what do you think makes a room look "good"?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Default what do you think makes a room look "good"?

    What do you think makes a room look nice? "Pulled together"?

    I'm watching home dec shows and they always go out and buy new stuff. There must be a way to do this without spending thousands on new furniture. I realize not everything I own will work, but there must be some standards for assembling a room out of what you already own.

    Any ideas? I hate the mixed up, messed up way my house looks now.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    I found that when the clutter was cleared, it just looked better. Anything necessary that has be kept out went either into a drawer, a decorative box of some sort on the table/shelf where its still accessible but not in plain sight.

    Try colour blocking on your bookshelves if applicable - group like coloured items together.

    Lastly if you already dont, pick a theme or colour scheme that runs throughout the entire room - table runners, curtains, lampshades etc Whatever you can afford.

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    Default clean and tidy...

    clutter can wreak havoc on a room....we are doing each room slowly...i have pics of my daughters room posted and that was under $300 to do...we did all the work.....and got the flooring and paint on sale....I didnt buy any new furniture just repurposed the old...what room do you want to do and what is your style...I love redecorating....just a fresh coat of paint does wonders and clearing out the clutter...my daughters room was so cluttered before and when it was time to move every thing back in she stated no she didnt want it to get rid of it because she wanted to keep her room looking nice...Yeah!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrary Housewife View Post
    What do you think makes a room look nice? "Pulled together"?

    I'm watching home dec shows and they always go out and buy new stuff. There must be a way to do this without spending thousands on new furniture. I realize not everything I own will work, but there must be some standards for assembling a room out of what you already own.

    Any ideas? I hate the mixed up, messed up way my house looks now.
    this book really helped me. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Use-What-You-Have-Decorating/dp/039952536X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313972161&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: Use What You Have Decorating : Transform Your Home in One Hour With Ten Simple Design Principles -- Using the Space You Have, the Things You Like, the Budget You Choose (9780399525360): Lauri Ward: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51acqHCJ3BL[/ame]

    and the books by alexandra stoddard. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Open-Your-Eyes-Simple-Harperresource/dp/B000GG4HUM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313972224&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: Open Your Eyes : 1,000 Simple Ways To Bring Beauty Into Your Home And Life Each Day (Harperresource Book): Alexandra Stoddard: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51N8CRB2JKL[/ame] especially learning about scale and proportion.

  6. #5
    Registered User mamamia's Avatar
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    Have you ever noticed how the nicest rooms seem to 'flow'? Well, what I finally figured out, is the reason they flow is due to the use of color. The other thing that entirely helps a single room, is to incorporate the colors thru the 'living areas' of the house. This is especially true if a house is on the small side. The best way for me to explain it is by telling you what I did.

    Okay, the way my house is set up, is that there's my living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, and sun room, that are sorta all together (living areas). In other words if you're in my kitchen, the DR, FR, and part of the SR, are visible. If you're in my DR, my LR is openly visible. So, starting with my LR and DR, since both are the 1st thing you see walking in, I began a whole living areas re-do. I worked with a budget, and what we already have. I picked 4 colors, plus an accent color. Mine are olive green, terra cotta, antique gold, latte brown, and my accent color in 'ALL' those rooms is black. That accent color, at least to me, is that 'key' to making things flow. If nothing else it has that 'put together' look you mentioned. I also picked out a metal color because my theme is "Italian formal" in my LR/DR, and "Italian Country" in the other 3. With that, I knew I'd be using lots of wrought iron, which helped in the black accent, but started finding super cheap things in copper, so wound up with both.

    Now remember, in order for an accent color to "work", you need to be able to see it in at least 3 areas. If the room is big, you need even more than that.

    The best way to make low cost changes, is to paint. I painted my LR and DR the same since they are so open. I chose the latte for the bottom color, and the gold for the top after putting in a wide, painted bright white chair rail. Really popped those colors. But my accents come by way of my throw pillows, picture frame colors, the dish set in the china cabinet, flowers on the table, and of course the pictures on the walls, etc.

    I know I'm blabbing here, so will shorten w/o taking away from the idea.

    But it's easy to paint picture frames, and to dye curtains. When I dye, I double the dose, and leave over night....made the difference. In Orlando, there's great stores like Old Time Pottery, and my fave..Kirklands. Both are really low priced, and always having "special sales". Worth the 40 mi trip. Kohls is pretty good, but only IF they're having a clearance sale. But at least they're local!

    So, in a nutshell, I continued the color scheme in the other 3 rooms, and not bragging, but get lots of compliments.

    Our thrift stores are pricey lately, but I did find a few things that were changed by painting them. Maybe you can find things with a "view" to what it could look like with a little creativity. Also, don't be afraid to use something that's outside your color scheme. As a matter of fact, I advise it. TOO "matchy-matchy" can either be "museum" stiff, or just plain boring. On my side board in the DR I have a purple/blue cannister set. Color is different, but the wine labels on them are perfect for the theme. The price was right too..lol! But do remember the rule for "at least 3 places in your room for accent color". To me it's the most important part of pulling the room together. It really works.

    So, hope you're still reading this loooong post , but mostly hope I explained it enough to be understandable. Decorating is one of my favorite topics and hobbies. Thanks for the chance to share my ideas with you.

    Theresa

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Dealing with the clutter is definitely an issue here. I've just run out of spaces to put things we need. For example, my bill paying area is the coffee table. My computer desk is too small to handle it, and unlike the people who live in some tv fantasy world, some cute designer basket is not going to cut it. There are no closets, there's no place to put an armoire. There's barely room for the sofa and two chairs.

    The house is entirely open, adding to the problem. The kitchen/dining is open to the living/entry/sewing room. The sewing room is the worst, but there's no way to close it off.

    All the walls are white, all the woodwork is dark brown, we have wrought iron and raw beams in the entry area and I've tried to work with that in other areas. The kitchen clock has a scrollwork "iron" border and I put up ironwork shelf brackets. Our LR lamps are also metal scrollwork. I should add, there are no overhead lights in the LR or my sewing area so we have to to freestanding lamps. It's so dark in here. We have blinds, not curtains. There's no room for a proper curtain rod and hanging drapes between the stereo cabinet and the computer desk.

    The desk is where it is because that's where the computer socket is. The stereo is where it is because the only other wall it could go against is also the only wall the couch fits against.

    I have tried to match colors. The kitchen curtains are lavender. I have "slate" floor tiles that work with the wood and metal. The LR set is eggplant and my accent colors are green, gold and rust (came with the couch pillows so I ran with it).

    I'm just so frustrated with my limits here.

    Will check out those suggested books. Thanks.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

  8. #7
    Registered User mamamia's Avatar
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    Just a quick thought on your curtain rod problem....Can you hang window length curtains using a rod that is hung inside the window frame? If sizing is a problem, you can use other items, like pvc piping, or dowels that can be cut to fit the width, and then you'd just need those brackets that are meant to hold that type of rod in place. If the curtains aren't any longer than the window, will it still make problems for the area?

    Also, I grew up in NYC, and believe me, I understand small spaces. What alot of people do, is since there's so little floor space, they use wall space. Can you maybe add shelving or even better, a small cabinet over your desk? A cabinet means you can close doors to the paper clutter. Mu hubby's desk has open shelves, and it gets horrible if I do't keep up with it.

    HTHs!

    Theresa

    btw, I love your color scheme. I want my next BR to be done in purples. Hubby has some color blindness, so I might just get away with it....lol! (love that man)

    Theresa

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    The living area in my apartment looks best to me when everything is put in it's place. I really dislike things being out of place (which is a never-ending battle here).

    Regular vacuuming works wonders. It looks 100% better instantly after we vacuum lol.

    I am personally not a fan of everything being matchy-matchy (living room sets). I like character. I prefer that it looks lived-in, but tidy and "picked up".

    I agree with using walls for cabinets and extra storage. I think that is a great idea. I've tried using the cute bins, etc. but that never seems to work for me. How about a nice wooden filing cabinet or something that will go with your other furniture?

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    Registered User sinopa27's Avatar
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    keep it simple. Lighting is a key and make sure the room smells clean and not perfume like. It should be inviting even though it is simple.

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    Registered User heartofmine's Avatar
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    I love love love decorating. I'm on a budget so my decorating consists of shopping my home first before looking elsewhere. When I do look elsewhere I check yard sales and thrift stores. The key is to look "outside" the box. Different things can be used for storage.

    For example....your bill paying station. May I suggest a suit case. 3 suitcases stacked can be used for storage AND as a side table. Have a tall table...like a sofa table...stack suitcases under them.

    A great side table is...a trash can. Yep...a trash can. Just cut a round piece of wood for the top, cover with a table cloth and you have a table with lots of storage inside. You could use the storage for out of season clothing, extra blankets, out of season shoes, kids toys (every so often switch the toys out so that the kids think they have new ones), seasonal decorations, dishes. You can use this same concept as bedside tables too.

    Picnic baskets that are stackable are great storage.

    Paint is a inexpensive fix and really freshens up a room or furniture.

    Decluttering helps.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Are you able to browse Ikea online just to get ideas of what you can construct in your own home with whatever you have on hand?

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    I think that removing the clutter and putting things away. ( MY mop is out know the door bell rang forgot to put it up) a similar color palate my whole home is brown and greens. Knick knacks grouped together in small arrangements but not over done. my 20 + crosses are scattered over the house. Comfort items light candles, glade plug ins, smells are very important to me. a cozy throw a pretty rug, plants, pets,family pics in groups. and whimsey I love wind chimes.that is what makes a pulled together and cozy.room

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I don't know about "pulling it together" - that never mattered much to me. But as for looking nice, for me, that means as minimal as possible. I can't stand lots of furniture and stuff in a room. Whenever I have been in apartments that had "model" apartments to show, my apartment, the same floor plan, always looked twice as large. Few pieces of furniture and those not large, cleared surfaces, not much on the walls, as much open space in the room as can be arranged. To me that is a restful room.

    I also think plants help. They make it feel like an alive place.

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    Registered User MyMelody's Avatar
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    Some ideas for low to no-cost decorating:

    - angle a couch or chair in the corners; place a floor lamp or tall plant (even a ficus tree) behind it

    - try setting a rug at an angle on the floor facing the focal point (window, fireplace, or TV)

    - mismatched end tables, coffee tables, and entertainment stands look better if all spray painted the same color (black, dark brown, white or cream)

    - don't forget that lamps, vases, baskets, and picture frames can be spray painted, too, for an inexpensive way to coordinate things

    - sometimes, lamps just need different shades. Try a drum shape instead of a mushroom, or recover with some fabric and a hot glue gun.

    - if your rug has a large pattern, choose solid curtains or those with a small pattern. Or if the curtains have a large pattern, vice-versa.

    - decorate with your books: stack a few on a table with a knickknack, clock, small plant, or framed picture on top

    - use placemats from the dollar store under lamps to coordinate with your furniture, rug, etc, and bring in a pop of color

    - if you have floor space, bring furniture away from the walls to create cozy groupings

    - all wall art should not be square: also use clocks, wrought ironwork, plates, wall pockets with realistic silk ferns, mirrors, etc

    - choose one "main" color and no more than 2 accent colors. At least one color needs to be a neutral.

    - with knickknacks, less is more. If you need accents for a room and have a bare space, try "shopping" other rooms of the house for something you could bring in and make to work.

    - don't like silk flowers, but need something tall for a space? Try dried eucalyptus in a vase.

    - soften edges of a bookcase by draping silk greenery over the top corners and on shelf edges.

    - I like to use plate stands from Dollar Tree to hold framed art on bookshelves or tabletops. It also works for pretty tiles (group 3 accent tiles from Home Depot on a shelf or hang on the wall for art! Mexican tile is really pretty like this), plaques, etc.

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    Registered User krbshappy71's Avatar
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    For me its a group of dogs slumbering on the sofa and floors. COZY PUPPY WUPPIES!

    If I know someone is coming over here are the OMG quick things I do:

    Light a candle
    Vacuum
    Dust
    Hide clutter with a sweep of the arm into baskets.

    Done and done, house looks good.

    I think clean and uncluttered does more wonders than any decorations. But I live in my house so "uncluttered" only happens if someone is visiting, I want my clutter around me otherwise. One nice thing about sweeping things into baskets is that when I retrieve the basket I force myself to go through the stuff and sort it.

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