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Old 11-15-2012, 06:13 PM   #1
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Advice for living room...?

Hi all, I just bought my first house and am not used to having so much room! I've brought some of my furniture from my old apartment along with me, but I don't have a "decorating eye" - at all... your advice, input, and suggestions would be very welcome. I'm operating on a semi-limited budget; I saved up around $1k to use for the whole house, so I'm not trying to blow it all on one room... though since the living room is the most visible, it'll get the lion's share. I'm a 29 year old professional, male, if that helps with recommendations...

The two end tables pushed together in the middle are temporary - I still have an actual table in storage (that looks almost identical in style to the two being used as a makeshift one). I also have a love seat that matches the sofa that I'm unsure about where to place...

I'm not sure about the floating shelves, what to put on them (if they stay), etc. I think a green plant of some sort under the "\" arch might bring a little color to the room... I'm definitely going to need an area rug but don't know what pattern, colors, material, etc to use... Also, an artist friend of mine offered to create an over-sized abstract painting to mount above the couch, so that spot will have color in it too...

Thanks in advance!!
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Last edited by jerbee02; 11-15-2012 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:53 PM   #2
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First, get a rug down in front of the couch and TV. As for decorating, you will find over time, when friends come over and see a empty space, and know that you have the money to go shopping for furniture, they will hint. Look at sales like at Furniture Row, Ashley's, estate/garage sales, even antique shops you can find some older furniture.

If you plan on adding a home theater later on, you may find adding a couple of seats to the left & right side line from the couch to the tv may be something you may want to do.

The best thing is talk to people locally that you know, and who have the eye for this stuff, since they are the ones who will be the best. The main thing is, are you going to entertain, just veg out on the couch and watch tv, need space for others to sit and watch sports, movies, visit, hang out. You get the drift.

Our living room has a chair that our dog lays in, our couch that we use to watch movies, a coffee table that we picked up from Ikea that sits about four feet away from the couch, a rug in front of the couch, then the tv against the wall in front of the couch, that sits 10 feet away from our viewing area. Then add the tables, the Apothecary cabinet with our dvd's in it. Basically a lightly furnished room, that just my wife & I use and enjoy, as our space.

We just added a few pieces over the past ten years, stored some downstairs in the basement, picked up a couple of end tables from a neighbor, sanded them down to the bare wood, and also picked up a couple of lamps for the tables at our local Menards. It was not a over night success, it took time and we did it a little over time.


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Old 11-17-2012, 09:31 PM   #3
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In conceptualizing the designs, you should think of the interior on how will your living room want to looks like. Frames of your family is good to put in your hanging shelves.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:53 PM   #4
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That is a nice room now. Don't be too anxious to overstuff it with more furniture, at least until you have lived in the space awhile and get a feel for how you will use it and how people and pets will flow in and out of it. Same for your other spaces.

Just to protect your floors, I would invest in at least interim rugs. If you are not sure what you want look at bound remnants or things you can live with for now from TJ Maxx. You can donate them to Habitat or sell them on Craig's List if they are still in good shape when you find what you want.

You mentioned an artist friend, there are kits like this that let you pick your own colors and establish your own carpet patterns. It would be a great approach for turning a remnant into something:

One thing you should do before you have lots of furniture in the way and if you do not have plans or drawings? Do your self a favor and scale out a floorplan. It will not take you long it will really help visualize. You will have the added benefit of having a plan for when you need materials, rugs and things.

I use Sweet Home 3D for basic floorplans for similar purposes. It is free, open source, and works on multiple platforms. Others on this site like Google Sketch Up which is also free thought he basic version is no longer being developed beyond what it is.
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