Living Room Makeover: Rearranging Part 1

I'm dreaming of giving my living room a makeover.  New paint.  New art.  New curtains.  New area rug.  Along with many more things.
I have been living with these red walls for quite some time now.   I like(d) them.  But not enough to keep them around anymore.  I loved them when we first moved in....8 years ago...when accent walls with deep rich colors were the "in" thing to do.  It created a nice, warm and cozy feeling; on a beginner decorator's low budget.  (New house, brand new baby, unpaid maternity leave didn't leave much for a decorating budget).   But as the years have gone by my style has changed.  I am wanting lighter and brighter.  Yet still want the nice and cozy feeling.  I am a firm believer of working with what you have and the easiest thing you can do to change any room is to paint it. 
 
However, painting this room, leads into a much bigger project.  You see...there is no clear stopping point to these walls.  They connect to the hallway, which then connects to the entry way, and then right back into this room.  I have some accent pillows and I want to keep it at that...an accent.
 
I have been trying to figure out what color would look best in this area.  Grey?  Tan?  Beige?  White?  Or should I go bold with a navy?
 
So, while I haven't painted the walls...yet, I did do a little rearranging.  Until I can figure out what color I wanted to paint the room and to find new curtains that I just can't live without.  Not to mention it was a distraction from all the studying I've been doing.  :)

I took our china hutch out of the waytoosmall kitchen/dining room and moved it into this room.  I'm not sold on it. 

However, I AM sold on the space that it has opened up in the kitchen.  Hello blank white wall!!  (You can see in a picture below)

I tried to balance out the other side of the fireplace with some furniture, again, not sure if I'm sold on it.   I'm not bothered, but I'm not getting that WAHOO!!  feeling that I was hoping for.   I feel there may be more furniture moving in the near future until I do get that WAHOO feeling I'm looking for.  Consider yourself warned, there maybe another rearranging post in the future.  (***Update:  A few different friends have since been over to visit and love the China Hut in it's new spot...we shall see if it stays.)

There is still so much to do in this room, but unfortunately, because I'm studying every spare second these days, my shopping and projects are temporarily on hold.  So, a quick break and moving of some couches and tables caused a much needed brain break.

Before:
 
After:
Do you see that plain white wall in the other room there?   That is the dining area and where the China Hutch was originally on.  I have a full blank wall to work with.  I am thinking of putting a gallery wall there, or maybe some floating shelves?
Before:
I have a big project for that wood wall in the background.  Can't wait to get it started!
After:
Before:
 
 
After:
Always, always, a work in progress!
 
Here's what I want to finish up in this room:
  • Bamboo blinds
  • Get rid of the sheers and red curtains, find something (or make my own?) contrasting (a print, maybe chevron? maybe quatrefoil?  Maybe a fun floral print)
  • Redo the leather chair (it was my husband's great-uncle's chair...we are keeping it, but it's in terrible shape, hence the wonderful folded blankets covering up it's problem areas)
  • New paint (a light, bright grey, is winning my heart over)
  • Fun area rug
  • Toying around the idea of turning that banister into a half wall (would that make the entryway too dark?  Box in the living room too much?)
Two things that will never happen as long as The Mister lives with me and I live with him...painting of the brick and painting of the oak china hutch (our first piece of furniture we bought with our wedding money and as a married couple)...and I really like the guy, so I'll keep him happy with those two things.

Is there a room in your house that you just can't seem to get right?  What are your ideas for this room?  Any suggestions?  Do you have a favorite grey that you've used and just love?   What is the name of it?

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