Blank canvas- need help!
Cie Hann
July 10, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We have just purchased our first house. It's only 2 years old but it was a rental since it was built so its blank, beige and boring.
We are a mid 20's couple with a young child (5yo)
The furniture in the photos isn't ours. It was from the tenants in the estate agent advert.
We are buying all new furniture once we move in so all suggestions are welcomed.
Also might be worth noting. I'm in Australia so cannot order from stores in the USA or UK.
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Please post some pictures of rooms you like to give us an idea of your style direction.
July 10, 2013 at 8:21am     
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Cie Hann
There is also a theatre room that will be used as the formal lounge/library. The plan was to turn the partitioned room (with the table in it in the photo) will be an activity/playroom/kids lounge. The dining table in the area next to the kitchen (plenty wide enough and won't block the screen door) and where the lounge and TV is in the photo as the informal lounge/living room.
At this stage we can't renovate anything major. More decor ideas, paint colours, wall treatments and simple updates. :)
July 10, 2013 at 8:32am   
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Cie Hann
Floor plan
July 10, 2013 at 8:39am   
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Cie Hann
The furniture we are looking at is all pretty neutral coloured so can add all the colour in the form of cushions, throws, accessories and wall colours.
I really like lots of bright pops of colour but my DH is more traditional in his taste (unlucky for him. I've been given free run as far as decorating)
July 10, 2013 at 8:54am   
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Cie Hann
July 14, 2013 at 7:53am   
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Oh wow, looks like a great home. Lots of space. I really like your inspirational photos. Nice style.
We can't tackle all the rooms in one discussion, that will get very confusing. Which one would you like to start with?

And I'm assuming that you're keeping the floor as is? Paint and rugs will make a difference and give the rooms personality.

The best thing for you to do now is to start an ideabook here on Houzz for every room in your home. Start browsing the photo section and add rooms that you like to your different ideabooks. Mention what you like about it when you do that. It will help you to sort of make a moodboard for each room and get an idea of what you're working towards. It will also help us to give you suggestions.
You just need a plan for each room and sort of stick to that :-) Lovely project. I'm sure there are lots of Houzzers (including me) who'd love to help you.

But one room per discussion will be a good idea, so just say which room this discussion is about and let's go from there.
July 14, 2013 at 8:13am     
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Homes Enhanced
Cie, what a great "blank canvas" you have to work with. I would recommend keeping all walls "neutral", so to allow for the pops of color to make your home "yours". I have a website for you to look for what you need, draperies, bedding, throw pillows, etc. When I stage homes this is where I go first. You say the furniture is not yours, do you have in mind the style/color you are looking for? This is very important when shopping. I would recommend taking a regular notebook and designate a couple of pages for each room, title each page. Put the room dimensions on the page for each room AND keep this with you at all times to refer to when you are "looking" to furnish your home. Consider what you have in your own furniture/accessory inventory, decide IF you will reuse, will it fit in each room, and IF you choose not to use and can purchase something new, do so. One thing I always recommend for "colors", decide on main color and two accomodating accent colors. What colors are you leaning towards? I would recommend ONLY painting one "focal wall" with your main color, leaving the other walls in the neutral color, that way if you ever to change the color, one wall if so much easier to repaint than ALL walls. Just remember, the "darker the color" will make that room feel much smaller than it is. Chair rails, bead board, overly large crown molding or base boards, also tend to "chop up a room", and if used correctly only adds to the character to the room.

As to furniture, I again would recommend keeping your pieces in neutral and let the throw pillows, table top accessories, etc. be your pops of color. Again, if you get bored and want a change, changing out pillows, etc. is less expensive than buying new sofas, love seats, chairs. Artwork can give a room another way to create the pop. Go to, here you choose the subject matter, (which is a poster that will be under glass, and no one will ever know it's not an "art painted piece", you can choose the "frame color" and "mating color" as well. Again when I stage homes or model homes this is where I go. Look at your walls, decide which wall is a "bed wall", the only wall that will "accomodate a piece of furniture", etc. then look at what you are left with. Ask yourself, would a piece of wall art fit, work and make sense. Measure the wall (height/width) then look for your art. When ready to hang, center art on the wall, and it should NOT BE ANY HIGHER THAN EYE LEVEL. If you are 5' and your husband is 6' figure the heigh somewhere in the middle. When hanging art over the furniture, what is the measurement from top of furniture to top of wall at ceiling, and center/hang the art over furniture.

What brings warmth to a room is greenery regardless of your color pallette. If you have a green thumb, go for live countertop and floor plants and trees. IF no green thumb, silk/artifical plants will do the job. There are many sources on the internet, just search silk/artifical plants and trees, I can tell you the prices range from "great" to "omg they want that price", pick and choose where to spend your money. I ONLY use silk/artifcal plants and trees in my stagings, and many times viewers of the homes can't believe what I have chosen isn't real.

As for accessories the sky's the limit as to "what", just remember to place things in 3's, for countertops, such as 1 countertop plant, and 2 accessories, more than this will cause the area to look and feel cluttered. Look on the internet of new home builders where they show pictures of their model homes (interior), you can see how it is done professionally, placement, colors, styles, etc. then decide what you like and what you want your home to look, feel and function for you. Don't let the process overwhelm you, and if you need help reach out to a Real Estate Stager, who handles interior redesign, their fees are very reasonable, their turn around time, doesn't keep you waiting, and they won't hold your wallet hostage! Good luck and if I can help don't hesitate to ask Be sure to post "before and after pictures" when it's all done.
July 14, 2013 at 8:48am     
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What a super savvy and smart mid20s couple you are - it's a wonderful house - love all the space and al the light from those huges doors and windows. And how great to have a blank, even if beige and boring, canvas. Agree with Carolina - take it slowly, build your ideabook - your inspirational photos are great - and involve your 5yo, especially in the kid's lounge/activity/playroom areas and his/her bedroom, and your traditional DH too. You mentioned that you were planning to buy all new furniture but don't rush here either. If it "wiggles it's finger" at you or maybe "grabs you by the back of the neck", go ahead and buy it, but don't feel you have to buy all new right away and can't use what you already have for a while. And don't let living in Australia and not being able to order from the US or UK bug you. It's dumb that you can't (and vice versa) and it's more of a challenge if you're on a budget which it sounds as though you are, but it's not insurmountable. Take Carolina's advice and take it all slowly. Keep building your ideabook for all the rooms of your house and then when you're ready to focus on one, hit us up. Houzzers are great and we'd love to help you - Carolina said she definitely would and so would I. This can be a super fun project for quite a while. Great luck!
July 14, 2013 at 9:00am     
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