Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Interior designing dilemas

Pretty Iceberg roses in my new Ikea vase thingamy

We have been in our house for just over 3 years and we are still using an old sheet as a bedroom curtain and have no decent storage in the same room. Everything is crappy, nothing matches, in fact it is all very mismatched in a bad way (as opposed to funky mismatching).
We have had enough. It's time to start sprucing it up.
Being on a budget and not living near Ikea is rather a pain at times. Built-in wardrobes are not a budgetary option and the hardwood to build out own built-in would be scary expensive, so it's looking like secondhand, or "vintage" is the way to go.
I just can't decide on what "look" I am after for the room. Soft and romantic, contemporary, dark and moody or "eclectic" (ie I can't decide so just mix it up).
Sometimes I wish I wasn't so indecisive! Do I want light coloured walls? A feature wallpaper wall? I was keen on some nice silk curtains but do I go for a print or plain?
I found a heavily marked down Louis-style bedside table the other day. Took a photo off home to get Lyndon's opinion, decided to go for it and wouldn't you know it the darn thing sold. Arrgh!
I wish I knew what I wanted to do. By the time I decide another 3 years will have passed.
I'm too embarrassed to show you the current shots of the room (hence the nice rose image) but hopefully there might be something nice to show before too long. Don't hold your breath though.

How do you guys make these decisions? Do you just know what you want? Do you have distinct tastes or are they many and varied like mine?


  1. We don't worry too much, it's just a jumble of colours and designs here but we love them all.

  2. Start by removing everything you dislike from each room and put it in the hallway. Then only put back what you like in each room. Shop the hallway for pieces for the other rooms. Get rid of everything else unless needed (like a dresser) and live with the minimum you can. When you find bits like the dresser you saw that you love, buy it and add to your room. In the living room start with the best sofa you can afford. All else can be added to slowly. That is my two cents. When clients are in a state of hating all, that's what I tell them. Plus to paint white and add color with accessories.

    1. Oh thank you! I really appreciate this advice - it sounds very sensible!
      I think the white base and then adding in colour with bedding and so on is definitely the go.

  3. I always try to keep things neutral on the walls and then pick accessories to brighten things up. I always think that good solid wood stands the test of time & if you find old pieces you can always give them a lick of paint. Don't get swayed by what others like, otherwise you end up with a mish-mosh of styles. Pick one style which speaks to you & stick with it. Try house to home website for style ideas. Good luck! Lx

  4. Forgot to add... Most of all your house should feel like your home... I'm sure you're being too hard on yourself! Lx

  5. Oh, Molly, I feel your pain. I'm also on a budget and have virtually NO storage in my little 1930s cottage. I love the house but get very frustrated with the 'stuff' I have hanging around in absolutely no order what so ever.
    Thanks, however, to Laura and Razmataz for some awesome suggestions. I think I might just have to steal them for my own little abode. ;-)

  6. Ha, this post strikes a chord. We've been in our place nearly seven years. For the first few, we were so poor we had tissue paper up over the windows. Most of our furniture is still from op shops although that's more because I'm an addict.

    It's been such a long process, furnishing our home, that I've been through a dozen different 'phases'. So, we have a mix of everything. I will never be an interior designer I guess ;-)

  7. I don't think it's easy Sarah, particularly in Hobart! Finding furniture can be the worst, my boyfriend recently brought a house and we have been trying to source a few things for him but seem to spend more time at freedom than I like!! I found an awesome wardrobe for sale in my parents street earlier this year for $250 so I think luck plays a big part, also I've had my brother build me some basics I've then painted white. I think you just need to collect images and work out what's really you and stick to it! Having seen your other bits and pieces on here I think it will look great!

  8. Given my style is eclectic (can't decide what I want to be when I grow up interiors!) and I'm a Libran, like you, I'm probably not much help and I understand your dilemma.
    Maybe choose a favourite item and let it guide you. My friend designed a whole room to suit a turquoise ceramic bowl. It looked great! x

  9. Actually Sarah, ours is still a bit of a jumble too...but we're getting there. i think the first thing to do is paint the walls the colour you like...and other stuff will flow on from there. I'm not good with colour so paint everything white or off white, and even have a white doona cover.

    I'd at least start with the'll be amazed what a fresh coat of paint can do and if you can't decide on a colour, go with white...just plain white

    Oh and by the way, I put flowers in my little Ikea thingamy too and realised later that i needed to put a jar or glass in there first. I had a bit of a leakage problem...

  10. I feel your pain...I would go for a light palette, white or cream walls and then add your colors with the bedding and curtains. A smallish pattern for the curtains, maybe a geometric, which is fresh and modern and then a solid bed cover and start throwing out what you don't need in the room. Sheer curtains are inexpensive and soft and give a great look to a bedroom with inexpensive matchstick blinds (texture). I hope this helps!! Good luck!! ;-))

  11. From what I remember of your study space you have lovely taste. I think it was the first post I read of yours and was completely drawn to it from a photo on someone else's side bar.
    Anyway, I don't have much to add that hasn't been said, but here's my experience. I experimented with some colour on walls a couple of years ago and it didn't feel quite right for me. Instead, I have now gone for a 1/4 strength china white on the walls - it's white without being too clinical. I have off white blinds on the windows and long sheer white curtains. All pretty plain and neutral. I then hunted for a really nice bed cover. (I've picked up a couple of heavily reduced ones in the Sheridan sale in Myer.) They are still in muted shades but bring a bit of colour to the room. With this as a backdrop it shouldn't really matter too much about the furniture. Most of mine is light colour, but I had an old pine topped desk that I use as a dressing table that I painted and then put a table runner on the top. It's ancient, but the runner covers a lot!
    So as a few have mentioned, stick to neutrals and everything blends whatever the styles.

  12. I meant to comment here the other day. We discovered our decorating style by accident. We knew we wanted timber but when we found the table we discovered mid-century and got obsessed about it since then. We used ebay, secondhand stores in Hobart and Margate Train and the tip to collect our furniture. I guess once we discovered the look we wanted we could be quite focussed about buying pieces. We decided to keep the colour of the walls white so that we can change the feel of the room with a change of bedding or recovering chairs and the window seat. I know you tease me about liking red, but who knows in a few years when the fabric is looking tired we might change to blue. I'm not sure if this will have helped you. i'd google and read books (borrow from the library) and work out the look you'd like and then go shopping.

  13. Hi Sarah, there is some great advice here amongst these comments. I'm not sure that I can add anything more that is useful to you at all, except that I think that often the best and most interesting interiors stem from budgetary constraints. Anything that forces you to think outside the square of just being able to go and buy it, ultimately ends up to be somehow more fabulous. And have faith and confidence in your style - look at how amazing your office/study is!! I agree with Chania, start by taking everything out of the room, and then put back only what you can make work - and white walls automatically mean a fresh start. Good things take time! xx

  14. Chania's advice above is brilliant!! Love her suggestion and may have to try it myself. I still struggle with defining my style - I know what I definitely DON'T like :) From what you've shown us here, you have great taste in interiors so whatever you go with will look fabulous Sarah. I know what you mean though, our bedroom has been in a mediocre state for year too and is only just starting to bug me enough that I'm ready to make changes :) I still like neutrals for walls and then adding colour through accessories. Remember, it's about what YOU like though and not what is in fashion etc. as it is your home andyou have to be comfortable in it. I think Hobart and Perth sound alike in the lack of good furniture/interiors stores. I watch The Block and wish we had access to the funky stores where the contestants all seem to source their great pieces from. We do have Ikea though so I won't complain :)


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