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Tuscan-Style Living Room

An elegant Tuscan-inspired design by Kenneth Brown.

Newlyweds Marjan and Jim both love Italy’s Tuscan landscape and want to bring a sense of that to their living room. Unfortunately, they can’t harmonize on the specifics including paint color and the degree of formality. Jim envisions a casual family room with white walls while Marjan imagines a formal living room surrounded by rich color. They turn to Kenneth Brown who, after considering both visions, creates a design plan that incorporates the rich colors and elegance that Marjan pictures, as well as the comfortable furniture that Jim wants.

Kenneth has to coax the couple into a few design decisions, specifically involving wall color and window treatments. Here's how he convinces them to see otherwise on those two issues, along with a few other tips:

  • Dark wall color and light furniture creates a bright environment. When you use dark furniture in a white-walled room, the eye tends to gravitate toward the lightest area and away from the pieces in the room. By using a dark color on the walls and light-colored furnishings, your eye is trained on the elements in the space.

  • Drapes soften a room and add texture. Marjan doesn't see the need for non-functional window treatments on a few of the windows, but Kenneth says that if left bare the room would look unfinished. The stationary panels help to soften the molding and relate to the rest of the fabric in the room.

  • Use complementary colors to tie rooms together. In the midst of their redesign, the couple decides to take on the dining room as well, and chooses a vibrant red for the walls. Accessories in the living room showcase the same hue and further tie the spaces together.

  • Use an area rug to tie furniture and wall colors together. The ebony floors are lightened with an elegant, light-colored rug that brightens the floor and showcases subdued hues of the room's color palette.

  • Look for accessories that have a one-of-a-kind feel. Accessories are one of the best ways to add charm and personality to a room.

paint: hallway (Macadamia); dining room (Fired Brick) - Sherwin Williams (living room paint color is not available)
flooring - Westside Floors
accessories - Colburn Schwartz, Inc.
glass in cabinet - Designer Glass
furniture - Ken Johansson Fine Furniture
area rug - M. Mehraban Rug Gallery
silk dupioni drapery fabric (color: 255, style: 214C) - Libas Silk
side chair for desk
(Sofia) - Civilization
(41" square ottoman in Saddlehorn Olive leather) - Richter
fireplace tiles
(border: Sumari Limestone Malange Deco 6x6; Durango Ancient 8x16) - Walker Zanger
sofa fabric
(6780 Manifest, color: Buck) - Pindler & Pindler
sofa pillow fabric
(Lucca sateen/Walnut, Titania silk damask/Autumn Vine) - Calvin Fabrics


    • Decorative glass from Designer Glass
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