Good Questions: Creating an Updated Space for Mom?

Good Questions: Creating an Updated Space for Mom?

Colleen Quinn
Dec 11, 2008

ATDC reader EM is hoping to revamp Mom's room and needs our help:

"I need help with my parents' living room. As you can see, there is no overall "style." My mom buys whatever strikes her fancy; hence, I've decided to intervene. In case the pictures are unclear, the walls are pale green, the couches are gold chenille, and the carpet is beige. I can't change any of these things (she'd definitely notice.) The first task I need to do is to add an overhead light to the ceiling fan (the room is really dark.) I want a shallow light to maximize head clearance, but I can't decide on a style. (I'm hoping this will negate the need for that faux Tiffany floor lamp, which I hate.)

Question continues (with more pictures) below the jump...

(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: dc(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com)

The second thing are those chairs by the window. They are a leftover of a dining room set 25 years old, and because the chairs are in good condition and we need the seating, my mom won't get rid of them. Are
they salvageable via paint, upholstery, and/or pillows?

The third item is that space underneath the mantle. I've experimented using paper bag cut outs of photograph collages, but it looks too cluttered. It also is a little dark, so I briefly considered accent lighting? Maybe moving the vases to the stone and adding orchids?
Any advice would be MOST appreciated. Many thanks..."


We can certainly relate to the desire to update parental style, and commend you for taking on this sometimes thankless task! The old dining room chairs could certainly benefit from a makeover- we would love to see them refinished to a darker tone to match the armoire with vibrant seats to add some much needed color to the room. We would also look for a bright area rug to anchor the space; everything right now seems too neutral. Maybe pick up the red of the valances if you aren't replacing them?

We know our talented readers will have more ideas to share in the comments...

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