Why This Room Doesn't Work: Our Living Room

I thought it'd be fun this week to mix things up and do a twist on our Wednesday's "Why This Room Works" and show a room that doesn't work that great. I'll be tearing apart my own living room and showing you those areas I don't showcase on Instagram. ;) Sometimes it helps to learn things by seeing what's wrong instead of what's perfect so in the spirit of full disclosure, here we go!

Why This Room Doesn't Work: Our Living Room

Color Scheme:

When we moved into the apartment, we had the option of painting the walls, but chose to stick with the white. We knew this place was temporary and didn't want to put money into something we knew we'd never get a return on. Also, we were focused on getting my school loans payed off so we were throwing all the money we could at those nasty things.

I did plan a color scheme as far as furniture and accessories go, though, and talked about it in this post. It was supposed to consist of mostly blues and whites with accents of mustard yellow and black. We've somewhat stuck with it, but it has fallen through the cracks some. 

  • That red striped chair distracts rather than contributes to the overall scheme of things. We used to keep it in the guest room, and haul it out for home group or company but that got old so now it just stays out here.
  • As much as I love the pillows on the couch and they are in my color scheme, I feel like they make this corner look heavy and their colors combined distract from the art above the sofa, which was supposed to be the focal point. If we were going to be staying here longer, I'd probably try to make some new, more neutral covers for the blue pillows and see if I liked that or get rid of them all together and keep the yellows. Also, that throw on the lounge part of the couch isn't really contributing to the space, but it sure comes in handy during movie watching ;)
Why This Room Doesn't Work: Our Living Room
  • The red chair, which is not contributing to the color scheme in a good way here, credenza and little side table are all really dark grouped together like they are here and make this little area feel heavy and cramped. 
Why This Room Doesn't Work: Our Living Room
  • Overall, though this room gets some light, it is still pretty dark, and the furniture is just too dark for the space making it feel heavy instead of light and comfortable.

If I were to redo this space I would probably go with a lighter sofa that was colorful, like maybe a light blue to lighten this room up and add a nice pop. I'd also get a lighter chair in both size and color to replace the wingback and help lift the weight out of this space while still offering more seating.

Scale and Proportion:

We covered how scale and proportion work in a room here if you want to check it out.

Why This Room Doesn't Work: Our Living Room
  • It is definitely off in this space partly because all the pieces are just to heavy for this small space
  • Also, everything is about the same height. There is no movement for the eye or nothing to draw the eye up.I had talked about creating a gallery wall that went all the way up to the ceiling above the TV to add height and draw the eye up, but we nixed it since we're planning on moving and command strips aren't cheap.
  • The side tables and lamps are too short for the sofa. We're constantly having to pick our lamps up to turn them on and off and they're super inconvenient to set drinks on since they're so low hence the wooden arm rests my sweet father in law made for us.
Why This Room Doesn't Work: Our Living Room
  • Again, if we were planning on staying here, I'd kick the side table to the curb and get some stand alone lamps possibly like these from IKEA. 


Other than the art above the sofa, there's not much that makes this space special. It's pretty dull and boring.

  • There's no styling on or above the desk. 
Why This Room Doesn't Work: Our Living Room
  • The styling on the credenza, even though I put it together, looks a little dated to me and feels like fall.
Why This Room Doesn't Work: Our Living Room
  • And there's not much going on on the side tables either. They're just too low for this space and almost anything I set on them looks awkward and cluttered.

Other things:

  • The desk is too wide for this space and juts into the doorway of the guest bedroom. This interrupts the flow of the space visually and physically and has kind of drove me crazy since we've been here.
Why This Room Doesn't Work: Our Living Room
  • I love our jute rug, but it kind of blends in with the carpet and is a little large for the space keeping us from centering the desk on the wall.

I could probably go on, but that's more than enough for now. I am super grateful for this apartment and all the furniture and things that are in it. It's been a nice and comfortable home for us the last two years We'd initially picked out this furniture for a house we were living in when we first got married and so it was planned for that space, but overall has worked well for us here, and it's all been a stepping stone on my journey of learning how furniture and colors work together in a room

We're excited for the adventures ahead of us this year though, and I'm looking forward to the possibility of designing new spaces soon. I'll be back later this week to update you on our house hunt. ;)