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So confused about decorating my living room

I live in a very small house 815 sq. feet total. My pieces are all garage sale, and/or recycled in some way. I have an old mantle/fireplace on one wall (that is portable and I have moved it around) I bought a buffet that I intend to paint and refinish with lots of storage in it. I have a smallish recliner off white leatherish, a ugly but comfy Flexsteel Sofa in brown, rust, gold colors, I have an old painted 4 drawer chest I paid $5.00 for at a yard sale, dovetailed. I have a rocker that looks like a Mission style, and an ottoman that was probably part of a sofa set at one time and an end table next to my recliner with drawers in it for storage, a flat piece end table with one drawer at the end of the soft with a lamp on it, a little square tall table with a lamp (same style) lamp on it behind my recliner. I Have dogs and don't think a white or ivory slip cover would do well on my sofa.
I recently replaced all the floors in my house with Pergo floors, and I have two "oriental red" runners going across the floor, one in front of the sofa, and one from the front door to my recliner.
When I look at your pictures and how you have so much furniture in the rooms, I feel like I just should clear out everything and start from scratch. Do you have any ideas for me?

  • Marion Nesbitt
    Marion Nesbitt Canada
    on Oct 16, 2014

    Love the buffet. Would not paint it. I'd stain it to match your other nice pieces. Find it odd that the beige rocker is facing away from the sofa. This is a big piece of furniture to work around. Can you post some more pics so we can get a better idea of your layout? The fireplace looks really high. Is there a way you can lower it? Maybe lay some bricks for a fake hearth and get an electric log insert? I've seen them at thrift stores.

    • Marion Nesbitt
      Marion Nesbitt Canada
      on Oct 16, 2014

      @Jeannie Andrews I would make the height in relation to my furniture and room size. Maybe an optical illusion but it seemed pretty high.

  • Debbie Saracina
    Debbie Saracina Merritt Island, FL
    on Oct 16, 2014

    Please post more photos so we can see the room from all angles, it looks like there is also a large piece (possibly an entertainment cabinet) in the room?

    • Jeannie Andrews
      Jeannie Andrews Winlock, WA
      on Oct 19, 2014

      @Jeannie Andrews I have added the pictures you asked for. I hope these are helpful. The wall color is a very pale yellow called candlelite, white ceiling that needs painted. New Hickory Pergo floors, suggestions for throws and rugs welcome. My favorite color is red, but I have a sea blue/green color in my kitchen which is my no. 3 favorite. It could be in the living room or a shade of it. My last house had Classic Cherry by Ace Hardware for the walls in the l.r. with a light beige on one wall and off white trim. Very striking. All the other walls had white window trim, so wasn't SO RED. :)

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S Atlanta, GA
    on Oct 16, 2014

    A small space is difficult because we are often torn between what we like to look at and what we need to keep...take everything out of the room and start putting it back by priority. If it is just you, you can sit on top of a bookcase if it makes you happy. First priority: Everyone has to have a comfortable, uncluttered space. Second priority: People will not visit unless they have space. Now you have a choice between a non-functioning fireplace and a sewing machine in the corner or family/friends coming in. If you do not use it every day, it does not need to be in this room. Small can be beautiful! Work it, work it! (I see lots of books...think shelves up off the floor. Crates turned on their sides make great storage boxes on the wall. (a great place would be where that clock is beside the window!)

  • Lori
    Lori Canada
    on Oct 16, 2014

    Please understand this is coming from a friendly helpful person, but you have too much stuff and if you put the new buffet in there you will have to stay out. :) I'm sure you love everything or you wouldn't have bought it. Been there. The fireplace.....if it has to stay, have a bookcase built into it so it at least serves a purpose and put your favourite books in and get rid of the rest , to storage or friends. The sewing machine, foster it to a friends home or sell it. One clock is enough or group them in a small section especially if you have more than two. Without seeing better pic's, with the sewing machine gone, could the couch fit in front of the window? Everyone is right, we need better pictures of the whole space to really offer advice. We all want to help.

  • Colette
    Colette Swedesboro, NJ
    on Oct 16, 2014

    This room has so much potential! The buffet and mantel are gorgeous and Iwould make one or both of those my focal pieces. And I agree with Marion…Don’t paint the buffet!! I actually thinkit looks great as is. I know you saidyou wouldn’t want to do a while slip cover on the sofa, but would you do adifferent solid color? I always find itmore difficult to work with large patterned and would go with something solidif it were me. And yes, minimizing the amount of furniture makes a room seembigger.

  • Jeannie Andrews
    Jeannie Andrews Winlock, WA
    on Oct 16, 2014

    Thank you for all the responses. I really didn't expect to get as many as I have. The sofa is just a beginning. I do have a beige slip cover for it. I am transitioning from a larger house to this small one and haven't been able to eliminate certain items yet. You have come up with good suggestions. the recliner is faced away from the sofa because it faces the television which is on the wall above the mantle. The sewing machine has been relocated in a bedroom for a computer's table. I think the idea about removing some of the clocks is great. I have sold the Grandfather clock and it is gone. More pictures to come. Thank you for your comments, the more the merrier. I like the idea of "leggy" tables to make it look like there is more space in the room but still be able to have lamps to brighten up in the evenings.

  • Rhonda Davis
    Rhonda Davis Ashland, OR
    on Oct 18, 2014

    I'd like to help, too. While you're arranging to get us more photos, please weigh in with colors you do like. Begin with the beige slip cover you have and I assume will be using. Build some colors off that to let us know what direction you would like to go - pastels or bold or neutrals then let us know if you like florals, stripes, checks, patterns, geometrics/abstracts. I see potential with some groupings and I spy some small chairs stacked on the larger black chair? I suggest keeping a grouping if you have at least 3 of the items or two with something similar to build a connection with the two items -- two chairs and a crib; two chairs and a small house (get it?). You have potential to keep pretty much all you have except the clutter that is coming from the small items perched on every available flat surface. My first suggestion will be to find/make a throw to place on top of the slip-covered sofa and under the black spaniel resting on the back of the sofa in the pix. If I were to come into your room to visit, I would hesitate to rest against the back of the sofa if I knew the dog had been sitting there - even if I loved your dog. If you have a throw there, you can remove it when company is coming, or even as I enter the room, and I would be okay sitting there then. More later.

    • Jeannie Andrews
      Jeannie Andrews Winlock, WA
      on Oct 19, 2014

      I took your advice and took more pictures after I "decluttered". The other pictures were ones I had on hand from rearranging after painting, I think. Here are new ones.

      This is one of the two walls without anything on them.  The grate above is the intake for the furnace.  The cabinet is the buffet with a little curio cabinet on top.  The cabinet has curved glass and a mirrored back  & 1 schel inside.

      This is one of the two walls without anything on them. The grate above is the intake for the furnace. The cabinet is the buffet with a little curio cabinet on top. The cabinet has curved glass and a mirrored back & 1 schel inside.

      This is the wall that goes into my kitchen.  The couch is here so the television is able to be viewed without turning your head.

      This is the wall that goes into my kitchen. The couch is here so the television is able to be viewed without turning your head.

  • Wanda sinnema
    Wanda sinnema Seattle, WA
    on Oct 18, 2014

    Looks like quite a bit of stuff at the current arrangement.. I agree take everything out and bring things in 1 at a time.... maybe some things you lve could go into a bedroom or other area..I can't tell your color focus.... Have you considered a denim slipcover.. they wear like jeans,, with pets you can wash them often.... then maybe faux suede (polyester) for the recliner and ottoman.. and pillows.. lots of colors to choose from in that.. hard to tell need more photos.. also the mantel in a bedroom with a electric fireplace is always cozy..

  • Wanda sinnema
    Wanda sinnema Seattle, WA
    on Oct 18, 2014

    I would also put some shelves on the walls,, narrow ones can hold quite a bit of stuff, to keep the floor area a less cluttered look. I do like the sideboard.... If you do use it,,I'd put big baskets underneath it for everyday things, or fold up faux suede boxes also great..,,,, throws, what is the brown tall item we see in the 1st photo? if its a choice between a bookcase (?) and the sideboard I'd go with the sideboard.. if it has more interest more photos please.

  • Wanda sinnema
    Wanda sinnema Seattle, WA
    on Oct 25, 2014

    much better,,,,.. several things I see now.. I love the print by the door,,but, it takes up valuable wall space.. I'd paint the short book shelves (R) by the F/P distress somewhat and put them on TOP of the chest by the door...The mirrored cabinet looks like it should be mounted on a wall also. Hve you thought of getting rid of the drapes/blinds..they take up about 3-4 inches on each wall they are on.. try inside mounted roman shades or other inside mount.., a sheer on each corner, for looks. One other thing I notice is all the different finshes... I'm not a fan of all matchie, matchie... but I think in such a small area its a bit much..I'd get a narrower book case for the R side of the fireplace and paint them both to looks more built in with the fireplace between..distress to get that feel..Then I'd add some drama on the book shelves,, you have to much little stuff Maybe a few bigger items.. rotate the little things out seasonal or monthly.. A trick to declutter I learned years ago..hard to do sometimes,, take 1 item or collection off each wall.... it can help open up a space..... keep posting pics..

    • Jamospacrat
      Jamospacrat Fallon, NV
      on Oct 26, 2014

      @Wanda sinnema Thanks, @1 result is available, use up and down arrow keys to navigate. Lots of good ideas. I never thought of putting the book case on top of the gold chest. Love the idea about the baskets under the sideboard. Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to try them.

  • Wanda sinnema
    Wanda sinnema Seattle, WA
    on Oct 25, 2014

    as a beginning quilter your project looks amazing.....

  • Jeannie Andrews
    Jeannie Andrews Winlock, WA
    on Dec 10, 2014

    The picture was taken a while back, i have moved and "removed" some of the pieces. The chair is facing away from the sofa because it is zeroed in on the wall of the television.The fireplace is very moveable. The buffet is under the wall-mounted television. I am still looking at my choices, and thinking about replacing some pieces to gain storage and usefulness with other types of furniture. I love finding pieces, but I don't seem to want to let them go. I have to employ the get one in, take one out rule. I like the idea about the fake hearth and electric log insert for the fireplace.

  • LeeAnn Gerleman
    LeeAnn Gerleman Sheldon, IA
    on Dec 11, 2014

    Hey, I like your stuff! I have similar problems here. house is 900 sf with two bedrooms. My living room is probably 14x 16. I love the buffet as it is. I would chalk paint the little dresser in a color that goes with the floors, and the buffet, etc. I even like your couch (I have two big dogs that have just demolished my couch. ) LOL. My only suggestion is take everything out of the room, putting it back one at a time until you feel its complete. I use my buffet in my bedroom as a dresser. If you had a decorator there, they discover so many different ways to use furniture, in different ways. I thought my living room was packed with a big couch, loveseat, and tv stand. Since then I have added a buffet, a rustic industrial small table and a foot rest. And it doesn't look crowded. But it looked and felt crowded with just the three big pieces. Take it all out and add it back in one piece at a time. as if you had painted and move it back in. When it looks right, you're done. =)

    • Jeannie Andrews
      Jeannie Andrews Winlock, WA
      on Dec 30, 2014

      @LeeAnn Gerleman I just recently tried chalk paint. I love it, so far. I bought yellow to re-do the little dresser. As you can see it is pretty shabby, its exactly how I bought it. I have to repair the bottom drawer then paint it and distress it "properly". I am also going to paint inside the bookcases at least the smaller one with the yellow chalk paint. Should I stick with one color of chalk painted furniture in a room, or is it acceptable to have different pieces painted different colors? Or maybe the same color but different shades?

  • Jeannie Andrews
    Jeannie Andrews Winlock, WA
    on Dec 11, 2014

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.

  • Melinda
    Melinda Brighton, TN
    on Dec 30, 2014

    Good Morning! I looked at the last pics that you posted. Is the couch pulled away from the wall and there is something behind it? Move the couch back....take out that little square table that is behind couch against the wall. I love the yellow chest next to the door and I love the FP mantle. If you will get rid of both of the bookcases, then your Focal point will Shine! Sometimes, Less is More! OR get rid of the FP mantle and put the large buffet on that wall with the TV on top of it. May the FP mantle would look lovely in the DR or a Bedroom.....A neutral slip cover on the couch with colorful pillows would be nice, Maybe yellow, since your cabinet is yellow. Hope this helps! I know the pain of downsizing and having to let some things go.......If you have a garage, put you extra things out there till you feel that you can live without them. By the way, Love the quilt. My mom is a big quilter!

  • Jeannie Andrews
    Jeannie Andrews Winlock, WA
    on Dec 30, 2014

    Thank you for your comments. The thing behind the couch is a recumbant bike. Its the only place I could put it. I have no basement, or garage to store things in. Woe is me! so to speak. Yes I have a lot of stuff, and have slowly been giving it to family members. I have tried the buffet on the FP wall, and I liked it there, but I wasn't willing to give up the FP yet. I can't move it to a bedroom, they are also small, and there is no dining room. Hence, my quandry. I am taking all suggestions. I probably get more feedback than I deserve for the space I presented, but I love it. Thanks, everyone.

  • Vickie Miles
    Vickie Miles Yorktown, VA
    on Dec 30, 2014

    First of all, I am a clock lover, and I see you have a few! Don't be afraid to paint them to update them. I have 3, all in different rooms, and one is white, one is cream and one is black. I would go with a gray/black/yellow theme, and unlike the others I would absolutely paint your buffet, as I see the top has been well-used. You could even do a shabby-sheek treatment in white or gray, or stay with your yellow theme like your dresser. Paint your book cases to match your faux fireplace. Stay with the 3 color themes, and with your covered sofa, you can put accent pillows in the same colors for a pop of color! (All your wood pieces should match for a cohesive look.)

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