Help! Cant get perspective on my brooklyn home

axmaxmFebruary 19, 2013
My living room and kitchen are are combined at the entrance of my apartment. To the south i have three relatively large windows, all unfortunately calcified and almost opaque for now. My budget currently is none. I am looking more for a solution as regards arrangement and flow and breathability in this area. I have tried numerous things, built furniture and, in part because not all my pieces match, combined with the off white walls and never-quite-straight-wooden tiles, i cant seem, quite simply, to gain perspective on how to possibly modernize and minimize this space. There are early attempts ranging from the small shelving units i made on thw far wall, but to this day i wake up and feel like i cant see the solution. Any ideas on arrangement, what to rid, what to add? My best
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You do have a lot of stuff and your shelves seem useless. Take them down and build vertical shelving units between and at the ends of all of the windows - floor to ceiling. Style them with 1/3 books, 1/3 open space and 1/3 decor items. When you can, install matchstick blinds to hide the opaque windows. The mirror doesn't help since it reflects double the clutter, and another set of the windows you don't like. Get rid of it, and get some boxes. Pack up everything that is loose - pillows, candles, books, pictures, throws - all of it. The boxes should be labeled "Don't Want," "Warm Season" and "Cool Season." This way you are not compelled to use all your stuff all the time, and it will look new again when you bring it out and switch seasonally. Toss out the old plants and plan to replace them with new ones this spring. Float the seating pieces on an area rug in the middle of the room. Put the desk on the wall where the mirror was. Take a new set of pics and see what happens!
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:28AM
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On the positive side, your windows give you good light. The floor looks to be in good shape. And you have skills for putting up shelves. You need to start with a serious decluttering effort: spend a Saturday morning on it. Ask a neat friend to help and get some good strong coffee to start. Put on some dance music and get to it.

I agree with decoenthusiaste's ideas about a big shelving unit. If you can't afford to build what she suggests yet, try putting your two current bookcases against the wall. Put a large poster in good shape up over the bookcases. As you take out the books prior to moving the bookcases, purge their contents to make everything fit with a couple linear feet of breathing room. Take down the current shelves: the brackets may be useful when you have the money for deeper shelves.

I suggest you plan to get rid of the metal frame structure. It doesn't seem to serve any purpose. If it is supposed to be a coffee table, it is not doing its job. You can find a better one on Craigslist.

Much of what I see looks like clutter. You might try for decluttering and getting things under control.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:58AM
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Do you need everything in that room? That is your first big step. If you don't LOVE it, let it go. Be honest with yourself. Is the tennis racket really important to you? if so, make it special. Put a clunky frame around it, paint it a great color and paint the wall behind it a different color. Voila! A work of art! Get rid of as much as possible. Then take pictures with every light on.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:14AM
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Melissa Doan - Weidel Realtors - New Hope
I'm going to tell you what I would do with ZERO budget, and hope that it helps. Your first step is to get a whole bunch of like trash bags OR boxes or bin (no joke, make sure they are all the same size, shape, and color.). Step 2, begin separating your objects by purpose - use the following purposes (kitchen/cooking - office/work - purely decorative - liesure/sport). Now separate all the objects using the like bags/boxes available to you and CLOSE them. Do not look at ANY of your stuff at the moment. It is then and only then that you will be able to reimagine/visualize a better flow for the space. NEXT step 3 will be to divide your apt into sections (kitchen/cooking, office/work, living room, sleeping). Designate a spot for each and try your 100% very best to not stray from it. When you unleash your objects, you will only allow them into the space for which they match.
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:25AM
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Melissa Doan - Weidel Realtors - New Hope
NEXT - Neutralize your palette! Use clean colored/ivory sheet (all matching) OR canvas tarps (if you have $30 bucks to go to get them at home depot) and cover ALL of your furniture. ... those are the first starting steps to revisualizing the space. I wouldn't stray from them or do anything else until you've done them imo. :) - so basically divide and pack up, assign designated purpose to areas, cover furniture, rearrange furniture as needed, only LAST will you unlease stuff into the correct areas (in which case you will then know where you needs shelves and what items should go on which shelves.) ...
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:27AM
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It doesn't look like you are even trying, it looks like a crack den. One thing is for sure, you are never getting any in that apartment. The place you need to start is first, watch the movie Limitless and see how Bradley Cooper tackles his apartment. Second, put down the bong for a couple days so you have some clarity. And third, clean that place up and organize! Once that is done you can worry about decorating.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:27AM
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Incredibly kind and detailed responses. Here are a few pictures of other arrangements from the past. I have time today and will begin by clearing the space. Marvelous how expedient and helpful your thoughts are.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:30AM
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What happened?
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Looks like your upholstered pieces are brown and blue/grey — a great combo, either for the primary color scheme or a neutral background for brighter accents. Not nec. to cover with sheets. Others were right on target: put away "stuff, arrange furniture, put only back necessary "stuff," then discard, discard, discard!!!
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:59AM
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The apartment looks great when cleaned up. I think the only change I would reccomend is maybe putting one sofa where the bookcase is in the kitchen so its back is against the bookshelf and it acts as a divider for the two rooms . Then the other sofa would have to be against the wall with the shelves with maybe the tall side table in the corner between them. Then you could put your single chair at an angle in the corner accross from them with the tall console that backs up to the bookcase on the wall under the mirror. I am assuming the pictures are from when you first moved, and it takes sometime to settle in. The room looks good in the last pictures but if you could create some separation between the 2 spaces it would be cozier.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:35AM
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What are your needs for the space? I can't quite tell what the function is suppose to be where the bookcase is. So, is that space to be dedicated seating only or do you need a desk, table, or television to be considered as well. It does look like you could move the refrigerater more into the kitchen which would give you some wall space. And you do have tall ceiling which would allow you in the future to put in tall bookcases to hold your books and other items.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:42AM
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