Asked on Sep 13, 2013

Can anyone convert my house into a home?

by Prim_princess
Hey all, I'm very new to this site having only just clickedthrough from a blog i was following.
The wealth of the information on here is amazing! You all seem to have ananswer to everything. I'm in a little rut and it appears some of you membersmaybe able to help me out so i thought i'd post and try it out to see if youcan.
In short i brought a house 2 years ago but after the main building work i ranout of money to furnish. Now although money is still tight, i am so fed up withits bare appearance i want to try and make this a little more homely and injecta little colour into it.
I love bold colours but I’m too scared to mix and match colours (excluding thered wall, which i am regretting) and random ornaments like candle holders,vases, lights etc which just seem to be paired so well and look great on otherinspiration boards and displays.
Can any of you lovely people help me out? I have included a picture of myliving room now and two of what i would like it to look like, but i don't knowwhat to buy or make it homely. most pictures seem to have amazing lamps, but ihave so many spot-lights in my living-room i don't really NEED lamps or morelight so not sure what to use instead.
I suspect including a rug would make a lot of difference but I'm not sure whatcolour to go for.
I need storage, but I'm not sure what style and colours will suite
I need colour but I'm not sure what and how and where
I need ornaments but again not sure how, what or where
is there anything i can make to save money
(i also included pictures of my other rooms that need help)
I know it's a bit of a long post, and I'm waffling so much that i don't makeany sense at all, but can anyone help? I would be so greatful if you can.
q can anyone convert my house into a home, home decor, Back of the living room
Back of the living room
q can anyone convert my house into a home, home decor, An idea of what style i like
An idea of what style i like
q can anyone convert my house into a home, home decor, Another style i like
Another style i like
q can anyone convert my house into a home, home decor, My poor boring bedroom
My poor boring bedroom
q can anyone convert my house into a home, home decor, My spare unfurnished room
My spare unfurnished room
q can anyone convert my house into a home, home decor, My crap in the spare room
My crap in the spare room
  39 answers
  • First take all accessories and make one big impact instead of scattered. Garage sales to pick up accessories that can be spray painted to match your vision/style board. If you want white on white, that is a hard combo to pull off with minimal. I would suggest a warm color on the walls with your white leather furniture. and go bold with accessories. Red is a color that may work on another wall. Red is a color that can invoke hunger, anger, or even restlessness~colors invoke feelings and that is important in your decision. I think maybe you may want to think about a spectrum of color in your living room to break up the white. Maybe go from light to dark with a neutral color. When you use color, use it once so that when you walk into your front door the bold color is in one spot that you see. If you have each room jumping with color it will look busy and to be frank create a stressful entrance rather than a warm entrance. Your inspiration is beautiful and using a color such Valspar Oatlands Subtle Taupe (within this beige but bright/warm color scheme) will blend nicely throughout your home plus when you add a pop of color somewhere it will flow seamlessly. do you have lots of pictures sitting in boxes or on your computer? from trips or great family pics that inspire or make you feel warm and fuzzy? Then get then out and put them in black and white and use that long wall as an art gallery! buy cheap frames at garage sales and paint them all black and use various sizes to create a gallery wall. (mix in other accents but black and white pics would look fabulous!) Now for lamps. Even though you have recessed lighting there is always a need for accent lighting which are great looking lamps that pull the room together. Mirrors are used and hung only to reflect a beautiful scene so before you hang a mirror make sure that the mirror reflects something beautiful! In your bedroom you need a color that you love. A deep rich brown or even a deep purple (eggplant color?). Do not use colors such as peach, yellow, red, orange ~these are colors that stimulate rather than calm. Or go for a serene calm~greens, blues, teals. Your spare bedroom is for ? exercising? then make it a color that will inspire you! Spray paint is a wonderful thing and can change boring thrift store to fabulous accessory. Keep your picture with you at all times especially when you garage sale or visit thrift stores. Have fun and do not be afraid~it can always be painted over.LOL

  • Linda G Linda G on Sep 13, 2013
    First, I love your space, and the look/style/décor you are going after. You have your work cut out for you. But you can do it. Concentrate on a specific area, corner, wall, such as the section in your living room (back of living room picture) finish that section completely. Then go on to the space next to it, that gives you a foundation. Divide and conquer. I was taught when you look at an entire room or rooms you get overwhelmed when trying to buy things for every space, and your space never gets completed. This works for me because when I go buy I'm all over the store buying things for every room and get home and nothing looks complete, then I wonder where my money went. My little tip in decorating...hope it helps. But have fun too!

  • Therese C Therese C on Sep 13, 2013
    Boy, the possibilities are endless with this home! On the wall behind the couch I would be very tempted to go with a medium charcoal grey and a soft grey on the tv wall. Add framed black and white prints and some VERY green plants, like fresh bamboo, and this room would sing! And don't even get me started on what I would do with the bedroom and spare room! :D

  • Prim_princess Prim_princess on Sep 13, 2013
    Thanks for the answers all! You get what i mean about only doing the basics now. haha My hubby loves the neutral colour of that living room wall and just wont let me change it so i will have to work with it. Colourwise i like blues, purples, a bit of yellow, orange aswell could work for me too so when it comes to bold colours i would like to use any of these. Thanks Renee for the comments, they are very very helpful. i just have a question. You said to use a bold colour in a spot when you see walking into the front of the door but not have each room jumping with colour. Does that mean that would be the only item of colour in the room? while the others are neutral shades? I would have thought having only 1 item of colour would look bitty. if you know what i mean. The gallery wall - that's a great idea but hubby again doesn't like pictures around the house. :( Therese, regarding the green plants i'm not sure we get much light in the middle section as its a fairly long room, and the corners are almost all by a heater so i'm not sure the plants would survive, wouldnt the leaves burn in the winter with the heat? Therese please keep the ideas coming! Ideas of furniture, colours, combinations, Pictures and all. Also i need some storage, i was looking for a unit or sideboard of some sort but im not sure what style or colour to go for, a basic sideboard, and old retro looking, french design or what wood/colour - oak, pine, walnut, painted white with a used look antique look?

    • @Prim_princess Bold color on a wall or room where it is seen from the front door. Since hubby likes the paint now go for boldness in your accessories throughout the room. Each room flows together with 1 color that goes from room to if you have blues and greens in 1 room at least have a blue with another color choice to add cohesion to your spaces. Just as in your inspiration pictures there are pops of color throughout. He doesn't like pictures? Can you hang accessories? You have a good foundation but I would pull together and do one section/wall first and then move on to the next. ~that is why I suggested pulling what accessories you do have together and do the room where you most gather.

  • The first thing that hits me is that the room is long and narrow. To create the warmth that you are looking for you need to "ground" the space with an area rug. Make sure it is large enough or else it will appear to be floating on the floor. This is often the hardest element to find because you need to find the right size, in colors and pattern that you like. . . also for the right price. But, since your sofa is white, your options are quite open and you can build around it. Notice in the photos that you presented for inspiration that they all have area rugs that add warmth, color and texture.

  • The Homely Fowl The Homely Fowl on Sep 14, 2013
    Try to work on one room at a time so as not to have a variety of things and not know what you are going to do with them. I would peruse garage sales, antique stores, etc. You can make your entire house "your home" on the cheap but not make it look cheap. I don't know how crafty or creative you are but you could try your hand at creating your own paintings or if you have a friend who can do it you might check that out. Dollar store vases and artificial flowers or plants. Throw rugs. Build your own coffee/end tables and stain them. The possibilities are endless. You pretty much have an empty canvass ....

  • Shamrock Hill Designs Shamrock Hill Designs on Sep 14, 2013
    Hi there! You're right on target when you say that this site is great for getting help/advice. Everyone has made wonderful suggestions...I agree with many points and will elaborate on what I think might help to get you started: Successful decorating is all about layering; giving the space a variety of elements that appeal to several of our senses - as well as adding items to the room in a way that give it a well-traveled or sophisticated look, rather than making things look too matchy-matchy like you decorated the room in one day from a one-stop shopping trip. Your inspiration rooms are beautiful, and it helps that you know what you like. The important thing is to blend your tastes with your husbands (you mentioned some things he likes and others he doesn't) so that you both feel "at home" in your space. Are the inspiration photos ones he likes as well? If that's the case, that's half the battle and you're in good shape :) Some ideas, based on your inspiration photos: 1) Your living room is very long and narrow. It's important to break up the design so that your eye doesn't travel to the back of the room (where the large window/glass doors are). It looks as if your couch is rather long, and your TV is fixed, so you may not be able to change their placement. With the floor boards also running length-wise, you have the makings for "bowling alley syndrome" and the unsettling feeling that the energy in your room is being swept out of those huge windows/doors at the far end of the room. That being said, begin your layering.... a) Paint color: do you want to keep the red wall? If your husband isn't up for painting the wall behind the couch, I would choose to soften up that red color with a taupe or deep grey; something that can still add warmth, but that isn't a "shock" in such a light and airy room. If he'll allow more color on the additional walls, then I'd say to remove the accent wall color altogether and go for a neutral like Benjamin Moore's Smoky Taupe, or something else in that warm-neutral color family. b) Rug: An area rug will stop the eye midway in the room. Go for something a bit darker, even if you like an all white palette. You can find something in a subtle neutral-color pattern that will be interesting for the eye and would distract it from that large window/glass door. If you find something patterned in a navy, dark gray, taupe and/or black, it would balance out the heaviness of the black window/door frame that is calling your eye's attention right now. c) Small furniture pieces: If you can, create another seating vignette elsewhere in the room. For example your first inspiration room picture has a round table in the foreground. Perhaps placing a midsized (approximately 4' or 6') round table in the far corner, near the heating element with a couple of upholstered parsons chairs (or wooden chairs with upholstered seats) angled around the table, that will provide you with another conversation place (for coffee, board games, doing some light paperwork, taking afternoon tea, etc) and will eliminate some of that super-long bowling alley feel. You'll also notice that your inspiration photos have conversation-styled seating placements (couches facing one another with smaller ottomans perpendicular to the couches). You don't appear to have room to recreate this same arrangement, but you can add a couple other smaller upholstered chairs (two more parson chairs, or perhaps slipper chairs) to either side of the TV, on the TV wall, facing the couch. They'd have to be small enough in scale to allow for through-traffic, so be sure to take measurements of your room and approximate traffic space needed. Typically, you should have about 3' of space as your "walkway". d) You mentioned storage...what kinds of things are you hoping to store? A nice trunk can serve as a coffee table and still provide ample space for storing blankets, magazines, etc. As another storage option, if you don't like the chair idea on either side of the TV, you can instead select two matching small, 3-drawer dressers to serve as storage. Although you have plenty of overhead lighting, a sizeable lamp on each of the dressers would anchor those pieces and add some ambient lighting when you would like to soften the mood of the room. e) Textures: Based on your color preferences (considering as well your wall and rug colors if you add color there), select several bold pillows for the couch. I would pick a solid pillow as well as one or two different pattern styles. Pillows can be placed throughout the couch as you like, since the couch is expansive. Echo some of the pillow styles/colors in the parsons chair fabric cover, or, if you choose white covers, place a matching couch pillow on each parson's chair to carry the color to the round table conversation area as well as on either side of the TV (if you also go with chairs there). You may also want to consider adding fabric to the expansive glass window/doors at the far end of the room. I would go with a complimentary pattern you choose for one of the pillow styles. f) Accessories: Since your husband doesn't like the photo gallery idea (which I love, btw), you could choose to make an arrangement of several-sized mirrors and/or empty frames to hang behind the couch. Some of the frames could have pops of the same color(s) you find in your couch pillows and/or rug and curtains. You could add a large, potted plant or flower arrangement on the round table conversation area (toward the back corner of the table, not centered on the table), as well as a few coffee-table books (photography books and atlases make great coffee table books), perhaps a special artifact or two from around the house (statuette, glass paperweight, small ceramic figurine, etc.) I would suggest a large plant in the near-end of the room, slightly behind/next to the end of the couch. A potted bamboo or fig tree make wonderful indoor accents and will again call for the eye's attention before it rushes to the far end of the room. You can also select a couple smaller plants for the small 3-drawer dressers, should you decide to include them on the TV wall as I mentioned. If you go with chairs on that wall instead, a larger potted floor plant (not a tree) placed on the OUTSIDE of each chair would help to warm up the space and would "frame" the TV wall nicely. 2) Sourcing: you can find cheap pillows at discount stores and sew covers for them from pretty sheets, or even inexpensive draperies you see in the discount stores. If you don't find draperies that are long enough for that large window, you can always sew a solid-colored drapery panel onto either the top or bottom of the panel to elongate it. The small dressers, round table, and chairs can be found at thrift stores or yard sales. Even if the dressers and chairs are not matching, you can select furniture with similar dimensions and either paint or stain them in an accent color of your choice (something from the rug or pillow patterns on your couch). You can use fabric or sheets to re-cover the upholstered cushions on the chairs. You can spray paint the frames/mirrors for behind the couch. They shouldn't be the same style frames anyway...but you can unify the look by spray-painting them to seem as if they were made to go together. These are just some thoughts to get you started...I've got lots more ideas but I agree it's good to go with one room at a time so you're not overwhelmed, and so that you can establish one theme/color scheme before taking that into another room. Personally, I like to stick with the same palette throughout the whole house, but maybe change the hue intensities from room to room based on the use of each room. Best of luck! Post pictures when you're finished! You have a beautiful home; it's a great blank canvas!! -Carey

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Sep 14, 2013
    The area rug is a great idea, but you need to bring the color to the off white wall to unify the room. Something that has the the color of the red wall. I think the furniture is beautiful. Picking up one piece at a time and loving it is a must. I agree with serve all of the posters a good size area rug, a coffee table, end tables, and lamps will warm your rooms up. One thing at a time. It takes time. Before long you will be wondering where you got all tat stuff. : )

  • Carole Carole on Sep 15, 2013
    Even though you have the halogen down lights in your ceiling - you can still soften the light and atmosphere by using lamps. Strategically placed lamps will give you a softer light I think - you could leave the overhead halogens off at certain times of the evening and go with the lamps, say for when you are watching TV. The little tables you have - I would change or add a larger statement table - either a side table where you currently appear to have a vase on the floor, or a coffee table. Rugs will help soften and dress up your room and perhaps some sheer curtains will soften the look of the windows. You can still have the blinds but just soften with some sheers for a gentler effect. If you are seeking artwork for your walls, a grouping of similar style frames - you can buy op shop and get them to be more cohesive looking by spray painting all the frames white and arranging them in a pleasing way - but for the inside of the frames - why not look for old books with bird prints or botanical prints and use the pages inside the frames as art? This will give you a look similar to the photos you chose here for ideas. You can jazz up a cheap chain store bought lamp (Kmart of Target) by using driftwood, bamboo or any other natural material or hessian or burlap to make it look less run of the mill. If you are handy with a staple gun or hot glue gun you can dress up second hand purchases such as chairs/picture frames/lamps/ottamons/footstools etc with some canvas drop cloth purchased from hardware store and some fabric paint. Navy stripes on hardware store purchased painters canvas drop sheets would fit in with your first photo on ideas and is easy to do. Use masking tape and ruler to get the straight edges for stripes. Apply the fabric paint with a small roller and once dry, iron to seal the colour from bleeding. Use a second hand picture frame to dress up a mirror - spray paint it white or gold or whatever you fancy. So many things you can do as you have essentially a blank canvas and you at least know what type of décor appeals to you - good luck!

  • Brenda Cantrell Brenda Cantrell on Sep 15, 2013

  • Susan Cryor Susan Cryor on Sep 15, 2013
    I agree with Carol. Lamps ..first thing I saw, that would warm and help create a more balanced room. You might find, besides grounding the room, it will creat a romantic atmosphere! Walls, should find some paintings you like, visit art gallery, pick out some and then get the prints ( many sites for that ) that way you get what you like and many, many $$$ less! Salvation Army, Good Will are wonderful places to find frames..even if the print is gaudy, you will not are going to replace it with one you like! And yes, most definitely a rug! You can also find some amazing "make over" items at The Dollar Store and Big Lots. I believe it was her, at this site, where I saw a make over of a trash can...plants, got to love them! They clean the air we breathe, keep u going in the winter months! Go to a nursery, with your photos so they can see windows, light exposure etc but do not be can always put grow light bulbs in some of those recessed lights! Look and ask for tall plants. There was also a posting for a shelf behind a couch, just loved it...inexpensive ! Some of these you can certainly do your self! On a low budget! Also check out Amazon, you can "try" it out, what ever and return it if it does not work for you. I get it, we have the " money pit " house, moved in and...well I was put to cleaning, fist full of dirt in the heat registers, 3x5 cards behind outlets, plumbing issues in every bathroom, it goes on to major items like electrical water heater and all that with our previous house STILL not sold. Hang in there, you have done the right thing taking care of the building. I noticed, you have a lovely deck with plants, nice! Sorry fellow members, I can not recall your postings to refer to you directly.

  • Barbara Carter Barbara Carter on Sep 15, 2013
    I enjoy going to estate sales the day before they will let you look at what is going to sell and you will know what you want and can buy for a few dollars. Estate sales ask less monies for there treasures and the choices are endless. I don't care for auctions takes all day and estate sales when your there first in the morning and go in and pick up (quickly) what you want to purchase. Yes, lets get some wall tables and lamps going and some wall decor, you'll find it only takes a few items to fill the spaces. Window drapes in the bedroom would add much warmth. Also they make directional plug-in lights might use some of these for atmosphere.

  • Gloria Duy Gloria Duy on Sep 15, 2013
    I wouldn't do one room at a time because when you walk from a decorated room to an undecorated room it is a shock. I would try to add something into each room to make it cozy. If you hung a large picture or mirror above the couch and pulled the couch a little forward and put a sofa table behind with a lamp, books etc and added a rug and pillows, you could later add two chairs and a table or bookshelf and lamp to another area of the room to make reading nook. It usually works to have 2 sitting areas in long narrow rooms. For the bedroom just start with some curtains and pillows and later add a vanity or dresser with a mirror and pictures. If you don't have much stuff go for groupings when you add things. Don't spread it out thin. For the empty guest room at least buy a tall blow-up bed and cover with a spread. No one will know but us!

  • Deanna Riles-Cox Deanna Riles-Cox on Sep 15, 2013
    I think it is interesting that you say you love bold colors, but both pictures of the styles of living space you like were very neutral. Do you like wearing bold colors, but want to come home to a restful space after a hard day at work? You might look at Pintrest under cottage. Note how the colors make you feel. The red wall that you have may feel discordant to what you want because it is a color that is used for a more contemporary look. You might need to take a good look first at what style and colors you are drawn to as your base then go from there. You already have have white furniture , now decide your style, then go for the colors, then fill your room with treasures as you find them. Style, color, treasures biggest to smallest. Post as you go.

  • Sassy Townhouse Living Sassy Townhouse Living on Sep 15, 2013
    I would move the sofa's away from the wall and face one to the other. Of course, a rug would make things much more cozy. I would go for a pattern which you can do something in neutrals to match the walls. Then, I would hang some pictures or art work. I think you will find this will make your living space feel much more like home and not just an open space. You have a lot to work with. Good luck!

  • Frankie Laney Frankie Laney on Sep 15, 2013
    All of the above are great ideas. I think a nice folding screen at the wall opposite the tv would be a nice touch as you walk into the room

  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Sep 15, 2013
    I think if you put a dimmer switch for the pot lights that would make it much more cozier at night. If the pot lights are giving off less light, then a couple of lamps would look good. Also put up a set of ceiling to floor drapes and a rug would definitely make it much more cozier. A large mirror on the wall behind the couch with a couch table would start bringing everything together slowly. If not a large mirror maybe a large print above the table. Anxious to see your progress. Good Luck

  • Tobey McCool Tobey McCool on Sep 15, 2013
    I have furnished my whole home with upcycled items from thrift stores and estate sales, you can do it so cheap. Because the room is long, create two sitting areas to break it up. Start with items such as two area rugs one for each area, make one a tv area and the other just two chairs and a table. Carolann was right you need lamps for softer lightning and use the ceiling lights when you need them, put them on a dimmer switch. I agree with Deanna when I look at the pictures of what you like I don't see bold colours either. I see soft beachy tones and neutrals, that's why you probably don't like the red wall you painted. Don't be overwhelmed by the big picture, or in your case the big room. Just start with a piece at a time, collecting them yourself will make it feel more like home. Same goes in the bedroom, just start with a piece at a time, maybe start with a colour of fabric you like for curtains or a comforter or pillows and build off that. Good luck have fun with it, and make it your own.

  • Pat Pat on Sep 15, 2013
    First, put all exercise equipment in your spare room....for example the big exercise ball and smaller things pertaining to exercise. It looks like you have a couch and two that right? If so, leave the couch where it is, bring the two chairs around to face each other. Put your little end tables between the couch and chairs and get some nice tallish lamps to put on them...mood lighting, you If possible, bring your TV a little more forward so that you can see it from the chairs. Then a nice colorful rug and coffee table/ottoman will make it a home. By the entrance, you could have a round table...with a plant on lay your keys, etc. Or put a glass/wrought iron console table in front of your window...which ever looks best. After that, find a big piece of artwork (you could even get a canvas and splash paint on it, in the colors of your rug) to put behind the couch. As for your bedroom.....Could you take everything off the end chests by your bed and put two pretty lamps? The things on your bed tables could either go in the bathroom or maybe a pretty chest in front of the windows.....Sheer curtains would look nice at the windows.

  • Sally Sally on Sep 15, 2013
    I don't see anything that shows your personality! The rooms you are showing would be very formal with your kids in your picture. Your red wall looks great. How about throw pillows with print with that color. Don't be matchy-matchy. Variety makes an area more friendly.

  • Prim_princess Prim_princess on Sep 15, 2013
    Well I am so overwhelmed by all these great responses! Thank you all so very much. Well since my last post I have been very very busy. I have been shopping and cleaning so the house looks a little better overall. Attached is a picture of the unit and accessories in the living room. The second picture is of a rug I brought however I feel like its a little too small and it has the floating effect you warned of. What do you think? Shall I return and get something larger? Ps I will play around with moving the sofa but just haven't had a chance yet.

  • Prim_princess Prim_princess on Sep 15, 2013
    Pictures attached

    • See 2 previous
    • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Sep 16, 2013
      @Francine Mosuk-Regnier I agree with the arrangement suggestions... and to anchor thins..

  • Roberta Alessi Roberta Alessi on Sep 15, 2013
    The styles you like are wonderful so try to "imitate" some of those pics. The first thing I would do is find an inexpensive carpet (search the net) with the colors you like to run the length of the sectional. If you can't afford art, go to an outlet and get a cheap twin size white sheet and some craft store paint in colors you like including the red) and try to do a large modern print with shapes that you can staple to four pieces of wood and hang that on the wall behind you. You might even try a small local place that sells and cuts wood to get leftover pieces for your back frame. You could even make 3 prints instead of one big one (more manageable). AFter that we'll "talk" again

  • Jean DeSavage Jean DeSavage on Sep 15, 2013
    You're starting in a good direction. Because your living room is so long and narrow, it is difficult to make it feel cozy. If you like the plain black rug that is too small, move it to the bay window area and get a small table and 1 or 2 chairs. This can be a reading nook, or a game area. You could put the lovely jar by the cabinet on the table. Your room is actually long enough to have three separate areas of interest. When you get a larger rug, whether it be black like the original or something with a pattern, make sure it is at least 2 feet longer and wider. Put the sofa just on the edge of the rug, and place the two love seats facing the ends of the rug, and put the front legs just on the edge of the rug also. Then get a coffee table that will fit within the space left. If you don't want one large table, you could go with two smaller ottomans, or parson type tables/stools that could also be used for extra seating for gatherings. Near the front end of the room with the long windows you could have another chair or chaise for reading, with a small table and lamp (either table or floor type). You could also add some different sized plants at that end to add some life in the room, just don't use all small plants because then it would look cluttered instead of cohesive. Plants on the bow window shelf would also look great. If you are not into long drapes, you could just use valances, which would give just a bit of softness to the room. If you don't want a cottage look, box valances that are covered in fabric could be just the look you need. However, I did notice that there are blue and white striped drapes in the one inspirational room. If you like that look, maybe instead of the red wall, you could change it to a color of blue that you love. If you're not sure what color you really like, find some throw pillows in a shade you love, and take one to the paint store and have them blend paint to match it! That takes the guess work out of the equation. In your bedroom you might want a more plush cozier look than in the living room. Here I would definitely use drapes at the bay windows. If you don't want long ones, again valances would work well. The bay area is also saying it needs something. You don't show another view of the rest of the room, so I'm assuming there is another wall for a dresser. In the bay you could put chairs and a small table to read, or just have a bit of time to yourself. Everyone needs to have unwinding time at the end of the day. Does your lovely new home have an attached bath to your room, or is it elsewhere? If it's attached any items you would need for getting ready could go there and have lovely items on your bed side tables. You might want to think about covering your headboard in fabric, for a shot of color. If you want to keep your walls their current color, find a bedding set that just makes you sigh, and use that as your color in the room. A nice picture above the bed would also be lovely. Your spare room could actually be turned into a study/office/exercise area. Or if you're into sewing, crafts, scrapbooking, etc., you could turn it into a craft room! I'm envious, you have a lovely blank slate to just create the most wonderful cozy home. REMEMBER IF YOU DON'T LOVE IT, DON'T BUY IT!

  • Carole Carole on Sep 15, 2013
    I just had another look at your living room and the photos you show here of rooms that you like and that are your decorating inspiration. If you look at the layout of the furniture in your two fave pics you will note that the chairs are facing each other for a more cosy conversation style setting. In your own living room photo, your tv is the main focus of the room at present with all your chairs facing toward it. If you move the armchairs round a little more so that one has its back to the patio windows and the other is facing the patio windows (does that make sense?) it will look cosier right away. I understand the desire to face all chairs toward the tv, but I don't know how many people are living at your house and whether anyone would be missing out if the tv is not in their direct line of vision? ie. if it is just yourself and a partner ie. no kids, you could easily re-arrange your seating and you could both still see the tv. Just pick where you will sit. No doubt you don't only use this room for tv viewing? The current arrangement of all chairs pretty much in a row is a little limiting I think. Sorry, hope you don't mind my saying this, I am trying to be constructive not critical here! I can also understand not wanting to block off the view through the patio windows by placing stuff in front of it. Everything is a trade-off when decorating a room! I do hope you will post again when you have made some decorative additions to your home as I would love to see what you come up with! Good luck with it and have fun - your home looks lovely and I am sure you will figure it all out.

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Sep 15, 2013
    because your room is so long, break it up into three different areas. One is group sitting with your couch facing each other. Second one could be a single chair for reading. Another could be with a table and chairs for playing games, working on the computer, and having a snack. I love your color choices for the walls, but don't forget about using pops of color with window treatments, pillows and art work.

  • Donna Conrad Donna Conrad on Sep 15, 2013
    Given the look you are after - and the look of your living room - first thing; re-paint that accent wall - and use a navy-blue (if that look that you're after is the same look that you are showing. Because your living room has no blue!) Then, replace (or recover) some of those loose-pillows on the cream sofas. Make them the same color as the navy wall. Cream, brown, and navy are very smart colors and blend well with each other. Your living room is a long "alley" type of room. So, that far wall on the right could be painted brown, the tv wall painted navy, and the rest of the walls; white or cream. It will add interest and bring the room together. Also, bring the sofas out and facing towards your entrance - towards the door. Not alongside each other. Canvas thrift stores or second-hand clearance stores for a wood coffee table or wood and metal-combined tables. Maybe a table painted white with the legs left metal. A area rug will also unite your pieces of furniture and make it more cozy. Since area rugs can be pricey, maybe carpeting that was pre-cut/now returned and on clearance is a route you could go. Second-hand low-to-the-floor wooden dressers, basic in design could be used in your living area. Find some mirrors at garage sales or even large picture frames with no picture - just hand the frames and paint them either silver gold or one of your color choices from the walls. Not sure about the blinds on your sliding doors how you could "lighten" that area(?) Depending on privacy, I would either remove them if you can or add drape interest on one side with a tie-back. Also, even to consider painting some section of that wooden floor cream-color - as if it were a rug...could be quite attractive-looking! Once painted, just apply coats of lacquer or varnish to protect scuffs. And, that too, would make the room cozier. Stick with minimal and choose two or three basic colors - use those colors in the pillows or artwork. Keep it minimal - and if you cannot afford tables and do not want lamps per se, then you can always Spackle wooden heavy crate boxes or simple UHaul boxes and they do look like marble when the spackle dries - quite sturdy, too! Whether you put glass tops on them or not - they will look very nice, artsy, and blend quite well! Paint the boxes brown, or navy, or keep them "original". You control the spackle spatula to create your own design! You will have a conversation piece of a table when you are done - and honestly, none to be the wiser until they actually pick it up! The "wreath" in the photo you showed can be achieved with a few wreaths purchased from your Michaels/Hobby-Lobby store - layered together - but can be expensive. Or go out in the woods yourself and ravel some vines around your arm/elbow like you are curling up your garden hose - you can make that same wreath for pennies! Remove the leaves. Soak it in your tub - it tightens up the vines. When it's dry - spray paint it silver! The bedroom just calls for some basic "color." You can purchase white standard sheets - even with a paint roller, you can paint chevron design or something more feminine. Even painter's dropcloths that look like canvas duck-cloth are ideal to use with basic clip-on hooks and find a large branch from a tree the width of your window as the rod or use a bamboo rod! Paint the wall where your bed rests - a contrasting color - and get a coverlet for your bed. If you can't afford the bedspread - a nice basic color sheet tightly-tucked with pillows stacked laying down and a blanket half-folded at foot of the bed will look just as nice! Remove the clutter from your nightstands and if you don't want lamps - then add greenery or stacked books or something of "interest!" And small framed prints on either side above your tables.

  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Sep 16, 2013
    my opinion lol.. you do have to break up the long look and i simply think moving the piece closest to the window out i also think you need bigger end tables with a few lamps so you can turn off the overheads and only use them if you are trying to find your contact on the floor lol..also the window really needs something and i know drapes are way expensive put you could hang three wreaths across them that you get on the cheap and decorate yourself you could make them seasonal even i see a lot of silver in your pics so get some spray paint and redo goodwill lamps and table you can even spray paint shades now a days and books are cheap at second hand stores you can cover them all in colored paper to add your pops of can get cheap stuff at the dollar store as to displaying just remember odd numbers like 3 or 5 looks better and things do not have to be matchy matchy you have a beautiful place i think it would be fun to decorate prim have fun with it and ask for help from your friends and family xx

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Sep 16, 2013
    first of all,,,,,,, START WITH THE ROOM YOU USE THE MOST AND SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME IN..Let PAINT be your new best friend.. is cheap to use..I'd do tone on tone, ONE WALL.. soft white with soft grey or light blue grey for your coice of styles, one accent repeat the color in pillows and an area rug. I'd stay with a neutral palate, so you can use in another room at a later time. Be sure to get a good pad, not the non-skid ones, or the chewed up rubber, they can ruin the floor. go to a flooring specialist or online, they come rug size.They will save the floor if there is a spill. Check out old tag-yard sales and consignment shops for items you like, don't be afraid to paint them, sand them distress them.. have fun with them....Ask your family they might be happy to give you a thing or two, mention if you have loved something,,tell them. I'd add touches of "YOU" your favorites,,,, flowers, books on things you like,, COLLECT things on VACATION..shells, beach glass, a cheap vase or clear jar you add stones or shells to every trip. bigger shells I like to date and write time and place on in gold pen......even when you go for a walk..a vase (add sand or weights to stabilize it) with a tall limb or two are a cheap way to decorate a corner.. one with a few leaves on is even better for fall. In the spring ask a neighbor for a few cuttings when they prune their shrubs..they last quite a while in a vase of water, grow leaves, and some even bloom. I'd also hang some pics,,,, of you, your family, your pets, your travels...Unify them by spacing them close together- use same colored or style frames (all black, all acrylic, all silvery grey etc..remember find them cheap and repaint if needed..), I'd get a lamp or two..they say "come and sit- read-relax" Use the dimmer if your cans have them. If not, use lower watt bulb for a softer look. I'd also soften the look of the windows by side panels,,in a color of your accent wall or area rug pattern. You have lots of pillows, If they are ones you like the color of, use that as inspiration for the rest of the room paint color, area rug colors, and accessories....TAKE IT SLOW- ROOMS ARE NEVER REALLY DONE..they just EVOLVE AND GROW ! but mostly DON'T STRESS about this, HAVE FUN WITH IT.... Enjoy it, you will learn lots about yourself in the process...

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Sep 16, 2013
    just saw the new photos...Good start.. I agree with moving the furnature into more of a conversation group.. the rug is good also with the modern look of things thus far be sure to place it under the legs of the seating area. Also to break up the space a bit more, turn it the other direction, the room looks long and narrow, if it is try that or else at a slight angle...Your other photo shows a new piece, great start... If you have not painted the accent wall, I'd suggest the SAME COLOR you now have,,,,,TAKE IT 2-4 SHADES DARKER... will give you a dramatic look but, very sophisticated..for the ceiling a trick is 1/2 the color of the walls....keep posting photos please.

  • Em Hooper Em Hooper on Sep 16, 2013
    In general, to make a long narrow room look less like a bowling alley, paint the end wall a darker color and the long side walls lighter. Lots of good suggestions for color and style here. And your many advisors seem to be in tune with what's in your head, based on the inspiration pictures. Has anyone suggested that you use decorating websites on the internet and/or in the paint store? I;'ve never done it, but you are more likely to figure out how, (being younger than I). You download your photo and use computer "paintbrush" to try out colors. And you can put in photos of the items you are considering, just to see how they look. You've taken the first steps, that's the main thing.......

  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Sep 16, 2013
    i saw the two new pics you uploaded and the living room looks much better with an area rug, and it must be more comfortable as well for your family? In the pic at the other end of the room you have a table with a mirror above it, and it looks great. You could put an open bench that rises above the heater, and put some trinkets, a lamp, and if there is not too much heat maybe a plant or two. Also it looks like there is more light on that side of the room so a couple of large floor plants like palms would fill in some space and make it start to come together even more. I don't know if you have local ads in your area online, but if so check them out. I have purchased and sold so many used to new items off this type of site. For example I sold my older couch and chair, and instead purchase a very new faux suede couch that goes better with our new paint colour. Also my console table in front of my window is used, the glass oval coffee table, the dark brow bookcase (I refinished myself a bit), a small telephone cabinet against rock wall, small corner black table, small pink ottoman (I am going to make a new more neutral colour cover for it soon), two stainless and leather side table lights, two side tables that I stained dark brown, and my best find was a $500 blue linen Stracaro chair, that we purchased for $75. I also purchased some prints as well for the walls. I am not finished in my living room yet, but it is a good start so far. I know your taste may be very different from mine, but it is just an example of what you can find out there for less. Here are some pics of my living room.

  • Therese C Therese C on Sep 16, 2013
    You are definitely starting out on the right track here! I like the black rug, however, given that you couch is so long, I think it looks semi-mobile. That being said, maybe turn the ends a bit more toward each other to give it a cozier/chatting feel rather than 'we all sit along this wall separated feel'. By moving these ends you have created an intimate area near the window for a small coffee drinkers/visiting area where the ladies can visit while the guys watch the game. Put some large-ish black framed prints over the couch that have a slash of color in them, and add very green plants. Your taste is impeccable and I applaud you!

  • We suggest the 3-tier plant stand, it is a wonderfully crafted metal plant stand that is perfect for your living room. Hope you like it :)

  • Prim_princess Prim_princess on Sep 17, 2013
    Hello to you all and thank you again for all your wonderfulcomments. You all have so many ideas and great feedback i am so glad i posted. Sorry for the late reply and the brief one I did get round toposting, I have limited access to the site on my phone and haven’t been able toget onto the computer until now. Some of you have questioned why the pictures are neutralwhen I say I love bold colours. when I say I love bold colours I mean injectionsof bold rather than solid colour, i.e. Blue cushions, the odd lamp or accessoryhere or there to brighten up the room – I should have specified apologies forthe confusion. The lights already have dimmers and we have differentsections on different switches to create the mood lighting you all suggest but Iwill check out the lamp suggestions and see where I can place them, even ifthey aren’t used, they look great. I have moved the sofa as you suggested but now have spacesby the long doors and the front of the living room which is empty and not beingused. I don’t think a table + chairs/computer suggestion will be making themost of the space as we already have a small room upstairs which has beenconverted into a study. From what you have said however I am thinking ultimatelymaybe a chest that can be used as a seat like the white one below would be goodand a nice round rug in the centre (it can double up as a play area for thefuture). Maybe a bookshelf in the corner between the sofas (near the heater) witha plant on top and a small table in the corner. What do you think? From all your comments I have picked out a few things thatstill need doing in the living room although they will have to wait a littlewhile until I save up some more money. I have included pictures as well of thekind of purchases I am thinking of making so please let me know if I am goingoff track – I tend to do this often. Still to do: Buy some art or make it/ buy pictures from garage sales andrepaint frames filling with art or family pictures, Buy a coffee table for between the sofa, Buy sofa cushions Buy different sized plants - not all small. Another chair or chaise/ chest for reading, Look into Lamp (either table or floor type). Bedrooms. Over the weekend we decided the current room with a bed willbe converted into a kids bedroom and the one with the exercise equipment I willconvert into my bedroom so the current clutter will be moved out – ideas on howto do this would be great and any furniture/furnishing/colour ideas would be appreciated. I look forward to all your responses!

    • See 2 previous
    • Jjarnett Jjarnett on May 14, 2016
      @Prim_princess Well Hum. Your rugs are very small. In a seating area always have the furniture front feet on the rug. I am stumped. I guess if you know your favorite color, Style? Clean, cool, warm? Start there. You need to know the basics before heading to the thrift store. ( I call them my favorite mall.) I have found some good things but also drug home many bad decisions. Know what you want and don"t except something that will work instead of what you really have in your choices.... Keep shopping and it will be there! I love your couches also, but that is all you have. Why so many ? What are they looking at? TV? That is fine. I don''t see the long space. I see black rugs and white furniture. It looks like a black chair pushed in a corner , round rug room, that needs to be floating , (Away from the corner) Pull it forward a little. OM? Who wants to be in a corner! I am being critical to some but I only want you to have constructive criticism from me. I know your dilemma it's mine too! OK One more thing. This is very important. Only one space at a time! And remember texture ! In rugs Pillows throws. Have fun.

  • Jean DeSavage Jean DeSavage on Sep 17, 2013
    You are doing great. One small tip though. Put the front feet of the sofas just on TOP of the edge of the carpet. This will give the area an anchored feeling as opposed to the floating look it has right now. I love the picture of the figured circular rug, great choice!

  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Sep 20, 2013
    you go girl now have fun with it when i said dollar store stuff you can get some stuff you like but dont like the color of and spray paint also brass is back and you can get that cheap at goodwill type stores or garage sales xx

  • Patricia Cleveland Patricia Cleveland on Sep 20, 2013
    @Prim_princess: looks like you've gotten lots of good advice and are following it. Is your house a separate building or a condo?

  • Jeanne Jeanne on Oct 24, 2013
    Abselutely you need rugs to divide up your spaces, colored lamps and even some fun end tables or a giant coffee table, you have plenty of space for it! Finding an old barn door and converting it into a coffee table would be simple and give that vintage and warm feel to the room. I know you said you currently have spotlights, but mood lighting changes the feel of a room so much, so do not be afraid of too much light, have you ever considered using a dimmer for your overhead lights? How about adding a tattered old leather chair...check Craigslist or Ebay for a bargain.... Mixing textures and styles helps bring a cozy element and a seemingly collected over time look. What about art??? Go to your local Hobby store now and purchase a large canvas and some bottled acrylic paints(usually craft paints are less than $2 a bottle) and get crazy! Do not be afraid to express yourself in YOUR ROOMS. Your house should be a reflection of you.. Please visit my blog for some more inspiration and email me back for more tips.... Have a great day and Have Fun Creating your HOME!!!