Decorating advice?

I’m going to lay it all down on the line here. I need help. Serious help.

My living room is a disaster. It wasn’t so bad when I thought we might be moving, or when we still had the tv… but since we decided to stay, and there’s a big empty spot since we decided to go tv free, I just hate the room. So I need advice. I’m desperate to change it, to make it pretty, since we spend most of our time in there. The toys have to stay, as there’s nowhere else for them, and my husband wants to keep the tv stand for the other electronics that we need stashed away from little hands. The only thing I’m not willing to do is paint the walls because in another year I’d have to paint them white again.

I would love some advice, any advice! I’d love suggestions, ideas, tips, especially ones that keep a minimal budget in mind… anyone?

Oh – and these pictures make the room look way smaller than it actually is. But it makes it look like how I see it through my eyes at this point. Not pretty in the least. HELP!!!

Nov 12, 2009 010
Nov 12, 2009 011

Nov 12, 2009 012

And for the record, I like the rest of our place. The bedrooms are big, there are two bathrooms, the kitchen is full of cabinets… and all the other rooms are well decorated (I think at least!). It’s just this one room. Help! Help! Help!


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9 responses to “Decorating advice?

  1. Kathy

    What about just putting the electronics stand on the opposite wall, where the couch is, and putting the couch on the opposite wall (under the clock) so that it faces the slider? It would give it a cozier feeling and not look like the furniture is seated toward the empty TV stand.

  2. crnnoel

    That makes sense I failed to mention though that if you’re looking from the slider, it goes living room then dining room. It’s pretty open, so that would separate the rooms – which might be nice, but I’m not sure if it’d look like we were closing it off. But I do think the couch needs to be moved ­čÖé

  3. 1) When my girls were little and we had to keep toys in the living room, I purposefully decorated with them, placing them strategically around the room not just in boxes and baskets, but fully visible.
    2) Some bright throw pillows and blankets placed on the couch would brighten up the whole room.
    3) Have you thought about framing the kids artwork and hanging it on the walls? I know at their age, it is just scribbles, but hanging it on the wall fosters creativity and contributes to their sense of worth. There are several ideas for how online. Check this one out:
    I hope some of this helps. Have a good weekend. ­čÖé

  4. Deb

    Hey babe!! first up, miss you!! You can do lots with fabric – JoAnn’s has a section with super sale fabrics – you could find a lovely colorful print and make some no-sew panels to surround the window – and some pillows if you are feeling extra ambitious. Our favorite wall art is framed kid watercolors – Fynn and Paige will be so proud of the display ­čÖé just pick your colors and let them go to town. I love framing 12×12 pics of the kids/family too – those frames are cheap at Michaels and the pictures are cheap too. Good luck!! Can’t wait to see the new room!!

  5. Deb

    !! and a very Happy Birthday to Fynn! and Happy Birthing Day to you!

  6. Hmmm…I have to second the idea of some kind of colorful panels by the slider. Even just a few colorful additions will breathe new life into your room. And playing around with the furnature arrangement will make it feel so brand-new for you all.

    I love the idea Deb suggested with a display of framed artwork by Fynn & Paige! I’m going to have to steal that for myself! (I’m having a decorating crisis, as well). Here’s what I’m planning for our apartment — I’ve been picking up inexpensive picture frames in various sizes, and I’m going to paint them all the same color so they co-ordinate better. This way when I hang them all together it’ll look like a more cohesive grouping, rather than a mixed-up hodge-podge of cheap frames. You can find frames that are relatively inexpensive at places like Walmart or Ocean State Job Lot.

    Have fun with it!

  7. I absolutely agree with the other comments about adding some colorful panels to either side of the windows/sliding-glass-door. Adding curtains to our windows made a HUGE difference.

    The suggestion of child art is a great one too…just pick some colors you like that coordinate with the rest of the room, and frame or use canvases. You could also do a grouping of some of the amazing photos I’ve seen on your blog (either in color or black and white)!

    Additionally, I think a patterned rug would really add a pop of color and visual interest to the room. We’ve had great luck with rugs from Target, but I’ve also got my eye on some of the striped rugs from Dash and Albert.

    Mirrors are a great way to make a room seem bigger too, and it would reflect some light from outside the big sliding glass door. Maybe you could add a mirror to the wall opposite the art suggested above.

    Also, maybe another lamp for the other side of the room, or move the floor lamp to the other side, and get a table lamp for that table by the couch.

    Ok, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m by no means a decor expert. I’m struggling my way through some home projects right now. Good luck!

  8. liz

    ooh, all great ideas! be sure and post a finished pic when done…

    how close are you to ikea? a new poang cover might help brighten up the space! and they have the unfinished picture frames for cheap, cheap, cheap that you can paint and put pics or artwork in (we just did that–i redid the kids room).

    just my $0.02!

    and, just as something to consider, we had a layout once that was open living room/dining room (we still do, actually) when the kids were younger and we had an l-shaped sectional. the part that stuck out and “divided” the room called to little children fresh from the dinner table to launch themselves up and over…messy hands and all!

  9. Pingback: Progress « Trains, Tutus and Twizzlers

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