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My home is depressing me, what to do?

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Initial post: Jul 26, 2010 5:03:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2010 5:13:03 PM PDT
Jane Smith says:
How can I decorate (or re-design) my place so that it's less depressing? I live on the ground floor and this place is dark, feels like a dungeon down here. Sounds like one too. I rarely open the front windows for fear of that "fish-bowl" feeling.
I know none of you know what my home looks like. But what are the tricks of the trade to lighten up and refresh a place that feels as though it is "closing in" on you?
Really, what is the best approach to take when you find your home to be unbearably depressing?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2010 5:15:37 PM PDT
you need light. If not open windows, then lamps, I would try different kinds, colors, in corners, and focal points in the room; you might try mirrors to create space and to throw light around the room. Color, cheerful patterns in any fabrics or rugs.For "white noise" I would add a fish tank--the color and light can be mesmerizing and the bubbling can cover up other sounds.

Posted on Jul 27, 2010 4:51:10 AM PDT
Trinity says:
Go see . It's the coolest blog of a gazillion ideas and easy to navigate. I recently saw photos of a dungeon like bedroom someone redid and it looked super great. Seems it like kind of caters to smaller places/apartments.

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 10:25:23 PM PDT
Anastasia says:
I lived in a garden apt for over 5 years, so I decorated utilizing COLOR and a modern look in each room. It turned out great! You have to look for what style you like, then shop for it (can be time consuming), then decorate! I firmly say be bold and daring and go for what you think will look good. Consult mags and HGTV!

Posted on Jul 29, 2010 4:05:03 AM PDT
Another thing that helps me overcome the feeling you describe are green house plants! There's just something about the addition of a healthy, green, living thing that improves the energy and look of a space. Two other things that help me are cleanliness and scent. When I'm feeling blah or my surroundings feel depressing -- a good cleaning and good smells do wonders. I like Febreze on my upholstery and an essential oil put in a couple of places, but you will come up with your own preferences. And as for light, I would uncover your windows. A combination of sheers to filter the light and provide some privacy during the day along with roller shades to give total privacy at night is one suggestion. Good luck! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2010 12:13:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2010 12:15:06 PM PDT
guineapigs says:
Hey! In my neighborhood we have the same problem. Or houses are retro designed with the living room windows in the front. Anyway, my neighbors have solved this problem by, having paper blinds that come up from the BOTTOM, halfway up the window. So, there is light, but they still have privacy. They had theirs installed, but my friend told me you can buy inexpensive paper blinds. Hope this helps! I know the feeling. :)

Posted on Jul 29, 2010 6:20:16 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 7, 2011 10:32:12 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2010 9:38:27 PM PDT
emk says:
lighting, most homes are not lit well enough

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2010 12:49:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2010 12:51:02 PM PDT
Gratitude says:
Paint your walls a lighter color and bring in GREEN PLANTS!!! Open up your window if you can, if you don't have one then bring in some lamps...maybe even one of those seasonal mood lights to help you. It may be good for you to get out in the sunshine each day for a bit too. I agree about a fishtank, or even a wall fountain to create movement and relaxing sounds. Mirrors will open up the room even more. There are books on Amazon about how to create clean air w/ household plants. Perhaps you can get one of these books and choose a plant that you think would suit you?

Posted on Jul 31, 2010 4:20:35 PM PDT
Nanciejeanne says:
Get some mirrors! I live in a big house, but parts of it are so dark and almost dungeon like. Where there are no windows, I like mirrors. It almost seems like it is a window, and visually opens up the space.

Posted on Jul 31, 2010 4:26:44 PM PDT
M. Hurst says:
Paint the walls - there are so many variations of white it's unbelievable. Stay away from grey-whites. maybe try one with a blue tinge to it maybe - something that reflects whatever light you get in. My son bought a super pure white color (i am sorry i cant remember the name of it) by Ralph Lauren. He has a tiny apt w/poor lighting and it helped to not only brighten but made it look bigger & gave it a happy feel. I was amazed at how white the color was - I have to get some of that paint myself!

Posted on Aug 3, 2010 3:48:54 PM PDT
The previous suggestions are all excellent. Do you have any artwork, figurines, jars, bowls for decorations?
For artwork, depending on your budget, I suggest pictures, photos, mounted posters with scenes showing a blue sky, light-colored landscapes, like beach scenes, with waves, blue sky and white, pastel shade clouds. Also scenes showing bright flowers and a lovely garden scene, a poster of the Impressionists' "Boat Party," Monet's "Water lilies," Degas' ballarina studies, art nouveau scene of spring and summer, etc.

The mirrors in the room will reflect the lighter, brighter, happy pictures.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2010 6:39:23 PM PDT
R. Sanchez says:
I bought a string of tiny, white Christmas lights and hung them up around a room all along where the walls and ceiling met. It really changed a room around instantly and added cheer. You might have to buys three or four strings but you can get them at Hobby Lobby for cheap. I kept the lights on all the time. They lasted about a year and then I bought some more when Christmas came around again.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 6:23:42 AM PDT
First, paint the room something either pastel or bright. Second, add a mirror like others suggested. Third, if you have a window, buy either sheers and keep them closed behind curtains so you can open your window but people can't see in. Absolutely bring in plants, they actually help you live longer. Also check out a site called 20X200 where you can get 8X10 prints for $20, 10X12 for 50 and they're from individual artists in limited quanities. Target also has really nice and well priced art. Finally, depending on the color of your couch you may need to slipcover it to something lighter and more cheerful. And if that still doesn't do it, buy either fresh flowers once a week or a fake arrangement (or a bunch of them if you can't keep plants alive) they will also add color to your room.

Posted on Aug 6, 2010 7:50:00 AM PDT
Above all, best way to start decorating and improving a room is by starting with a beautiful wool rug. It brings warmth and color and really anchors the room. Here's a good example:

Hand Tufted Wool Round Swirl Rug (4')

Posted on Aug 7, 2010 10:06:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2010 10:08:02 PM PDT
txeggplant says:
Color Color Color!

I moved to a state that has maybe 2 months of sun versus the 12 months I was used to. We have tons of light in our house because there are lots of windows but what good are they when its gray all the time!

I brought in a lot of color and added lamps. I hate overhead light. I find it ... glaring and depressing. I love lamps and accent lighting.

Take each room, find your inspiration piece (it sounds corny but it works) and decorate around that. In my living room, it was a decorated tile we picked up in Santa Fe at a craft fair. In my dining room, it was my eggplant collection LOL. In my bathroom, it was a shower curtain. You can tie it together with the same color or adjoining walls the same color if you need to.

I love the idea of Christmas lights. They really do brighten up things. Decorate with what you love and you'll love the place in you are in. :)

Oh ... and keep it clutter free. Clutter is depressing and I'm a pack rat. Find a place to clutter up that you don't care about and keep the space you live in clutter free.

Posted on Aug 8, 2010 1:31:03 PM PDT
Jane Smith says:
These are all such great ideas for my condo!
One of the things that also depresses me-and I know this is probably better for a different post- but I have the neighbor from hell on the other side of me. & They slam everything in their house, including the front door. In addition, they play piano seven days a week, several times a day, their dog barks constantly indoors and in the back yard. & It stinks back there because they don't pick up after the dog. To add insult to injury, they did construction but didn't add any insulation to the walls (like they told the condo board that they would). However, they attached to the living room wall studs book cases with sliding wood doors. So on top of the dungeon situation with the lighting, there is also the dungeon situation with the noise. Car doors being slammed outside can be heard clearly in our home, People talking (especially the ocassional teen crowd on the next door stair case),dogs barking, etc. everything. So I should probably think about sound proofing as well. Bunch of never had nuthins.
But anyway, I'm so glad people are contributing to this post because it is helping me so much. In spite of everything else. So I wanted to say thanks.

Posted on Aug 9, 2010 6:49:56 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2010 7:09:17 AM PDT
Jane Smith says:
Hey Benny, I don't know about anybody else on here, but none of the rugs on your profile interest me. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2010 7:20:39 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2010 7:33:49 AM PDT
Jane Smith says:
Thank you Benny. The way this place was built, a rug wouldn't help us. We need insulation from the foundation out. Or a private house (!). Have a nice day!

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 2:27:13 PM PDT
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Posted on Aug 10, 2010 3:26:37 PM PDT
M. Hurst says:
does calling the police on them help any? Call SPCA also. Either endure their lack of respect for others, report to landlord, or move - those are the only options I see for your situation.
p.s. i think wood floors, even laminate ones are nicer than any rug; i hate carpet.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 6:42:03 AM PDT
A rug is the most important component of designing a beautiful room. The rug makes the room. A room without a rug looks bare and empty and cold.

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 11:52:08 AM PDT
Any ideas on sofa covers. We live in a small house in the redwoods and it just never gets light out here. I have some old sofas in storage and I was thinking of putting some nifty art deco covers over them to spice up the dark living room. Thanks for all the words people, funny I wish I could have fish but I live in a totally quite cult-a-sac with one barking dog and 90 redwoods. Its dark but totally quite.
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Discussion in:  Interior Design forum
Participants:  161
Total posts:  251
Initial post:  Jul 26, 2010
Latest post:  Apr 28, 2013

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