I'm STUMPED! PLEASE HELP! - Interior Decorating - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:13 PM   #1
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Hello everyone! I'm a first time homeowner and VERY interior design confused. I made some decisions and purchases so far, but I've hit a wall and I'm stumped as to how to finish it off. I've heard many opinions from friends and family, but nothing yet that really brings it all together and makes sense to me. I guess you can consider this the "Bachelor's Design Challenge", and I invite (plead) you to help me. =)

I've attached pictures of my bedroom and living room in clockwise viewing order, along with floorplans.

the confusion for me lies in how to store:
* books (all sizes and weight)
* cds/dvds/vhs tapes/cassette tapes
* clothes
* musical instruments
but also leaving room for wall hangings, art and plants. AND, not knowing anything about color coordination, feng shui or basic decorating "rules".

here are some of the ideas i've had so far:

[1] two nightstands.
some ideas:

[2] two lamps for the nightstands.
some ideas:

[3] window treatments hanging on both sides of the window frame. no ideas on this one.

[4] maybe a chest of drawers?
some ideas:

[5] maybe a bookcase caddy-corner to the right of the windows?
some ideas:

[6] maybe floating shelves on the walls on both sides of the windows? no ideas on this one.

[1] under the projector screen across from the couch, a tv unit or bookcases to hold dvd player, stereo, cable box, and maybe cds and dvds. the wall above will have pictures or art hanging, but will be covered up by the projector screen when watching tv.
some ideas:

[2] rug in the couch area.
some ideas:

[3] coffee table in the couch area:
some ideas:

[4] maybe floating shelves on the walls on both sides of the windows? no ideas on this one.

[5] window treatments hanging on both sides of the window frame. no ideas on this one.

[6] maybe a table in the middle of the room for dining? no ideas on this one.

[7] maybe this table to double as a side table on the wall across from the kitchen counter AND/OR as a dining table when needed:

I hope someone will help me get my mind together on this. I'm totally gun-shy on taking the next steps because I want the place to look great. I guess from the links i've provided, you can tell that i'm working on a budget and prefer classic but sleek look. I know there must be a way to fit the puzzle pieces together, where everything has it's place (and finally out of boxes), but it feels un cluttered.


bedroom floorplan

bedroom 1

bedroom 2

bedroom 3

bedroom 4

living room floorplan

living room 1

living room 2

living room 3

living room 4


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Old 12-28-2009, 09:26 AM   #2
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I'm sorry you have not received the answers you had hoped for so far, but there's more questions than maybe we can answer...

Throwing out the disclaimer: I am not an interior designer or decorator, but i do occasionally do fabric work for them and have picked up a few pointers over the years. That being said, i will offer a little advice, but i will not direct you to any of your furniture choices or tell you where to hang things.

1) Books/cds/dvds/cassettes/vhs/instruments/etc...how much stuff are we talking about? First impressions are important and if you intend to do a lot of entertaining, i would be careful not to give the impression of being a clutterbug. Subject matter is important too. example: if you are into horror movies, hide them.

2) Furniture: choose multifunctional pieces. IE: An armoire in the bedroom can store clothes as well as other personal effects. Same with some of those endtables with drawers.

3) If you plan on putting a dining table in the room, place it closest to your kitchen. Can the computer and computer tables be moved to the far corner of the room?

4) As for window treatments, i would go with valances. Are the blinds staying? You could also add stationary panels to each side of window as long as they aren't too full...and skip the puddling.

5) Don't try to cover the walls with numerous wallhangings and such. A few nicely appointed groupings in various scales is all i would add. Too much on the walls has a tendency to make the room look smaller.

6) I'm a fan of those blanket chests that are often placed at the foot of beds to store blankets and linens. They also double nicely as seating while getting dressed...or provide you with more storage options for other stuff.

7) Go to the library or bookstore and look thru books and magazines on interior decorating for ideas on furniture arrangements, how things should be displayed, what to hang and how to hang it, accessorizing with pillows, and other decorative touches that can be done yourself at little or no cost.

8) Be flexible. Decorating should reflect what you like and your tastes. And don't try to do it all at once. You may find that your ideas and tastes will change up as you go along. Have fun and good luck.


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Old 12-28-2009, 10:19 AM   #3
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its hard to say - The wall and trim paint colors look okay to me.

I would say try and graduate from the dorm room look. The first step is de-clutter. You will need furniture for storage. I personally like things like matching beds, dressers and armoires, etc. In other words matching furniture in my bedroom. This can be a challenge on a budget. Companies will often discontinue lines or finishes or whatever so its best to buy the suite of furniture at one time if you are going this route. Some people have more eclectic tastes.

i would loose the projection system unless you can incorporate it and hide it away. A nice flatscreen would be a better choice. You room is too small for such a large screen IMO.

I think you also need some pictures on the walls. Ikea is best for dorm rooms stuff. We all calnt afford ethan allen but look around some more.

Start dating a woman with some design sense, you place needs a woman's touch!
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:43 PM   #4
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I agree with what BRIK had to say about matching bedroom set. There are great deals to be had at estate sales, garage sales, auctions and salvation army or volunteers of america. But the thing is you need to be patient because it's all not going to happen overnight. And it may take time to find exactly what you are looking for. On the other hand, my sister in NJ just found a beautiful designers' livingroom sectional set (beautiful fabric-great condition) and the woman only asked for $30...for the whole thing!!!!!
There are people out there who want to get rid of some pretty nice stuff and don't really care to do the research to figure out what their furniture is worth. So look around if you have the time.

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Old 12-30-2009, 10:48 AM   #5
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thank for the comments! it's funny you should say i "need a woman's touch". my ex-girlfriend was helping me on this, but she kept suggesting ideas/styles that only she liked and clashed with my taste. also, her taste was more expensive than my budget.

the reason for all the clutter in the above photos is the exact reason why i started this post. i'm stumped with what pieces of furniture to get and where to put these pieces in order to put all this clutter into it. BELIEVE ME, i hate clutter and am trying to figure out a solution, without making it feel like a "dorm room" in a rush to furnish just to get rid of the clutter. so ignore all of the clutter in the bedroom (like that old computer stand in the corner) and piles of boxes and music equipment in the corner under the projector screen. all of it is just sitting there for now b/c it doesn't have a home yet or will be craigslisted. if anything, go off the floorplan photos b/c those items and locations are decided on. it's just a matter of decorating around them now.

i have also heard varying opinions from women, all b/c their styles/tastes are different as well. my ex (who claims to be an interior decorating guru) told me the LAST thing i should do is get a matching bedroom set b/c it says "conformity, lack of creativity, boring, etc", where as i don't mind a matched look. she would also tell me that i should NOT get a dresser and put it across from the bed. again, i'm going around in circles with opinions.

out of the pile of boxes in the living room, the bulk of my remaining stuff is books, cds, dvds, vhs tapes, musical instruments, and box of clothes. i'm a musician and computer programmer (surprise surprise), so a bulk of my stuff is media.

i've been playing around with the idea of maybe doing a closet organization thing where i wouldn't even need a chest of drawers or a dresser in the bedroom, and all clothes would be in the closet. i was also playing around with the idea of putting bookshelves in kind of a "built in" look on both sides of the windows in either the bedroom or living room, but i'm scared that although it is a practical idea, will it look like a "dorm room" again. i mean, when i go to Ikea, the built-in shelving systems there look cool... or am i just fooling myself into liking what i think is a "sleek and modern" look when it really looks "cheap" to most other people?

Last edited by bosteis; 12-30-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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With all due respect to yoiur ex, there are very few hard and fast rules about decorating anymore. It's all about what YOU like and what works for YOU. Sometimes matching furniture lends a more cohesive look...but just because you have matching furniture, it doesn't mean you are necessarily a conformist devoid of originality.
As for clutter....i pass along advice someone else passed to me. "If it's not something that has or will be used within 6-12 months, toss it." You will live happily ever after without it.
When you go to IKEA, what is it that you like about their shelving units? Is it how everything is artfully arranged on the shelves? Is it the accessories they place on the shelves? What is it that draws your attention? And do you think it will look the same once you buy it and put it in your place? Do you think it will look the same if it's loaded with books, cds, dvds, etc... or will you be able to whittle down your collection displaying only a few?
You have a lot of good ideas. Go with a few of them, maybe starting with the least expensive first, to get a better sense of what works for you.

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Old 12-30-2009, 05:46 PM   #7
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Loose the tubular steel things and reduce the number of visible computers.

Since a lot of the things you seem to want to store are books, CDs, and DVDs, those modular Ikea units are probably as good a place as any to start.

You don't have a lot of space, so a bed with shelves built in might help with the clothing.

Your musical instruments appear to be guitars and amps. Closet.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:59 AM   #8
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You could mount your guitars on the wall. They can act as the art in a room. Just a thought. If that doesn't appeal to you, don't do it.

Last edited by ColorMyWorld; 01-08-2010 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:11 AM   #9
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I think everyone is on the right track. (1) DECLUTTER and (2) RELAX. This is your first home and you haven't really defined your style yet! That happens over time, as you find things you love. Don't just buy something that "works". Buy things that work AND speak to you.

You do need some better storage options. Perhaps a sophisticated wall storage unit from Ikea for your books, cd's etc?

I also recommend adding some color. A great rug does wonders to pull things together and you can take your color cues from that.

Have fun!


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