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what would you do with this room? help!

(31 Posts)
storybrook Sun 03-Jan-16 20:43:58

I'm having the hardest time planning out the lounge! It's a pretty awkward space as the porch door is to the left and kitchen to the right, we need some kind of storage to the left of the TV as that's where the wires and plugs come out (the plan was to paint it light grey, add two shelves to the left and a kallax 2x2 under each side to hide the boxes but hate that idea, plus it's north facing). Everything in the room is going this week bar the two couches and rug. I love the idea of throws, cosy cushions, pops of colour, nice and functional but homey looking furniture, clean looking and good for kids but after a month on Pinterest I still don't know how that translates! And it's on a £200ish budget.

Please tell me what you'd do if it were your room thanks

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sun 03-Jan-16 20:51:20

With a £200 budget I wouldn't be getting rid of anything. I'd spend the money on paint for the walls and furniture, cushions and a throw. The perspective's hard to work out, but the mirror on the wall looks quite high?

You could do with a coffee table on the rug for practical and decor reasons and paint that to match the cabinet, media bench, shelves and mirror. Then you could dress the coffee table as you feel like it, with books, candles, bowls and the like.

Your lighting isn't right at the moment, it's looking quite harsh on the photograph, but I'm not sure if you could sort that on your budget, unless via a lamp?

storybrook Sun 03-Jan-16 21:17:11

Thanks for your reply. Sorry it's hard getting the room in a picture, when I said everything I meant the two units and curtains (will be getting replacement curtains separate to the budget to go with whatever we do to the room).

The mirror is high just now and doesn't look good there, I was wanting to take it down and store for a year or two as its huge and heavy and my 22 month old will no doubt make it her life mission to get it off the wall as she's fascinated with it. As its such a small room and the TV is mounted with wires to the far left we have no use for the units, the TV unit looks odd where we'd need it to be for the TV boxes.

I have a couple of lovely cream/grey throws I could potentially dye if needed so don't need to spend on those.

I agree, the lighting is awful in that room, I've been looking for a lamp with big shade and rounded body but can't see what I'm imagining in reality. And thank you, I hadn't thought of a coffee table, that would make a huge difference.

Cel982 Sun 03-Jan-16 21:24:27

I'd keep the units, I think they're quite nice. And I love the rug.

Honestly, I think the biggest problem is the couches - they're too dark and oppressive for a small room. Obviously you can't replace them with £200 (and you may love them, what do I know?) but could you maybe lighten them a bit with some judiciously-placed throws? Simply doing that and getting a few lamps would really soften the whole room, I think.

moopymoodle Sun 03-Jan-16 21:28:49

I agree the biggest problem is the sofas. I'd get lighter ones second hand with the £200 or save up for new.

Stick to earthy colours, maybe get the feature wall painted or papered to make it cosy.

The furniture and rug is lovely. Lower the mirror too.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sun 03-Jan-16 21:29:04

Do you use Pinterest at all?
You can spend days on there going from idea to idea and you can have your own boards for things that take your fancy, either repinning other people's pictures, uploading photos of your own from your device and pinning from your browser via the Pin It button you can install.

I also look here Wayfair although I've never bought anything from them, i think they're good for ideas.

Thornrose Sun 03-Jan-16 21:37:25

I'd keep the units and paint them white then get an IKEA billy bookcase for the side where you have 2 bookshelves.

Nice big low coffee table on the rug. A lovely standard lamp and shade to replace the one you have now.

Take down the mirror and add a couple of nice prints. Lots of throws and cushions on the sofas. You can add colour to bookcase and units with accessories and a small table lamp.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sun 03-Jan-16 21:56:10

It's really hard to give advice without knowing your taste, but I don't think a £200 budget is going to include the sofas, even second hand.
Like I said, paint, cushions, a coffee table and lamps would be my priorities.

As it's a small room I think you need to keep the mirror but make sure it's secure, even if that means getting in an odd job man to rehang it in a good position and so it can't be pulled off the wall.

I'd paint the walls darker, a charcoal grey maybe so the sofas wouldn't stand out so much and get some nice lamps to give the room atmosphere at night. It looks as though it's quite a light room in the day time?

If you like a modern style try something like this round table (no sharp corners for a toddler to come to grief with)
link It'd look good in the middle of the rug.

Keep the units, you need something to fill the space, and paint them to match the new scheme.

A Lamp to go with the colour scheme and cushion covers Euphoria arrive quickly and are good quality although you do have to buy the inner pads separately.

I've based that on a grey and mustard colour scheme but obviously you adapt to your preference.

Dumelm, Homesense, Wilko, Asda and Tesco all have low cost lamps and furnishings to choose from.

storybrook Sun 03-Jan-16 21:56:50

Thanks for the great ideas everyone.

I wholeheartedly agree, I can't stand the couches! They're only two years old and there is no way in the world dh would part with them so I've been using cream throws to cover what I can. I'm guessing I wouldn't be able to get something to cover them entirely so I'm stuck with them, which is probably why I'm finding it so hard to do anything with this room!

I'm leaning towards keeping the furniture now you've made me think I'm not a loon for considering it, would it not look too cluttered being a small room with a coffee table too do you think? I still have the problem of where to put the TV boxes, the wires won't stretch to the media unit, they're just to the left of the shelf unit. hmm

I could always push the couch from against the wall and lower the mirror, otherwise add a couple of large prints in its place.

Yes I've been searching Pinterest for weeks, been amazing and infuriating in equal measure! Haha. I'm shopping for anything we need on Sunday so I'm starting to panic that I didn't have a plan but have some ideas now so thank you, soon as dh gets tired of the ps4 game he's on I can start moving furniture.

Thornrose Sun 03-Jan-16 22:03:34

As long as the coffee table has legs it won't make the room look cluttered.

You can use multiple throws, furs and cushions to true the edge off the sofas. I got some really heavy duty double sided Velcro to keep my main ones in place.

Do you mean Virgin/sky box?

storybrook Sun 03-Jan-16 22:09:13

Enrique, thanks, I'm not sure about the table but I like the lamp, and yes those are what I'm gearing towards now, hadn't thought about going darker as its North facing and can be quite dull in winter but I guess with warmer lighting it'd maybe have a more cosy feel than the stark it is now, although the stairs are in the living room so I'd need to stay lighter on that wall leading upstairs. I love my house but despair at how awkward it can feel to decorate!

Thorn we have bt vision box, ps4, droid box and broadband thing. Don't know why the wires had to be out to the side, starting to wish we had just kept it off the wall!

storybrook Sun 03-Jan-16 22:12:17

I couldn't bring myself to paint the units, I love, love, love the oak colour! I'll be taking down the shelves, they don't look right to me, and keeping the mirror lowered I think, I've not actually really looked at the lounge from that angle before so I can start to imagine it now x

MairzyDoats Sun 03-Jan-16 22:13:42

Tiny cosy living room

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sun 03-Jan-16 22:13:45

I'm not sure what you mean about the TV boxes.

Forgot to say if you can lose the lit twigs I definitely would, they're not adding anything to the room IMO and the shadows they're casting is harsh.
They're also very dated, sorry.

You're obviously restricted in trying to make the room seem bigger than it is, but you can make the space more usable. A coffee table can be a focal point rather than the sofas or the big screen and it will draw the eye in to the centre of the room rather than people focussing on the walls and how close they are to each other. Prints will draw the eye whereas the mirror correctly positioned will make the room seem bigger by reflecting both light and the view opposite to trick perspective.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sun 03-Jan-16 22:26:27

You should've said you love the oak colour. That should be your starting point then. Look for a round coffee table to match. I say round for optimum safety but of course lots of use have sharp corners without a big health and safety risk, that's a personal choice.

I'd keep the shelves, but be careful what you put on them. Keep them sleek with just a couple of treasured display items, they're quite crammed at the moment.

The trouble with your walls is that you haven't thought about the level you've placed things. You can't have everything all over the shop. You need to have a highest level line and nothing goes above that, but put everything up in relation to that line, not willy nilly. Keep the eye line tidy

Dark colours don't necessarily make a room look smaller, take a look at
House Beautiful
F&B and see what they say about North facing rooms.

storybrook Sun 03-Jan-16 22:41:33

mairzy that's gorgeous! I should really embrace the size of the room. I'm starting to get that now smile

Enrique they were earmarked for the dump for the loft before dd spotted them, soon as nursery starts back up I'll be able to sneak them out!!

I get what you're saying about a tidy eye line, I hadn't thought about that at all before thank you! There's so much to it all that I wouldn't have put together.

What I mean about the TV boxes is the TV is fixed to the wall, the hdmi cables have been fed through the cavity wall and down out of the wall just behind the shelf unit, the bt box/droid box etc that we use are all connected to these outside the wall iyswim, so just to the left of the unit is a bunch of wires and the boxes connected to the TV. In theory I could make a hole in the back of the unit and place these in a drawer out of sight I guess.

friendafar Sun 03-Jan-16 22:52:06

Was going to post about lighting because that's the main issue from what I can tell then someone posted that gorgeous pic which explains it nicely!

I'm not sure about candles with young children around but strategic small lights, perhaps dimmer switches too could give you a lot more options in mood setting.

Saxons Sun 03-Jan-16 22:52:57

Scrap the furniture. Replace with good size coffee table central in room AND two small storage side tables which you can sit next to the sofa ends.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sun 03-Jan-16 22:55:34

Definitely make the things you already have work for you if you possibly can, far better than getting rid and not having a budget to replace.

I have a tall book case that I've made a big hole in the back of, and now I have a nice lamp sat on one of the deep shelves. It gives a good atmosphere at night or on a dark day so I've never regretted doing that.

Saxons Sun 03-Jan-16 22:57:41

Keep the sofas. Add throws, cushions, lighting. Framed photos in collections on wall, get rid of mirror.

CremeEggThief Sun 03-Jan-16 22:58:00

Could you use the unit under your tv as a coffee table?

storybrook Mon 04-Jan-16 08:22:45

Thanks for the replies thanks

Going to move around the furniture today and see if I can jiggle it to a better position and pull the couches in so they're just on the rug. We have a lovely bay window but the position of the doors and size of the couches means there's not been any other position I can really put them in so would like to experiment a bit.

Doubt I'll be able to use the TV unit as a coffee table as its got big holes for wires at the back but will have a little look when I pull it all out!

My heads a bit stuck with colour, I like the idea of going darker, like charcoal, but I'd need to leave it to just the one wall as I don't want the stairs too dark which leads off the room. Do you think a dark shade on one wall would work with a lighter grey colour on the rest, then earthy and greys/creams on the cushions and throws?

storybrook Mon 04-Jan-16 08:23:26

Thanks for the replies thanks

Going to move around the furniture today and see if I can jiggle it to a better position and pull the couches in so they're just on the rug. We have a lovely bay window but the position of the doors and size of the couches means there's not been any other position I can really put them in so would like to experiment a bit.

Doubt I'll be able to use the TV unit as a coffee table as its got big holes for wires at the back but will have a little look when I pull it all out!

My heads a bit stuck with colour, I like the idea of going darker, like charcoal, but I'd need to leave it to just the one wall as I don't want the stairs too dark which leads off the room. Do you think a dark shade on one wall would work with a lighter grey colour on the rest, then earthy and greys/creams on the cushions and throws?

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Mon 04-Jan-16 20:20:09

I didn't realize you had a bay window smile

For the colours try
Virtual testing
You could paint the TV and mirror walls a darker colour, with the window and stairs walls a lighter tone of the same shade. Farrow and Ball paint charts are good for working this out as they tell you which base colours are used, other charts probably help with this too but I haven't looked them up.

I've put couches at right angles to each other with a coffee table in the centre of the space and that's worked well in a small room, but if you have a thoroughfare straight from the front door to the kitchen beyond, it may make the sitting space seem even smaller, you'd have to test it out, but be aware it takes a bit of living with for a fair trial because first impressions will be quite a shock.

Would it work to put the redundant TV bench in the bay window, put some matching baskets across the top for your remotes, magazines, toys etc. Pull the sofas in towards each other so the mirror's no longer accessible for pulling and lower the mirror to correspond with the floating shelves.

If you like that kind of shape, you could then try out a coffee table kind of arrangement on the rug by using some upturned cardboard boxes for size idea before buying?

Also useful in a smaller house is to make sure your accent colours from accessories flow through all the rooms, it tricks the eye into thinking all the spaces are bigger smile

storybrook Tue 05-Jan-16 10:13:47

Enrique you're full of such great ideas, really appreciate you taking the time to respond thanks

After a tonne of pinteresting I've come up with a plan! I'm going to sew up some fitted sofa covers in a grey colour, I've not looked at fabric yet but I'm loving grey and mustard so am using that as a guide and fitting it in wherever I can. Some light plain and patterned cushions for both and I'm keeping them moved into the room as it feels much cosier. I've seen a lovely solid mango coffee table on gumtree that I adore so waiting on her getting back to me.

I can't move the sofa away enough from the wall for the mirror to be safe so I'm putting it in storage and replacing with two large framed pictures (will keep the eye line clean grin) and have a side table for the wires to feed into and hide the droid box/Internet/bt box/ps4 from the TV and I'm looking for another smaller one to put a lovely unusual grey and cream lamp I've seen (have another Pinterest project set for that for a pottery barn knock off look). I'm keeping the TV unit behind the sofa just now as you suggested and seems to work for all the stray crap toys the kids bring down.

Finally for the walls I really needed a colour I could carry through from porch to lounge to kitchen and upstairs and I'm not feeling confident enough to add a real pop but hopefully the accents will carry it, I'm going for either elephants breath or dusted moss no. 2 by dulux. I'll add a little picture of the ideas tonight though.

I'm sure it'll come to more than the £200 I've set aside but as it'll be a longer project than I'd hoped I'll just do what I can as and when (between a 1&3 year old, argh!) Luckily I'm handy with a sewing machine so I'm excited to have a big project! (I sound a lot older than my 30 years haha)

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