Monday, March 2, 2015

Before, Plus My After

I saw this photo today in my Facebook newsfeed, and before I clicked over to see the pretty "after" I thought about how I would redecorate it.

Because this looks like a real house, doesn't it? Like a neighbor's house. Or Aunt Cindy's. Or, maybe, our own house...

First, let's identify what's not working. Why is this a "before" picture?

1. The console table is too short for the space behind the sofa.

2. The mirror over the fireplace is too big.

3. The small accessories are lost in the room.

4. The colors are all very similar.

Overall, it's a room that just feels kind of boring.

But, it doesn't have to be!

AND it doesn't have to cost a lot of money or require a lot of time/effort to make it beautiful!

To start, I would add something on either side of the console table behind the sofa to visually fill in that space. Two garden stools would be my choice, although floor vases or some other round decorative element would also work. Whatever it is, I recommend that they match and that they not be taller than the back of the sofa. The bonus with garden stools is that they provide additional seating, and since this is likely an entryway, would make getting shoes on and off easier.

Next, I would replace the lamp on top of the console table with one that has a round shape and a drum (straight-sided) shade. This will make it look more contemporary. I would also accessorize this surface with things like coffee table books, candles, a plant, and/or decorative boxes for some simple styling.

Adding in the garden stools and lamp immediately add some color, and possibly pattern, to the room. I would continue that theme by adding a pretty patterned lumbar pillow and a solid color throw in a fun texture to the armchair in the corner.

I would move the framed art from the wall between the windows to stack it with the art that is on the wall in this armchair corner, like in the example above. The picture that is on the wall already will have to go up a bit higher to accommodate this, however, I think this creates so much more interest than spacing art more randomly around a room. The focal point then for the eye is between the two pictures.

To minimize the (over-)scale of the mirror over the fireplace I would add two large ginger jars or other round, decorative elements on each end of the mantel (tall vases or fat candlesticks would also work).

I would buy two short white bookcases to add to the wall on either side of the fireplace to create an additional sense of symmetry. By filling these with books and the photo frames that were already in the space you will both bring more attention to something that had been previously overlooked and create something to do in the room, making it feel less boring.

Then I would finish the room off by moving the drapery rods out so they are wider than the windows. This way, when the drapes are open, more light enters the room because the drapes are covering wall, not the windows. If the budget allows, replace these drapes with something that has more weight and/or color. OR, for a fun project, add a stencil to the drapes to create an overall pattern.

Although my plan requires the homeowner to buy some new items (garden stools, lamp, pillow, throw, ginger jars, bookshelves, and possibly drapes), it's much less expensive than totally re-doing the room. A lot of these things could be re-purposed from elsewhere in a house or purchased inexpensively from a discount or thrift store.

What do you think? To see what BHG really did, click here.


  1. This would be a great series....I really like all the suggestions of how to improve the room.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie


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