Resetting a Room

Marian ParsonsDecorating, decorating dilemmas, home improvement, My House, Tutorials39 Comments

Have you been working on a room and you’re feeling stuck or it’s not looking the way you envisioned?  If so, it’s time to press the reset button and here’s how I do it. 
I’ve been working on my living room for a few months, now.  When I was looking at it the other day, I realized it’s not turning out the way I wanted it to.  It is mostly, but once I added two of the curtain panels, it totally messed me up.  I had been decorating for a pretty neutral room and the pop of color and pattern from the curtain fabric began to compete with all of the pictures and accessories. 
Step 1:
Remove all of the pictures, accessories, and anything else from the room that you’re not sure about.  Only keep what you really love or need.  This is a great time to move some furniture around and experiment with new arrangements.

Your neighboring rooms are going to suffer during this process, but it will (hopefully) be short lived. 

Happy accidents can happen as a result of this, though. I set a birdcage on top of my buffet in the dining room and realized it looked perfect there!

Step 2:
Now, it’s time to play.  I pull things from my all over the house to try out different ideas.  I ended up hauling a bead board door from my basement stash and placed it over the piano.  It looks perfect there.  Don’t put anything back in the room unless you love it where it’s placed.  Don’t settle. 
Step 3:
Create a list of things you want to work on or change in the room
…finish the curtain panels, paint and reupholster the French arm chairs, paint the desk under the window and paint the small chest of drawers in the foyer area. 
 How did it turn out?  Well, I’m still working on it, but here’s a peek at one spot…

This is a fun and free way to finish rooms you’re working on or to give your home a mini-makeover.  It’s amazing what moving things around can do…and how fun it can be.
Miss Mustard Seed
Resetting a Room

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39 Comments on “Resetting a Room”

  1. excellent job!

    i essentially work from home. or my work is my home… anyway, i get tired of seeing the same things and same setup so i'm always moving things around.

    and my house looks just like yours when i do it. i clear the decks and there is stuff scattered everywhere!

  2. I did that with my cabinets around my tv….it moved onto the fireplace mantle too! I decluttered like crazy and I'm going to part with a few items that I don't LOVE. Nice fresh air-after all the dust settles!


  3. I often think that bright colors and patterns compete with pieces in a room so I try to narrow that down to just a few things. Once you could see more of the white wall between the windows, the room came to life.


  4. In the early years of our marriage when I could not afford to buy ANYTHING and was forced to utilize what hand-me-downs family gave us, I would frequently ask my husband to help me move things around. It was a cheap way to get a new look with the same old possessions. Through the years I have continued to do the same thing, even though now I have a little more leeway to with the budget. I even hired someone this year to re-stage my own possessions and it was the best money I have ever spent. He brought a fresh vision to many of my old things!

  5. I had a similar dilema the other week. I wanted a new rug for our living room, it's a large room, cash is tight with me not working so I went shopping in the rest of the house.

    WAH-Lah, the rug in the spare room now looks great in the living room. I tried this very rug once before and because we had different slip covers at the time, it clashed big time. Now it looks devine.

  6. Such great advice! I'm working on a little tweeking in my family room right now, and I just went through many of those same steps 🙂 Now if I could just decide whether or not to paint my brick fireplace!

  7. Can i borrow you for a day to help me with my sideboard in my dining room! You create the most beautiful vingettes!

  8. GREAT!! SO helpful! Thank you! I'm NOT very good at organizing and decorating, so this will really work! I just wish I could do this in my laundry/craft/storage room. Where would I put everything while I sorted?! There must be a way; I'm determined! How did you organize your craft room?

  9. It looks great already. I love decorating but struggle with vignettes.Maybe I should try your process and see if that helps.Thanks for the great tips!

  10. I think clearing out the space and starting over makes complete sense. It is the only way you will "see" what will work. I need to do that with my living/dining area. Right now it just is not working anymore!

  11. Smart tips! With so many lovely things coming and going from your home, do you find this happens more often than you'd think? I have to admit that thrifting makes me more choosy about what I buy and keep, but I still find I need to re-evaluate my decor on a more regular basis than I'm guessing the average person does.

  12. It's looking good! This would work better in my house if I had more stuff. I tend to sell things on craigslist or in the shop when I get tired of them instead of rearranging, so I don't have as much to play with. Maybe I should reconsider that practice!

  13. I think sometimes we try too hard and run out of time and then it just gets over done. Taking down the mirror above the couch was a huge difference. I think it was too heavy for that space. You will change it all up again, I know you, but I love what you are doing so far.

  14. Marian,

    What a great idea…a clean slate and home shopping, one of my favorite things. I love your style…your dining room (before) has always been one of my favorite images to look at for inspiration.

    Can't wait to see the finished living room (are rooms ever really finished? 🙂
    Karen at Garden, Home and Party

  15. Great advice! I really like how your room is coming together. This makes me want to re-do some rooms with what I aready have… no time now, but maybe after the holidays. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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