Asked on Feb 24, 2012

Any fellow Texan's out there to swap stories with?

SusanJeanette SConnie Phillips


I'm a native Texan; and I've been in my very modest 3 bedroom home for just over 5 years. I want to do some affordable improvements and/or decorating; but the rooms are so small that furniture position and clutter is an issue. Less than 1200 sq of living space. Also, my lawn looks like a jungle because of the recent rains down here in Texas. I'm mowing down waist tall weeds when the ground dries out enough to mow.
13 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Feb 24, 2012

    Sandra...1200 is plenty big if the layout is smart. I have seen a number of these smaller homes re-worked by "joining" a few of the smaller bedrooms into a larger master and then use the 3 bedroom as an office or guest room. I survived many years in my 1200 sq ft . The key to feeling "big" is open floor plans and higher ceilings. The main living space in my home is a cathedral ceiling dining / living area.

  • SawHorse Design Build
    on Feb 24, 2012

    Sandra- there are plenty of other hometalk users in other states as well that you will find that are just as helpful as Texans. It is a very generous forum. I know- "Don't mess with Texas!"

  • Miriam I
    on Feb 26, 2012

    I'm not a Texan but I do have a small space as well. I actually like it because I hate clutter and it keeps me from buying things I don't need. When improving you space, first determine the function of the room and then the flow. Improving doesn't mean buying new stuff, it can be reworking what you have. You may need to remove some pieces or just change their positioning, but either way don't be deterred by your small space. It can be beautiful! Do you have any pictures?

  • Sandra, this is a good time for you to give away the things you did not use in the last 5 years and things that you've used. Make a Keep Toss box and decide what to keep and toss. Why don't you post some picture of your space? I like working with small spaces and together we all can come up with some nice ideas for you. The Garden can be taken care as well, Do container gardening which I think is manageable compared to the regular gardening.

  • Texas is good! I married a Texan 36 years ago. This post might help

  • Sandra aka Blondie
    on Feb 27, 2012

    Thank you all for your responses. KMS - I still have children at home; so knocking out walls is out of the question. Sawhorse - I certainly did not mean to exclude anyone outside of Texas. Miriam - great ideas; will keep that in mind. Yamini - I'm working on this process a little at a time. Lee Anne - woo hoo! Thanks again.

  • Therese C
    on Feb 28, 2012

    Sandra, if I may make a suggestion? When my kids were growing up space was always an issue! When I painted their rooms, I chose the paint, then right before using it, I took a 1 gallon bucket and mixed enough white with part of the paint to make it just a bit lighter. Then when the paint went on, I used the lighter mix to 'fade' into the corners from about a foot out. This sounds strange, but it actually "pushed" the corners away, making the rooms appear larger than they were. Good luck dear and remember what I tell my daughters: " It isn't the size of the home, it's the laughter that fills it."

  • Donna McCrummen
    on Feb 28, 2012

    I agree with everyone - but will add that you should look at the furniture you keep with a thought toward scale. You won't want a huge-mongo lazy boy recliner chair in a small room - think about the foot path and try the furniture in lots of different configurations. Try not to push stuff against the wall. Float the furniture to create a footpath flow. You should need a minimum of 18-24" of "path" space. Unless of course even peoples feet are big in Texas (sorry, I couldn't resist). Also, think outside the box. Just because a small dresser was intended for a bedroom it could serve as an entry table near the door for keys, etc. Good Luck. Post us some pics pardner' (ok, I'll stop now)

  • Sandra aka Blondie
    on Feb 29, 2012

    Everyone has been so very helpfu. I appreciate all of the advice and tips. There is a lot to think about. I really like this network site. (Better than FB)

  • Ltt834476
    on Jun 30, 2015

    I'm a Texan, hope I can help you. It would help to post pictures of the rooms you want to work on. I've been working in my home as well. Taking one room at a time. I've been going with the shabby chic. You need to know what style you want to go for, and start with one room at a time. I'm still working on mine. It takes time & lots of patience. I would love to help you. Crafts is my thing. Let's start with, which room would you like to start with? I'm in Magnolia, close to Tomball. Where are you? Lisa

  • Connie Phillips
    on Sep 14, 2015

    Colour(I'm Canadian, that's the way we spell it, btw) is key! Use a neutral colour palette for walls and flooring. Try to use the same flooring and wall colour in each room and hall. The accent colours for each room can vary but try to keep them in the same family(ex. pastels, gem tones, etc) or if you really want a challenge, use a monochromatic colour scheme. Off white would be nice, be sure to use a variety of textures to give it depth and interest. I use sheep skin throw rugs for floors and on the end of my bed. Reflective surfaces, mirrors or even picture frames add more light. I always try to add a whimsical piece in each room such as my red "ruby" slippers hanging off a stack of off white vintage travel luggage. I use vintage luggage for storage which is often needed in a small space. Good luck Sandra.

  • Jeanette S
    on Sep 14, 2015

    I am not a Texan, but there are many ways to find storage...think up and under! If you get rid of the clutter of things you love, decorating is easier. In a small place, everything has to have a use. Up is over doors and windows...shelves lets you display things you want to keep like books, vases, etc. and dresser drawers make great cubbies in bathrooms over doors. Under....think of beds. Again, old drawers work well. Add casters and roll them under the beds. Great for holding gift bags, holiday items, out of season clothes (just cover with a towel and tuck them in.

    • Chm2554971
      on Apr 23, 2016

      @Susan Look around your area at shops that sell used goods. My mom passed away recently and I've singlehandedly had to clear the house. I lucked onto a woman who has a shop and she offered to buy just pieces or the entire lot. She would then keep what she wanted to sell, donate good items she didn't want, and fill a dumpster with the rest. She was supposed to clean out the entire house but left all the clothing, a hanging clothes rack, and the entertainment center. I donated the clothing and clothing rack but the EC is still in the house. It will be donated as soon as I can get help (and a truck) to move it. AND, once all the furniture is out, before you bring anything in, PAINT the entire house including the closets. That way you start out fresh in YOUR house! Have fun, don't stress like I did, and make it your own!

  • Susan
    on Feb 18, 2016

    Hi, Sandra! I live in San Antonio in a older cottage home, that has 3 bedrooms, the rooms are nice sizes, but the kitchen is small. Has great bones, but I have a ton of furniture in storage, that I would like to get into the house. So organizing, and deciding to let go of family pieces is where I get stuck. I get a lot of ideas from Hometalk. I need to focus on one room at a time. I love decorating, but not decluttering! ha!

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