I have a confession. I hate my living room. Now, I know that hate is a strong word, but I really do mean it in this case.
In its current state, my living room is a hodgepodge of mismatched furniture – and not ‘mismatched’ in a good way. The “media center” is too small, the coffee table is too large, and the top of the room doesn’t coordinate with the bottom of the room in any shape, form or fashion.
I can’t believe I just revealed this to you. This is honestly what my living room looks like on a good day. I’ve lived with it like this for about six years, and I will probably live with it like this for a few more.
If you have a room in your house that you hate (or strongly dislike), here’s how to live with it.
What to do When You Hate Your Living Room
1. Make Peace – One of the best things you can do about a room that you hate is to make peace with it. Sometimes I feel silly writing each week about decorating, because it’s not one of the “big” things in life. It may feel big when you have a room that you hate, but it obviously pales in comparison to what a lot of other people are dealing with.
In the past few years, my kids have managed to destroy this chair that I rescued, meaning that there is old, exposed hot glue on its sides and wash faded throw pillows on its back. That’s okay. I know that I won’t have this chair in my home forever (or at least this chair in its current state), and if I do, I at least know that it’s comfy and well-loved.
Make peace with your room (or rooms) in their current state, and remember that they won’t always look like they do today.
2. Make a Plan – To prevent your room from looking like it does today, make a plan of action for what you want it to look like. For some of you, that may mean creating a mood board. Others of you may start a Pinterest board for things you would love to see in the room. Still others may play with paint samples or fabric swatches in an effort to see what would look good in the room. These are all things that mean you are making a plan.
But this is my plan for my son’s bedroom – the next room on my hit list. I was hoping to start working on it as soon as school started, but other obligations – and now a back injury – have sidelined those plans. Even though Zack and I both dislike his current room, we know that this is our plan for it as soon as I can get started. I have found that having a plan helps me get started on a room that I don’t like. Otherwise, I just ignore it in hopes that it will magically go away.
3. Don’t Make Apologies – This is a big one, y’all. When you have friends and family over to visit, don’t apologize for a room that you hate. They are there to see you, not your home. And chances are, they didn’t even notice all of the little things that you are pointing out to them.
My little group of friends has started coming over on Sunday evenings to watch The Walking Dead. Even though my living room isn’t well-appointed, it’s comfortable enough for 5 or 6 of us to hang out and watch TV. To make my point about your friends and family not noticing things in your room, one of my friends commented a few weeks ago how much she loved my new sputnik chandelier. I laughed, since I had hung that up about 10 months ago.
I also hate my kitchen/breakfast area that you can see through the archways there, but I’m going to have to live with that for a while. There are a few other rooms ahead of it on my redo list.
4. Make Changes as Your Budget Allows – Decorating as my budget allows is a huge one for me. We are lucky to live a comfortable lifestyle, but we don’t have an unlimited source of money for furniture, accessories and light fixtures. We’re putting as much money as we can away for our retirement and into our kids’ college funds, so we don’t have a lot of money just hanging around.
To that end, I am making changes as my budget will allow. Last year, I hired a professional painter to paint this room (and some other areas) bright Lindsay White. At the same time, I found my reasonably priced Sputnik chandelier. I would have waited on that, too, but the painter (and all around handy guru) offered to install it for me since he would already have the scaffolding in my house. Earlier this year, I created the panels hanging in the top level of windows.
The next thing I want to do in this room is new flooring – either tile that looks like wood or some sort of wood/engineered wood itself. I’m putting money aside for that. Since I want that floor in my living room, entry way, dining room and kitchen, it’s going to be a big expense. I certainly won’t be able to make that change this year. I’m hoping that I can do that in 2015.
Obviously, I want new (or new-to-me vintage) furniture. I also want to make a giant built-in on the TV wall and add tons of accessories. By having a goal and doing one thing at a time, I’m not overwhelmed with the expense of such a big project. And since I’m working on it one thing at a time, I know it will happen when it can. I know there are people who can’t live in their homes with it half finished, and I totally understand that – but that’s when I refer back to points #1 and #3.
5. Make a Request for Help (if You Need it) – If you feel overwhelmed by a room and don’t know where to start, ask for help! Find a friend or neighbor who’s house you love and ask them for suggestions. Hit up Pinterest or a favorite blogger and get ideas for them.
Or, sign up for the brand-new School of Decorating. Our wonderful contributor – Jackie from Teal & Lime – has just opened the doors of her virtual academy. There you will find video tutorials for specific decorating dilemmas (like how to style shelves and how to shop for decor online), video interviews from decorating experts, and a forum to springboard your ideas off of other members.
I’m excited to announce that Jackie recently completed an interview with me about the hows/whys of my decorating style, and it went live this morning! Here is a little preview clip of that interview:
If you are interested in signing up for the School of Decorating, click here to begin the sign-up process or take a look to get more information. From now until October 25, 2014, you can use code MAKELY5 to save $5 off your first month (coupon only applies to first month’s tuition for new members).
Do you have a room that you hate (or strongly dislike) in your home? Tell me about it in the comments! Have you made peace with it and a plan for moving forward? Or are you stuck making apologies?