Monday, May 13, 2013

That one room

Hello all! I hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day! Mine was just wonderful, I am a lucky woman. So thankful!.

So there are times when I feel like decorating-wise this house is doing OK and over time I feel like it’s coming along nicely. And then there are “those” rooms that harass and taunt me for YEARS.

Our living room, or “front” room, is one of them. We have a very open floor plan, which you think you want and then you get it and realize you have, like, ZERO walls to work with. (And by the way, “you” means “me.”)

So this room is one of those, with only one wall to do anything with. We put a sofa on that big wall when we moved in and it’s stayed just because it fills the space and it’s comfy, even though I (now) really dislike the color.

Years ago (in my everything red and black phase) the room looked like this:

Nothing wrong with it, just not my style anymore. And I had always wanted to kind of pull things in more to make it more cozy.

I didn’t really accomplish that in the next phase, but I did start lightening things up:

See the pink walls? Yeah. Eight years I lived with those! I deserve a gold star. I’ll take a cookie!

The dresser didn’t last too long there – I found a small bookcase at HomeGoods that put in that spot instead, and I really liked how it fit right between the windows:

white etagere

But I noticed something when I moved that bookcase at Christmas last year – I really liked it in the new spot (I scooched it over by the sofa). And then I put it back and every time I looked at it just felt really busy in that spot: white etagere

I’ve been planning to tone down the accessories on there for awhile, but it’s more than that. The drapes have a lot going on and combined with the shelves and all the stuff on them, it was just bugging me. So for months now I’ve been thinking I need to try scooching it again – and I got a wild hair this weekend and finally did it.

All I did was move the bookcase back to the “Christmas” spot and then put the chair over there:

living room decorating @ www.thriftydecorchick.com

The mirror was another HomeGoods find I’ve had for months – it was one of those rare finds I didn’t really have a spot for but knew I couldn’t pass up. I love it between the windows!

It just feels like that room can breath better now, you know? That silly spot between those two windows has been one of the hardest spot for me all these years! Such a goofy thing, but it’s driven me batty!

I can’t even decide if I want the chair turned in towards the sofa (like above) or facing out to the room:

analytical gray sherwin williams

First world problems here people.

There are still plenty of things that bug me about the room – it’s got two story windows and I love all the light (we need it in there) but it makes for a hard space to decorate. And with the one lone wall (without windows) and two honkin’ pillars in there, there are not many furniture layout options.

But I do love this small change! It just feels less busy and simpler to me. Here’s a different view of that spot last year with the pink(ish) walls and the bookcase:

decorating living room

And here it is with grayish walls and a simpler look now:

analytical gray sherwin williams

It didn’t cost any money, which is a bonus (most of my changes to that spot haven’t, thank goodness), and after staring at it for months it took all of ten minutes to move the bookcase and hang the mirror.

For now…I love it! ;) For. NOW.

Do you have a room/spot/wall between two windows that drives you fruit loopy? Do you change it with the wind like me? Or have you found a solution that finally works?

44 comments:

  1. I love how everything came out. It looks great! I often make mini changes in my home. My husband joked just the other day that whenever he comes home, he always comes home to find that at least something has changed in our home -- much to his surprise! LOL

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  2. I don't have two windows side by side like that in my house. I do have a big window in my living room/great room that I have issues with. The room isn't big. I have a behemoth of an entertainment center and a sectional. It takes up the two walls in there. I have a chair on one side of the window with an end table centered under the window. It needs another chair on the other side of it... but not enough room because of the ent. center. I don't want to get smaller chairs as this one is comfy. I feel like the chairs should match in size/scale.

    I love the changes you made to your formal living room. LOVE the color and it does look less busy. Though it did look nice before as well. Your drapes are so pretty!!

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  3. I have such a small house that furniture can only work one way or nothing at all, so I so emphasize with you. Thinks can drive you nuts. I love the new arrangement. Hugs, marty

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  4. I love the transformation of how the decor pops so much off the gray walls! The chair looks very cool between the windows and I love the Homegoods find. Thats just one of those things, when you see you get and worry about where to put it later! I love the window panels! Fav part for sure!!

    Laura

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  5. It looks great! My trouble room is also my living room. It is a living/dining combined - an L shaped room with a massive fireplace and sliding door on an entire wall. One entire side is opened to the front door so that really just leaves me 2 walls to work with. One wall is actually the dining room so really just 1 wall. I re-arrange furniture in there all the time and just can't get anything I love for a long period of time. I've even flipped the living and dining rooms to try something new! So I feel your pain. You's look great. I will keep trying as well. Victoria

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  6. why do you have to put anything there? you have a gorgeous molding around the wall and with the drapes on either side and the mirror on the wall, i would leave that space EMPTY. you do have alot going on overall in that room and with the different colors/textures so leaving that space alone might be an alright thing. just my opinion. love your blog!

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    1. Thank you! You are right -- it doesn't really need anything! I just wanted extra seating in there. It may be nice to take it out every once and awhile and let it breathe a bit though! :)

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  7. Our family room had only one wall I could decorate, but I found a solution. WE SOLD THE HOUSE AND MOVED! Takes care of the problem, although we have been in this house for about 6 weeks and I have yet to decorate the walls. Okay, so I'm a slow mover.

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  8. P.S. I like the white chair between the windows with the mirrors above. :)

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  9. It looks fine either way to me, but I'm the same way in my house. Everyone will tell me a spot that bothers me looks fine, but there's something about it that's just not right in my eyes. My office is the problem area for me. I don't spend much time in there since my husband mostly uses it when he works from home. I still have quite a bit to do in there, but I'm at a standstill until I have a detailed image of what I want in there. I just can't picture it so it sits there undone. It could take years to finish, lol.

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  10. My front room is exactly the same way - very open, second story windows, and it's open to a formal dining area that frankly we just don't use. Someday I'll figure out what to do with that space. But yes, it annoys me to no end. On a plus note, I love how yours has turned out. The space between your windows looks so nice now. So clean and simple.

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  11. The color looks great in there! xo Kristin

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  12. I like the chair better than the shelves. Let those curtains show off some. What is your wall color in there? It is such a pretty restful room.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! It's called Analytical Gray from Sherwin Williams.

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  13. Oh I can so relate! Love love love the mirror and chair between the windows- it really does open up the space and it looks so pretty!

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  14. Our kitchen, family room is open floor plan with 12 foot cathedral ceilings. My husband thinks I'm crazy when I tell him I want to bring the ceiling down to 9 feet and add a wall. With only 2 walls (one wall has windows) and a corner fireplace I find it extremely difficult to decorate. It drives me nuts!

    Christine

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  15. So, do we get to see where the bookcase ended up?

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    1. It's still in that room, but it may move again soon. ;)

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  16. Much better! The chair is so pretty and that's a great spot for it. Sometimes it's the simplest changes that can make the biggest difference!

    Susan

    http://simplymodernhome.com/

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  17. Love it and I can completely relate! I agree, the chair is so beautiful and is perfect in that spot! I had the strangest and super narrow windows in my master bedroom and spent years trying to figure out what to do with them. I did plantation shutters and that really didn't help. Finally, I built pelmet boxes covered in navy velvet with chrome nail heads and made them wider than the windows. I added the drapes to each side and now they look normal and beautiful! You can see the pelmets that I did here: http://www.thecreativityexchange.com/2012/11/master-bedroom-reveal-room-revamp-of-the-month.html should have done it years ago but it just took my awhile to get there.

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  18. It looks great! Sometimes it's the small changes that give a room a breath of fresh air!

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  19. I love the way the room looks! but just one thing, you never showed us where the bookcase ended up! I am dying to know!!! Cliff hanger. Dun Dun Dun!

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  20. We have an open floor plan as well and our living room only has 1 full wall! I wish we had more wall space for different furniture options. It's nice to see how you've changed the space a few times until you found the perfect look! I really love the chair!

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  21. I love the changes you have made, we have an open floor plan and it can prove challenging at times. The chair between the windows is perfect too :)

    xo, Tanya

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  22. I have a room like that too!! My husband thinks I'm crazy for letting it bug me so much :). I love the chair between the windows. It breaks up the height of the windows and looks very elegant. I love your style. Thanks for sharing!!

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  23. The mirror is perfect for this spot!

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  24. I have issues in my front room, too. But it is also the only room in the house 'the others' don't ruin for me all the time with all their mess & junk. And it's the one closest to being decorated the way I want. I have that same setup window-wise in that room and it drives me batty as well. That room probably gets changed more than any other room in the house. And by probably I mean constantly.

    It has one 'normal wall, one wall with the two windows and not pillars, but little tiny bits of wall which aren't even six inches. What the heck, builders... whyyyyy? Then the wall opposite the windows has is weird because the right side is set back two or three feet and the left side has a HUGE return air vent which blocks any real furniture placement on the 2nd biggest spot in the room where one could/should put a piece of furniture. Why on earth they didn't put that huge return air vent in the hall, which they could have easily done, is beyond my grasp.

    I kind of liked your pink walls, but I really love the gray.

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  25. I love the chair there ... and that mirror is so perfect!!

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  26. I thought the bookcase looked fine in the spot, but when you put the chair and mirror there, I see what you mean- it looks so much better. My biggest problem windows (they all seem to be problem windows in this house) are in our breakfast/keeping room. Three windows butted up together, then a space about a foot wide, then another window, fireplace, another window. All on one wall. Ack!

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  27. Love the grey paint! Ive been living in my home for over 3 years and cant decide on paint colors, I have paint samples all over the place, gonna start to look like a patchwork quiclt soon! Love the ez rollers, I think I will try one next time I add a "sample" lol, maybe it might encourage me to paint the entire room!

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  28. This paint stick would make my painting so much easier!

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  29. i have two rooms to paint right now, i would love to give the paint stick a try embroiderybyjudy@gmail.com

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  30. I love that you talk to yourself when you paint! And I totally get the idea of painting a room (only) once! Been there, done that! I would love to try those paint sticks because I am considering painting a ceiling or two!

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  31. Looks great! I love switching up little things and suddenly rooms feel so much fresher. I have four rooms in my house that each have just one wall and two identical windows similar to yours. I haven't solved all of the rooms, but in two of the rooms, I ended up putting nothing on the wall space between windows- it became almost like breathing space! And I only put my woven roman blinds on the tops of the windows with curtain/drapes on the outside- so the left window just has a panel on the left, the right one has a single panel on the right. Almost like drapery-wise I am treating them as one big window. My husband likes it because having half as much drapery is cheaper and looks more modern (to him- he has a fear of grandma drapery) and I like it because it frees me to just let that wall be blank and be okay with it. I will probably change it up at some point, but in a couple of our rooms, this seems to be working.

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  32. Hey try the sofa in front of the windows,the desk against the large wall to the left. Just a thought.

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    1. I've tried it all. ;) The sofa blocks way too much of the windows (they go low) and the desk looks odd on that huge wall. Believe me, I've tried every combo possible with the furniture that we have. I don't mind it too much now -- in the future I'd love a slightly smaller sofa maybe? Who knows. :)

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  33. Love the white chair with the mirror and your rug! It looks so calming. Beautiful.

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  34. If this tool makes the task of painting a little easier, then I may just reconsider doing some painting.

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  35. Just finished my living room a couple of weeks ago without such a great tool. Next project the kitchen and this paint stick looks like it would make things a lot easier!

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  36. My "one room" is the same as yours in so many ways! An ugly pink color I've been living with and kind of a hodge podge of items -- you've inspired me to get moving on it. Love your mirror btw!

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  37. The change IS subtle but I love it!

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  38. that looks like a cool tool

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  39. I have 3 close-spaced windows, and I have used one long drapery rod above the trio, with curtain panels hanging on the outside ends and covering the two wall spaces between the windows as well. Does that even make sense? Even though there are panels between the windows, people percieve them as one long window. It's the best solution I have found so far, and feels pretty natural and pleasant.
    P.S. Maybe it is because of how my screen makes colors appear, but I have always really liked when your walls were what you call pink, and you had that dresser and wall grouping above it. Whatever you do is great, though.

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  40. Can you tell me where the rug is from? I've been on a crazy hunt for it. Thank you. I enjoy reading your blog.

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THANKS so much for reading!