Desperately seeking Martha Stewart...

I need your help.

For months, I've had a few ideas and plans for my living room.  Big plans.  A la Extreme Makeover.  Easy on the extreme.  

During the owner's visit in August, she gave us permission to paint the walls, if we wanted.  She chose the Flame Blue before we moved in and I've maintained it by touching it up every year to cover up the artwork and fingerprint smudges left behind by my mini-Picassos.

I love light blue.  It's my favorite color, but it kind of clashes with the black and off-white mosaico floor tiles.

I can craft.  I can sew.  I'm even somewhat creative.  But when it comes to interior design, I'm completely clueless.  I don't know if I'm supposed to match the decor to the wall, the floor or the furniture.  Last year, we started to re-upholster our couches.  The gold and navy blue really clashed with the walls and floor.  Hubby re-did the loveseat in a peanut butter faux leather, although it looked amazing, it didn't look right in our living room.  And we put the project on hold.

I painted the arches that separate my living room and dining room a neutral pearl color to see what it would look like with the floor.  It looks nice.  It matches with the floor tiles.  But it's not me.  I need color!  I'm just not a neutral kind of gal. 

After I finished my multi-colored dining room chairs, I considered doing the same thing with my couches...Having Hubby upholster the couches in a chic off-white faux leather and the cushions in bright colors.  But the light blue walls really throw me off! 

It's not in my budget to repaint the entire house, but painting an accent wall here and there is!  But what color?  Do I leave the pearl?  Do I want the accent wall to play off the light blue? 

Or the black and white tiles?

Or should I keep the blue walls, and just add a black trim to the top and bottom, like this room I found on BHG (Better Homes & Gardens)?

What is a girl to do?  We spend most of our time in the living room, watching tv, reading, playing, etc.  It has to be family friendly, but I want it to look nice and put together.

Any suggestions? 



  1. I would go with a pumpkin color accent wall and get rid of all the blue from the living room. A dark olive for trim, or mocha latte for most of the walls. I know you dont want to paint the whole house, but you willl probably be happoer if you could do the livingroom and dining area. I love your furniture!

  2. I'm not too good at this either...

    I say reupholster all the furniture in the same peanut butter.

    Then paint the walls a bright color, like maybe one of the greens on your swatches.

    And hang some artwork to make the walls look less bare! (frame some of your kids' artwork)

  3. OOO!!! Paint the top arch section one color and the columns another!! I loooovvveee the darker of the greens you picked out.... if it were me I'd paint each column a different color (but I'm a freak, don't know how your hubby would feel?!)

    Or.... what if you put the columns them the same new color and at threw a big stripe of color around each column... maybe different colors??

    What if you devoted each column to each child and put pictures of only them on their column??

    Soooo cooooll that you're sharing - this is SO FUN!!! :)

  4. Ok so I went back and looked some more... the dark green and the pumkin really are fabulous... and I sorta love Crissy's idea of a Mocha.... y la otra gringa's idea of MORE STUFF ON THE WALLS!! I've got a big beautiful Mexican shawl on a part of one wall - tell me you don't have one of those or a cool blanket you could throw up like artwork!?

  5. Oh how I wish I could help you. But I am so bad at this, I will not even post pictures of my living room to get advice. lol

  6. I know I am dull and boring but I love the pearl of the arches it goes well with the furniture and the floor. Then I would accent with the pumpkin, dark green, and the mocha, once again they all go will with the furniture. And a few dust catchers, scorpion hiders, artwork stuff for the walls helps make it more you. How do you hang stuff on brick/concrete walls? It will be interesting (hint, hint) to see what you decide to do?

  7. I really like what Chrissy y Keith said. I think that would be perfect for the furniture that you have. Please what ever you do, post the pictures afterwards so we can see how beautiful it turned out.

  8. Thank you all for the great ideas! Keep 'em coming! :) Hopefully I'll make a decision by the end of the week. Work on the project all of November and post the after pics in December! :)

  9. I was surprised by the blue. Your personality is vibrant!

    If I was to do your walls...

    One wall burgundy-rust color

    Other three walls the color of the pumpkin cake in the background of my BlogFrog community (the one with cream cheese frosting)

    All the other decorations with the rest of the colors in my community background--nutmeg brown, cream cheese cream, pumpkin and a dash of rust like the napkin up there at the top.

    It would be warm and vibrant, but not overpowering since it matches your personality.

    How did that sound?

  10. I love the black "sillón y taburete". How much do you want for them and do you deliver? :)

  11. when we repainted our main wall 1 thing my artist friend did was use the color underneath. Instead of a solid color she diped the brush in water - then the paint and sort of smeared it on- then she used a rag to sort of wipe it around. The yello through the bottom is great - I really like the way it came out and it made our paint go SOOOO uch further.

  12. so fun!! i like the example from BHG, but how about a more intense turquoise?? I always love the intense turquoise in Mexico. i found an example where the furnishings are the same color tan as your sofa set put to a turquoise wall. And, then you can accent the room with chocolate brown to match armchair.

  13. I had the same problem as you had, lots of neutral furniture/floors that can't be changed. I also adore color, so I steered completely away from adding more neutrals, even darker ones like pumpkin. I tried to paint a trendy cocoa color but it just looked so suburban beige, we had to cover it up.
    here is a link to the main color I did my family room. It's a lot darker on the walls, so I painted two and left one white.
    I like it cause it's bright and vivid, but doesn't look kid-ish. At the opposite end, I put this:
    There are white walls between the colors, they aren't touching. I have pillows, rugs, curtains, etc in a multitude of colors and I think they go great. As a Texican, I just have to stick with the colorfulness I love. I would encourage you to do the same.

  14. Ok, do exactly like they did in the picture Alice sent you... love love love the peanut butter and turquoise! With chocolate thrown in!

    Wait, my new couches are beige and chocolate... maybe I could paint my walls turquoise, too...

  15. BOB: If you lived closer, they'd be yours! :)

    MINDY: Do you have pictures of your wall?

    ALICE: I LOVE that idea! :) Very doable! :)

    GRACIELA: What gorgeous colors! Somedays, I want to go really crazy and paint each wall a different, bright color.

    GRINGATION: Isn't that gorgeous? I really loved it! Hubby can reupholster my couches in any color I want! :)

  16. I would go with a reddish wall and the other ones in very soft beige like the arches, it looks really nice and chic, The couches I think will look nice also in beige with red cushions.

    Oh well, that's just me but I really think would look great in your living room.

    Also a question, is there any window for sun light? , because if there's no window it will darker the room if you paint all the walls the same color and will make it look smaller, that's why I recommend you to paint just one wall ( the bigger) reddish and the other a little neutral. At the end the details you put in the room (ex. Portraits,flowers etc) =)

    Let us know, what you decided.

  17. I agree with Crissy and Keith, I think that a pumpkin color or terra cotta wall would be good or maybe even a dark chocolate color. I also think that for cheap wall decorations you could use mexican embroidering or even colorful rebosos cut up in squares and framed. Then finish it up with some mexican pottery. Also you could use more embroidering for accent pillows. and on the floor a large rug that would warm up the tile and tie all of the other colors together.

    This could be your color palette.

    Or how about these colors and then you change the couches to a chocolate brown.

    Art for the walls.

  18. THE LOVELY WIFE: We have a skylight in the middle of our living room that offers plenty of light! And I love the idea of a red wall! :)

    ANONYMOUS: What great ideas! I especially love the chocolate brown couch. But my favorite has to be the zebra throw rug! :)

  19. To me the black and white floor goes with anything. I would consider the color of the furniture when deciding on a wall color. It all depends on what look you want.

    If the room is small, then I would definitely go one shade darker or lighter than the furniture. If the room is large, then you have more freedom with wall color choices.

    I would redo the other furniture to match the love seat if the room is small. Other wise, maybe a nice green that would coordinate with the love seat.

  20. You can design with color..Have the confidence that you display on your website..Your website shows your fab ability with color (one of the reasons I love to come here, for the visual and the intellectual).
    Your idea for off white sofas is great, except you have children..not the best color why not go black on the sofa, chair and love seat...accent with the bright colors to coordinate with the dining room and leave the blue you love...(and most decidely, leave the arch as it is)..Black Furniture will ground the room as it looks as if you have tall ceilings..the bold brights will go with the happy feel of the blue walls...

  21. ps. if you want an accent wall for the blue..go with the same as the sofa..dark blue with dark yellow (gold)..light blue with light gold walls..cover the floor with a rug that incorporates the blue, gold and other rich colors, eggplant, olive, etc.

  22. No on the black trim. I would suggest a warm neutral, but that may be too boring for you.

  23. I love that color blue combined with chocolate brown. You're lucky that your husband can change the couches to match whatever you decide. I'd redo the couches in chocolate brown and paint a couple accent walls that color also. I think the darker color of the chocolate brown would blend with the tiles too.

  24. SUNNY DAY: My living room is very small! Thank you for the suggestions. I'm looking for ways to make it look bigger.

    VIEJA: My suegro said the same thing about the off-white couches and the kids! :) I am loving the rest of your ideas too! :) Thank you.

    KRISTY: I wasn't too sure of the black trim. I was just throwing out ideas. I'm afraid that the black trim would make the walls seem shorter.

    LORNA: I too am loving the idea of Chocolate brown couches. Even Hubby loved the idea. :)

  25. Oh I liked that last pic with the blue walls and dark outline, And that seems like it would go with the couches. But Im really not good at this stuff either. ;)

  26. hola,

    i see you've had a lot of suggestions and you have probably already decided, but if i were doing the painting, i would go with a mauve or cafe con leche color. i think that would blend well with your floors and at the same time look good with your furniture. then i'd paint the arches a mocha color, which is just slightly darker than mauve or cafe con leche. i think it would tie everything together. i had a friend who had an aqua colored kitchen and i really didn't care for it. bottom line, do what you think will please you and your family most. i am not one for colored walls. i like off white and will probably stick with that. it makes the place look bigger.

    teresa in lake stevens

  27. TERESA: It's so nice to hear from you! I hope you had a Happy Birthday! :)

    The only thing I've made a decision on is the couches. I love the idea of a cafe con leche wall. It would match with the material I chose for my couch cushions. :)

    I hope all is well with you and yours. Have a happy Halloween and Dia de Muertos. :)

  28. hi leslie,

    i did have a great birthday. my husband and i went away for the weekend to a little town on the other side of the mountains-it's called winthrop and has a western theme. we had some very good mexican food there and then some great barbecue on the way back home.

    glad you liked the cafe con leche color idea.

    i love your kids costumes. i hope they had a great halloween. happy dia de los muertos to all of you.

    teresa in l.s.

  29. Leslie-

    I saw another cute idea..a white arched wall accented with a thin line of blue (a touch darker than yours) along the arch, painted about three to four inches on the outside of the arch..I believe it is in one of the suites at a hotel in helped bring together the white with the surrounding blue walls..similar to your idea for the black trim but more narrow of a line. What ever you will be happy..
    I am moving next summer with my Mexican husband to Mexico an unfinished house so I have been planning, which he says "you don't know what tommorrow will bring so just wait til we are there"..I love his attitude..that's why we are such a great match..his calm helps me relax..and my planning helps him avoid the irksome problems of not being prepared...I was unsure of moving with him until I found you and all the other lovely ladies who have inspired me to take a leap of faith..with the man to whom I have given my heart..

  30. Hmmm... I would say stay with the pearl, it seems to match the walls nicely already. If I were you I would focus on just the furniture, and might I recommend adding a polypropylene rug or two? They are really durable and and be customized to fit any room i got mine from and things look great!