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Make my room more impressive
maryobkeogh
November 20, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi this is our library / tv room. do you have ideas re how to "finish" this room so it looks well designed and put together. it's already very comfortable and cosy but has a lot of stuff! how best to manage all that stuff? I am considering taking some of the books down and getting rid of them and displaying the pieces instead of both..
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janishill
Hi Mary. Thanks for posting another room for us to have fun in! Please post pictures looking from the shelves toward the windows(?) so we have a better idea of proportion.

You are right that there is too much stuff in the room, but books are not the problem. The furniture is not 'right' for the room, but with some tweeks it can work...unless you are in the market to buy new furniture. ;-)

Start by removing all the polka dotted items and the striped pillow and the red throw. Next take out the red rug and the small white table as well as the white picture frame above it. The white desk needs to goas well...but will be brought back in.

You would be wise to remove everything from the shelves and might even consider painting the backs of them a contrasting color. Personally I think a sagey green would be the perfect color for this room.

Ok...so once all that is taken care of post some more pictures adn we'll start putting it all back together again. :-)
November 20, 2012 at 4:40AM     
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maryobkeogh
Hi Janishill - good to hear from you on this project! Here's a pic from the shelves towards the windows. I'll get busy moving stuff now :) should I remove all the shelf items before reposting pictures?
November 20, 2012 at 5:01AM     
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charleee
One problem is, there is no place for your eye to rest in this room because of the patterned furniture and the bookcases. Janishill is right, you need to remove all the red and the patterned pillows.

I would look for good, stretchable solid color covers for all your patterned furniture. That will calm the room down immediately. Or replace them if budget allows, they are large and overstuffed and they do take up a lot of valuable real estate.

For the bookcases, definitely pare them down. Since you have so many, perhaps some of the shelves could hold only one or two items.

I would also try to find a new home for the tv. You could try above the mantel, or, maybe you could remove one or two shelves and tuck it into the bookcase?
November 20, 2012 at 5:05AM     
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janishill
Take everything off the shelves, boxing it as you go. Keep all candles together, all family snapshots, all clocks, etc.

Also take down the curtains.

I know red is probably your favorite color, but it overwhelms this room. Red is the perfect accent for green though...so that is the angle I would like to see you take.

I have to go work for a while, there are dogs to be walked and cats to be fed. I will pop in when I return this afternoon. :-)
November 20, 2012 at 5:30AM     
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pollyannagal
Just thinking about the shelves I think the main problem is the spacing of the shelves doesn't suit what you have on them. Are the shelves adjustable? If they are you need to move them closer together so that the books fill the space better and you will need some more shelves - they look like they've been designed for much bigger books. There is plenty of room for all your stuff there and the shelves would look strange if they are too empty, they just need arranging better so it looks more meant and is a nice arrangement.

Think of the books in terms of blocks of colour and the shelves as frames as that's how you see them from across the room. Have some stacks of books lying down and some spaces for your photos and other bits but try not to put things in front of books as this looks messy. If the shelves are a lot deeper than the books pull the books to the front of the shelf so they are not looking sad and lost at the back. Try a shelf with about 2/3 books and then a photo or ornament in the rest of the space - this draws attention to a nice item.

Hope this makes sense and helps. You have been so busy with your home and it's looking good.
November 20, 2012 at 7:47AM     
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maryobkeogh
hi Guys. So I've been busy taking everything off the shelves and I used the opportunity to box up the books I don't want to keep and those that I do, I have started to re-arrange on the shelves based on the advise above - this is work in progress, but let me know what you think!
Janishill - I took out the rug, the small white table and it's contents, and everything off the shelves and fireplace.I took out all the pillows and throws. I haven't taken down the curtains (yet) but I won't be replacing them (as they were expensive and I can't afford new ones right now)so is there a need to take them down?
Right behind the couch is an electric piano. I am considering relocating this to another room and pushing the sofa back there next to the built ins?
November 20, 2012 at 10:09AM     
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michigammemom
Creating pleasing bookshelf displays is a real art. Take a look at the great examples in this houzz article and play around with books and objects that you already have in your home. Have fun.
November 20, 2012 at 10:35AM     
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pollyannagal
Wow. You are a woman on a mission! Your shelves look more structured now but they are generally lacking in height. If you can't change the shelf spacing then you need to work to build up the height of the displays within the spaces. For example you could put photo frames or your clock on stacks of books, use some simple storage boxes or even a pile of board games under the DVDs so they sit higher. A contrasting backing will also help - the wood is very good so I probably wouldn't start by painting it, but inserting thin boards cut to size and covered in wallpaper or fabric would lift the space. These could be held in place with blutac and if you don't like the effect can be easily removed. Don't be tempted to use anything too busy and please do use the same thing in each shelf to give the effect of open backed shelves.
Think also about the visual weight of the displays and keep heavier displays to the lower shelves or it can look as if the top shelves are going to topple down which is not such a relaxing effect.
November 20, 2012 at 10:45AM     
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maryobkeogh
Hi Pollyannagal. I AM a woman on a mission! :)
when I have a project to do, I want to just do it, no delay, take action and make it happen!.
So I've been working on the advice and comments, here's an updated shot of progress... what do you think - it's better, but still too much?
November 20, 2012 at 11:21AM     
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decoenthusiaste
Know you're keeping the drapes, but consider extending the rods so the drapes can hang a bit more off the window, loose, not tied back, and can graze or kiss the floor and leave more window exposed Then I'd put soft roman blind insides the window frame to soften and warm your space. A good rule to follow on the bookshelves is: if it is a paperback or as small or smaller than a paperback, don't put it on the shelf. It won't have the presence needed to make your decor look classy and designed. I would devote the space behind the doored shelves to the paperbacks and any VHS or DVD items, as they are too small to be "decor." This is a library, so you don't have to get rid of the books, but be judicious about which ones are used to decorate, versus those that just need to be stored where they are accessible. Try a small sectional and two swivel chairs if you're buying suitable furniture. The less finished cabinet to the left of the fireplace would be a rework for me, turning it into a place for the tv. Keep tweaking!

November 20, 2012 at 11:21AM     
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bamamom
mary...take a look at these blog sites.....Emily A Clark.com and I think it's ThriftyDecorchick.com...both recently had blogs about styling bookshelves. I know Emily has been featured on HOUZZ too.
Good luck!
November 20, 2012 at 11:28AM     
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pollyannagal
Well done - they are looking better. The shelf with DVDs is the bit that really bugs me as here is just too much wood showing. Some of the groups of books are still a bit too thin looking. Better to have a few less groups but stronger ones. Just keep moving things around until you're happy and maybe bring in a few things that are elsewhere in the house. As this is a relaxed room in terms of its function you don't need to have the display too formal. The fun thing with shelves like this is that they are not static and you can rearrange things to keep it fresh. A bowl of fruit or candy or a small vase of flowers would also be nice additions to help make the shelves enticing and part of the room rather than a stiff display around the edges. They should draw you in and make you want to admire a photo or pick up a book.
November 20, 2012 at 11:34AM     
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maryobkeogh
Yes I get what you mean re the DVDs....is this better?
November 20, 2012 at 11:57AM     
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nasmijati
Yes, I think the photo you just posted looks much better!
November 20, 2012 at 1:03PM   
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pollyannagal
You're getting good at this - do you like it? There's no stopping you now.
November 20, 2012 at 1:55PM   
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nnouza
This is coming together nicely. What did you decide about your tv?
November 20, 2012 at 2:22PM   
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janishill
Hi Mary. While the shelves are better they are far from being 'there' yet.

Every shelf does not have to have books on it, nor does every shelf have to have a decorative item on it. When you arrange them try to put tall books on the bottom shelf, medium books on the middle shelves and sorter books on the top. This helps keep the visula weight balanced.

What I would do is take all the books off the shelves and line them up on the floor by height. Then fill the bottom shelf of the second row and the bottom shelf of the 4th row.

Then move up one and over one. On that shelf I'd put my next layer of books. I would turn them on their side and stacked them like a short pyramid about 5 books tall. Then I would push them against the left wall of the shelf so the tops of all the books touch. They are no longer a pyramid. Just a nice stack. . I would skip a space and do the same thing except I would push these books to the right.

On the top directly above the books that go all the way across I would put short books. Just a few standing upright and moved to the side. Then I would put something decorative (a short clock?) and put a few more books standing upright on the other side.

If you do all that then post more pictures and we will go from there. :-)

decoenthusiaste hit on the drapes, but I have a slightly different take. I would like to see them on one rod with the two center drapes hung so they touch each other and without tie backs so all the panels are hanging straight down. It should look like there is only one large window instead of two smaller ones. (see photo for example)
November 20, 2012 at 2:25PM     
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janishill
Oh...and before I forget...is it possible to remove the vertical boards on the outside of the shelf that is behind the TV? I am thinking it would look great on the bottom shelf . :-)
November 20, 2012 at 2:28PM   
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pcmom1
Just read thru all the posts. How much fun to watch this transformation unfold! Looking so much better and so much great advice.

Agree that those DVDs still need some help. Let's face it: those just aren't attractive! How about finding a few great baskets to hold them? Head to Michael's, etc with a dvd in hand for sizing, and just hide them! That will help add visual weight to the lower shelves.

I would also hit thrift stores and purchase some large leather bound books and a few more large impact items.
November 20, 2012 at 4:58PM     
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bamamom
mary...can you put the DVD's/movies underneath inside one of the cabinets? That's what we did with ours. We have Disney in one section and then everything else in two others. I try keeping them in alphabetical order (I'm a little OCD at times), but hubby has a habit of just throwing the boxes back in the cabinet when finished. I should be glad he does that rather than leaving them laying on top of the cabinets.
November 20, 2012 at 5:08PM     
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suzie123
I am going to disagree with many here. I love the pillows and the patterned furniture. Not every room should be bland neutral. This is fun and great and presumably reflects your personal style.
I think the book cases are looking good. At the start it seemed to lack intent and now the placement of things is seemingly more orderly. Keep it up!!
November 20, 2012 at 5:25PM     
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fashionmavenhaha
First, it is a wonderful room. You have a nice feeling to it...what i would suggest.
Pair down a bit. Maybe remove some books-Intermingle your objects with the books on the shelves
Move the tv to the mantel....the opposite wall, enlarge those picture frames
anyways...It is a very nice room. Think and it seems as does others, just a few tweaks with the items in it. The room will be super-good luck :)
November 21, 2012 at 12:57AM   
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maryobkeogh
thank you all for the great inputs. I have taken the tie backs from the curtains and pushed them back and it makes a difference, exposes the windows and makes the room much brighter! Great advice. Now I am about to get to work with Janishill's advice re the books / shelves - pictures later!
November 21, 2012 at 1:44AM     
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olldroo
Mary, your shelving is coming together nicely, it definitely need some scaling back of items on it but as far as the books go, well it is a library. Definitely would like to see the TV relocated, above the fireplace is good if possible, but regardless would lose all the clutter on the mantle. Just one nice piece would be sufficient, there is enough going on in the room and you don't need to fill every space in the room. I agree also the little white drawers are out of place in the room. Personally, I like the lounges, they look lovely and comfy and very much library/tv but the ottomans as they are just add bulk and clutter. I like the idea of the red accents, I think the room needs a pop of colour, the rug is fine, it is the other pieces that just don't do anything.

The only thing I don't agree with is the suggestion that you buy more things to add, even if it is only for impact, you will get impact from what you already have once you have tweaked them right.

bamamom - of course DVD's have to be kept in alphabetical order - the only ones I hate are those with more than one movie.
November 21, 2012 at 1:48AM     
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maryobkeogh
ok guys. Here are the pics of my most recent efforts. I moved the TV temporarily to the shelf. At least it lets me get rid of the table underneath. The TV can't go in the Unit as it won't fit and I cant get the central support taken out. So on the mantel might be the best option here. Also please excuse the ugly wires, I need help to sort that out!
I removed the rug, it makes the space cleaner and larger, although I miss it for comfort, colour, texture. I have the same rug in green Janishill, do you think I should try it here?
Looking forward to thoughts on next steps!
November 21, 2012 at 3:27AM     
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maryobkeogh
I'm not sure about the arrangement on the left of the fire place...... also here's a pic of the windows.
November 21, 2012 at 3:39AM   
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janishill
Windows are much better. Can you bring the two rods together so they meet in the middle and the drapes can cover the wall space? That would make it look like one huge window instead of two.

I think the green rug would be perfect. Try it and see.

The shelves are better, but they are not there yet. The books should start with the tallest and slope down.

I have to go walk dogs and feed cats. I will check in this afternoon and we can go shelf by shelf if you would like too.

Janis
http://www.PetAssist.com/
November 21, 2012 at 5:13AM   
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maryobkeogh
Thanks Janis, updated shelves pic
November 21, 2012 at 5:30AM   
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pollyannagal
I would love to see it with the green rug. If that works then how about backing the shelves with green to show off the displays you have made.

I agree with your concerns about the shelves to the left of the fireplace. The vases are very symmetrical yet the main symmetry on this wall is around the fireplace so I think there is a conflict there and your eyes don't know where to rest. My personal preference for this wall is to fill the shelves with large books so that it gives a less decorative effect and doesn't distract from either the TV or the fire whichever you are watching. Do you have more shelves that can go in there as the spaces are very tall, or can your useful husband make some (once he's finished the vanity unit for your bathroom)?

I'm not normally a fan of TVs over the fireplace but in this case I think it would look good if you can make it work with all the cables and stuff. If this doesn't work can it go where the piano is? Then you could put the sofa along in front of the windows and the chair in the corner beside the fireplace. I don't know if this would fit as I'm trying to visualise your floor plan by piecing together the various pictures.

I think the mirror is too wide for the fireplace - would it work in your bathroom as the one in there could be bigger? If you don't put the TV there then a round mirror with a metallic frame would look better over the fireplace. It would pick up on the shape and colour of the fire and firescreen and on the pattern in your upholstery and be a nice change from the rectangular wood of all the bookcases.

I really like your curtains without the tiebacks.
November 21, 2012 at 6:20AM     
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anitajoyce
Your space looks good a fter all of your hard work. Would you consider painting the shelving in white or beige? Or painting the inside of the shelving in white or beige for some nice contrast to the room. Or painting the upper shelving only , leaving the cabinets as they are. Your shelving is very nice as it is. Just asking.
November 21, 2012 at 6:39AM   
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maryobkeogh
Hi Pollyanagal, check out the green rug. my concern with this is will it work with the curtain colours? also the room is a cold one and red feels warmer. having said that, i like the green colour.
I would love to relocate the tv to where the piano is but not sure i can with wiring etc.
I am waiting on those shelves a looong time but yes it would really help.
November 21, 2012 at 6:43AM     
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maryobkeogh
Hi Anitajoyce, thanks. I would love to put the green colour (or cream) on the shelves but i HATE painting! i might try the inserts idea that was suggested earlier...
November 21, 2012 at 6:46AM     
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anitajoyce
Thank! Do you have any nice painter friends? LOL! Love the big cozy sofa! Good luck with your space.
November 21, 2012 at 6:50AM   
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bamamom
Hi Mary, Looks so nice! Can you turn the rug though? Have it going length wise in front of your sofa. Just quarter turn either direction. It looks like you have some green in your fabrics, so the green should work for you.
November 21, 2012 at 7:04AM     
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ejly
A really simple upgrade is to organize your books by spine color. I know it sounds opposite of the dewey decimal system but they are your books not books in a library. Also you have a lot of empty shelf space showing like pollyannagal says; I would add more shelves and more items and like what you've done already - perhaps decorative items mixed in with the books - to make the space complete.
November 21, 2012 at 7:22AM   
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pollyannagal
No - wrong sort of green sorry! Needs to be a stronger colour to work with the curtains and the wood. I was imagining more of a fresh leaf green like your bonsai tree but I think that one is too soft. I think the pink is just too strong, but this green is not strong enough.

I do like the vases on the hearth. I would also like to see a few colourful cushions (not patterned) to link the sofa and curtains.
November 21, 2012 at 7:23AM   
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wadipodi
Dont throw any books away, just organize them nicely by size so that they appear very good, add more colourful items in between book to give it colour, lime is not a very bad colour give it a try!
November 21, 2012 at 8:03AM   
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wadipodi
Dont throw any books away, just organize them nicely by size so that they appear very good, add more colourful items in between book to give it colour, lime is not a very bad colour give it a try!
November 21, 2012 at 8:03AM   
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michigammemom
Great job on the bookcases! The mix of books, objects and photos is very attractive. I would suggest removing the mirror over the fireplace. Not only is it too large, but it reflects more "stuff". A smaller, simple piece of colorful art would be effective.
November 21, 2012 at 8:07AM     
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pcmom1
Larger books on the bottom is making it look much better. Do suggest you not have them so rigid. Mean, a few leaning, some stacked with a large one at the bottom. Need a little disarray!

On the bottom shelf, where the smallest picture with the four photos is: try the large wedding photo that is currently on shelf next to FP. Still think the bottom shelf needs the weight it will provide.

Amazing how much work it takes to achieve that "Oh, I didn't try very hard" sort of look!

PS: Great point above about the mirror reflecting stuff. An oil painting of a restful scene would be a good replacement.
November 21, 2012 at 8:49AM   
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greenthumb2
Hello Maryobkeogh,

If you are not interested in painting the bookcases, measure those back sections and put up some foam core (covered with colored fabric) or with offwhite to give a reflective surface for your accessories and books. The reason why the room is close but still needs a little work, is only because it has no reflective or contrasting color behind your books and accessories.. (could look great with any of your favorite colors already going on in the room) Might want to do it just on the long wall.

Start with one section and see if you like it. If you are worn out fro doing all the other re-arranging, it's OK. Keep this in your back pocket and try it another time during the year when the weather isn't cooperating. :=)

Also, the pictures send in to you here have: exactly evenly spaced shelves or combinations of varying heights. just an observation. Great project. And I can appreciate all the work moving stuff around. Books are very heavy.

Great job. It takes some practice and we've all learned that way.
November 21, 2012 at 9:40AM     
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maryobkeogh
thank you green thumb2, I am pretty exhausted from all this re-decorating but very happy with progress and want to see it through to completion! I am going to try the foam core idea and I'll post some results! thanks
November 22, 2012 at 2:01AM   
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olldroo
Slow down Mary or you will go into burn-out. You have made a great start, now live with it a few days and things will become clearer and easier - you will see a pattern emerge that will be just right.
November 22, 2012 at 2:28AM   
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maryobkeogh
Couple updated pics on the shelf arranging project...
November 22, 2012 at 4:10AM     
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janishill
Hi Mary....the shelves look much better, but they can look better still. If you will take everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) off of them, then start over. You will end up with an evtirely different llok.

When you begin putting items back put ONLY books to begin with. Arrange them by putting tall books on the bottom shelf, medium books on the middle shelves and short books on the top. Put books on one shelf, skip the next shelf. Every shelf does not have to have books on it, nor does every shelf have to have a decorative item on it.

Put the tallest books back where you have them...but put only books on that shelf. The tall white thing would work better to the left of the fireplace. It would look perfect sitting atop a stack of books that is about half as tall as it is! Oh...they need to be the big books.

When you are putting a group of anything, say pictures, use an od number - 3, 5, 7. It is more visually pleasing.
November 22, 2012 at 4:43AM   
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maryobkeogh
Hi Janis, Thanks for the advice. Do I really have to take everything down again? I'm not sure I can face it! Could we look shelf by shelf and update them that way?
November 22, 2012 at 5:12AM     
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yvonne_pinckney
How about placing a backsplash inside the back of the shelves?
November 22, 2012 at 6:25AM   
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bamamom
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Mary....Don't do anything else for a few days. I just went through a family room rearrange and wore myself out working and worrying about it. I finally said stop, leave it alone for a week or so and then take a look at it and see what I did not like and wanted to redo. When I did that, it really helped and I kept looking at my ideabooks and magazine pages I had saved and knew exactly what I wanted. I still have a few small things to do so the room is complete (accessories) but I'm very happy with it.
PLEASE google the blogs I mentioned above "emilyaclark" and "thriftydecorchick", they have both recently done tutorials on bookcase/shelve styling. They gave awesome pictures to show how to start with the bigger pieces and work down to the smaller pieces to fill in gaps. It always helps me to see something like that and get an idea of how to, then proceed on my own with what I have.
And, follow your instincts...you will know when you have everything the way you want it.
Now, rest and enjoy your family today, clear your head a few days or week(s); it's not going the shelves are not going anywhere and give yourself some time to think and absorb the ideas and suggestions.
Vanessa
November 22, 2012 at 6:55AM     
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pollyannagal
That was not a helpful comment Aja Mazin. This is a family home not a showhouse and Mary is working very hard to pull it together and make it work for her. If you don't have anything worth adding then keep quiet.
November 22, 2012 at 7:41AM     
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Anne Gibney
Mary I think you have done a fabulous job so far. Have you thought about placing lighting in your bookshelves? I have two very deep bookshelves which I have had for 14 years. I just put lights under the the top and what a difference! The molding hides the light. I did not use a hard wired light. I bought nice stick up lights that have velcro. The lights are positional so I can change my items and spotlight what I want. got them at Lowes. Happy Thanksgiving....gobble...gobble
November 22, 2012 at 8:05AM   
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Anne Gibney
Mary I think you have done a fabulous job so far. Have you thought about placing lighting in your bookshelves? I have two very deep bookshelves which I have had for 14 years. I just put lights under the the top and what a difference! The molding hides the light. I did not use a hard wired light. I bought nice stick up lights that have velcro. The lights are positional so I can change my items and spotlight what I want. got them at Lowes. Happy Thanksgiving....gobble...gobble
November 22, 2012 at 8:05AM   
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maryobkeogh
great idea, Anne, thanks! I have some work to do this weekend, - lights, foam-core painted inserts, and I'm going to take Janis's advise and take everything down again. maybe it's still too much content, we will see. I'd love to get the TV up, the mirror removed and see if the Jazz painting will work in here (thoughts?) - perhaps behind the sofa where those small musical prints are.
Thanks to all for great ideas and support. Appreciate it.
November 22, 2012 at 8:25AM   
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janishill
No, Mary, you don't have to take everything down. For today take the mirror down, bring the Jazz picture in and lean it on the mantle. That will completely change the feel of the room.

Now for the shelf that has the tall books on it. Remove the decorative item and finish filling that shelf with books all the way across. Then move to the right 2 rows over. This should be the last row of shelves. Do the same thing....a row of your tallest books all the way across. This will be a foundation for everything else.

Now go to the last row. The one by the organ and do the same thing. Tall books all the way across.

When you are finished with that we will go to the spaces between them. :-)
November 22, 2012 at 8:30AM   
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agarcia3201
I'm so impressed with your "get it done" attitude! Good for you.
You have made some very positive changes already. I agree with Janishill's most recent suggestions about the shelves.
As for the tv and the cables I found these ideas on pinterest that might be helpful for you. http://www.houseofhepworths.com/2012/01/10/mounting-your-tv-to-the-wall-and-hiding-all-the-cords/ http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/09/how-to-hide-the-cords-on-a-flat-screen-tv.html http://www.sawdustandpaperscraps.com/2011/02/28/how-to-hide-tv-cords-in-trim-work-guest-post/
November 22, 2012 at 8:56AM     
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agarcia3201
I always attach the wrong picture! I'm sorry - One more question. What color are your drapes?
November 22, 2012 at 8:57AM     
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maryobkeogh
Hi Agarcia, the drapes are a dark cream and wine stipe. Thanks for the cable ideas!
November 22, 2012 at 8:59AM   
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janishill
I knew the loveseat wasn't really 'white'. Yes, it will work. It along with the red chair will look smashing! You know all those throw pillows you took out of teh living room? You might be able to use 3 or 4 in here. I'm not certain they will work, but they just might.

Oh...and that brown rug...it might work in the play room!

Can't wait to see it when you have move the picture and worked on those 3 bottom shelves!
November 22, 2012 at 10:06AM   
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maryobkeogh
So, here is the update on the shelves. Can't wait to hear your thoughts. I have brought the jazz picture in but need help to remove the mirror, it's pretty heavy! Hope to get that done this evening!
November 22, 2012 at 10:33AM   
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maryobkeogh
Janis , where would you place the furniture in here?
November 22, 2012 at 10:53AM   
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janishill
Are you moving the organ or keeping it where it is?
November 22, 2012 at 10:59AM   
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janishill
Are you moving the organ or keeping it where it is?
November 22, 2012 at 10:59AM   
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maryobkeogh
i can do either. would it work in the sitting room?
November 22, 2012 at 11:22AM   
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Aja Mazin
Try this:
November 22, 2012 at 11:28AM   
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janishill
Sorry. We went out to dinner. It is Thanksgiving here in the States.

The shelves are really starting to come together! On the 3rd shelf over (the one with your wedding picture) move the picture over toward the righ and turn it slightly inward toward the books. The tall wicker heart would go to th eleft of it. If you have a short potted plant it would look nice between them and slightly toward teh front so the 3 items form a loose triangle.

Can you put the organ in the playroom? If not maybe it could go under the painting on the far wall of the living room.

Here is what I was thinking for the TV room: put the desk where the organ was then put the loveseat where the the sofa was. The red chair would flank the fireplace on the left slightly out and angled toward the loveseat.
November 22, 2012 at 2:41PM     
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maryobkeogh
Happy Thanks giving everyone! Hope you are having a great holiday. Here are some updated pics of shelves.
Hope to move some furtniture and mirrors / pictures later today.
This weekend, I'll be shopping for some short plants, a tray for sitting room coffee table, green runner for kitchen table, and baskets for the playroom project!
November 23, 2012 at 3:09AM   
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janishill
It looks lovely Mary. You have done an excellent job in all of your rooms. What does your husband think of all the changes?
November 23, 2012 at 4:01AM     
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michigammemom
Hope you are pleased. Nicely done!
November 23, 2012 at 4:03AM   
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inkwitch
I've been reading through all the posts and looking at the progress of this room. I, too, have a lot of books. Laying them down makes a good contrast and they act as bookends for others. I can't measure it, but the bottom shelf looks wider than the others. Even hardbound books aren't tall enough to avoid that "empty look." Despite advice to put the books on the bottom shelves, they will "fill" more volume on an upper shelf, and put taller items on the bottom shelf. And having books on different levels provides more visual contrast.

I have to admit that I liked the way the shelves looked with more books and less photos. There are quite a number. It's always a dilemma as to where to put them (as you get older, you collect more. There's only so much wall!). I know you like your frames, but consider reframing several of the same size and wall-hanging elsewhere or putting in albums. You have a collection of photos on the one "blank wall." Perhaps you can expand on that, but with somewhat stronger framing or they'll just "disappear." I'd like to see more objects d'arte and a few more plants (not many) in their place.

Most mantels are too high for comfortable TV viewing. THe FP is the room's focus, so you have a dilemma. Also, whenever I'm on my computer, I like to be able to see the TV without moving. Despite the fact that the sun may fade the furniture, will the sofa fit in front of the windows? The Computer table could then perform 2 functions in being an end-table to the sofa as well. And the TV could be put on a table in front of the long wall with the components in the lower cabinets. Unless you're willing to get a carpenter to make a niche in the shelving for that TV, there's no perfect solution. Have you considered removing it altogether? Do you watch a lot of TV in this room?

I agree with a post that suggested getting rid of at least one ottoman in favor of a coffee table. Keep the ottoman in front of the chair. I'd have preferred to see a solid colored chair rather than matchy-matchy, perhaps a red wingback. I liked the red rug better, but neither rug is big enough. The rooms needs a big rug that goes under at least the front legs of all the seating, but gray (that is a gray sofa, right? It has a slightly plum color on my monitor.)

This has been one of the few posts where progressive photos have been posted, and this was fun. Although I'm not formally trained, all the women in my family are decorators for 3 generations (it has to be a genetic thing!), so we all breathe design/color/function/visuals. YOu're doing great! I admire your stamina.
November 23, 2012 at 4:37AM   
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maryobkeogh
Hi Janis, My husband is happy with the changes. Mostly he just wants me to finish this project so he isn't asked to move stuff all the time!
Inkwitch, thanks for the comments. The bottom shelf IS taller, and hard to fill! I've run out of large books now. I am happy to have pared back the books because now I only have those books that I really like.
Re the photos, I may pare back one or two more, I have so many more in those cabinets - like you say, it's time to put them in an album of favourite shots!
The pictures over the piano are musical posters and actually my daugher's. I'm going to remove them. Not sure what, if anything to put there. I'd quite like to mount the TV there, but not sure the wiring will work.
Re the furniture, I'm thinking of taking Janis's advise of putting the cream sofa and red chair in here (from this room http://www.houzz.com/discussions/247064) and moving the sectional to the playroom. My only hesitation is my kids and I love that sofa for watching Tv and this room is where we do that. But colour and style wise, it would work better in the playroom. (here http://www.houzz.com/discussions/251603)
Thanks re the rug, I think a bigger rug would work. Janis, if I put the cream and red furniture in here, what colour rug would you recommend? The drapes are cream and wine. (which is why I put the curnent rug in here)
Finally, re stamina - I am really hoping to get through the playroom refresh this weekend and just relax next week and enjoy it! Any thoughts on that room re toys, do you think I should invest in some co-ordinated boxes or baskets to hold the various objects?
Thanks All, happy weekend!
November 23, 2012 at 5:35AM   
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janishill
Baskets will make a huge difference in the playroom.

Moving the television to the area above the organ is a terrific idea...but it would be difficult to decide if the fireplace or the TV should be the focal point.

A rug similiar to this would be beautiful: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/adeline-rug-multi/?pkey=crugs-by-style&cm_src=rugs-by-style||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_--_-

or this: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/brant-rug/?pkey=crugs-by-style&cm_src=rugs-by-style||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_--_-

or if you prefer: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/bird-floral-rug/?pkey=crugs-by-style&cm_src=rugs-by-style||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_--_-
November 23, 2012 at 8:44AM   
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maryobkeogh
Hi Jan, Thanks for the comments. I would love to paint the whole thing cream - or rather, have someone paint if for me! Unfortunately my husband is not a fan of painted wood, he likes it in it's natural state. I'm going to try making some coloured inserts for the shelves.
Janis, I love the floral bird rug - really nice.
Some updated shelf pics FYI
November 23, 2012 at 11:05AM     
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janishill
mary...you are getting there!

Now let's go one shelf at a time. We are going to start with the first bottom shelf where you have 4 pictures. Are these 4 different children? Anyway...please move those pictures to the shelf above the next shlf over. In other words above the shelf that is full of books - 1 over & 1 up.

Put the lovely white urn where teh pictures are now.

When you have that done, we will move on.

A rug similiar to the one with th ebirds would be perfect for your room.
November 23, 2012 at 11:31AM   
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maryobkeogh
Hi Janis, Yes those are my four children. I have moved them up and over and put the urn down - does the plant stay or go?
November 23, 2012 at 12:11PM   
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Helena Carleton
I know I am coming in at the middle, I have not read all the postings just a few. The lines, or lack there of , of your couch is not right for this room any more. If you can I would start saving and looking for a couch that does not have the over stuffed look, but a clean more straight lines. And buy a couch of one solid color, with possible pattern , like a watermark, that is subtle in the fabric. If you want throw pillows keep them small and pick up color from the new curtains? or items on the book shelves etc... I say this because I feel the pattern and size of the couch is too overstated for the changes you have worked so hard to make. You had those org. pillows and a rug- in the first photo. You might be able to pull off a very pale raspberry colored couch? I now, that sounds crazy - bit pallet wise it is not out of the question looking at the color of all the wood work in the book cases.
November 23, 2012 at 12:22PM     
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janishill
The plant is probably going to be moved, but for right now just leave it there. 3 rows over - your 8X10 wedding picture. Move it to the right then put the clock in the middle and the other item on the left.

Have to go walk a pup, but I will be back in a little while. :-)
November 23, 2012 at 12:28PM     
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janishill
On the back shelf behind the sofa...close to the door it looks like a small round basket with a heart on it. Can you put it in the middle of the pictures of your children, so you have 2 pix then the basket then 2 pictures?

The 2 pictures on the left need to be angled toward the center then the 2 on the right need to be angled toward the center as well.
November 23, 2012 at 3:51PM   
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Stacy Johnson
My 2 cents: I would paint the walls, bookshelves, fireplace mantle all the same warm, rich cream color to open and brighten the place up a bit. Then, like stated above definitely hang the TV (if it's flat screen) above the mantle. Declutter, maybe try a new accent color like aqua.
November 23, 2012 at 4:37PM     
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maryobkeogh
Hi Guys,
Janis, I have moved the basket with heart and it looks good with the 4 pictures, that and moving the wedding picture and clock around have made a difference already.
November 24, 2012 at 1:25AM   
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maryobkeogh
Helena, thanks for the comments, I quite like the colour scheme you suggest and I understand your point re the overstuffed sofa. It is comfortable though and the kids love it - this is where they watch TV. Would the straightlined-style sofa be as comfy?
Stacy, thanks also, I would love to paint everything in the cream colour, (although I'm not fond of the aqua colours) it's just a huge task and I would want to hire someone to do that. Would the bookcases need to be sanded, primed, etc and what paint type would work best? I'm not sure if I will make that leap, but would like to.
I'm trying hard to declutter, it's been a journey!
Thanks
November 24, 2012 at 1:34AM   
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maryobkeogh
updated
November 24, 2012 at 2:48AM     
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greenthumb2
:=) looking good!
November 24, 2012 at 5:21AM     
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PRO
Adrian Ramsay Design House
hey Mary,
you have received some awesome advice here and made great progress, good on you!
re the lots of pictures you have maybe Jan would comment on creating a cluster of photos on a wall, its a great way to make a big space out of a lot of small things, it takes a practiced eye much like the book cases, im sure she would rock at it.
good luck im keen to see green or red? as well as get the rug size up so its a connecter of the furniture to the space

cheers adrian

ps please keep posting photos of your progress
November 24, 2012 at 6:28AM     
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janishill
Now lay a medium sized book on its side and put the clock on top of it. It would be great if you could use a book with a red or a green cover.

One the shelf with the 3 candles (top shelf above your wedding picture) the white picture frame is too tall. Remove it..then turn the tallest book on its side, sit the wooden box on top and put them right in the center of where the box and the frame are sitting now.

Then I need to see pictures of all the shelves to give you some other ideas.
November 24, 2012 at 12:07PM   
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maryobkeogh
Thanks Janis, Here's the latest!
November 24, 2012 at 1:38PM     
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Adrian Ramsay Design House
thats awesome great work!!
November 24, 2012 at 3:09PM     
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sfloy
You have done a great job of bringing balance to the long built-in; to further balance it, I would remove the items from the top shelves on the left and right ends and allow those two spaces to remain empty. The eye will not have as many places to travel and I think the shelves will be more pleasing to the eye. You have done an incredible job!
November 24, 2012 at 9:55PM   
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Adrian Ramsay Design House
Hey janis
Great work and advice, and Mary good on you for listening
It all looks fantastic, I just went over the photos and it was a big effort by you both
Cheers Adrian
November 25, 2012 at 2:03AM     
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janishill
Mary...don't you have some red decorative items? There needs to be a shot of red here and there on the shelves.

Please remove the basket from between the pictures of your children and put the tallest white candle there. Use the shorest candle to keep the stack of books in place. The middle candle can be used on another shelf.

I think you are getting the hang of this. You can do it! What you are looking for is the height of the items. A way to remember what goes where: Big on Bottom, Medium in Middle.
November 25, 2012 at 5:02AM     
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Closet Experts
Congratulations Mary and Janis, great collaborative work here. You drew me in with the progressive ideas and photos, not just a before and after. May I offer a couple of ideas.

First, I am not a fan of gobs of woodwork, but in this case, I would take a less permanent view and not rush to paint the built ins. I like the suggestion of inserts behind the shelves, particularly on the long wall. I am divided on the inserts being slightly darker brown , or somewhat lighter. Darker would be more backdrop and progressive in tone, lighter would be more picture frame mat looking. If it were me, I would experiment. This option would allow updating in the future more easily.

Second, I think the TV right of the fireplace would be more comfortable. It would look too low if it sat on the mantle, and would be too high for comfortable viewing mounted where it looked good. I would suggest mounting a piece of plywood on the verticals in the area where it is at and using a swivel wall mount for the tv to allow adjustment when viewing. Then drill a hole to run the cables through the back of the cabinet. I would also raise the TV about 12".

Finally, with the narrowness of the openings left of the fireplace, I wonder if hanging the pictures on the backs, raising them up might look better.

I can't wait to see a picture with the mirror gone from the fireplace! If not for the reflectivity, I like the scale of it on the opposite wall.

Curious to hear the thoughts of others on these ideas. Regardless, you are making awesome progress!
November 25, 2012 at 5:17AM     
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maryobkeogh
I like the painting over the mantle. See what you think.
Thnks for the great inputs Closet experts, very intersting idea re the TV and also hanging the pictures on left of fireplace.
November 25, 2012 at 5:54AM     
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trolfe
Hello. Sorry I'm a little late to the disscussion but I just saw this and see what wonderful opportunities you have in this room! You can use the blank wall behind the sofa as a gallery wall! Use art, photos, awards, anything..mix it up! I love the painting over the mantle but I would hang a little higher. Mix up all your books with your vases and other decoratives in the shelves..stack some books put stuff on top..get rid of that tv! Or at least move it away from the fireplace..not above it..preferrably out of the room..thats my own peeve..this room is too pretty for a tv! You've come a long way. Have fun!
November 25, 2012 at 6:44AM   
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tomwinb
I would try turning the piano, backing it up to that huge chair. This would open up that wall allowing for even bigger prints. It would also give the pianist a more charming place to play. Could also put a couple sculptural pieces on it. Can you vary the shelf heights? I think breaking up this very long horizontals could help.
November 25, 2012 at 7:43AM   
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janishill
Mary...would it be a bad idea to put the TV in the playroom?
November 25, 2012 at 7:46AM   
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marvsten1
Hi,

your room seems very lovely and functional. I recommend not removing any books, just group them by topics and then add your favorite piece of art next to each. Also clear away the middle of the built in and move the TV in that spot, and just add a door so you can close off the TV when not in use. where the TV is right now add a piece of the sectional for a warm reading nook. Is that an empty space above the built in? Use it to display small pieces of sculpture. If you have the room, try using the desk behind the sofa, making sure it's facing the TV and fireplace so you can multitask- while still hiding the computer wires from view. Keep me posted.
November 25, 2012 at 8:53AM   
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maryobkeogh
Hi All, thanks for the great inputs. Turning the piano is a good idea. As is moving the desk to that place, if I move the piano to the sitting room for eg. Removing the TV isn't really a runner as we recently made this our "TV room" and because of the open fire it is the cosiest room in the house. It's pretty cold in Ireland at the moment so this room is getting plenty of use! The TV definitely needs to be moved tho and I quite like making a home for it within the units - there were a couple of good suggestions today so I'm going to talk to hubby and see what he can do, I think the suggestion closet experts made is a possibility.
Here's a current shot of the shelves. Hope it's getting better, not worse!
November 25, 2012 at 12:58PM     
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fran16
Hi Mary,

After looking at all of your pictures, and all the suggestions, I'm going to add my thoughts on your room.
First, I'd put the couch under the windows. Leave the piano where it is, and maybe put the mirror over it. You need a few large items, and the mirror fills that need.

The TV can then be placed, (as was suggested) in front of your long bookcase. The armchair can go in either corner. I like by the fireplace. I like the idea of the little table as an end-table.

Can you paint the fireplace? I can't tell if it's wood. Right now it's sticking out like the proverbially sore thumb. Just a few more tweaks on the bookcases, put the red rug back in, and I think it will start coming around. I know this is work, but the pleasure you'll have when it's done, will be worth it!
November 25, 2012 at 1:17PM   
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fran16
Want to add one more suggestion. Look at your picture of your new bookcase arrangement. The middle row is full of 'stuff' that is all the same size and height. Put some of the books back in.
November 25, 2012 at 1:30PM     
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4402
Hi, so much advice , I hesitate to add more. But here goes anyway.
I learn long ago that objects need to be married to each other or relate . Biggest mistake most people make is hanging pictures too high, same with tvs. You have too many activities going on in one small
Room. I would move the desk. Or piano to another room. Maybe both.

The room needs a tall palm tree to soften the room, either behind the sofa or in the corner to the right
Of the fireplace . You could rearrange the furniture so you could put the plant where you have the desk , then put the chair across the room.

Small green silk plants on the shelfs would help with the arrangement

If you decide to keep the desk in the room you may consider painting it as the white is too stand out. A soft green would perhaps be a good choice.

This room should not have a mirror as it reflects and makes everything busier. Not every wall needs
To have something -- less is best.

Define the room -- media, library Where you can curl up to read or watch tv , maybe use the computor. Not music!

Vicky
November 25, 2012 at 1:37PM     
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4402
Vicky again -- do you really need the chair for enough seating?
November 25, 2012 at 1:46PM   
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4402
Vicky again -- do you really need the chair for enough seating?
November 25, 2012 at 1:46PM   
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maryobkeogh
not necessarily no.
November 25, 2012 at 1:49PM   
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janishill
Mary...so glad to see you brought some red items in. All the center shelves kind of look alike; 3 pieces with a round dish in the middle.

Do you have any decorative plates?

And I liked the clock with the wedding picture and the other thing (wedding lowers?) better.
November 25, 2012 at 3:17PM   
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janishill
Cara...that is untrue. It will become cohesive. It may take time, but eventually Mary will get it .

As for your other comment; it WAS rude and uncalled for. Not to be harsh, but not everyone lives in the US. Just so you know and hopefully can comprehend.
November 25, 2012 at 3:44PM   
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Aja Mazin
janishill,

This is an open forum.

It is not your place to moderate others comments based on YOUR opinion.
November 25, 2012 at 4:07PM     
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karelina
To disagree with everyone, a library is a library, even at home. Organizing books by author and/or topic makes sense, if you have a lot of books and want to find anything. Instead of using books for decorating, hide them all, organized in a rational manner, and use the shelves for display.
November 25, 2012 at 4:55PM   
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olldroo
Couldn't agree more Cara, and think of all the dusting she won't have to do.
November 25, 2012 at 5:08PM     
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hawaiidreamer
I've read most of these suggestions, and think all of them have their merit...in the minds of the people giving them. And the whole point, in my opinion, IS to get different perspectives, no matter where we live or what we do professionally. If everyone had the same vision, there wouldn't be all the choices out there. I think Mary has a handle on what she wants to do, and has done a great job so far...both with the room and dealing with all the directions she's been given. I have my opinions like every one else, but SHE (and her family, of course) needs to be happy with it, not us!! The one thing i will give an opinion on: do sit back for a few days (not weeks) and let all the changes you've made sink in. I know you want it "done" (been there!), but it might Be and you just don't know it yet!! :-)
November 25, 2012 at 6:22PM     
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janishill
Aja...you and Cara may both be wrong. I did not disagree with her opinion. I thought to voice it was tactless and rude. I still do! Wouldn't it have been kinder not to have said anything?
November 25, 2012 at 7:28PM     
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olldroo
Well if it was tactless and rude for Cara to express a very valid opinion, then I am leaving this discussion. I'm sure you will enjoy adding many more comments to the 24 you already have here Janis without anyone daring to question them.
November 25, 2012 at 8:27PM     
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mno57
Ok everyone, let's just get back to the business at hand and be respectful of each opinion, they're all good and have merit.
November 25, 2012 at 8:28PM     
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suzeebeezee
Wow! There has been a lot of advice. The shelves look much better; I think you have done a great job with them and they will continue to evolve. The picture over the fireplace looks just too large to me, as was the mirror. I don't think it's the right scale for the fireplace. Also, the bright white of the fireplace and the wall it is on may be a bit too much of a contrast for the wood shelves. Have you considered painting them? How about a dark sage or soft gold? Get some paint chips and see what works in the room. I would probably slip cover the sofa in a solid warm fabric, maybe a corduroy, color to be determined by the color you use on the fireplace. I do like the idea of inserts behind the shelves in a color. Look at some coordinating colors for the fireplace and wall, sofa slip covers and fabric behind the book cases. Consider padding the inserts in the back of the bookcase to add warmth and softness. The curtains definitely look better. Put items in the bookcase that are more than decorative, make sure, at least most of them, are meaningful to you. Keep looking at pictures for colors and ideas. I can't tell from the picture if the chair is too big for the room. If you think it is, I'd replace it with a smaller one, if not slipcover it in the same fabric as the sofa, both look very comfy and inviting. I hope this is helpful. I used to do business in Ireland. It is a lovely country with warm, wonderful people. Good luck with your project.

Best regards
November 25, 2012 at 8:43PM   
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rosebud3
Tons of comments. Too many that I feel like reading now, BUT you start out by saying this is your library/TV room and now almost all the books are gone. What a shame. Bring back the books and just simplify the furniture.
November 25, 2012 at 9:11PM     
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suzeebeezee
I recently moved and the new house doesn't have nearly as many bookcases. I seriously purged books I'd read and will never read again and, for the most part, I prefer to read on my IPad. I'm not sure shelves full of books will be a continuing trend. I, of course, kept special books, art books (my passion) and the books I hadn't read yet. I think a mix of books and favorite things works well. Please post pictures of your progress and Good Luck!
November 25, 2012 at 10:08PM   
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bellasmile2
First I'd like to say, "What a great room!" Your room needs color. Paint color. If you're not afraid of deep tones, I would consider painting your bookshelves a dark, deep navy. Then Shelac them to add more architectural POP. I would paint my walls either a warm latte or keep them light, like a china white. Add some red patterned curtains and bring back your red pillows. Good job so far. BTW: I'm a huge library person. I read my books so I order them by category. But, to each his own. Have fun.
November 26, 2012 at 6:10AM   
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movethisnotthat
great built ins ! where did your red chair go? red rug?, keep your shelves simple, good thing books are easy to move around. Use a focal point for the shelves. Music notes make harmony (different heights) all one note (same height) is boring and does not allow the eye to rest on any one thing, does that make sense ? Vertical and horizontal placement and empty space (rest) will help the eye and the soul of your library Mary.
November 26, 2012 at 7:15AM   
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Robyn
I love the idea of a "library" filled with books. It makes me think that the homeowners are worldly and well-read and educated. A few knick knacks or pictures are great to break up the books, but I agree that the entire middle shelf needs more books and less "stuff." I read or was told years ago, that if you are displaying photographs, then make sure the frames are all the same material. I have held with that, keeping all my loved ones framed in silver frames. They are all different in texture, size and pattern, but they are all silver. It puts the focus on the picture, not on the frame. I think it's true. I think the progress is really good so far; the picture over the fireplace is better than the mirror. I'd rather see the tv to the left of the fireplace than above it, but I'm sure you will find the perfect place for it. Keep going!!
November 26, 2012 at 9:41AM     
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maryobkeogh
Hi everybody. So much great advice. I really, truly appreciate you all taking the time to give me inputs. I have gotten so much great inspiration and look forward to adding some paint on the fireplace wall, (I tried a sample of Farrow and Ball, Folly Green, think it might work) inserts on the bookcases, and tweaking the furniture until we find the optimal layout.
The challenge is that I am working with what I have and a limited budget. In fact, it's not a bad situation, and I hope, not like a charity store as suggested - I don't think I would suggest that any home enthusiast has failed so badly to resemble a charity store!
In any event, I truly do appreciate the thoughts, suggestions, and support along the journey....many of you have followed the trail from the outset, and I appreciate your committment to helping me find the right balance (esp Janis.)
I'll keep you posted as I make progress, and I appreciate all the inputs and suggestions, thanks again all!
November 26, 2012 at 11:29AM     
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pollyannagal
Mary you have done so well with styling your room and must be pleased with the results. It has been lovely to watch the progress and I have been impressed with your enthusiasm and determination. Ignore the few nasty comments and have faith in yourself - I certainly have never seen a charity store that looked so good! Folly Green is a lovely calm green which would go well with your red accents, and although Farrow & Ball paints are not cheap they are worth the money as they have such depth of colour. I would love to see updates on any future changes.
PS I have the same gold lidded square box as you!
November 26, 2012 at 12:31PM     
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fran16
Mary, What a great difference from the beginning! You're really getting the hang of it. I'm sure you'll keep tweaking your room and shelves, and be able to relax in that fun room. Super job!
November 26, 2012 at 12:58PM     
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janishill
Hi Mary, I am doing a happy dance on the inside! You have done such a lovely job. It is all coming together so well. There's just enough red to add interest and no two shelves look the same.

I think most of your rooms have been declutered, rearranged and reshuffled and I am certain it feels great to walk in them and see all you have accomplished.

I first saw Folly Green in a Tradional Home magazine and wrote down the name so I could remember it when it came time to repaint. It is a beautiful color; seeming to change with the light.

Mary, I am sorry for the hurtful remarks that have been made on this board. It bothers me that people in this day no longer recognize the difference between constructive criticism and simply being critical. Not only does your TV room reflect the love you have for your family, your other rooms do as well. And there is nothing more important than that.

I hope you will keep posting updates as you work out the furniture arrangements and other little tweaks.

Oh...I had meant to tell you to bring the red rug back in. :-) Especially now with the red on the shelves.
November 26, 2012 at 5:00PM     
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rdeweese
Lots of ideas....couldn't resist adding my two cents.
i copied your photos and did a little cut and paste- it's messy, but hopefully gets the main idea across. i'd put your sofa in front of the large book case, chair by the fireplace, tv on the stand on the wall opposite the fireplace - so you can either look at the fire or the tv. Someone suggested using frames of one color for your photos - an inexpensive way to do that would be to spray paint them all a dark color-black goes with everything. Since your shelves are a medium tone wood, display things that are dark or light so that they contrast against the wood. Limiting your display items pallette to a few values usually helps to unify things. (I think that's why so many people want to paint the shelves or put inserts in the back to help your nice things read more clearly...some get lost).
If you want to "splurge" -you may consider having a carpenter make a few solid tall cabinet doors to provide a visual break in the shelving. I'm showing 3 doors - 1 on the right side of the fireplace and 2 on the left to leave two open vertical shelves for display on each side - with things arranged to frame the fireplace as the focal point. To add some height to your big vases, consider stacking some books beneath them.
Enjoy experimenting untill you get something you're happy with - good luck!
November 26, 2012 at 5:41PM     
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deb jo
Hello Mary, your room looks really great, but I also agree with the other poster that said what shame about removing all the books. I have a shelf of books on which i just decided to arrange the books by spine colours. The ones that don't go you can put them in boxes with the spine side up and label by alphabetical order, but once again I have very few of them. Just brainstorming :)
November 27, 2012 at 5:22AM     
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PRO
just-stage-it
I agree with decoenthusiaste on the drapes;. I would extend the drapes to close the open space between the windows and add the sheer blinds. This creates a 'wall'. Place the slip-covered couch against this wall. I would find a way to install the flat screen TV directly INTO the book shelves. Run the wires down through the shelf. You can cut a perfect hole with the drill attachment for cutting out the opening for door knobs. Have an out let installed; you can pull the wiring from another outlet.
Go back to the photo provided by janishill and really look at the arrangement of books etc on the shelves. The best way is to take it all off and build your new look. What can you do without? What can go behind the closet doors? Make 'stories' of the books, by type or by color. Mix the decorative items into all shelves along with the books for more interest. Stack horizontally as well as placing vertically. Definitely add the large pop of color with a big piece of art (maryobkeogh). You can use that mirror in another room. If you want to use the red, get neutral slip covers on the couches and get art with the same red. Best of luck.
November 27, 2012 at 4:13PM   
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pcmom1
Mary, wow, lots of progress made! I just have a couple of suggestions. I think the books under the white clock should be slightly larger. And the books on the bottom shelves are wedged in very tight and too regimented by height (going from tallest to shortest).

Put some on the tallest books at each end of each shelf, then lean a few against them, stack a few. But take just a few away perhaps, so their is a little more breathing room.
November 28, 2012 at 1:58PM     
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Aja Mazin
I think the books look great!

You have great taste and style!!

Trust your own instincts.

You have a beautiful family and home!
November 28, 2012 at 2:14PM   
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jessic_82
Hi mary. Have loved seeing the progress pics. What an improvement. Have you progressed any further with painting the backs of shelves etc?? Would love to see more pics once done.
Well done. Thanks for sharing.
December 13, 2012 at 4:45AM     
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PRO
Gabberts Design Studio
Great transformation! Houzz is such a wonderful avenue for design help!
December 13, 2012 at 5:15AM     
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nasmijati
Mary, you have made such good progress in the last three weeks! The room is looking so much better!
December 13, 2012 at 8:53AM   
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