cabinets the color that you covered up. I'd just be curious to see how that would look next to the fireplace. But if you decide to leave it all white, I think that's pretty, too. And yes, I've had decorating failures. I had to re-do my bathroom 3 times before I felt like I got it right. But I'd rather keep trying than not try at all. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 12, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I like the white, but agree that it needs something above the TV. I'm not sure what – that's where I always come unglued!! 🙂 Good Luck! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I like the white but, whoa! that vast tundra above the tv needs something to break up the snowfield! Otherwise, the room is looking good.

  • Reply
    It's Jenn!
    September 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I like the white too, but it does look a little bare. I do like the idea another reader suggested of a big clock maybe?

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I like the white better… but it needs something… some kind of decoration or something… Or what if you painted it the same as the wall color?? Just a thought. Will stay tuned to see what you decide!!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I agree with Jerri and Jennifer. I prefer the way it was. It tied the coffered ceiling into the built in. I also think I would paint the bottom cabinet doors just the centre insert the same taupe colour. But then I love the moulding and cofferred ceiling and would choose to accent these architectural details. As for decorating disasters – still letting the my current paint job mellow to see if I like it….Good luck and thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Lisa at Shine Your Light
    September 14, 2012 at 1:58 am

    I like that the white really makes that beautiful millwork pop. You have so much beautiful architecture in that room!! Your ceiling looks great too in all it's white glory. Very impressive that you conquered your fears and got up there and did it!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    what about painting it the same as the wall color to kind of "lose" the way it stands out? I use to have 2 large cubby like wall openings in our great room that were up high, on each side of the fireplace and played around with painting them different colors, etc and they always bugged me. I then painted them the same color as the wall color and they kind of just disappeared and eyes were not drawn to them and I loved it so much better! just a thought, however, I think it looks nice painted white!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I like the white. I wonder if some sort of shelf above the tv would work… Or maybe something textural like a metal scroll thingy…

    You have such a beautiful room that I'm sure you'll have it looking perfect in no time!

    Have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I don't think it's an epic fail at all. 🙂 I think you just need a little pop of something above the TV. I'm picturing something architectural and curvy. Maybe a shelf with some ornate-ish corbels? Or a piece of iron work? I actually like the pop of red on the bench. It ties in the big painting above the fireplace. You could add some more of that red color above the TV, and that would tie it all together. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Simply Sarah Style
    September 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I am loving your coffered ceiling. It is such a statement feature in your room. How stunning!

    As far your entertainment area, I agree. It does need a little some above the TV to add some flair. The paint colors do work well together though. I see the room and its palette as very soothing and welcoming.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I love your house. It's gorgeous. I think you should offset the panels in your entertainment unit as the white is a little stark but maybe with a slightly different color than what you had there. Perhaps the natural choice from your dining room would work there. Unless of course that was what was there to begin with? Confused yet? haha. Anyway, I have a question for you. I have been contemplating using blues as neutrals in my house and was wondering how you are liking the palladian blue. I know you said at first you were a little indifferent about it. Have you grown used to it? Do you see yourself changing it anytime soon or is it a color you feel you can live with for a long time? I have never used blues for main living spaces. I have only used them for baths and bedrooms and am just trying to get an idea of some main living areas in blue. I feel my house needs some color. Right now it's mostly beige/tan/taupe and I hate them all! Any thoughts you can give me on this palladian blue would be appreciated.

    • Reply
      September 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Sheila. As for the Palladian Blue, it's the first time that I've painted one of my main rooms blue, so I was hesitant at first. But I do like it, and I think had I gone with a beige color, my great room would have been a Sea of Beige, and I didn't want to do that. We're looking to put in hardwood floors in the semi-near future, so I don't know if my opinion will change at that point or not. But I do like the color and don't look to repaint it anytime soon.

  • Reply
    Cathy Wall
    September 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    LOVE the way the the painting turned out. Another reader suggested something architectural above the TV and I agree. Look for a piece that is a more rustic wood and would help tie in the color of the tile around the fp. Something like this only a better color for your room:

  • Reply
    Missy in Texas
    September 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I like the paint how you did it. It was too busy before. Sometimes in decorating we feel the need to" fussy" everything up. It looks much cleaner and draws more attention to the beautiful shelves.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I like the white much better and second or third the need for an architectural, metal scrolls thing above the tv. It looks awesome!

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