John and Sherry’s House from Young House Love

This is part two of yesterday’s post where I wrote all about my family room and how it’s continuing to evolve. Here are a few applicable ideas for you to use in your space.

First, you need to determine where you are going.   Look at blogs or magazines and have an inspiration room or feel in mind.

Melissa’s House from The Inspired Room

Britt’s nursery from A Penny Saved

I’m sure there are many wonderful ways to go about changing up a room.  Here’s kind of  how I do it.

First of all, work one room at a time and don’t rush yourself.

Then, remove all but the main things that you MUST have right now in the room {sofa/bed/tv/fireplace?} take everything else out, even the rug. Now:

  1. take inventory of your space that’s left,
  2. refer to your inspiration photos
  3. shop the house and use what you have in the new color/style and put in the room to see how you like it {this can be done over time, I’m ok with having a holding room full of my excess junk while I figure things out}
  4. paint any accessories to go in the room
  5. paint a statement piece of furniture to define the space {my blue armoire}
  6. use a neutral rug {ideal} or a rug that better defines the space
  7. consider if the wall color needs to be changed
  8. if large pieces are defining the style incorrectly, brainstorm on how to fix it:

For example a leather sofa. I happen to LOVE leather so, let’s not blame a perfectly lovely natural material on our woes.  But I think we’d all agree that this sofa….

…would be much easier to work into lots of different styles of rooms than this sofa….

that is poofy.   Nothing is wrong with either one but it is the shape and style of a sofa just as much as the fabric that can define a space.  If you have a large piece that will be impossible to work into your room because of the style, no amount of slipcovering will help it.  So, you’ll have to think about that.  Here are some ideas for when your sofa is the culprit

  • slipcover it {unless it’s a bad shape or leather}
  • sell it on craigs list and buy one on craigs list
  • shop your house and see if you can trade it with another sofa {recently a friend of mine redid her entire family room she just switched out the sofa with the one upstairs, updated the rug and moved furniture around, it looks fantastic}
  • save up for a new sofa.  have a yard sale, open an etsy shop, consign some clothes, I bet you could have a new sofa in 6 months

Look at the window treatments in your inspiration rooms, are your current windows helping you achieve the look you are after?

Accessories are another thing that can define your space.  Remember, you took everything out. Add accessories in one  at a time and evaluate if they help or hurt the look you are after.  Love your accessories but they are the wrong color?  You can paint just about anything from dishes to candle holders to lamp bases to picture frames.  What needs to be painted?

Ideally, if you have a neutral sofa you can mix that in with a neat textured or patterned side chair, sit those on a graphic rug, add in a punch of color pillows, mix up the case good materials with paint, wood, metal and have fun with your window mistreatments.  Then, over time, since you invested in a neutral sofa, you can slowly tweak the room to go with your taste.

Think of your home like your wardrobe.  You normally don’t throw away your entire closet in one day. However, you probably don’t still wear much that you wore 10 years ago.  So, when you get your new fall boots, you work that in with the skirt and leggings and jeans that you bought last year or the year before, and maybe you get rid of your old falling apart boots from 4 years ago.  It’s a slow, organic process that you enjoy over time.