Decorating New Home: Opinions Sought

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  1. Hi all,

    I am not so great when it comes to decorating. Definitely not a strength. So I have been relying on things like Houzz, HGTV, Apartment Therapy, Young House Love, etc. for inspiration. Nonetheless, I still struggle with it. Sooooo.....would love some advice.

    The home is brand new, but it was no a custom home. Just your average, run-of-the-mill tract home. 3/2 with attached 2 car garage and covered patio. Smallish yard.

    As with most tract homes, you get builder beige paint in a flat finish and some crap quality lighting fixtures, faucets, etc.

    So my plan is to very slowly redo the paint and fixtures. I'm hoping to focus on one room at a time for budget purposes (I.e., not a huge budget). I'm also doing all new furniture except for the couch/chair in the living room. Hubby and I have moved quite a few times in the last 5-7 years and so we just had cheap furniture. I would like something a little more grown up and furniture that will hopefully last many years (I.e., solid wood as opposed to particle board, etc.).

    I don't think I really have a "style" but have drunk the Pottery Barn/Crate & Barrel kool-aid. I don't like super modern styles, but not old country style either.

    Anyhow....the first room I started is my office. It's technically a formal dining room, but we don't do dinner parties or anything and I needed a home office. The room is right at the front of the house with a bench window seat. It's right off the entry way of the house.

    I wanted a punch of color, so I painted it teal and plan on using orange as my accent color. White and espresso colored furniture.

    I'll see what I can find in terms of a before picture and a picture of the recent painting.

    Anyhow....I just wanted to use this as a spot to toss out some questions about things I am thinking of purchasing, etc.

    **Shoot...all the pics are on my I'll do a follow-up post in a quick minute**
  2. So here are some pics of the floor plan and colors in the home:
    everything.jpg IMG_0004.jpg tilegrout.jpg
  3. Here it is painted in Behr "Teal Zeal" ImageUploadedByPurseForum1373160613.088551.jpg ImageUploadedByPurseForum1373160623.985615.jpg ImageUploadedByPurseForum1373160727.692502.jpg
  4. The major furniture purchases have been the following:

    Parsons desk (from PB teen since it was cheaper than West Elm and only a tad bit smaller). I also just bought the task lamp. Lots of decorating to do here.


    On the left of the desk will be an espresso ladder book case. On the right is this filing cabinet (will use as a printer stand too).


    Chair is from IKEA:


    I also have a white Expedit cube thing from IKEA on the back wall.

    Will post a few questions with pics in a moment.
  5. So, I have this window bench. I don't want to do the whole bench pillow thing, so I bought these from Home Goods today:


    The idea was to put one in each corner, just to give a pop of color in that area:


    Also, in this empty corner I want to put a little lounge type chair:

    Empty corner:


    Chair from Target?


    Or possibly a white & grey chevron?

    Above the chair in that area I was going to do a small gallery wall of pics and postcards and stuff.

    Was also planning to put up this somewhere:


    It's a clear dry erase board. But where to put it:


    Above desk? Off to the side? I was thinking of another small gallery wall.

    Above the Expedit I was doing a world map with pins where I've traveled:


    Pardon the mess on the top...I basically unpacked all my knock knacks and have them all over the Expedit waiting to figure out their final home (book case hasn't arrived yet).
  6. My DH thinks that you need dark wood in this room so that is can contrast with the move. You are also going to need tall lamps to soften the room.
  7. Is the room large enough to "float" the desk? Facing a window or door is typically more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Also, then you wouldn't have to lean over the desk to use dry erase. The colors are hip right now, sort of a Moroccan vibe, I don't care for the damask chair w/ the colors, chevron would flow better IMO.
  8. I think the colors are great, teal, white and dark brown. I have similar colors in one room but the teal is more grey. I printed and framed three photos I got from a friend for a bright spot on the wall (pic).

    Perhaps you could have the desk floating like mentioned above, with one chair on each side? Or placed with one end at the wall?

  9. Wilsom - I have a dark book case coming.

    Swanky and Elle - I understand what you mean about floating....but how to you plug things in? Cords would stretch across the room. Wouldn't that look funny? I've never understood that in blog photos....they never have cords! I have the laptop cord, plus the task lamp.

    I'm also unsure where I would put a few things if the desk was in the middle of the room.

    The room dimensions are up in the floor plan photo...but I think about not huge, but a decent size.

    Or floating it in the same spot, but just away from the wall and having the chair facing the doorway? That might be more visually you don't walk int the house and see the back of a chair. But still the same cord problems!
  10. Hi Twiggers,

    I get the most education from watching Sarah Richardson. I really like her style. HGTV aired the Sarah 101 series last month, but here are a few short videos:

    Unfortunately HGTV does not seem to be airing how-to programs as much as they used to. If you can catch a Sarah's House or Sarah 101 marathon, you'll get a lot of tips.

    It's always a challenge. That's what makes it fun. You get better as you practice. Sometimes you have to try different things in the room (like the chair) until you get the perfect look. Don't be in a hurry, and save a couple of rooms for when you get really good at it. ;)

    BTW, I would have the desk and chair facing out the window, if there is a view. It's more about how you feel while you are working in the room.
  11. Thanks Jess! I've watched a few of her shows and really liked them. I am thinking of maybe moving the desk so it faces the window, but is still against the wall. I'll move it around later today and post a pic :smile:

    Y'all will have to pardon the mess of books, etc. as I am waiting for the bookcase to arrive (plus frames everywhere!).
  12. I agree with the opinions about the damask chair. It doesn't match the current vibe of the room. I think you need an abstract print like a chevron or similar -- the flowery print seems to clash.

    The cord situation can be a PITA. If you need to plug things in you need to run the cords underneath the floors and/or install outlets in the floors.

    Really nice window -- and I do like the pillows too.

    As for the desk placement, I know that when my parents decorated they placed the desk near a window and facing the doorway, so you don't have your back to someone when they enter the room.
  13. Since you don't have any other pattern in the room, I think a chair in a beautiful fabric - maybe a geomtric print or abstract design - would be great - but I love patterns and textures. I would also go for more of an armchair or lounge chair than the Target chair which to me is more of a dining/office chair. Since the extra chair is not an "essential" it might be worth taking your time looking around at sales and online for an interesting chair in a great fabric.
  14. Thanks Lori....those cord hiding options wouldn't work at this point :smile: so I'll just try to move things around and see how it looks. The other option would be to flip it around so the desk is facing out to the door....would only have to deal with the laptop and lamp cord.

    I'd like to get the furniture placement finalized, so that way I know what to do with artwork, etc.

    Sea - I'll try to post a few more pics of some chairs I was glancing at. I was hoping to spend a low amount on the extra chair, since it really is more of a decoration than something that will actually be used often. Any suggestions for online stores to look at? Or any pics of things you would like?

    I am exhausted from my run and yardwork, but I will move things around today and post later :smile:
  15. Ok, so here are things currently: ImageUploadedByPurseForum1373235399.625152.jpg

    And here is one possible configuration:


    With this one, I could move the filing cabinet in behind and against the wall and put the bookcase in front along the back wall.

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