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Frugal decorating?


Catalytic
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Since we're talking about money and budgets lately  :hurray:

 

I need to decorate our house when we move. (The one we're moving into lol)  Unfortunately DH's new job means we have to entertain occasionally.  So....

 

1.  I need to spend as little as possible.

2.  This will be a "rental" so I can't do paint or other structural stuff.  Fairly certain the walls will be off-white.

3.  I think I was supposed to be a guy, I have zero sense of fashion, decor, colors, nothing, nada.

4.  I need it ALL.  Literally the only decorations I have family photos and a couple of military things.  Window treatments (white blinds are there, so just accent type treatments would be fine), wall decor, some knick-knack type decor (I would love *useful* decor, I despise dusting figurines, I have tons of Scentsy warmers, but I have cats that love to knock them over and spill the wax, so I can't use those for decoration, sigh.  Also, stuff has to be heavy enough they can't knock it over, unless there's some way to electrify it so if they get near it zaps them  :thumbup:

5.  I have zero artistic talent, I can't even draw decent stick figures.  I can sew to some extent, and I can follow some crafting instructions (not knitting, but I can crochet), but I'm not a crafty person by nature and need step-by-step instructions.

6.  I have to buy all new furniture for this house, going to link the things I'm looking at, if you have cheaper suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  I do intend these couches I buy to be the last ones in my life...I'm 43 now  :laugh:

7.  I will NOT buy used furniture.  Cost me $4000 to get rid of bed bugs a few years ago, plus the treatment ruined about $1000 worth of new Ikea furniture...never again.  Also, the used market where we are moving is quite limited, I've been kinda watching Craigslist to see how it was.

 

So far, I have one idea, and I need some color help on it.  I found some YouTube tutorials on acrylic painting step-by-step, so I've ordered some cheap supplies to see if I can do it.  If so, that seems like a cheap way to spruce up my walls, not sure how much will be overkill.  I need some paint color suggestions to tie in with the furniture, I think?  Not sure if we will buy any area rugs, we hate carpet and rugs but sometimes a house echoes badly without some in there to absorb sound.  Anyway, I can probably handle getting rugs that go with the decor. 

 

My one idea is a huge painting something like this to go over one or both couches.  Any thoughts on whether that would be tacky?  And, if it would be ok, how large would you do it, and what colors would you use?  (Couch is linked below)  I do have one recliner we're keeping, but it will go upstairs if it looks horrible downstairs with the new couches.  It's close to the Pacific color here (it is a lift chair but not that brand)

 

I would also like to do a few more paintings (if they look decent enough), I intend to try this one next week:  Luna Light.  It has a sun that goes along with it, but I'm not in love with that one.  This one is OK, I love the colors, but it's kinda blah:  Stormy Beach.  Love this one, not sure if I will ever have the skill for it, I'll see how the easier looking ones go:  Aurora Borealis.  I do have some photos framed that I took of the aurora when we lived in Alaska.

 

Sorry so long, here's my tentative furniture plan and a rough floor plan:

 

Floor plan:  http://imgur.com/6u81jPB (the pink is doors and windows and the rectangle against the wall in the family room is a fireplace, we're hoping to be able to mount our TV over it)

 

Couch and matching recliner.  Thinking a couch and 2 recliners (one being the blue one above) in the living room, and a couch and recliner in the family room.  

 

Dining table in dining room.  Breakfast nook *might* have an old couch in it and be our schoolroom, if I can figure out a pretty way to close off that doorway/large opening to it when we have guests.

 

2 End Tables and 1 coffee table, I'm thinking one end table in the family room, and one end table and the coffee table in the living room.  Could probably find cheaper tables for that purpose but hubby and I like that they have a dual purpose (the storage)

 

Anyone have any good ideas for me?  Or links to good ideas?  I see a lot of crafty stuff on Pinterest, but I never know how to tie things together, sigh.

 

 

Edited by Catalytic
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Hmm...

 

Ikea is your friend if you like frugal. Unless you're dead set against mass produced stuff...

 

I don't do ornaments, although we do have a few sentimental pieces which I keep high enough so that no one can see the dust!

 

Stretching fabric over a frame can make a good wall decoration.

 

I often use fabric as a starting point for what colours will go together, as I have no natural sense of these things.

 

Ana White has really easy to follow plans for building furniture and other odds and ends such as picture rails or shoe racks - worth looking at if you're on a budget and up for a challenge (I taught myself to use power tools and build stuff as a gift to myself when I turned 40).

 

Mirrors - I like mirrors for giving a sense of space and depth to a room (plus we use the large mirror in the dining room as a notice board using liquid chalk pens).

 

I don't think that directly answers any of your questions, but maybe gives you some new ideas.

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What feel do you want your home to have?  I am by no means a decorator, but I like my home to be mine.  I have a few knickknacks that have been carefully selected on trips, or have been handed down from a family member with sentiment attached.  I prefer art that means something to me or photos on my walls.  Do you like photos?  Are there places you've lived where you took photos you could have blown up and then mat them into a bigger frame?  If you're not crafty, taking the time to make a painting feels like a lot of work.  Photographs could really be your friend here. 

 

You mentioned military stuff.  Are you active or retired or separated?  What military stuff do you have.  Have you had a lot of duty locations?

 

 

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I like your tables!  Since your couch and the wood are going to be dark, I (personally) would make sure the rest of the rooms were bright and cheerful to counter the dark stuff.  I like bright, cheerful, shabby chic.  I also wouldn't get a matching recliner if I were doing this just because I don't find that look interesting.  I'd go for something that complemented rather than matched.  

 

I applaud your idea about painting your pictures.  I would let that be a hobby that you do slowly over time.  You don't have to put pictures up right away.  It might be better to live in the place a bit before you decide.  But that does look like fun.  Don't put pressure on yourself though.  One inexpensive way to get pictures is to get old calendar prints that you like, cut them out, mat them yourself and then find frames to fit them.  Used frames don't have bedbugs usually and they can have a distressed look that is interesting.  Also, finding unusual art at antique shops and garage sales is a fun past time.

 

I second the idea of mirrors as decoration.  I've got an old round one of my grandmother's up on our dining room wall and another one in our front hall that my dd found at a second hand shop.

 

We bought our beautiful dining room set, china cabinet and credenza very inexpensively from an old lady who was moving into a nursing home.  No bedbugs at all!  She was a very tidy lady!  So you might want to look out for stuff like that.  I wouldn't do craigslist but look for estate sales or a reputable second hand dealer who knows about getting rid of bedbugs.   If you really can't go used, then go for furniture discount places.  Around our area people will set up temporary shops in vacant stores and sell stuff at deep discounts.  Look around for places like that.  We got a beautiful leather covered table and chairs for our study at a really low price that way.  

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I am very frugal in this respect: I do not "decorate".

I am a minimalist. My walls are white, with the exception of the dining corner which is yellow. I have a few pieces of artwork on my walls that I have received over the decades, and some large prints of my own landscape photographs.

I do not use decorative furniture like end tables etc, or decorative textiles like throw pillows and rugs.

Several walls in my house are covered with floor to ceiling book shelves (Ikea IVAR; very flexible - we use the same shelving system in all rooms so we can combine and rearrange if needed)

Most of my furniture is from Ikea. It holds up well; mine is 20+ years old.

(Why do you have to buy all new furniture???)

 

ETA: You mentioned entertaining. I entertain a lot. Unless it is a sit down dinner,  people always congregate in the kitchen. They prefer standing close to the food, leaning against the counters, to sitting on the perfectly good sofa in the living room. And they like coming to our house, despite the lack of "decorating".

Edited by regentrude
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Decide what you want your basic decorating style or theme to be. (Do a search explaining different styles) Google for essential elements of that style. Stick with the essentials. Save pictures that help you visualize the look and feel you want. Choose your basic color scheme. No more than four colors, two kind of neutral, two accent. The main living areas should flow into each other. Bedrooms can be unique or individualized. Figure out what you already have that will work with that style by repurposing, recovering, repainting, etc. Decide what you can make yourself. Take your time and buy only what you love. When looking for a particular item, have in mind what colors and materials you want it to be and do searches based on that till you find the item you want at a price you are willing to live with.

 

I'm not fond of rugs either, but a nice rug in the living room helps to define the seating area and connects everything.

 

ETA my personal opinion: The furniture you have chosen would go well with a mission or craftsman style look. You could also go in the direction of what is called "country chic." The blue recliner doesn't really fit the look, but you may not care, or it could be put in an out of the way corner. Since the furniture is dark, I would choose a lighter neutral and one or two light or medium toned accent colors to go with it, preferably on the warm side. You could also choose one accent color and use it in various shades. Cool colors with grey overtones would not go well with your furniture. No lavender, lol. Think of this as general guidelines, not hard and fast rules.

Edited by Onceuponatime
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I agree: Home Depots area rugs are really nice. I had a dog ruin one years ago and I wished I'd just replaced it.

 

I buy so much from Craig's List or Goodwill -- NEVER couches or material type items, but tables? Absolutely? Pictures, paintings? Yes! You can save a fortune by getting certain items that way.

 

And if you're nervous meeting in someone's home, request to meet at a local parking lot.

 

Alley

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Hmm...

 

Ikea is your friend if you like frugal. Unless you're dead set against mass produced stuff...

 

I don't do ornaments, although we do have a few sentimental pieces which I keep high enough so that no one can see the dust!

 

Stretching fabric over a frame can make a good wall decoration.

 

I often use fabric as a starting point for what colours will go together, as I have no natural sense of these things.

 

Ana White has really easy to follow plans for building furniture and other odds and ends such as picture rails or shoe racks - worth looking at if you're on a budget and up for a challenge (I taught myself to use power tools and build stuff as a gift to myself when I turned 40).

 

Mirrors - I like mirrors for giving a sense of space and depth to a room (plus we use the large mirror in the dining room as a notice board using liquid chalk pens).

 

I don't think that directly answers any of your questions, but maybe gives you some new ideas.

 

The closest IKEA (to here or there) is about 4-5 hours away, unfortunately.  I do like a lot of their stuff, but the shipping is prohibitive and it would take several trips in my truck at 12mpg lol.  (I don't care for IKEA's couches, I love one of their dining tables)

 

I can build things (best thing I ever built was a Murphy bed) if I have plans.  Unfortunately I cannot build until we get there, as 1.  not a lot of time.  2.  I have zero room in the house we're in.  My garage is so full the only clear area is a very thin path to the 2nd fridge and the freezers.  Planning on building the kids' new beds/frames while we're there, hadn't thought about maybe doing the end tables.

 

Looking at fabric is fabulous and I'm actually going to some craft stores today, so I'll look.  I love mirrors, and using chalk pens on them in brilliant, that would definitely suit my dual-purpose want, thanks!

 

What feel do you want your home to have?  I am by no means a decorator, but I like my home to be mine.  I have a few knickknacks that have been carefully selected on trips, or have been handed down from a family member with sentiment attached.  I prefer art that means something to me or photos on my walls.  Do you like photos?  Are there places you've lived where you took photos you could have blown up and then mat them into a bigger frame?  If you're not crafty, taking the time to make a painting feels like a lot of work.  Photographs could really be your friend here. 

 

You mentioned military stuff.  Are you active or retired or separated?  What military stuff do you have.  Have you had a lot of duty locations?

 

Active duty, 24 years, 11 duty stations.  We have the usual Americana decor that some of the spouses make?  Home is where the heart is, 4 duty stations behind because the lady who made it won't answer my FB messages  :cursing:   We have a few flag type pieces with our last name.  Hubby is adamantly opposed to an "I love me" wall, and he will not let me decorate the house in Americana.  We do hang his diploma.  He takes the best farewell gifts to decorate his office, also his coins. I really like some of the painting I linked, so I wouldn't mind those on the wall.  My son has a really nice photograph we paid a fortune for at an art gallery, he likes it hung in his room, but I could steal it for the downstairs if I have to.  I'm picking up some cheap paint stuff today to make a "test" painting, if it turns out decent, then I'll invest in the supplies to do a few.  I don't have many good photos (I do, but their file size isn't conducive to blowing them up), I lost my good file formats in a hard drive crash.  I do have some Northern Lights and a few other sightseeing type stuff already framed that we hang, but they are in collage type frames because they are normal photo size.  Some of them are stuck to the glass so taking them out to scan and blow up won't work.  We don't really have many knickknacks, except my Scentsy warmers and a very few glass pieces we've picked up.  (Hubby loves glass paperweights so I bought him some really pretty ones years ago, I fell in love with a glass killer whale that he got me.)

 

I like your tables!  Since your couch and the wood are going to be dark, I (personally) would make sure the rest of the rooms were bright and cheerful to counter the dark stuff.  I like bright, cheerful, shabby chic.  I also wouldn't get a matching recliner if I were doing this just because I don't find that look interesting.  I'd go for something that complemented rather than matched.  

 

I applaud your idea about painting your pictures.  I would let that be a hobby that you do slowly over time.  You don't have to put pictures up right away.  It might be better to live in the place a bit before you decide.  But that does look like fun.  Don't put pressure on yourself though.  One inexpensive way to get pictures is to get old calendar prints that you like, cut them out, mat them yourself and then find frames to fit them.  Used frames don't have bedbugs usually and they can have a distressed look that is interesting.  Also, finding unusual art at antique shops and garage sales is a fun past time.

 

I second the idea of mirrors as decoration.  I've got an old round one of my grandmother's up on our dining room wall and another one in our front hall that my dd found at a second hand shop.

 

We bought our beautiful dining room set, china cabinet and credenza very inexpensively from an old lady who was moving into a nursing home.  No bedbugs at all!  She was a very tidy lady!  So you might want to look out for stuff like that.  I wouldn't do craigslist but look for estate sales or a reputable second hand dealer who knows about getting rid of bedbugs.   If you really can't go used, then go for furniture discount places.  Around our area people will set up temporary shops in vacant stores and sell stuff at deep discounts.  Look around for places like that.  We got a beautiful leather covered table and chairs for our study at a really low price that way.  

 

(Just an aside, bed bugs happen in very clean houses, and they can fit in places smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper.  The guy who treated our house said he got them from a box of Huggies he bought at the grocery store.  You can pick them up almost anywhere.  The only way to get rid of them is to heat a house to 140 degrees (might be 120) for hours.  That's what happened to all my "lovely" IKEA Kallax furniture just months after we bought it.  The heat destroyed the glue and now it all looks like complete trash.  They don't affect everyone (only 2 out of 7 in our home got bitten), but they are extremely damaging psychologically.  You literally feel like you're losing your mind, you get no sleep (they bite when you sleep because your body emits CO2 and attracts them), and the bites itch like the devil.  I still feel them crawling on me and it's been several years.  Anyway, all that to say, hubby won't even let me look in used stores anymore.  I do buy clothing off eBay and such, but it does not come inside my house until it's been inspected thoroughly.  And for those who keep a large pantry, the heat treatment turns sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche lol)

 

I hate dark furniture, but I like the price and the couches/recliners are very comfortable.  Our home we own/will retire in has very light laminate flooring, and almost white walls (if we have to repaint, the walls will be bright white)  Where we are moving is pretty remote and I'm not seeing many furniture stores on Google.  Will have to think about a different recliner and see how hubby thinks about that.  We thought it needed to match LOL.   We don't know what color the floor is in the house we'll be moving into.

 

My mom has some AMAZING furniture she got secondhand.  Unfortunately every time she is ready to get rid of it, we live too far to get it.  We actually have 2 beautiful dining tables, but no logistical way to get them to us.  The gas to go fetch them would cost a lot more than just buying a cheap set for a few years.

 

I always shopped secondhand prior to the bed bugs, and I do realize that most thrift places won't have bed bugs, most homes don't have bed bugs, and we could pick up bed bugs anywhere at any time.  However, the guy who treated our house told us not to buy used furniture (he even told us not to have furniture delivered by a furniture store if they haul away the old furniture because he's had customers get bed bugs that way because they were in the truck and got on the new furniture), so hubby will not budge on this.

 

I am very frugal in this respect: I do not "decorate".

I am a minimalist. My walls are white, with the exception of the dining corner which is yellow. I have a few pieces of artwork on my walls that I have received over the decades, and some large prints of my own landscape photographs.

I do not use decorative furniture like end tables etc, or decorative textiles like throw pillows and rugs.

Several walls in my house are covered with floor to ceiling book shelves (Ikea IVAR; very flexible - we use the same shelving system in all rooms so we can combine and rearrange if needed)

Most of my furniture is from Ikea. It holds up well; mine is 20+ years old.

(Why do you have to buy all new furniture???)

 

ETA: You mentioned entertaining. I entertain a lot. Unless it is a sit down dinner,  people always congregate in the kitchen. They prefer standing close to the food, leaning against the counters, to sitting on the perfectly good sofa in the living room. And they like coming to our house, despite the lack of "decorating".

 

I don't mind minimalist, but my house never looks inviting and warm.  I need it to look inviting and warm.  I'm not really into throw rugs and pillows, either.  I don't have any paintings or such for the walls (tho I did remember we have a huge framed hockey jersey that we didn't unpack here, that will take up all the space over one couch)  I prefer less furniture than more, tho I do want at least one end table near each couch or recliner (not both in the same room, I want a place to sit drinks and remotes and such) and DH for some freaking reason is insisting on a coffee table (which I do not want, I'd rather have floor space, ugh)  I can't/won't add bookshelves, I have 2 that my dad made that will go upstairs, and most of our books will stay packed (they're organized mostly so I can find what I want in a box).  The home we own, that we will eventually retire in has custom built-ins throughout, bookshelves, dressers, custom cabinets and desks in the office and in the master bedroom.  None of the bedrooms there need anything but a bed, and we have enough built-in bookshelves in the LR for thousands of books.  (One of the reasons we bought that house lol)

 

Decide what you want your basic decorating style or theme to be. (Do a search explaining different styles) Google for essential elements of that style. Stick with the essentials. Save pictures that help you visualize the look and feel you want. Choose your basic color scheme. No more than four colors, two kind of neutral, two accent. The main living areas should flow into each other. Bedrooms can be unique or individualized. Figure out what you already have that will work with that style by repurposing, recovering, repainting, etc. Decide what you can make yourself. Take your time and buy only what you love. When looking for a particular item, have in mind what colors and materials you want it to be and do searches based on that till you find the item you want at a price you are willing to live with.

 

I'm not fond of rugs either, but a nice rug in the living room helps to define the seating area and connects everything.

 

ETA my personal opinion: The furniture you have chosen would go well with a mission or craftsman style look. You could also go in the direction of what is called "country chic." The blue recliner doesn't really fit the look, but you may not care, or it could be put in an out of the way corner. Since the furniture is dark, I would choose a lighter neutral and one or two light or medium toned accent colors to go with it, preferably on the warm side. You could also choose one accent color and use it in various shades. Cool colors with grey overtones would not go well with your furniture. No lavender, lol. Think of this as general guidelines, not hard and fast rules.

 

Ugh, I think our favorites are cool shades (purple/lav, blue, blue-greens, greys)...is there any way to make that work with that furniture?  I actually went to Sam's today and looked at the table and couch/recliner.  The couch and recliner are a bit lighter than they look on my computer screen (they aren't tan, but they aren't almost black either)  but the table is definitely dark.  GAH!!!!  Maybe I better look for a different couch?  My kitchen in the house we own is grey...like grey cabinets and countertops and we don't plan on redoing that...ever.  (If we ever replace the countertops, we'll match it to the grey cabinets, they're custom and not easily painted.  Our kitchen is huge, it's where we hang out, our big screen TV and a couch go in it....  crap LOL.

 

I am no help with the major stuff, but I can share that Home Depot online has a surprisingly large selection of area rugs for really good prices. I just bought a 9'x12' rug for my living room for under $300, including tax and free shipping.

 

Thank you!

 

I agree: Home Depots area rugs are really nice. I had a dog ruin one years ago and I wished I'd just replaced it.

 

I buy so much from Craig's List or Goodwill -- NEVER couches or material type items, but tables? Absolutely? Pictures, paintings? Yes! You can save a fortune by getting certain items that way.

 

And if you're nervous meeting in someone's home, request to meet at a local parking lot.

 

Alley

 

I'll talk to DH about the table, but I'm pretty sure the response won't be fit for polite company LOL.  (I found a GORGEOUS blue full-leather couch set on CL when we first got here, I mean the type of leather that costs thousands and thousands, for $500 from an estate sale.  I was dying to go see it, he wouldn't even hear of it, sigh.)

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Since we're talking about money and budgets lately  :hurray:

 

I need to decorate our house when we move. (The one we're moving into lol)  Unfortunately DH's new job means we have to entertain occasionally.  So....

 

1.  I need to spend as little as possible.

2.  This will be a "rental" so I can't do paint or other structural stuff.  Fairly certain the walls will be off-white.

3.  I think I was supposed to be a guy, I have zero sense of fashion, decor, colors, nothing, nada.

4.  I need it ALL.  Literally the only decorations I have family photos and a couple of military things.  Window treatments (white blinds are there, so just accent type treatments would be fine), wall decor, some knick-knack type decor (I would love *useful* decor, I despise dusting figurines, I have tons of Scentsy warmers, but I have cats that love to knock them over and spill the wax, so I can't use those for decoration, sigh.  Also, stuff has to be heavy enough they can't knock it over, unless there's some way to electrify it so if they get near it zaps them  :thumbup:

5.  I have zero artistic talent, I can't even draw decent stick figures.  I can sew to some extent, and I can follow some crafting instructions (not knitting, but I can crochet), but I'm not a crafty person by nature and need step-by-step instructions.

6.  I have to buy all new furniture for this house, going to link the things I'm looking at, if you have cheaper suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  I do intend these couches I buy to be the last ones in my life...I'm 43 now  :laugh:

7.  I will NOT buy used furniture.  Cost me $4000 to get rid of bed bugs a few years ago, plus the treatment ruined about $1000 worth of new Ikea furniture...never again.  Also, the used market where we are moving is quite limited, I've been kinda watching Craigslist to see how it was.

 

So far, I have one idea, and I need some color help on it.  I found some YouTube tutorials on acrylic painting step-by-step, so I've ordered some cheap supplies to see if I can do it.  If so, that seems like a cheap way to spruce up my walls, not sure how much will be overkill.  I need some paint color suggestions to tie in with the furniture, I think?  Not sure if we will buy any area rugs, we hate carpet and rugs but sometimes a house echoes badly without some in there to absorb sound.  Anyway, I can probably handle getting rugs that go with the decor. 

 

My one idea is a

 to go over one or both couches.  Any thoughts on whether that would be tacky?  And, if it would be ok, how large would you do it, and what colors would you use?  (Couch is linked below)  I do have one recliner we're keeping, but it will go upstairs if it looks horrible downstairs with the new couches.  It's close to the Pacific color here (it is a lift chair but not that brand)

 

I would also like to do a few more paintings (if they look decent enough), I intend to try this one next week:  

.  It has
that goes along with it, but I'm not in love with that one.  This one is OK, I love the colors, but it's kinda blah:  
.  Love this one, not sure if I will ever have the skill for it, I'll see how the easier looking ones go:  
.  I do have some photos framed that I took of the aurora when we lived in Alaska.

 

Sorry so long, here's my tentative furniture plan and a rough floor plan:

 

Floor plan:  http://imgur.com/6u81jPB (the pink is doors and windows and the rectangle against the wall in the family room is a fireplace, we're hoping to be able to mount our TV over it)

 

Couch and matching recliner.  Thinking a couch and 2 recliners (one being the blue one above) in the living room, and a couch and recliner in the family room.  

 

Dining table in dining room.  Breakfast nook *might* have an old couch in it and be our schoolroom, if I can figure out a pretty way to close off that doorway/large opening to it when we have guests.

 

2 End Tables and 1 coffee table, I'm thinking one end table in the family room, and one end table and the coffee table in the living room.  Could probably find cheaper tables for that purpose but hubby and I like that they have a dual purpose (the storage)

 

Anyone have any good ideas for me?  Or links to good ideas?  I see a lot of crafty stuff on Pinterest, but I never know how to tie things together, sigh.

 

FTR, I would never mount a TV over a fireplace. That puts it way, way too high. We spent a long weekend with friends who had done that, and Mr. Ellie and I hated it. The TV should be about eye level when you're sitting down. I would mount it on the short wall, with sofa against the longer window wall--not facing the fire place--and your recliner at its right corner, angled in toward the fireplace/TV, if you see what I mean. But I would put the sofa out from the wall, so it doesn't bang into it. In our house, we put a piece of wood on the floor behind the sofa feet where it can't be seen, and it keeps the sofa from sliding back when we sit on it.

 

I like the dining table and the coffee table/end tables. I like your wall art ideas, although I wouldn't do the same one in both rooms. Not a fan of the sofa, though. Sorry.

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Ugh, so DH and I just read an article about leather furniture, and I can say we won't be buying the couch/recliner from Sam's.  Guess it's back to cloth, as I'm fairly certain real leather is way out of my price range right now.  Funny, I just found another beautiful blue couch set a couple hours away...wonder if I can find someone to treat just the couch and loveseat for bed bugs, hmmmm.  

 

Any suggestions on the best type of fabric/good brands I should look at for couches and recliners?  We've had microfiber types most of our marriage, I don't exactly love it, but it's not horrible either.  If it's going to be cloth, it's got to be easy to clean, blah.

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I've had to buy some furniture recently and it's been stressful and expensive so I can commiserate!

 

I'm not much help in the where to buy category. But if you are looking for ideas or inspiration may I suggest you watch a few episodes of my new favorite show? - Fixer Upper.

 

This couple will remodel a dilapidated home and the wife decorates it and she does beautiful work. I've been watching on Netflix and Amazon.  It's given me a vision of what I want my home to look like which has really helped.  Now I can go shopping and not wander through the stores wondering what to buy, kwim? hth

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FTR, I would never mount a TV over a fireplace. That puts it way, way too high. We spent a long weekend with friends who had done that, and Mr. Ellie and I hated it. The TV should be about eye level when you're sitting down. I would mount it on the short wall, with sofa against the longer window wall--not facing the fire place--and your recliner at its right corner, angled in toward the fireplace/TV, if you see what I mean. But I would put the sofa out from the wall, so it doesn't bang into it. In our house, we put a piece of wood on the floor behind the sofa feet where it can't be seen, and it keeps the sofa from sliding back when we sit on it.

 

I like the dining table and the coffee table/end tables. I like your wall art ideas, although I wouldn't do the same one in both rooms. Not a fan of the sofa, though. Sorry.

 

I will pass that info on to DH.  We aren't even sure it can be mounted there, friends who have lived in those houses said they couldn't find studs, but I can't imagine that stretch of wall does not have studs.  (Aren't most houses 16" apart for studs?)  Great idea about the board, too, thank you!

 

I've had to buy some furniture recently and it's been stressful and expensive so I can commiserate!

 

I'm not much help in the where to buy category. But if you are looking for ideas or inspiration may I suggest you watch a few episodes of my new favorite show? - Fixer Upper.

 

This couple will remodel a dilapidated home and the wife decorates it and she does beautiful work. I've been watching on Netflix and Amazon.  It's given me a vision of what I want my home to look like which has really helped.  Now I can go shopping and not wander through the stores wondering what to buy, kwim? hth

 

Awesome, I have both Amazon and Netflix, I'll get to watching.

 

I don't even know where to begin to find the furniture I want.  (I'm sure what I want is more than what I want to spend, but I can't even *find* it to know prices.  My mom has a leather couch in a light turquoise that I love (I would get a different color), she used to have a matching loveseat.  She also bought a leather chair (it looks like a mini-couch) and ottoman a few years later in a deeper blue that I LOVE the color on.  Anyway, she can't remember where she bought them.  I thought maybe Basset and went into one recently.  Everything in there was ugly, expensive, and that article says they use bonded leather, too.  Ashley and Rooms to Go are bonded leather.  I checked Ethan Allen's website, and they don't have the style I'm looking for, plus my mom says she's certain it wasn't Ethan Allen where she got hers.

 

I got "the look" when I talked to DH about the set I really like on CL, but...he's leaving for a few weeks and if I could get it treated for bed bugs before I brought it home....  I sent an email to a company that treats for them to see if maybe they have a place they could treat it for me, and I emailed the CL ad to see if I can get more pics and a better description.  I see the style of couch/loveseat I want on CL but I just can't figure out where to buy them.

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I would suggest that you do things a bit at a time.  If your initial purcheses of furniture are fairly neutral, you might want to wait a bit before decising on an overall colour scheme.  My reasoning is that sometimes you discover that what you thought might work, won't.  For example, I had initially thought of painting our dining area in a yellow or warm colour - summer ended that idea, the room can get hot and yellow would have been terribly stuffy.  For things like fabric it can be more flexible, but you still might find that living the place makes it clear what would be nice.

 

And if you can take a bit of time, you can build things up in layers, you won't end up over the top, you'll be able to find things you really like, and it spreads the cost out.

 

I think as far as the couches and recliners, I would avoid having the three match.  Those leather couches are large and can really dominate, and if the chairs are in a different fabric it might provide some contrast.  The chairs could match each other, or you could have one in a plain fabric and one in a print.  The blue leather couch is quite funky, not my style but I think it could be quite fun and really set the tone for the whole room. I am pictureing it with some yellow, maybe a sort of sheet curtains that could go over the blinds, or an area rug.   I would not get leather chairs to match though.  Personally I don't do much in the way of cushions because they end up on the floor, but I do like throws, I curl up in them in the evening to read or watch tv.  If you go with that I would try and find some paint chips or websites for colour combinations to get some ideas.

 

I think the paintings are a great idea and could be fun, but I agree with the poster who said to not rush.  A giant one over the couch sounds great to me.  Often it looks better to have very large artwork, or a group of smaller pieces.  A single smaller piece feels safe, but it can easily end up looking lost on a wall.  I am very sympathetic to your bed bug woes, but I don't think I would give up looking for used artwork, that is the best way to find neat stuff.

 

A wall of family photos can also be a nice thing to have, if they are all framed similarly it is fairly easy to coordinate them.

 

If you have a library near by, I would go and get a bunch of books from the interior decorating section.  Mostly to look at the photos - see what speaks to you, and then look at the elements or what the different pictures have in common.

 

 

ETA - some people feel very differently than I do about this, but I would never buy artwork because it matched, or even worry about it.  I buy what I like (and can afford.)  Once I get it home I find a spot that shows it off to its best advantage, but generally that doesn't mean it has to match - you just don't want it to look distorted.  In fact I'd say matchy artwork looks a little odd.

Edited by Bluegoat
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I would suggest that you do things a bit at a time.  If your initial purcheses of furniture are fairly neutral, you might want to wait a bit before decising on an overall colour scheme.  My reasoning is that sometimes you discover that what you thought might work, won't.  For example, I had initially thought of painting our dining area in a yellow or warm colour - summer ended that idea, the room can get hot and yellow would have been terribly stuffy.  For things like fabric it can be more flexible, but you still might find that living the place makes it clear what would be nice.

 

And if you can take a bit of time, you can build things up in layers, you won't end up over the top, you'll be able to find things you really like, and it spreads the cost out.

 

I think as far as the couches and recliners, I would avoid having the three match.  Those leather couches are large and can really dominate, and if the chairs are in a different fabric it might provide some contrast.  The chairs could match each other, or you could have one in a plain fabric and one in a print.  The blue leather couch is quite funky, not my style but I think it could be quite fun and really set the tone for the whole room. I am pictureing it with some yellow, maybe a sort of sheet curtains that could go over the blinds, or an area rug.   I would not get leather chairs to match though.  Personally I don't do much in the way of cushions because they end up on the floor, but I do like throws, I curl up in them in the evening to read or watch tv.  If you go with that I would try and find some paint chips or websites for colour combinations to get some ideas.

 

I think the paintings are a great idea and could be fun, but I agree with the poster who said to not rush.  A giant one over the couch sounds great to me.  Often it looks better to have very large artwork, or a group of smaller pieces.  A single smaller piece feels safe, but it can easily end up looking lost on a wall.  I am very sympathetic to your bed bug woes, but I don't think I would give up looking for used artwork, that is the best way to find neat stuff.

 

A wall of family photos can also be a nice thing to have, if they are all framed similarly it is fairly easy to coordinate them.

 

If you have a library near by, I would go and get a bunch of books from the interior decorating section.  Mostly to look at the photos - see what speaks to you, and then look at the elements or what the different pictures have in common.

 

 

ETA - some people feel very differently than I do about this, but I would never buy artwork because it matched, or even worry about it.  I buy what I like (and can afford.)  Once I get it home I find a spot that shows it off to its best advantage, but generally that doesn't mean it has to match - you just don't want it to look distorted.  In fact I'd say matchy artwork looks a little odd.

 

I don't really have time to wait...I need to have the house looking nice almost immediately after we move in.  (I know that sounds dumb, but we've known this day would come, had saved and planned for it, and then our house fell apart and needed a gazillion dollars in repairs (ok, only about $55k over 3 years, but it feels like a gazillion))  We will have to entertain within weeks of arriving.  (This is not pleasure entertaining, I wouldn't care how my house looked for that, friends can take it the way it is or not come imo)  Anyway, I'm not sure about the blue couches (If I were to get the CL ones I linked, I would put one in the LR and one in the family room, and then find recliners that went well with them)  I found a bed bug company that will treat a Uhaul full of stuff for $600.  If I say, bought those couches and found some nice end tables, a coffee table, and a dining room set all at the same time, that might be economical.  I'm waiting for the owner to get out of a meeting to see if he would do just the couches for cheaper.  If I'm going to do that route, tho, I really have to hurry, I have less than 2 months until my moving truck comes.  (I'm in a well populated area now, I won't be after we move and CL there seems to be quite limited)

 

My mom tossed out a suggestion today, not sure how we feel about it.  She suggested I drive down (about 1000 miles) with my truck, rent a Uhaul trailer, and take her stuff.  She has a couch and matching recliner (I like the color, don't love it, but I love the couch itself.  Apparently down the road when finances aren't so tight, I could get it dyed if I grow to hate it), and then a nice leather chair (it's almost like a couch for one, not sure how to describe it, also she knows she bought that from Lazy Boy lol), and she has one of the dining tables (beautiful teak).  Financially, that would probably be the cheapest, about $250 in gas, plus 2 nights in a hotel, plus the cost to rent a Uhaul trailer...BUT.....I'd be comfortable taking her table, it's really too big for her house, and we've been supposed to take it for years.  The couch and chairs, though...she never offered them until we were talking about leather (we were adamantly opposed to leather for about 15 years and only have started liking it the past 3-5 years, and she knew that) furniture a couple of years ago.  Here's the thing, she uses the recliner ALL THE TIME, and I don't want to take furniture she loves just because she wants to help us (she, of course, knows all about the money we've had to pay for our house).  Another thing is, we have cats, and her stuff is that butter soft leather.  I would be livid if the cats' claws destroyed it.  My little guy just had some allergy testing done, I don't *think* he's allergic to the cats, but if he is, I am finding them new homes.  (Flame away, allergy treatments/shots for cats aren't quite there yet, and his major symptom, a cough, is awful, Zyrtec does nothing for him)  Anyway, my mom suggested waiting to make a firm decision until we get his allergy test results in a couple of weeks about whether to give up on leather and go with a decent cloth.

 

For your edit, my mom actually said the exact same thing this morning.  To give an idea of the colors I like, I LOVE this painting, and I think I'm going to go to an event next month to paint it (Groupon has a $25 deal for it):  https://paintnite.com/events/1047365.html  It has the colors of both my mom's couch/recliner, and the leather chair in it lol.

Edited by Catalytic
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I haven't had good luck with real, soft,  leather and cats.  But, maybe your mom wants to get new furniture for herself?

 

She wants her exact furniture in purple haha.  She can easily afford it, but she won't do it.  I jokingly told her at Christmas, I would take her current furniture and then she would have to buy the purple she wants.  But, when it came up today, she talked about how she would get a couch from my aunt's and a chair from my grandmother's....so, I just don't know.  My mom isn't shy about changing her furniture at all, so I think she must really like it.  The only reason she doesn't have a different dining table is because I laid claim to that table when she bought it when I was 12, so she's just waiting for me to actually take it. *eta, I wouldn't feel guilty about the dining table, just the leather furniture, is what I was trying to say.

 

My cats don't have front claws, but I read somewhere that when they launch themselves that their back claws tear up/puncture leather.  So, I guess if the cats stay (and they will if he isn't allergic, we aren't folks that rehome our animals without a good reason, these guys are all rescues actually), we better resign ourself to a sturdy cloth.

Edited by Catalytic
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I haven't read through the whole thread, sorry if this is a repeat!  Have you clicked around in Houzz?  http://www.houzz.com/

 

You can see pictures of fabulous living rooms done by designers: http://www.houzz.com/photos/living-room

 

And you can save things into your own idea books - that could give you an idea of what sorts of colors and items you like.

 

Then you can look through their advice section and see regular living rooms of regular people and advice given to them by readers and designers on how to make their regular home look a little more put together:  http://www.houzz.com/discussions/query/living-room

 

It's some of my favorite window shopping! It can be frustrating to look at all the amazing homes with 2 story fireplaces and grand entries, when you really just need help figuring out your 80's shag carpet, but you can search different words and get a feel for what you like.  Also, things are more down to earth in the advice section.  Just last night I was reading advice given to a young man about putting a house together.  You could see that he was just going to furniture stores, buying the set right of the floor, and trying to get it all of this big stuff fit in his little house - should have measured!! 

 

I love leather couches.  We have a dark brown set that is 12 years old, has survived 4 military moves, and still looks and feels great.  They are a nice solid base, and I can change up the look of the room with different pillows, curtains, rug, and accessories (handy with all those moves).  

 

I think you can be ready to entertain without a bunch of art or cutesy things.  Start with a nice couch/sectional.  2 end tables.  maybe a big chair.  Some nicely framed photos of your family in a grouping.  The end.  As time goes on, you may want a coffee table, book shelf, art, etc. 

 

Table and chairs are easy to find on craigslist.  I will be selling a nice cherry oval table with 2 leaves, 5 chairs, and a hutch when we move.  I bought them on craigslist for less than $200 for the set.  

 

One scary thing about buying furniture from a store, is that they often will not deliver the big items for a couple of months! Sometimes floor models are available.  Sounds like a fun opportunity to buy a few good solid things that you love, and fill in with this and that!

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We had a similar situation.  We sold our house, had to go into temporary housing and could not place our stuff in storage units due to severe allergies, and ended up getting rid of nearly everything we owned and began again.  I had to have the house up and going immediately due to needing to entertain.

 

A few thoughts:

1. IKEA really can be your best friend. We rented a moving truck for a day, and filled it.  It was totally worth it in savings.  

2. If you are entertaining a lot, you need flexible seating. We have two tables that can extend out to seat 12 each, and we have an open layout that for really large gatherings, people can be in chairs and on couches to eat.

3. We went leather. It's wipeable, and best for allergies. We drove to a pottery barn outlet to pick up our couches; they were about 1/2 retail price there, which allowed us to get them.

4. Use pinterest to figure out what your style is. Mine is white walls/wood/minimalist.  Generally, you will need to plan to get some area rugs, a couple of pillows and a throw for the couch. We have not done much in the way of artwork yet, because our house has high ceilings and we need some large scale stuff.  Most people do not put enough texture into their decorating, and they choose too wide of a color range. If you are wanting to have your house look pulled together, pick 1-3 colors that you are going to repeat over and over in the home. For me, those are peacock blue and emerald green and honeycomb yellow.  Nearly everything repeats off of those, especially since I have dark wood and white walls to give me light and dark contrast.  

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Is it so remote that you couldn't hire a decorator? Because with what you've laid out, that's what I'd do. Hire a decorator to buy and place the agreed upon furniture, art, etc. for you.

 

A decorator will be able to get trade pricing on stuff, may have stuff already in storage she'd sell, etc. You've got a substantial budget listed there with the furniture you're buying -- hand it over to her and tell her to make a, b, c, and d fit into it, and e and f if she can manage it. If you really want to do the art piece yourself (do it LARGER than you think you need), do it NOW, send it to the decorator and have her use it as the inspiration piece.

 

 

But (opposite approach) it would actually be okay to entertain without all the furniture purchased and the decorating done. Especially if he's still in a military-oriented field -- everyone gets the moving thing. But what I'd do then is just hire/rent a caterer/party supply to fill your house with standing cocktail tables, small rounds, chairs, linens...

Edited by Rockhopper
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Much of our wall art came from Dollar General (it was more than $1 and you wouldn't know it came from there). Some of our art is that canvas that doesn't require a frame. I like that, so simple.

 

We got our living room curtains from Fred's. It's regional, but these curtains are online on other sites. They were $12 a panel which compared to several I looked at was a great price. We found the grommet style. This house is full of windows. I needed 8 panels just for my living room. Got the curtain rods from Wal-Mart. These are our curtains. http://www.curtainandbathoutlet.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/340x300/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/h/e/henna_chocolate_b.jpg

 

Our couch is a futon mattress, but since it is a pocket coil one it doesn't get all lumpy like our previous one. Just wish our frame fit with it better. We already had the frame. I don't know if you can still buy it, but there's an image of it on a moving ad on their site. http://www.us-mattress.com/futonbeds.html. Just an idea. I believe it was $500. Ours is queen and guests have stayed on it as a bed.

 

These are my dining room chairs. We needed new chairs and I didn't have much money to spend. I got them at Walmart online. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/45/17/95/45179590c8da7b3aacefbbcd8b6551bc.jpg I'm a little more worried about PVC now so I don't know if I would repurchase (they look like PVC not sure), but they have served their purpose and actually look better to me than the chairs that came with our set. We have a cheap table bought used. They are similar in style to the ones in your dining room photo. They are folding chairs which could be good or bad... just be careful not to collapse them when you move under table. But easy to carry across the house.

Edited by heartlikealion
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I haven't read through the whole thread, sorry if this is a repeat!  Have you clicked around in Houzz?  http://www.houzz.com/

 

You can see pictures of fabulous living rooms done by designers: http://www.houzz.com/photos/living-room

 

And you can save things into your own idea books - that could give you an idea of what sorts of colors and items you like.

 

Then you can look through their advice section and see regular living rooms of regular people and advice given to them by readers and designers on how to make their regular home look a little more put together:  http://www.houzz.com/discussions/query/living-room

 

It's some of my favorite window shopping! It can be frustrating to look at all the amazing homes with 2 story fireplaces and grand entries, when you really just need help figuring out your 80's shag carpet, but you can search different words and get a feel for what you like.  Also, things are more down to earth in the advice section.  Just last night I was reading advice given to a young man about putting a house together.  You could see that he was just going to furniture stores, buying the set right of the floor, and trying to get it all of this big stuff fit in his little house - should have measured!! 

 

I love leather couches.  We have a dark brown set that is 12 years old, has survived 4 military moves, and still looks and feels great.  They are a nice solid base, and I can change up the look of the room with different pillows, curtains, rug, and accessories (handy with all those moves).  

 

I think you can be ready to entertain without a bunch of art or cutesy things.  Start with a nice couch/sectional.  2 end tables.  maybe a big chair.  Some nicely framed photos of your family in a grouping.  The end.  As time goes on, you may want a coffee table, book shelf, art, etc. 

 

Table and chairs are easy to find on craigslist.  I will be selling a nice cherry oval table with 2 leaves, 5 chairs, and a hutch when we move.  I bought them on craigslist for less than $200 for the set.  

 

One scary thing about buying furniture from a store, is that they often will not deliver the big items for a couple of months! Sometimes floor models are available.  Sounds like a fun opportunity to buy a few good solid things that you love, and fill in with this and that!

 

Hubby is worried about buying a leather couch before we move because we are doing a DITY.  He's not sure we can protect it well enough, and we wouldn't have the military to repair/replace if it was damaged.  (Hmmm, I guess I could use renter's for that?  Not sure)  We plan to do military moves after that, but it's quite possible we will only have one more move after this one and that will be back to our own home.  Do you guys DITY with your couches?  If so, how do you protect them during moves?  (Thanks for the links, those will help a lot, esp the advice section!!!)  I'm watching CL, maybe I'll get lucky and find a whole house full of stuff I could put in a Uhaul and pay the $600 to have it heated LOL.  

 

The most frustrating thing about the military to me is the variety of houses.  (This is all from 2009 to now...)  We went from a 1700 sq ft house with a living/dining combo room and a family room, to a 2800sf house with a formal living room, a living room, and a combo family/dining room, to our house, 2800 sq ft with a huge (think 35' x 15' kitchen) and a living room that was slightly larger (maybe 42' long and 15' wide), to a 1300sf house with a dining room and a large living room, to a rented 3000sf house with only a large living room and a dining room on the main floor, to this house (1900sf, a living/dining room, and some stupid (STUPID!!!!!) front entry room that if you put a couch in it and a tv across from it, your knees would hit the couch...we use it for a pantry!).  All of this is housing, except the 3000sf we rented and our 2800 with the huge kitchen.

 

In the 1700, we had a couch and recliners, a sectional, a futon and 2 recliners.  (Friends would buy new furniture and I'd buy the old, usually had 7 kids in the house, we trashed couches every year or two).  In the family room, it was computer desks and tons of the wire squares with school stuff.

 

In the 2800, I bought a cheap couch/loveseat set at the PX for the formal room, and I bought a tan/brown microfiber dual recliner loveseat? used for $100 that we put in the living room with a recliner.  For this house and the previous, we had a folding table we used for eating lol.  Our sectional would not fit in this house, which was really weird given that it was so much larger.

 

Bought our house, put the couch/loveseat combo and the recliner in the living room and the loveseat in the kitchen.

 

For the 1300 house, we knew our furniture wasn't all going to fit so we got rid of the loveseat we had in the living room, and somehow squished the couch and tan/brown loveseat in that living room.  Bought this table from Amazon.  Bought the lift chair here and we had the other recliner, but it was on its last legs.

 

Pissed off at housing, rented the 3000 sq ft that was nice enough to come with bed bugs.......................  same furniture.

 

Moved here, being told we could only live in one neighborhood.  Checked out floor plans, Google Earth, etc.  Moved our stuff appropriately.  Got here, offered a house...no garage, no outside storage at all, yard smaller than a shed.  Huh?  Do they really not expect a career soldier to not have things that have to be stored outside?  Turned it down.  Next offer was a small home, huge yard, they wouldn't pre-approve a shed.  No garage, no outside storage, single car drive, and no parking on the street.  Again, huh?  Turned that down.  Waited 2 months for this "lovely" (ha!  haha!) house, with no yard, but it has a garage.  Had to put all my son's outside toys (couple of playground type things, etc) out for trash.  Had to get rid of tons of stuff we usually keep/store in the garage.  (Sleds, etc.  I kept all my woodworking stuff tho.)  We got new orders a week after we arrived here....and now we're headed to the house floorplan I put in the first post.  Essential personnel, we have to live on post.

 

I love the military life, love actually moving (not packing and all that, but love traveling to a new duty station), get antsy when we've been in one house for more than about 18 months LOL.

 

We had a similar situation.  We sold our house, had to go into temporary housing and could not place our stuff in storage units due to severe allergies, and ended up getting rid of nearly everything we owned and began again.  I had to have the house up and going immediately due to needing to entertain.

 

A few thoughts:

1. IKEA really can be your best friend. We rented a moving truck for a day, and filled it.  It was totally worth it in savings.  

2. If you are entertaining a lot, you need flexible seating. We have two tables that can extend out to seat 12 each, and we have an open layout that for really large gatherings, people can be in chairs and on couches to eat.

3. We went leather. It's wipeable, and best for allergies. We drove to a pottery barn outlet to pick up our couches; they were about 1/2 retail price there, which allowed us to get them.

4. Use pinterest to figure out what your style is. Mine is white walls/wood/minimalist.  Generally, you will need to plan to get some area rugs, a couple of pillows and a throw for the couch. We have not done much in the way of artwork yet, because our house has high ceilings and we need some large scale stuff.  Most people do not put enough texture into their decorating, and they choose too wide of a color range. If you are wanting to have your house look pulled together, pick 1-3 colors that you are going to repeat over and over in the home. For me, those are peacock blue and emerald green and honeycomb yellow.  Nearly everything repeats off of those, especially since I have dark wood and white walls to give me light and dark contrast.  

 

What exactly would you buy from IKEA?  (I mean for me)  We don't care for their couches, and I can't see it being worth it to go just for a table/chairs, and maybe some end/coffee tables?  (Don't get me wrong, we've only lived within 1.5 hours of an IKEA once and I miss it like crazy.  I love that store, took field trips there all the time to ogle the mini-home areas.)

 

We have the perfect table in storage, but it is likely molded and unusable.  (It's stored in a very humid climate without climate control and has been there for 4 years)  My mom's table has 6 chairs, and it might seat 8 comfortably with the leaf out.   I will be keeping our current dining table, and it will be suitable for use while entertaining with a table cloth on it.  It's not suitable for everyday use anymore tho, it's close to falling apart.  It will likely go in the breakfast nook to be used for school.

 

I think I like the minimalist look, too.  I LOVE your colors, except the yellow.  Peacock and emerald are definitely colors I like, maybe with a purple or pink?  (Don't want to get too girly or the rest of the household will complain lol)

 

Is it so remote that you couldn't hire a decorator? Because with what you've laid out, that's what I'd do. Hire a decorator to buy and place the agreed upon furniture, art, etc. for you.

 

A decorator will be able to get trade pricing on stuff, may have stuff already in storage she'd sell, etc. You've got a substantial budget listed there with the furniture you're buying -- hand it over to her and tell her to make a, b, c, and d fit into it, and e and f if she can manage it. If you really want to do the art piece yourself (do it LARGER than you think you need), do it NOW, send it to the decorator and have her use it as the inspiration piece.

 

 

But (opposite approach) it would actually be okay to entertain without all the furniture purchased and the decorating done. Especially if he's still in a military-oriented field -- everyone gets the moving thing. But what I'd do then is just hire/rent a caterer/party supply to fill your house with standing cocktail tables, small rounds, chairs, linens...

 

I called a decorator here a couple of months ago, by the time I pay for her/him, I'm down to thrift store furniture.  For all of the furniture I linked above, I'm only at $3200.  The paintings I want to do are merely to help with decorating.  I don't even know if I can paint lol.  I have supplies I bought cheap yesterday (thank you AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, and Joann's for the coupons, and thank you Michael's and Joann's for accepting competitor coupons!!!) to see if I can paint decently.  Hubby is leaving for a few weeks and has a milestone birthday while he is gone, so I really want to do a painting for his birthday (if I have enough skill/talent)  So Sunday I'll know, or be close to knowing, whether I can make decent artwork for our walls.  (I can't even imagine how expensive a caterer or party supply would be.  It seems like a waste of money when that money could be better spent buying permanent things, if that makes sense.)

 

I'd also spend some time looking at Wayfair and Dot & Bo, where they have rooms put together for you....

 

Here's one I love from Target: http://www.target.com/p/modern-colorful-living-room-collection/-/A-50887434#?lnk=L1L2_HomeD_32916_HERO%7CHERO%7CT:Template%20B-DVM%7CC:CMS&intc=3270565%7Cnull

 

Thanks!

 

Much of our wall art came from Dollar General (it was more than $1 and you wouldn't know it came from there). Some of our art is that canvas that doesn't require a frame. I like that, so simple.

 

We got our living room curtains from Fred's. It's regional, but these curtains are online on other sites. They were $12 a panel which compared to several I looked at was a great price. We found the grommet style. This house is full of windows. I needed 8 panels just for my living room. Got the curtain rods from Wal-Mart.

 

Our couch is a futon mattress, but since it is a pocket coil one it doesn't get all lumpy like our previous one. Just wish our frame fit with it better. We already had the frame. I don't know if you can still buy it, but there's an image of it on a moving ad on their site. http://www.us-mattress.com/futonbeds.html. Just an idea. I believe it was $500. Ours is queen and guests have stayed on it as a bed.

 

I'm wanting to do canvas that doesn't need frames.  I am definitely open to Dollar General and Fred's (except there is no Fred's there, but I love that store)  Hubby won't go for a futon, the house *might* have curtain rods, but I'm thinking they don't.  Maybe whomever lives there before us will leave theirs!

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Hmmmm, my IKEA shopping list:

 

1. I own both the Stornas table http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40184945/ withthe Ingolf chair in dark stain http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00217820/

 

as well as the Vilmar chair http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S79889750/ (which are truly stackable!!) and the Bjursta table http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20182315/

 

I actually like the Bjursta table better for the price. Both assembled nicely. Both have self-storing leaves. Both are easy to put together.

The Vilmar chair is easier to put together, less expensive, and stackable, but it's more modern in appearance.

 

I have the Bjursta table paired with a sideboard.  It's not big enough to be super functional, but it looks nice in the room.

 

I have to run, I'll try to jump in in a bit.

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(What are clean lines?  I do like the mirror idea quite a bit)

 

I love this, this is like my ideal house...no walls to worry about.  I'd get rid of the coffee table:  http://www.houzz.com/photos/52643017/Twin-Peaks-Olde-Towne-Southampton-New-York-transitional-family-room

 

This is sort of how I envisioned the family room (way too much stuff in there tho).  About the only way I see that we will have bookcases or shelves on the main floor would be if we got some to go beside the fireplace.  But this is the style I was thinking with the TV over the fireplace, plus hubby pretty much lives in the kitchen (he loves cooking) and then he would be able to see the TV clearly while he's in there:  http://www.houzz.com/discussions/1003626/dated-living-room-now-dream-living-room-hudson-residence-ii?n=58  (none of the colors or furniture in those pics appeals to me much)

 

Ugh, I'm starting to see a trend in what I like...and it won't work.  They all have light colored furniture, gah.

 

http://www.houzz.com/photos/50961235/Upper-West-Side-Duplex-contemporary-living-room-new-york (an awful lot of grey, but it visually appeals to me.  I'd like to avoid grey furniture if I can because of my kitchen being grey in my house)

 

http://www.houzz.com/photos/52244480/Whole-Condo-Renovation-Town-of-Palm-Beach-FL-transitional-living-room-miami

 

http://www.houzz.com/photos/6361620/Live-Oak-transitional-living-room-san-francisco

 

http://www.houzz.com/photos/47038048/Briar-Chapel-Model-transitional-living-room-raleigh  This is my favorite, but no sectional...hrmmm...a sectional might work in the living room, and would work in our living room at home.  Could I make this work with maybe a dark grey couch, or black?  The colors are great.

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How old are your kids? They could make a few paintings, too, and then if they are bad you can just say that it is kids artwork and you love them!! I have seen a couple of fun simple designs, what if the whole family did a simple one with similar colors and themes and arranged them together.

 

Also, metal is easily treated for bedbugs. You could find some big metal hangings used and treat them easily and hang them. Also, giant clocks are fairly reasonable at big lots or any of the big box stores.

 

If you have a group who is going to do a going for you, explain your decorating dilema to them and ask for ideas around what you need, that would be better than the usual boring going away gifts.

 

A giant quilt or rug in colors you like hung from a curtain rod is easy and cheap, there are special clippy things you can buy to attach. I am so not martha stewart, but I understand...we just retired from the military and our last job my husband had to entertain immediately. My husband is actually better at decorating than me, LOL.

 

A friend at Ramstein just did a group painting that was a big flower that said bloom where you are planted, it was simple and big and bold and everyone chose different colors. She is crafty but not artistic and hers and everyones turned out well.

Edited by ElizabethB
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For our last few moves, we finally found a couch/sectional that was fully mix and match, good in any house. We found it cheap at weekends only, a furniture store that saves money by being open only fri, sat, sunday. Here is the pottery barn equilent, Dillards also had some when we were looking, but both more than we wanted to pay, but if you can find something like it elsewhere it is perfect for moves. Also, it is easy to move into different configurations for different types of entertaining, we have a different set up for Bible study vs. a lot of random friends or relatives over.

 

http://www.potterybarn.com/products/3295318/?catalogId=83&sku=3295318&bnrid=3380801&cm_ven=Google_PLA&cm_cat=Shopping&cm_pla=Feed&cm_ite=Google%20Base-3295318&kwid=productads-adid%5E43832183251-device%5Et-plaid%5E100649458891-sku%5E3295318-adType%5EPLA&gclid=CMTx_vz4oswCFYZefgodPLwLcA

 

Click on the picture with dozens of different pieces. They mix and match to be different variations of couch and chairs.

Edited by ElizabethB
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I'm wanting to do canvas that doesn't need frames.  I am definitely open to Dollar General and Fred's (except there is no Fred's there, but I love that store)  Hubby won't go for a futon, the house *might* have curtain rods, but I'm thinking they don't.  Maybe whomever lives there before us will leave theirs!

 

I edited my last post to also include links to ideas for cheap chairs if you want to piece something together.

 

I think I saw something somewhere about cats and furniture in this thread. I need to re-read but if cats are a concern, our recliner has never been bothered by our cat. Like she never sits on it or anything. I thought it was microfiber but when I looked it up it says 100% Polyester. The chairs with real or fake leather might be an issue with a kitty, though.

 

 

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How old are your kids? They could make a few paintings, too, and then if they are bad you can just say that it is kids artwork and you love them!! I have seen a couple of fun simple designs, what if the whole family did a simple one with similar colors and themes and arranged them together.

 

Also, metal is easily treated for bedbugs. You could find some big metal hangings used and treat them easily and hang them. Also, giant clocks are fairly reasonable at big lots or any of the big box stores.

 

If you have a group who is going to do a going for you, explain your decorating dilema to them and ask for ideas around what you need, that would be better than the usual boring going away gifts.

 

A giant quilt or rug in colors you like hung from a curtain rod is easy and cheap, there are special clippy things you can buy to attach. I am so not martha stewart, but I understand...we just retired from the military and our last job my husband had to entertain immediately. My husband is actually better at decorating than me, LOL.

 

A friend at Ramstein just did a group painting that was a big flower that said bloom where you are planted, it was simple and big and bold and everyone chose different colors. She is crafty but not artistic and hers and everyones turned out well.

 

Metal I would trust, assuming I could hit it with a hose or boiling water.  I won't have a going away here (I usually beg out of those anyway, but he's not in a position to have to worry about that right now, thankfully him being on new orders before he even signed in to the unit prevented them being able to do what they had planned as a job for him lol, he just puts out fires for now)

 

I LOVE the quilt idea, it's one I have wanted to do for a long time, but I have to make it first, that will probably be after retirement.  I can't bind to save my life, but my mom is good at it.  (I've actually had the cloth to make one I love for oh....10 years)  We have several of the unit throws that I wouldn't mind doing on a quilt rack, but boy would that mess with any color coordination LOL!  That might be a good idea for one side of the fireplace in the family room, though!

 

Talked to DH, any sectional we buy to fit the new house, will easily fit in our LR at home, and he really likes this room, too.  (I texted it to him, he has hated sectionals since we had to get rid of ours when it didn't fit, we swore we would never buy another!)

 

That sectional you linked is really cool.  I will definitely keep it in mind, but from PB it's beyond what I'm hoping to spend right now.  We aren't near a Weekends Only....I will have to go run around town and see if I can find any similar stuff in a local store.  DH really wants me to wait until we move to buy because of the worry about damaging it in the move, but we're near sooooo much right now and we won't have that luxury once we PCS, so we'll see.

 

For our last few moves, we finally found a couch/sectional that was fully mix and match, good in any house. We found it cheap at weekends only, a furniture store that saves money by being open only fri, sat, sunday. Here is the pottery barn equilent, Dillards also had some when we were looking, but both more than we wanted to pay, but if you can find something like it elsewhere it is perfect for moves. Also, it is easy to move into different configurations for different types of entertaining, we have a different set up for Bible study vs. a lot of random friends or relatives over.

 

http://www.potterybarn.com/products/3295318/?catalogId=83&sku=3295318&bnrid=3380801&cm_ven=Google_PLA&cm_cat=Shopping&cm_pla=Feed&cm_ite=Google%20Base-3295318&kwid=productads-adid%5E43832183251-device%5Et-plaid%5E100649458891-sku%5E3295318-adType%5EPLA&gclid=CMTx_vz4oswCFYZefgodPLwLcA

 

Click on the picture with dozens of different pieces. They mix and match to be different variations of couch and chairs.

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Forgot to say, the kids left at home are 18, 17, and 6, all boys, and hubby has horribly oily skin that makes light furniture a no-go in our home.

 

 

I edited my last post to also include links to ideas for cheap chairs if you want to piece something together.

 

I think I saw something somewhere about cats and furniture in this thread. I need to re-read but if cats are a concern, our recliner has never been bothered by our cat. Like she never sits on it or anything. I thought it was microfiber but when I looked it up it says 100% Polyester. The chairs with real or fake leather might be an issue with a kitty, though.

 

 

Yes, we do have cats, and I think we've settled on fabric now.  You guys are soooo helpful.  (I still want help, but an update will be forthcoming tonight LOL.)

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We have decided for the Living Room and dining room, need some coordination advice for that now.  (And we've possibly cut some costs depending on what sectional we find)

 

OK, so basing off this room design:  http://www.houzz.com/photos/47038048/Briar-Chapel-Model-transitional-living-room-raleigh

 

What we love:  The sectional, the window treatment, the big painting, basically we love the room directly above the couch.  Leave out the desk, the end table, and the round coffee table.

 

Help me make this work?

 

We're thinking a dark grey or "navy" blue sectional, maybe one that comes with a lot of pillows that I can make slipcovers for down the road.  (We didn't think we were pillow people until I found that room)  Also down the road, do the window treatment in the living room and dining room, in our colors.  Looks like that would be a total of 2 single windows and 2 double windows.  We would do some sort of artwork or picture (maybe even a coordinating poster?) right away.

 

We found some 2x4 tables we really like, has anyone ever built their own dining table?  We are thinking (in order of priorities) to build the dining table, then end tables, and then coffee table. (Hubby prefers the finish style in those pics, I prefer this one.  Neither one of us cares enough to argue about it, we'll find our happy spot when we build them.)  Down the road, or as needed, other tables to go throughout the house.  So we need to tie in this table style in the family room when we figure that room out.  Here are the 2x4 tables (we have the tools to build them and we should find those quickly after we unload so we think we could have the dining table ready fairly quickly), then spend time unpacking, and then get to the end and coffee tables.  Eventually hubby thinks maybe a table in the dining room sort of like a sideboard (made from the coffee table plans) to set things on for serving from.

 

Any thoughts?  We like blues, greens (I prefer Emerald more than Kelly), and he's good with like a deep purple.  That wouldn't make it quite as bright as the photo room, but would it still look nice?  

 

Thinking for this room is find sectional in either blue or dark grey, do or buy a large painting, trying to hold to the 3 colors.  Then buy fabric to make the window treatments with a little extra for one or two slipcovers.  And later get some solid fabric in "our" colors for other pillows (depending on how many we have).  Hubby LOVES the mirror idea, so much that possibly we will have several.  I love the idea of using it as a whiteboard, so I'm thinking either a mirror or a collage of art/photos in the dining room on one wall and leave the other wall plain.  (If the breakfast nook gets planned to be our schoolroom, I would do a mirror in there for a whiteboard)  Rug down the road if needed.

 

Will those colors work well together?

 

Can anyone tell me what that type of window treatment is called so I can search for some DIY versions?

 

I'm looking for an easy to clean, keeps a nice look with 3-4 time a year shampooing, fabric for the sectional.  Hubby kinda like the microfiber and wants to spray it with Scotchguard...has anyone done that?  Does it mess up the look?  I feel like the regular textured cloth like is on cloth car seats might be better?  Would love thoughts on this, again, we have cats and a dog who is allowed on furniture.

 

(I can't begin to thank you all enough, it's a huge relief to be making progress on my planning!  Now I need to find some family room ideas and I need to find some examples of rooms with just chairs, no couches to show hubby for a thought I had about the family room.  He tested the TV over the fireplace thing, and it will NOT be going over the fireplace.  More about the family room in another post later LOL)

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For wooden furniture... coffee table, dining room table, end tables, desk, etc. have you considered used? I don't think the bed bug thing would be applicable. When I was single I got my coffee table and end tables at a used furniture store. I think they are all solid wood. One of our chest of drawers was bought from the local newspaper classifieds and appears to be solid wood (got it for $60).

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For wooden furniture... coffee table, dining room table, end tables, desk, etc. have you considered used? I don't think the bed bug thing would be applicable. When I was single I got my coffee table and end tables at a used furniture store. I think they are all solid wood. One of our chest of drawers was bought from the local newspaper classifieds and appears to be solid wood (got it for $60).

 

If someone has a bad infestation, bed bugs can be anywhere.  Unless I happen on some amazing deal for a whole house of furniture I love, the $600 for treating seems steep.  I have bought tons of used furniture in the past, my mother likes to buy new-to-her furniture every month it seems (she has a thing for bedroom suits)...we've never gotten bed bugs from them.  Bed bugs are on the rise now, due to many reasons and it's just not worth it to me.

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If someone has a bad infestation, bed bugs can be anywhere.  Unless I happen on some amazing deal for a whole house of furniture I love, the $600 for treating seems steep.  I have bought tons of used furniture in the past, my mother likes to buy new-to-her furniture every month it seems (she has a thing for bedroom suits)...we've never gotten bed bugs from them.  Bed bugs are on the rise now, due to many reasons and it's just not worth it to me.

 

Ok I didn't know exactly where they could survive. Sorry. Now that you mention it, there was a "bed bugs" warning on a piano in a show I watched the other day.

 

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I've found really nice wall hangings at Ross, TJ Maxx, Target and Kohls. You can buy a few large pieces that color coordinate to really tie a room together. That's what always made our rental apartments and rental houses feel like home.

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(OK, I officially hate furniture shopping!)  We've found one sectional we both like, I'm leery of Ashley, but this gets 5 stars from almost everyone on every site I can find reviews. (There are a couple 4 stars but the rest are 5)  My biggest concern is the longevity, people say it cleans up very easily.  http://colemanfurniture.com/tambo-pewter-sectional.htm#product_tabs_review  

 

Some people think it has a green hint to it, others say it's black-grey.  I'm thinking maybe it looks different depending on surroundings.

 

Anyone have any experience with Ashley?  This model is apparently discontinued, so we can't go see it in a store.

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I've bought furniture (bedroom, coffee and end tables, and 2 sets of couches) from Ashley Furniture and have been happy with everything. One set of couches that I bought were very inexpensive and are looking pretty shabby (but still comfy) but I expected that because of the low price.

 

Thanks....would I be stretching to hope they would look nice for about 5 years?  (Unlikely to get daily use in that room, though the cats may hang out there.)  After that, I'd like them to last but I don't care if they get squishy or lumpy (we don't use the living room  much in our house either, we hang out in the kitchen)

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