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Tips For Decorating A Large Room

I was so flattered with Erin Doland who runs the fabulous organization blog Unclutterer, asked me if I’d give one of her readers, Eleanor, some advice for her new space. Erin was looking for some tips that would help her reader decorate a large space, making it warm and cozy, without cluttering it up. Here’s the space…

Reader question...

Hi Eleanor! While your “problem” of having too much space isn’t the most common, it’s definitely one I’ve addressed a few times with clients who went from homes with smaller rooms to spacious open concept lofts where the lines between spaces became blurred. Once settled in, they felt overwhelmed by having to “fill” all the extra space they’d once dreamed of and, like you, compared their living quarters to an empty warehouse. You are not alone in this Eleanor, between my advice and the comments that Erin’s lovely readers will no doubt offer, I’m confident you’ll soon be on your way to a cozy space in no time!

So… where to begin? THAT is the question of the day! Since you do not live in a loft with soaring ceilings and an open floor plan, I think your space issues are a lot easier to solve because you have a predefined living room space — a gorgeous one with outstanding details (vs. 4 plain walls). You have a fireplace, built in bookcase, and the most gorgeous hardwood floors. What a gem. I am not sure if these photos are current, if not have you added furniture yet? The moment you bring in a sofa or sectional, a pair of chairs, coffee table, floor rug, window treatments, etc. you will see that space shrink immediately, so never fear — your dream home isn’t that far from reality. Here are some tips for transforming your living room into space that you’ll enjoy living in!

View the tips I gave and read the rest of this post by clicking here.

(image from unclutterer)

Posted in Decorating Tips on April 10, 2009

How Much For This Room?

You’re going to love this week’s How Much For This Room? because it’s so budget friendly that you won’t believe your eyes. This living room belongs to Ashley Vaughn and her husband who own a record store, Vertical House, in Huntsville, Alabama. She is also a wedding photographer and a Realtor, and her husband is a graphic designer. When they have time to spare, they can usually be found restoring their 106-year-old house.

Deets on the house: The 2,100 square foot home was built in 1903 and sits in a historic neighborhood in Huntsville, Alabama. Both upstairs and downstairs boasts 11′ tall ceilings, original heart pine floors, transom windows, huge front porch, and six fireplaces. You can see the restoration process we’ve undergone so far in this flickr set which also include the before photos.

The bricks of the fireplace, mantle, and hardwoods are original to the house, so they are not including in the total, but here is the breakdown.

Living room: blue chairs (best thrift store find): $20 for the pair, couch (you can see the tip of it): $75, trunk (holds all of our records): originally from Panama and handed down to me from my parents (free), sewing table and chair (thrifted): $35, picture above the sewing machine (thrifted): $3, lamp on sewing table: wedding gift from target, but I believe it was $20, rubber man (the plant) was a gift, peace lily: found outside a house that was for sale in the garbage (free), green “seedling” tray: $10, Kitty (Sadie): free, “kinda! she found us, but I guess we pay to feed her hah!”. Everything on the mantle was either made by her husband (the hands, the 4 panel piece against the bricks, and the ‘birdhouse’ to the right of the books) or were found at thrift stores or yard sales and combined we maybe spent $10. On the other side of the room there is another identical blue chair, the cabinet that holds the TV (cabinet: $20 and the TV was a gift to my husband many birthdays ago…it’s nothing special). In fact, we only have it hooked up to play Wii), our record player and receiver ($100), and the Wii.

Grand Total: $293 (not including the Wii)!

Kitchen/Bedroom: These few photos were added just because I thought the space was cute and wanted to show you! No dollar amount to relate. I am also a transom window obsessed nut so when I saw one in her bathroom I had to post the pic. I also love her clawfoot tub, wallpaper, red chandelier, and her brown dresser – the lines are great.

If you have any questions for Ashley please just ask below!

Thanks Ashley for sharing your home today with us. :)

(images from ashley vaughn)

Posted in Decorating Tips on March 13, 2009

A Handmade Home in Denmark

I fell in love this morning with a darling home located in Mols, Denmark because the space is just so cozy and personal, I know you’ll adore it! The space belongs to creative entrepreneur, blogger and mother Tracy Lorna Nors who has a background in art and design and a real flair for decorating — especially mixing in vintage objects with more modern pieces. She just returned to her design work after taking a few years off to have her son so we can expect to see more from this creative lady going forward. Her home is a traditional Danish farmhouse from 1913 and she and her husband Jesper, son Indigo and two cats live in this charming space filled with love, personality and a sense of humor. Tracy and her husband recently launched a decorating website called Boboho that I think you may enjoy browsing but first let’s check out her inspirational Danish home filled with vintage toys, mixed media art and recycled found items.

A cozy reading nook.

Living room with a beautiful round felt pouf in pink.

I love the handmade lamp shades throughout her home. Lovely!

A vintage birdcage paired with a recycled dressers and a painting dated around 1900 found in an antiques shop.

Vintage printers drawers filled with tiny collected objects. In the living room you’ll spot a coffee table made from floorboards and on top you can see a handmade paper bowl. Tracy is so talented!

A Swedish bench from the 19th century and a painting I’d love to own by Danish artist Nanna Ask.

Some favorite vintage finds on a kitchen shelf and her handmade flower brooches.

Chinese lanterns recovered Tracy’s way with found papers and a lamp she made out of vintage toys along with another one of her handmade lamp shades. Eventually the lamps will be sold through her website however she is now accepting commissions and in addition to table lamps she also makes chandeliers.

Want to see more? Tour Tracy’s home here on her website.

Thank you Tracy for welcoming us into your beautiful home today!

(images from tracy nors)

Posted in Decorating Tips, Home Tours on March 09, 2009

How Much For This Room?

You’ll be inspired by this week’s pick for How Much For This Room because it features a beautiful living and dining room clearly pulled together with a lot of love and a great sense of style. It’s also quite inexpensive so it’s within reach. These rooms were sent in by Benita Larsson, the Swedish design blogger behind the popular Chez Larsson, a lady we all know and love for her writing, great organizational skills, home DIY projects, and for the gorgeous blues, yellows and greens in her home! Thank you so much Benita for sharing your world with us today.

I’d like to note that Benita has had some items for quite a long time and was unable to remember exactly what she paid for them so she had to guess at a few of the prices. She feels confident though that they are pretty spot on. Not included is the cost of wall paint, flooring (original to the house), books, magazines and what she calls, “the old horrid TV” which I didn’t even notice until she pointed it out — ha ha! Oh Benita, we all battle with televisions whether they are old and horrid or new and sleek – our goal is always to hide them but it never seems to quite work out now does it?

Seating area: 1) IKEA Karlanda (pre Karlstad) Sofa $499. 2) Junk Shop find Armchairs (20 years ago) $100 + $125 for covers made in Hong Kong (I brought the worn out old covers sewn by myself to a tailor in Hong Kong and he copied them) + $60 for wheels. 3) Sofa table $0 (left to us in our house by the previous owners) + $10 for paint and varnish. 4) Junk Shop find nesting tables (18 years ago) $35 + $10 for paint. 5) Bookshelves self made out of MDF, cost of materials $70. 6) Self made MDF TV unit on wheels $55. 7) IKEA Door mat $8. 8) Floor lamp including shade $75. 9) Art – Half hull boat (produced by my husband Martin) $250. 10) Muji bowl $20. 11) Table lamp $35 including shade. 12) Pillow inserts 8@$6 = $48. 13) Fabrics for pillow covers (all 1/2 yard pieces): Svenskt Tenn Elephants 2@$46 =$92, White corduroy $8, Aqua linen $8, Joel Dewberry Woodgrain* $4, Paula Prass Garden Trellis* $4, Michael Miller Dandy Damask* $5, Denyse Schmidt Basket Weave* $4. 14) Iittala Savoy Vase $123. 15) Iittala Kivi Votive holders 2@$13 = $26. 16) Charity shop finds: Small glass vase and ceramic leaf dish 2@$1 =$2. 17) IKEA Roller blinds (not shown) $40,

Total for seating area: $1,716 USD

*Purchased on Etsy.

Dining space: 1) IKEA Hollow core door table top (no longer available), painted white $25. 2) Dumpster find table base $0. 3) Dumpster find chairs $0 + $12 for fleece fabric, batting and elastic. 4) Charity shop find Orange stools $44. 5) Built in cabinets left by previous owners $0 + $30 for paint and adhesive frosted plastic. 6) Ceiling lamp $200. 7) Cylinder glass vases used as hurricane lamps 2@$9 =$18. 8) Charity shop find bowl $2. 9) Table lamp $35 including shade. 10) Milky white flower pot $8. 11) Doggy art by Martin $0. 12) Ebay Whiskas Cat bed $88. 13) Vintage card boxes left to me by my parents $0. 14) Art: Magnus Carlsson framed art (a gift) $0, Abbey Hendrickson print (a win) $0 + frame $20, Junk shop find Bird print $3 + frame $20, Smelly cat art by my son Wille $3 for the canvas (art itself priceless).

Total for dining space: $508 USD

Fireplace wall: 1) JRG Electrical fireplace insert $850 + self built MDF and scrap wood mantle pieces, cost of materials $25. 2) Self built cube stools, cost of scrap wood, plywood, batting, foam and fabric $30. 3) Yellow canvas, cost for canvas and acrylic paint $26. 4) Art: Matte Stephens gocco print $20 + $16 for frame, Cosas Minimas print $16 + $12 for frame. 5) Charity shop find votive holders and clear flower pot 3@$1 =$3. 6) IKEA Green wooly blanket (no longer available) $25.

Total for Fireplace wall: $1,023 USA

What’s the grand total for fireplace wall, living room seating area and dining space? $3,247.00 USD

Why is this space so cozy, pretty, unique and affordable? Benita incorporated art from her family, built and or painted a lot of things herself, found free abandoned items in her local community that she gave new life to, and this clever lady loves a good thrift store! Good ideas to put into practice when you’re pulling together a room on a budget!

If you would like to be part of the How Much For This Room? series, please send one photo of your space to me at holly AT decor8blog.com with “How Much For This Room?” in the subject line. Thank you!

If you have any questions for Benita about her home please feel free to ask her in the comments section below. Thank you!

(images from benita larsson)

Posted in Decorating Tips on February 27, 2009

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