Please Help!

jstillsJuly 13, 2014
I am in grad school living on the cheap but I can't stand the cheap, unsightly furniture inhabiting my living room. I desperately need to upgrade but I'm no good at design. What do you think I should do with the space?
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Hi, are you renting? I would replace the eating table with bar stools, get a patterned rug, remove the mini blinds on the French doors (use vinyl decal window film for privacy or leave bare), couch is fine, add a mantel or shelf over fireplace and mount tv there. If you own it, add molding under bar area, and get some paint somewhere that isn't green. Also, replace coffee table with glass/metal one. And hang three pieces of large art. If the bike has to stay, suspend it on pulley system. Then show some pics! Good luck
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by jstills    July 14, 2014 at 4:56PM
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Find a beautiful, colorful quilt at an antique store to put over the back on onto the cushions of the sofa. The rug color doesn't work with the walls, at least on the monitor .If you can afford a different rug I suggest a larger one with some red in it. One of the most important things in decorating, which a lot of people seem not to understand, is organization and timidness. Your place looks very orderly, so congrats on that. Can you hoist the bike up somewhere and make it sort of part of the decor. Maybe a framed poster of a bike to complement it? I don't see any lamps in your photos. A mod floor lamps would add interest. Look on CB 2 web page for some cool, not too expensive stuff that would appeal to students. I'll be watching for further developments.
    Bookmark   Thanked by jstills    July 14, 2014 at 6:44PM
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Trish, yes, I am renting! So that does limit how much I want to improve the unit. I think you are BOTH right that the rug needs to be replaced with something more complementary to the surroundings - red sounds delightful! And thanks for the website, Rainy!

I actually ride my bike every day to school, thus it HAS to stay (then again, maybe I could park it in my room - what do you think?) Either way, I will look into my options for storing it.

Bar stools seem like the way to go, but my roommate would still like a table as well. Maybe I could put a table by the French doors. Do you think a glass table would be the way to go? I'll look into window coverings, I definitely like that idea.

I would LOVE to have a mantle, but as a student I'm reluctant to put down money on fixed improvements - especially since I may move out in a year or so. What do you think about this entertainment center I found on Craigslist? It seems like it could cover the fireplace completely so you don't know it's there (a less desirable solution, I admit).

I need to replace the couch, unfortunately, because it is so uncomfortable, I have guests sleep over sometimes and I feel bad having them (or me) sleep on it (plus there are some stains on it that don't show up in the photo - I don't want to know where they came from, lol gross!). But I think another black couch would be fine, don't you?

Thank you both for your insight! I will post more pics soon!
    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 6:44PM
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Would the bookcase in the corner fit between the French doors and entry? If so, maybe the table will fit in that corner. I would keep the table and chairs that you have if your roommate wants to have a table. Skip getting bar stools in that case. It's small enough and nice style so you don't need to be spending money for a new one. Definitely store your bike in the bedroom. Not terribly convenient but you have to make the most of limited space. The Craig's List unit would help organized your stuff along with the TV. Once you do that you may see another way to arrange that table. What's behind the French doors?
    Bookmark   Thanked by jstills    July 18, 2014 at 6:36AM
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I think the CL unit, a new rug and sofa will do it. I see that both of you need a place to work so the desk and table are both useful. I'd place the bookcase flat against that wall and move the floor lamp to the right of the desk to serve it and the sofa. Take down the art from between the doors. If you want to hang it somewhere else, try the bedroom where it should hang with its center 5' above the floor or with its frame 5" above a piece of furniture. Would it work over your bed?
    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:49AM
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I like the white entertainment center. It will also let you ditch the cd stand.
    Bookmark   Thanked by jstills    July 18, 2014 at 7:25AM
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Oh, bookcase, not CDs. The books should fit in the EC.
    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:27AM
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First, I wouldn't buy the craigslist entertainment center for $140 when you can get this new one from Ikea for $149:
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by jstills    July 18, 2014 at 7:37AM
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On a limited budget, I don't think you can do better than Ikea. The entertainment center is $149, rugs (they're small; get two) $20 each, Lack coffee table $30, and if you can spring for the Ektorp sofa at $499, it will last you many years and probably end up in your basement rec room, still usable in another decade or so. Art over sofa is $50, but it's big.

Take the picture down from between the doors. It's too high and doesn't fit, and art rarely goes between doors and/or windows.
    Bookmark   Thanked by jstills    July 18, 2014 at 8:27AM
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I especially like that Ikea sofa. (By the way, the word Ikea means "particleboard in Swedish! LOL)
    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:43PM
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If the Craigslist EC is wood, not particle board I'd buy that. Particle board outgasses formaldehyde from the glue.
    Bookmark   Thanked by jstills    July 19, 2014 at 11:28AM
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