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posted: 10/27/2013 1:00 AM

Living room blues

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  • Joyce Sherman of Prospect Heights is looking for an update that will make her space more suitable for entertaining.

      Joyce Sherman of Prospect Heights is looking for an update that will make her space more suitable for entertaining.

  • A two-panel door with decorative hardware can give a room an updated look.

      A two-panel door with decorative hardware can give a room an updated look.

 
By Joyce Sherman of Prospect Heights

So after staring at my paint deck and walls for 12 years, changing my mind at least 43 times, I still can't figure out what I need to do to make this room livable, warm and inviting. Other than when I'm sitting on the secondhand couch looking at paint chips, no one in my family ever sits in this room. We have a wall in the dining room area that serves no purpose, except to make the room too small for a normal dining room table. Since I have everyone here for all the holidays, eight of us oldies are crowded at the kitchen table and everyone else who can sits on the floor around the cocktail table. Every piece of furniture in this combo living/dining room is secondhand. I've learned to just put "throws" on everything to hide all the rips and ugly material. We've gotten years of enjoyment out of everything but when I sit on the couch, I sink so low, that I can hardly get out of it. I haven't been able to find work in three years, so buying furniture is pretty much out of the question. Help me fix up this room so my family and I will go in it and use it.

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• Budget: $3,000

This room definitely seems to be searching for its identity. Right now it is being used as a living room, dining room, mud room and garage. Defining some spaces and adding décor items would really help.

Fresh paint on the walls in a more neutral palate will help lighten up the space. New furniture and window treatments would be a great start.

One way to bring a space up to date is replacing interior doors. For this space we are recommending a two-panel door with new hardware as a necessity.

We would also want to match all the other doors in the home to be consistent and could do it on a pretty slim budget.

Changing out the entry door would also help this room out. By adding a half-glass decorative window would make sense and continue to bring in light during the day.

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