Sometimes there’s rooms or corners in the home that don’t seem to come together. They look off, cheap, disturbing, cluttered, ugly or just wrong. You might try several different furniture layouts, changing decoration pieces, work year after year and it-just-doesn’t-work!
Our most frustrating room has been the living room. For starters, the room is a long one with doors on both ends to make it feel even more like a hallway rather than a room on it’s own. Also it works double duty as our work space and living room.
Decluttering and konmari helped a lot to make the room more airy, clean and harmonious, but it still felt bit busy and not in line with rest of the apartment. We knew the reason was not in furniture, as we love most of them and felt they played nicely together. This decorating project started with a photograph we took of the sofa wall in our living room with the intention to figure out what exactly was wrong with it.
Here’s our tips and steps we took to fix that “unfixable” spot.
Clean the space
Cleaning is the first step to a well done home. It can be that there’s just too much stuff in the room. Start with decluttering the space and cleaning it. You can read our thoughts about Konmari-method here.
Use a camera
When things are stuck and you can’t see the problem, try to look your space through someone else’s eyes. Take a photo of your room and look at the picture. Often things that don’t work well can be seen better through photos. You might have collected pictures of beautiful interiors already. Compare your photograph to them! Search similarities and things you could change.
Make it simpler
Beautiful design is most often work of few key elements. The more there are items, colors, motifs, shapes and sizes, the more difficult is the task of balancing everything. If you’re unsure of something, take it away and look again.
Use more size, space and volume
Prefer bigger things to get that professional, clean and stylish look. Use one big rug in a room, bigger painting on a wall, enough fabric in curtains. Leave enough breathing space for things and don’t push every shelf or table next to a wall loaded with several small decoration pieces. I have heard a good line of not using anything smaller than a cantaloupe mellon as a decorative item.
This was the start situation with our sofa wall after our Konmari project. The sofa looks stuffed into the corner and the floor lamp clutters the doorway. Let’s fix those first.
We moved the sofa off from the wall and moved the floor lamp. Looks better and more balanced already… except the lamp and the picture don’t work together. They are too close and look crowded. Maybe, if we moved the print onto the sofa wall, it would give some breathing space for lamp and fix than unbalanced artwork+shelves thingy on the wall.
Yeah, this works much better. All tough, we don’t really like the shelves. They were build when we still had pet rats and they used the shelves as a jungle gym. We have been aiming for light and airy look and those dark, mismatched shelves don’t really contribute into it, even though they look better in pictures. In real life, they feel and look heavier. Off they go!
Now, let’s try some new things. We have few paintings in search of a new place. Some of them are not even framed. We hit the jackpot with our map of Laatokka lake. Taking the dog out and picking a frame for the print should be easy enough.
Voilá! Framed, hanged and perfect. We shall fix the black lamp soon, but right now everything looks so much better. Yellow decorative pillows match so well with the new map print and tie everything nicely together. I believe this living room wall has never looked this good and serene.
Good luck with your projects! Ours took about four hours, it was surprisingly quick. Living room project goes on, we keep you updated about new changes.