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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help me finish off my bedroom on budget

deconeoNovember 27, 2012
Been working on the basics of my bedroom but now I need to know what to buy to finish it off.

My picture ledge above the bed may be a bit high(please confirm) but wanted to leave space for a headboard when I do get a chance to buy. Is there anything you can suggest to put below the ledge and above bed in the meantime

I will be getting a matching nightstand, but right now I've just kept something for placement.

Eventually I will be getting a tv mounted on the wall to go opposite the bed.

Need advice on what I should add to accessorize the place. It's carpet already but I do want a runner or small rug between the bed and sitting area.

Also is this room too girly? If so what can I do to give it a neutral feel?

Am not looking to replace existing furniture, if so, I'll have to wait a while.

Houzzers, please provide suggestions. Pics attached.
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Doesn't seem girly to me, and I'm a guy. Haha!

Not a fan of all the shelves and little pictures. I would do a wall collage on a different wall. Ditch the shelves and put one large piece of artwork above the bed or taller upholstered headboard.
18 Likes    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 3:34PM
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I don't mind the shelf above the bed, but the little ones to the corners is a bit odd. And you might consider doing less of the framed family pics. Seems a little busy. Maybe you could repurpose the smaller shelves somewhere else. You could do some sort of stencil on the wall behind the bed to act as a faux headboard until you get one.
Add curtains from ceiling to floor where the vertical blinds are now.
Add another color to the mix with another throw pillow that has your wall color in it and another color besides the cream.
5 Likes    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 3:54PM
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You may even be able to use your smaller shelves "as" you nightstands...just a thought!
4 Likes    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I think the little shelves stick out too much and are a bit scattered and should be replaced by hanging your photos in groups or using a narrow picture ledge, which are pretty inexpensive, esp. on sale. I would get rid of the little one next to the bed.

I like the big ledge OK and it has to be up high so you don't knock your head. It too could be a bit narrower.

There are lots of DIY info on how to wrap a piece of plywood and make your own padded headboard, and it can be tufted or not. I would consider making a pretty tall one for the bed and adjusting the ledge accordingly. Or maybe go with a simple black one with a bit of flat casing on it.

Love the lamps and the basic room colors and the seating area.
    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Take everything off the walls. I would never sleep with something over my head and could easily fall off. The shelves and pictures are distracting from the nice job you did with the bed. A big art piece would be nice. Taller lamps would be nice too.
9 Likes    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 4:06PM
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Joanne Jean
The picture shelf above the bed is definately too high. Fix it when you buy a head board but move it down for now. I agree with everyone that theothr shelfs do not work. Also, replace your vertical blinds with some curtain panels and if possible update your closet doors. Love the lamps on the night tables, can you add a nice light fixture in the room above the bed as this will help finish the room? I think you should move the bench to the wall under the picture as it looks bear there and the baskets underneath make it look too cluttered.
    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 4:26PM
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I think you have made some really good decisions -- not too girly at all. Good job! Initially I didn't like the floating shelf above the bed, but it is growing on me (but I might suggest a couple of larger leaning "art" pieces, a few less photos, and a bit of light from some votives). The two bracketed shelves are not working for me -- I would ditch them. If you want to send your small space over the top, dress the ceiling! -- I'm thinking an unexpected chandelier. Either a big drum shade or something sparkly and glam ... [houzz=
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1 Like    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Agree with the comment on the little shelves -- more of something diminishes the overall effect. Remove all the little shelves and if it won't ruin the wall, lower the big one at least a foot.

Frame some of the photos in identical frames with matting (all the B/Ws, for instance) and hang somewhere else. Keep shelf simple, clean, uncluttered and streamlined. Modern is about a lot less of everything.

Definitely ditch the blinds. If you want to keep that as a windowseat, a roman shade or louvered shutters are the only thing that will work. Curtains will just get in the way. Hi-gloss red shutters would be stunning. It's hard to tell what color you'd prefer as everything is one or another shade of gray, but chrome yellow, apple green, fuschia (girly), or any other intense color.

Change out face plates to something that more nearly matches the wall color (pewter, perhaps?).

You've got an interesting look going. Sleek and sophisticated. A little tweaking and you're there.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 4:51PM
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Can you move the bench near the other picture by the door and take off that shelf and picture and put a big mirror above the bench. Put a nice chair in the corner by the window and a table.
    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 4:52PM
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Thanks for all your comments and suggestions! Gives me an idea of where I missed the mark and what can change.

Now the problem with the ledge above the bed was that I had a lot of difficulty getting it installed on this wall (worked fine at my old place). I won't be removing that for a bit. But got the point about too many frames. I was trying to aim for a collected look of frames ( seen so many pics on houzz like that). OK I can remove most of them. How many should I leave up there, what other (or couple of) accessories do I put on the ledge? I kind of like Brenda's ideas but I'm not good with choosing the correct pieces.

I'll remove the other shelves! Those were thankfully easier. I do need some shelves to put few items of everyday need which was what the shelf near the picture was serving. I'm on a budget so couldn't get a dresser. Is there any way I could use both these small shelves on this wall to give a similar look, maybe with a mirror on top? Does that make sense?

I've also been trying to figure out what other color to bring in with this mix. I'll look into the colors inkwitch provided.

Lastly, if I change these, I would still need a place to hang these photos, want to keep them in my room. Which wall could I do a collage on?

I know lots of questions! But I'm so happy to have started this, making me options I've never considered. Thanks again everyone!
    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Looks like you'll know the look I'm aiming for, regarding the ceiling light- shiny, sparkly - that's exactly what I had in mind. This is what I have hung to get that effect, had to take a closer pic, because it was not showing well in any pic I was taking out which included the room.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 5:21PM
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I see potential here. Hang the 3 small shelves to the right of the bench and use them to hold books.

Either paint or cover the white boxes under the bench. They stand out like a sore thumb against the dark baskets. Fabric, craft paper, wall paper, or scrapbook paper are all options.

When it comes to a headboard think outside the box. A screen from an import store, a large window painted out in black with the glass frosted (see photo), or do as designer Kara Paslay did. She made the Asian inspired headboard from a thin piece of stained luan whhich she adorned with spray-painted painter's tape in a geometric motif! Lastly, you can use paint chips to cover a piece of plywood, lightly stain them and use it as a headboard.

Paint the white doors and trim the same color as the wall to 'hide' them or cover them in mirror, frame then and add muntins so they look like windows. (see photo)

Hope to see updates soon!
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 5:30PM
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janishill, love the options you have provided. Will definitely start looking at a DIY headboard and the mirror finish for the doors, especially loved that idea!

The shelves do not fit to the right of the bench, they are too wide and that wall is narrow as the door to the bedroom is next to it. What do you think of my option that I suggested above?

Lastly, because these creative ideas may take me a while, what are the accessories I should buy At the moment - for nightstands, ledge(removing the million frames) and in general. Also any ideas of a rug?
1 Like    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Liking this room a lot thinking this could be a close fit for my own bedroom
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 2:42AM
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I would REMOVE ALL shelving as it makes the small space cluttered. The photos can be reproduced to any size, and framed inexpensively in ready made narrow black frames, and hung on the wall where you have one picture and a small shelf, or even also vertically in line with the window seat on either side of that. Concentrate on your headboard, and two new lamps. Add some fresh flowers by your bed. If you want to brighten the bed, add a matelasse white tailored coverlet, and fold back the duvet in thirds at the bottom. You don't need doo dads... headboard and lamps first! ( Keep just a couple favorite small framed photos for next to your bed... : )
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 3:25AM
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Given that you're on a tight budget and can't get a chest just yet, if the shelves are alike (little ones), mount them one above the other, or, as suggested above, use them as bedside tables. It's a bit much of the same thing, but will do for now. This would be a possible opportunity for color -- red lacquer on either side of the bed would pop. So would vivid yellow. Whatever color you like.

I would not worry overmuch about doing anything to the wall below that big shelf if you plan on a larger headboard (a padded one covered by almost any fabric is really easy to build yourself). Leaving it bare will keep you focused on your goal. If you'd like a reason to change your mind about another headboard, there are lots of suggestions that will suffice.

It's easier to pick paint colors out of a rug than to match a rug to a color you've already chosen. If you want a color, rug is a good starting place, but you may prefer more neutrals.

Play around with the items on the shelf until you get a look that seems to work. Go through houzz. They're lots of photos of this type of decor and it will give you a better idea than anything that can be said here. (There's nothing like a picture!) As for another place for the photos, perhaps the sides of your windowseat would work.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 4:12AM
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I love the light fixture you picked out - its perfect. I've attached some houzz photos of successful photo collage walls and photo shelves to give you some inspiration. Also, you may want to consider adding 24 inch Euro Sham Pillows to your bed -- it's a great budget friendly substitute for a headboard, and it can add some color as well (I would do them in the same amethyst shade that's on the pillows in the window seat). [houzz=
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    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 4:18AM
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"Necessity is the mother of invention". I would shop garage sales for a very inexpensie dresser or chest that could be painted. Also keep watch as I drove on residential streets (as I have picked up wonderful finds for free). The while boxes can be repainted with $1.00 bottles of acrylic paint. You can also find white sheets at garage sales for you windows which you could either hang "as is" or paint a simple stencil design to give interest. One is only limited by their imagination. Go a bit wild perhaps and just try some inexpensive yet fun exploration on the road to design. Lynda
1 Like    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 4:30AM
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You're looking good. Almost there. Agree with the comments about all the little shelves and the vertical blinds. Think you should get rid of the pillows on the bench, especially the ones leaning up against the blinds.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 4:34AM
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The shelve itself is not a bad idea, but I would take all the small frames off and put just one or two, three large plain pieces above and perhaps something else. Photos with large matting.
Nightstands do not have to match, this is rather boring. You've got more space on the inside to the room, make it more interesting, round table with glass for example. What's behind in the corner is hardly visible. Also a colorful blanket over the end of the bed could make a statement and more contemporary bedding. Color!
Also, these vertical blinds are giving it an aged look. Eventually exchange with shades and or curtains.
All these other small shelves I would remove, seems to fuzz for me.
Scale is important, make it bigger, so it feels bigger, a few larger pieces make a statement in a small bedroom.
I love the color on the wall and your basic idea about the room.
One day I also would make the table lamps larger or hang some modern swing arm lamps on the wall next to the future headboard. And make that nice and upholstered, so you can sit comfortably and read if you like that! Yellow accents could look great with your gray walls. Yellow, white or turquoise.
Have fun!
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 5:40AM
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I would spray paint the frames all one color and hang a collage on the wall next to the closet/bathroom doors. Use craft paper or brown paper grocery bags spread on the floor. Make certain the width is cut to match the wall space. Place the pictures on it, rearranging until you find a pleasing arrangment. Trace the pictures, then number them andt he corresponding paper trace, cut the traces out and hang them using tape. You can rearrange till your heart is content before making holes in your wall.

For the nightstands layering is key. Don't be afraid to let your lamp cover a portion of artwork or mirrors you hang over the nightstand or prop on top. (see photo) Try a small silver bowl or dish to hold loose change, a green plant, a clock (Big Ben style?), a pretty vase, some of your silver framed pictures and books. Every item doesn't have to be funtional, but it's nice if they are. Group differently shaped items together. If everything is square or rectangle it is boring.

If you mirror the doors you shouldn't need another mirror in the room.

Check Craigslist for a dresser or chest of drawers. Paint it with chalk paint. I like the idea of adding a deep orange to the mix. It would be a great accent. And yes, both red and yellow would work, but it seems everyone pairs red or yellow with gray.

If the shelves won't work on the right side, hang them on the left side of the bench. Books and other accesories will still make it a nice reading nook.

Change the blinds to Roman shades when you have the funds.

Still hope to see updates in the near future!
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 5:47AM
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Lose the shelf next to the shelf is enough, plus the difference in the two heights is no bueno.
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:35AM
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Jeannine Feeley
love the bed covering. the room seems very small with lots of little things. I would do a big padded headboard with wall hung lamps (and could use the 2 little shelves as night tables. Also would either paint the doors the same color as walls or put mirrors on one or both doors... good luck with your project.
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:45AM
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raise the bed height, Bed Bath & Beyond sells bed raisers for under $10.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:37AM
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am with jan moyer , remove all shelves , if you are to have a tv in the room opposite the bed, consider 0ne of the shelves to put it on. relocate the art to the center of the wall it is on now. If you need storage, use two 3 droor dressers ( Malm at Ikea) as night tables instead of nightstand.I used them in my sons bedroom only $99. apiece, or even one on one side and a night stand on the other,they have clean line and if you don't like the colors they can be painted easily. Your bedding looks exquisite. I would also as suggested do a wall display of all the pics, make a large rectangular taped area on the wall opposite the bed and put all the frames in that space, if you want a more streamlined look, get identical frames for all of them. You can wait to put anything over your bed, and when you get your headboard , depending on the style, you might not need anything there. In the meantime simplicity is best. I like the color and the calmness in the room , have fun
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 8:44AM
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I would remove the shelf that is on top of the bed and add a custom headboard with colors that include red, white, lime or chocolate. If the headboard is out of the budget I would incorporate a large painting to bring out the wall.
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Gina Leitz
Love the color scheme going on! I would consider snickhunt's advice and raise the height of the bed also. I can't tell, but it looks like you have eggplant purple pillows in the window seat. I'd continue to use that color and replace those blinds with eggplant purple and platinum curtains. Leave up the long shelf for now and if you wanted you could make a gathered panel of fabric and attach it to the bottom of the shelf with velcro until you get a head board. I'd do that in the eggplant purple also. I would remove all the smaller shelves as it makes the room look choppy. In their place consider taking the framed prints off the shelf and make a collage to hang on the wall. To do this just lay the pictures on the floor until you have a pleasing arrangement and transfer it to the wall. I'll give you an example by showing you how I did some on a space in my own home. (one posted sideways...sorry,couldn't fix it), but it gives you the idea I was trying to make.

Somehow you need to raise the height of the bedside lighting, which I find very beautiful. Possibly you could find matching wood bases of a rectangular shape to place them on and attach them to the wall. They are stunning and add an ambiance to the room I find irresistable. A nice mahoganey stained or ebony black painted chest of drawers and matching bed side tables will look nice. Don't buy pieces that are small because the room is small. Buy a bold piece that still fits in the space but gives it presence. You've already got a good thing going on! Best wishes!
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Sondra Abbott Design
Great work - just needs some tweaks. I would remove the shelves (all of them). Once you get a great headboard, you don't want anything competing for attention. If you don't need drawer space, I think using the small shelves as nightstands is a great idea. Love the lamps, BTW. I agree that the boxes under your window seat draw attention away from what could be a great little nook - if you need them, ensure they appear similar in shape, size and colour. They could "disappear" visually or be a pop of colour (you could wrape them in matching fabric). The vertical blinds have to go as they interfere with your windowseat - instead use a roller shade and valance - bring in some colour there and it's easy DIY too. Is it possible to have the top of the windows line up? It might be better too, if you change out that lamp for a wall sconce or a light from the ceiling over that area (I see a bulkhead) - you can still use the outlet. Whatever small pictures you have, reframe them in matching frames and display them all on one wall as a collage. Not sure what colour your scheme is now - looks like greys and taupes. Go for luxe shades of purple, royal blue or gold as accents! Good luck!
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 12:41PM
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I see that you like dark nuetrals that fine but you need some pop of color. If you really like the black and white picture you have hanging on the wall pull the red out, I don't know what you have on the wall across from your bed but maybe you can take all you shelves and cluster thm together place more than just pitures on the shelfs. If there is a TV on that wall you can still cluster the smaller shelves around the TV. The window bench looks to bulky and not very inviting take an inexpensive sheet or blanket that is not bulky and tuck under the cushion simular to a bed skirt to hide your storage or even drape the cover over the entire bench to the floor if you do that use another nuetral color and use two bulster pillows on each end of the bench in a print and then drape a coordinating throw on the bench make everything soft colors so that the bench in inviting. I believe your bed looks like a platform bed I am not sure of the headboard , use a soft complemetary paint on your bed wall or a very nice soft wall paper. If neither of them are in the budget at this time make some playful decals for the wall using your accent color just a few suggestions good luck!!
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 10:01PM
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The small shelf off to the left disturbs the balance of the room. Keep to a more formal balance to avoid it looking lobsided. The main shelf maybe seems too busy with all the smaller pictures. I agree with remarks above to add one or two large, bold pieces to the wall and rather remove the long shelf. Alternatively keep the shelf but look at various pictures of how to group items. Maybe remove some of the small framed pics and replace with a nice vase, interesting sculpture, 1-2 larger framed art pieces, storage boxes, etc. You can use cheap ply wood, dense foam, nice fabric and merely make your own striking headboard. You can wall mount it. (I do however note that you have an existing headboard.) Good luck and enjoy. Not a bad start!
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 10:51PM
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instead of putting something between the bed and the shelves to "fill in" the space, I would suggest getting risers for the bed. They look like upside down flower pots. Just put them under the feet of the bed and it'll rise a few inches. It'll take away the awkward space temporarily, until you can get a headboard.

LOVE the color of the room. Beautiful.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:08AM
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I think you are on the right track. I like your color palette, the bedding, the lights on the nightstands and the bench. I don’t think it is too girly. It’s neutral and soothing but needs a little pop of color. Take your pillow cases with you when you go shopping and just see what looks good to you as a complimentary color for any accessories.

The bed should be the focal point of the room and I am distracted by all the shelves. I would remove them all especially the small ones. The small shelves are making the room seem smaller because they jut out from the wall. A picture or a mirror that is flush against the wall would make the room seem larger. I agree with another poster that an alternative would be a DIY inexpensive padded headboard. If you have to keep the large shelf, I would remove about half of the items on it and vary the height of the items on it.

I would remove the blinds and soften the room with some sort of fabric shade.

If possible, I would remove the boxes under the bench. I realize that you are probably using them for storage. Others have suggested ways to disguise them if you can’t remove them.

Check out Craig’s List, Ebay and consignment stores for unique and inexpensive furniture and accessories. Have fun with it!
    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:30AM
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Thank you all for the suggestions! Really have a good sense of what I need to do. Will start looking into them and see what can be accomplished within my reach.... For now at least.

So removing the little shelves is unanimous. Will do that this weekend. Also, removing the frames as such. Well I made a wee bit of progress based on the comments and removed all the frames to keep the look cleaner. I've put up a few accessories, all need not be there, but would like to get the thumbs up that I'm hopefully going down the right path.

You'll will see that I haven't chosen a color to make the room pop. Will be exploring color options this weekend as well and hopefully will make a decision.

Anyways here goes, let me know what you'll think.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Also love the idea of the bed raisers, I always wanted my bed to be higher to start off with! That's actually next on my list!
    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:52PM
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I think that you should remove the shelf' above the bed and replace with a sliver framed oblong mirror, and add taller lamps on the bedside tables to match the tall window coverings.
    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Gina Leitz
I like what you have put on the right side of the shelf and don't mind the two pictures to the left but maybe some type of greenery is needed, like possibly a round wreath of boxwood would look pretty resting on the shelf. You could add one with berries to incorporate some color (all white or red). I have attached a picture of one and if possible you could attach it to a framed mirror or a frame with chalkboard paint and your favorite saying written around it to give the room a little warmth. Just a thought.
    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Pamela Danner
Love what you've done just a couple of suggestions 1) since your quilt is reversible try it with the solid side out and the floral print folded over chic with a hint of feminine 2) get three coordinated plaques, art or mirrors and hang them between the bed and the shelf or possibly 1 wide and skinny piece
    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 9:34PM
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The room still needs the shelves gone. All of them. Add one nice piece of artwork above the bed and new taller lamps. I still say I would not sleep with all that little stuff that could fall off on my head. It's your room, you can do what you like. We just give opinions.
    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:02AM
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