I need some help updating this room! Please!!

March 28, 2017

This is the front room of this home, won't get used very often as there is also another large living room.

New carpet (grey) is going in soon, other than that...I have zero ideas!!!

Comments (53)

  • Leeanne L
    Our house is a very similar brick colour too. It's not at all fashionable but I must admit I have a soft spot for red brick houses!
  • marciey1972

    So hubby says no to painting the bricks!

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  • KK1000
    I agree don't paint the bricks, definitely paint the room but not stark white, soft grey if your carpet is grey and white shutters for the could have a large comfy couch on back wall and make it quite spot for you to read or couple large arm chairs with a table and funky mid century floor lamp.
  • me me

    I would look at ways to make it usable, rather than just existing to be looked at. Perhaps bookshelves, if you are a reader. Or a second TV.

  • Double D

    I like the brick fireplace, a mantle piece of wood would look nice and would be great to display your things, and help break it up a bit.

  • Tracy Oliver
    Maybe a new hearth for the fireplace.
  • marciey1972
    Changes so far...

    Dark grey carpet. Light grey walls with white trim
  • C P
    looks great. the photos are a bit confusing to get an idea of the shape, can you show what's the other way? it looks slightly L shaped?
  • marciey1972

    Thanks CP. I was trying to do a's a massive space

  • siriuskey

    Hi Marciey1972, it is an amazing space, love the large sash windows. I don't know if you already have furniture for this large room but I noticed the curtain Pelmet running along the wall above these great windows and thought you could use this for some plain linen curtains to match the wall colour and or add white shutters

    I agree with a previous comment ,the brick fire place would look really good with a large piece of recycled timber placed approx 24inchs above the opening. have fun cheers

  • KK1000
    I like the idea of heavy recycled wood above the fireplace but you could use stone as well, you would have to find out how to retrofit it in if you like the is some ideas as to what style of furniture and lighting I think would go in that room.what are your thoughts about window dressing?do you like soft or hard finish?
  • marciey1972
    We love the idea of wood or stone above fireplace. Have gotten quotes for white plantation shutters. Think they would look amazing but are so expensive.
  • Ruth BT
    Plantation shutters can be economical if you install yourself. I saw that Katrina Chambers had a "how to" on her blog a few days ago. I also agree that a mantle above the fireplace would look great and I would change the floor tiles under the fireplace as well. Jatana does some lovely hard wearing encaustic ones.
  • marciey1972
    Free Ruth!!! Suggestions for tiles? I have no idea!
  • siriuskey

    You can use wide white wooden Venetians from Spotlight, look good and much cheaper, fire place hearth, more of the same bricks built up to the fire place opening height would do it cheers

  • marciey1972
    Agree. Not free. Damn spell check!
  • siriuskey

    Spotlight do 30% specials quite often too, not free though ha ha

  • Ruth BT
    If you were brave I would do a pattern - maybe black and white or grey and white like the photos attached. Or you could do more of a glossy tile that is traditional but also very popular at the moment
    marciey1972 thanked Ruth BT
  • Jennifer
    I white washed my dark brick fireplace and it turned out fantastic
    marciey1972 thanked Jennifer
  • PRO
    Yindi Systems

    That brick fireplace is awful!!!!! I would render it too, like someone suggested earlier! It never looked good, even when it was new in the 1960s!

    marciey1972 thanked Yindi Systems
  • rachelen
    You've chosen some great colours to bring out the Beauty of the brick. I agree with a mantle and Jatana tiles in a grey shade.
    marciey1972 thanked rachelen
  • philippawright


    You need to decide on a design style you like [ search on houzz]-

    [try deco and mid century] and seewhich fits the era and the rest of the house. This will guide you towards the type of furnishings, and decor items that will suit the space.

    Do you have a curved wall -? From what I can see you you could utilise the key feature which is the curved wall? which suggests you could lean to a bit of deco styling. This could go either of two directions - a subtle tone with a green hue - Resene Thorndon Cream or something a bit darker such as Coriander or a more classic black and white- using curved lines for furniture.

    The other way to go is mid century with pops of orange mustard teal etc, but the room would lend itself to some black and white but if you do this choose one feature colour [ not a fan of red-, burnt orange would be better or something to brings out your tones in the fireplace. Mid century would lend itself to linen look drapes - go for the look but not real lining as it tends to rot in the sun .

    The fireplace could be painted or kept as is but no need to render.

    The end wall could be a stronger feature colour - something rich or dark end wall in as it is a long room. This could be a good wall for a cluster of family photos you have no room for else where - black or white frames of different size, shape and textures.

    In a big room It is important to consider the scale of all items in the room - go bigger ran the fussy and small.

    Furniture legs or no legs is an important way to hint at design style - Deco furniture is more bulky without legs but mid century has legs and is lighter in the frame and allows more light to flow around the room.

    happy planning

    marciey1972 thanked philippawright
  • Bernadette Staal

    I would use it as a family type room where you have a few comfy chairs for reading or watching TV and maybe set up the computer and make it into the office or children's homework type area. Make it into a room that you want to be in.

    marciey1972 thanked Bernadette Staal
  • ecomp_2

    I would add a big mirror with a white frame above the mantelpiece to reduce the heaviness of the brick, maybe.

    marciey1972 thanked ecomp_2
  • LesleyH
    Can you post a close up of the internal brick which I am sure will be nice under better light.
    marciey1972 thanked LesleyH
  • marciey1972
    Closer pic!
  • siriuskey

    I think hubby loses on this one as it its it looks like a pizza oven, the smoke stain on the bricks is showing, A fire place insert and perhaps whitewash the bricks to pull it together with the white window shutters you love cheers

    marciey1972 thanked siriuskey
  • marciey1972

    hahah a pizza oven..I am dying... and so true!

  • petapea

    The bricks are really interesting, perhaps you just need a traditional fireplace surround and mantle to finish it off alittle!

  • petapea

    You can get rounded ones like this

  • marciey1972
    Very pretty. Thank you!
  • siriuskey

    sorry marciey but I'am on your side for big change to the fireplace, good luck look forward to seeing what you come up with

  • rachelen

    can the smoke stains be cleaned? While I still think the bricks are nice, the style of the whole fireplace is actually not that interesting, and the condition of the bricks are not that good.

  • siriuskey

    Fire place by a good friend

  • marciey1972
    That is beautiful!

    Now that the carpet is down and the walls are painted I feel the brick fire place is an eyesore! Definitely needs lightening up and I like the idea of a big mirror, but I would have it with a fancy silver frame & some artwork on the walls. Oh to have a large room to do as one pleases. . . Not knowing what rooms you already have and who lives there I'm not sure what the best use of this room would be? I can imagine however, a bedroom with a dressing room all kitted out, a lounging area and if it was possible an ensuite. Good luck with everything.

  • LesleyH
    I like the bricks, rustic looking and warm. I'm with hubby on this one.
  • Kellie
    I like the bricks too. Lends to adding dark charcoal in the room elsewhere.
    I'd add a mantel piece too!
  • Lynley Jenness

    I love the bricks. The rustic look is so much nicer than new uniform bricks. So many older houses have been ruined by people modernising them. Can you show a sketch of a floor plan with measurements and windows and door marked on? What room is next to it?

    And how many people live here, are there kids, teenagers, just a couple?

  • siriuskey

    It's a shame the fireplace wasn't sorted before new carpet and painting was done,but could be improved by adding a mantel and something above that. The mantel should stop the smoke stain from rising, a bit like a gentlemans smoking lounge. Plus a bit of work on the hearth,

  • Kim Westwood

    Paint, paint & more paint. I'd go with one of the many whites that are around. We used Dulux Antique White USA, it isnt a stark white like others & makes the world of difference to the room. Also you can chop & change the decor anytime with having to change your walls. I would also paint the brickwork & fireplace to really bring it to life. Charcoal would be a great choice with maybe a rustic timber shelf or a whitewashed, distressed white timber shelf would be great also. Depends on the look you are trying to achieve & your other furnishings,

    marciey1972 thanked Kim Westwood
  • marciey1972

    Thanks all painted now...just trying to decide on many differing opinions...


    So I think, if you do keep the bricks as they are, have them cleaned. And install a fire place like 'Petapea' suggested. You need something to break the brick wall as it takes up a large space, like a mantel as previously suggested and have a large print or mirror. I say a mirror as this will throw natural light around. Also some good ceiling lights targeting that area, because at the end of the day, that is going to have to be the 'hero' of the room if you don't paint it.

    marciey1972 thanked MSWLE
  • marciey1972

    Floorplan!! Although this plan shows the dining area in same spot, it will not function as that for us. We will have dining in the conservatory.

  • cher323
    I would paint fireplace! I would also change skirting use a wider profile. A big mirror facing the windows would also reflect more light in the room.
  • Gemma
    Resene "hint of grey" paint is beautiful
  • Gemma
    CCG Interiors, LLC. · More Info

    The resene hint of grey colour in this pic
    marciey1972 thanked Gemma
  • snicker4

    I have not read all of the above. It must be tempting to render and paint the fireplace but if it is decided to work with it then maybe you can find your colour palette in the bricks. The new grey carpet will give you a fresh neutral but grey can be very cold. you might need a bit of warmth in the others colors chosen for walls or soft furnishings. If you extend the tile base in front of the fireplace that will give another opportunity to introduce more impact with the tiles. There are always lots of gorgeous tile options. I am loving some of the Moroccan looking styles.

  • Jan Perry

    Mid grey carpet will look fabulous. Don't know where front door is but a tall long standing table against nearest wall would help. Coat hooks along opposite side. Then keep it clear for a walking passage. Glamorous light fittings will help. Some form of crystal.