Making Small, Incremental Changes to a Room

Making Small, Incremental Changes to a Room

Colleen Quinn
Oct 14, 2011

I am a self-confessed tinkerer in the home; I'm always moving furniture, changing pillows, hanging art, etc. I'm certain many readers share my predilection, my need to keep my space fluid. Though many of the changes I make to my spaces are small, sometimes they have a big impact on my enjoyment of a space. Here's a pictorial review of my evolving living room over the last few months.

Photo 1: This is my living room in May. Both TVs do not belong in this space; we were in the process of moving my husband's new (bigger) TV into the room. The white lamps, rug, coffee tables, glass door cabinet and media stand belong to us- the rest of the furniture comes with the house.

Photo 2: Here is my living room in late August. The white lamps are gone, moved into the master bedroom where they work much better. I have also switched out the lampshades on the four table lamps; I can't stand the shades that came with the lamps, and was lucky enough to find a store selling drum shades on clearance.

Photo 3: Same time frame but this photo is taken from the opposite side of the room. The wing chair recliner is my husband's favorite chair; the armchair and ottoman next to it are a light blue though the color is washed out by the afternoon sun in this photo.

Photo 4: Here is early September. I moved the furniture around, removing one couch and the blue chair and ottoman, and replacing them with two striped armchairs from another room in the house. I moved the loveseat under the window, and the couch that had been under the window to the opposite side of the room (replacing the couch I removed). I also switched out the rug, thinking the lighter colors of the Nain would be better than the red Afghan carpet that was there before.

Photo 5: Another view of that same afternoon showing the new couch up against the column that long years ago was a wall between the living and dining room in this house. After a morning of rearranging, I was happy with the new furniture placement but not with the rug.

Photo 6: Same day again. After weeks of visualizing this Nain carpet in the room, I was determined to make it work. Here I switched the orientation of the carpet, and though happier with the look than the one above, I knew it this carpet just wasn't working for me in this room with this furniture. Sigh...

Photo 7: Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. Here I am back to the original Afghan carpet, but I changed the orientation of the rug. Now that there is a small strip of light tile visible all around the edges, I no longer feel like the carpet and couches are too dark together.

Photo 8: Same change shown from a different angle. The striped chair is much better than the pale blue chair and ottoman (which you can still see behind because I hadn't yet moved it to the library). I was so happy with this final result that I was inspired to finally complete the gallery wall (as documented here).

Lots of pictures to document several small changes in an evolving space, small changes that have made a big difference to how my husband and I enjoy our living room. Though we have lost two seats, there are so many chairs in the room that we have yet to notice the loss. The room feels more open and balanced than it did before, an accomplishment given how many pieces have to co-exist in this space.

For now, I'm happy with the room. Except of course for the need to add some colorful throw pillows. And maybe a small side table for next to the one striped chair. And maybe a stand for the small wood trunk. And so it goes...

Images: Colleen Quinn

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