7 Things to Try When a Room Just Isn't Coming Together


Sometimes you just can’t put your finger on it. You’ve been staring at your room for weeks, wondering what it is that doesn’t feel right, but the answer won’t pop into your head.

We’ve all been there. Sometimes it can take weeks or months for it to hit you, but by then you’ve given away half of your furniture and painted the walls a totally new shade. Which is frustrating, to say the least.

Before you decide to go back to the drawing board and start again completely, take a look at our round up of tips on ideas to try when your room isn’t working. They may just save your nails from being totally bitten off!


1. Take key pieces out one by one

Room Just Isn't Coming TogetherImage Credit: Aleksey Gnilenkov

Sometimes, it’s difficult to identify the one key piece that may be detracting from the overall feel of the room. Try taking out the curtains, sofa, coffee table, and any other large key items such as wall art, out of the room one by one. After you’ve taken each piece out, reassess how the room feels.

Maybe the mirror hanging on the wall above the sofa is the wrong size, or the curtains aren’t quite the right colour. Perhaps it’s the sofa that is letting you down – is it the right style for the room? Whatever it is, you may find that it’s easier to identify what’s going wrong when the item in question has been removed from the room.

Seeing the space where the sofa used to be, or the empty curtain rail, may also inspire a new idea. It can be easier to feel creative when you’re faced with a blank canvas, than with an existing painting, so to speak.

2. Rearrange the room

Moving furnitureImage Credit: Sunset Removals

Often, it’s not the items themselves that are the problem – it’s the way in which the room has been laid out. Moving the furniture around can make a tired room look completely fresh, and as with the method above, it often sparks a few new ideas for what you can do with the space.

Think about how you want to use the room. Will you be entertaining often? Or will the room be a personal reading nook? Does it need to be used for storage? Considering the room’s use will help to guide you in how you want to arrange it, and may help you to come up with a few new ideas on how you want to decorate it, too.

And alongside the general look of the room, consider practicalities. Make sure the room is easy to walk around, and that the furniture and accessories are in a sensible place – the end table with the lamp is by the sofa, for instance, so that you can read easily; or the sideboard with the dinnerware is close to the dining table.

3. Go minimalist

Minimal interiorImage Credit: Rooey202

Sometimes a room is actually too cluttered, and rather than needing new items to be added, it actually needs a fair amount to be stripped away in order for it to work. Take each item in the room in turn. Which ones do you really love? Choose a limited amount to keep, place the rest into storage, then look at the room again and see if it has been improved.

Sometimes, removing items can make the ones that are left look like new, and can be just the lift that a room needs. If there are too many accessories in a room, there’s often no strong focus.

Natasha from Candy Pop offers some fantastic tips on parting with clutter. “The toughest part was knowing quite what to part with and so I created a little rule which I now live by: Do I use it? Or do I love it? With these two questions in mind the decision making was simple and it enabled me to let go of things I was keeping 'just in case.'”

4. Look at the empty space

Empty spaceImage Credit: Daniel X. O'Neil

All rooms need a little empty space to allow the items in them to be seen – too many accessories, and the room is so busy that nothing stands out at all, as we mentioned above. But it may be that the walls in your room haven’t been used to their full potential.

If you’ve got a large expanse of wall behind the sofa that only has a medium sized mirror hanging on it, for example, then chances are the place may look a little too empty. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold in these situations – a large canvas, or a series of frames, may be just what the space needs to look properly balanced.

5. Look at the elements that are working and figure out why

Elements of a roomImage Credit: Rooey202

Maybe there’s one part of the room that you really love. Sit and look at it for a while, and make a list of the things you love about it. Maybe it’s the balance of items, or the colours that you’ve used, or the time period that the ornaments are from.

Then, take a look at the rest of the room. Could you use any of those elements that you’ve listed down to better effect in other areas? Are any of those elements missing altogether from the rest of the room?

6. Look at the balance of modern vs traditional

Modern traditional roomImage Credit: Aleksey Gnilenkov

If you have a combination of modern and traditional furniture and accessories in your room, it may be that the two aren’t blending together properly. Consider whether you can update any of your traditional furniture with a lick of paint, or whether you need to add or subtract a couple of modern items for the balance to sit right.

7. Add a few plants

Indoor plantsImage Credit: Mikkel Zibrandtsen

House plants can make a room feel truly homely, but because many of us aren’t green fingered, we assume that taking care of them is too much work. Or, if we’ve had issues with house plants in the past, we’ve given up hope. But there are some house plants out there that are easy to look after.

Nikki Phipps at Gardening Know How offers some top tips on taking care of spider plants, which are rather hardy little things. “Caring for spider plants is easy. These tough plants tolerate lots of abuse, making them excellent candidates for newbie gardeners or those without a green thumb. Provide them with well-drained soil and bright, indirect light and they will flourish.”



When you’ve been working on a room for a long time, it can be difficult to figure out where things are going wrong. The key is being able to see the room afresh, and almost to treat it as a new project.

There are various methods that may allow you to see your room with new eyes. Whether it’s rearranging the room, taking all of the items out and replacing them one by one, or even staying out of the room for a few days and doodling some ideas, do what feels right to you, and choose the method which allows you to feel creative.

Posted in DIY, Homemaking, Interior Design, Lifestyle on 9th Oct 2015


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