6 Things to Try When A Room Just Isn't Coming Together

6 Things to Try When A Room Just Isn't Coming Together

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Adrienne Breaux
Oct 5, 2016
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

If you've ever had a room hovering at "almost there," you know how frustrating of a situation it can be. The room doesn't look bad, it just doesn't quite sing. It's missing something, and you can't put your finger on it. You might find these six things to try helpful when a room just isn't coming together like you thought it would!

1. Compare it to your inspiration
Whether you tried to copy a room you saw on Pinterest piece by piece, have always just wanted a room that feels like Kelly Wearstler designed it or looked to a piece of art for color palette inspiration, go back to that inspiration and compare. What do you have in your room that's not in the inspiration? What don't you have? It might be a case of you trying an extra element that's fighting the harmony of the original inspiration, or you may have forgotten to include a vital element that makes your inspiration work.

2. Try taking things out
Take out a big element. Yes, even something big like curtains. Now step back and look at the room again. Even if the room feels a little emptier, you might be able to see the potential of where the design needs to go. You might not be able to see what your room is missing because there's something that doesn't belong in there already, blocking your ability to see the room's potential.

3. Focus in on a spot, corner or wall that you do love
Why do you feel like that spot is working? What is it that you love? Take what's working and spread it out around the room a little more. Maybe it's a color you only used a touch of that could be maximized more in the space. Maybe it's a style of furniture you played around with on a small scale that the room could use more of. See what adding more of what you love in the room does to the feel of it.

4. Shake up your style
Grab something from another part of the home, from a friend's home or find a free thing — just make it something that seems surprising to add to the space. As we've mentioned before, sometimes bringing something that you think obviously doesn't go can produce one of two equally favorable outcomes: either it surprises the heck out of you by working in the space, or it points you in the right direction to go in by being so mismatched!

5. Take a picture (or two or three)
And then leave the room you're trying to figure out. Like, go to a coffee shop or somewhere else. Look at the photos you took on your phone and scroll through them. Look at the photos on a small scale; small thumbnails that let you see the whole space. Put some mental distance between the fact that this is a room you live in and see every day and instead view it like a room you'd be spotting on a blog somewhere. And then immediately listen to your gut on what you think the room might need (or need taken out).

6. Doodle
Those pictures you took earlier? Print them out if you can (or turn to a digital photo manipulating tool) and start doodling. Drawing patterns. Drawing furniture pieces. Squares where you think more art could go. Doodle stuff you wouldn't do in your right mind with actual items. That you can't do financially. Play. And when you hit on something that feels like it clicks, figure out how to make it work on your budget and in your space!

Have you ever been stuck on a room and not sure how to finish out the design? How have you gotten over that design hill? Share your ideas and tips in the comments below!

Re-edited from a post originally published 10.12.2014 - NT

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