In Decorating, Size Matters

by hookedonhouses on November 19, 2008

Here’s a perfectly pleasant older home on the market for a perfectly reasonable price (only $155,000). It offers original woodwork and hardwood floors, charming arched doorways and an updated kitchen.

But all I could think about when I saw the interior photos was that SIZE MATTERS when you’re decorating your home. I’m afraid these owners may need a little help understanding proportion and scale.

Take a look and you’ll see what I mean:

Here we have a dining room table and chandelier that are both too small for the room.

In the living room, we have artwork that is hung too high over the clock on the mantel, and a rug that looks too small to float in the center like that:

On the other side of the room is a TV too wide to fit on that wall:

Even the bedroom has a problem with size–the comforter is too small!

This would be a wonderful little bungalow with a few tweaks and rearrangements here and there, don’t you think?

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Bella Casa November 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm

OMG, I love that house! I grew up in a house like that and my heart stops every time I see one…and this one is even brick, wow!

I have to laugh at the tv thing…reminds me of my infamous iron work wall dilemma…old houses, love/hate relationship to be for sure!


melissa @ the inspired room November 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm

$155,000? That is likely $550,000 house where I live! Holy cow! I’m living in the wrong city! :-)

jeweledrabbit November 19, 2008 at 9:48 pm

I agree with you on all accounts.

Angela (Cottage Magpie) November 19, 2008 at 9:52 pm

SO true! People think you have to put small things in small houses, but that just makes them look smaller and cluttered. Strategically chosen pieces with presence is better.

And I’ll 2nd what Melissa said. $155K Are you kidding? I live over an hour from the city so I can buy at a discount, but I can’t buy a delapidated crack house for $155K. Sigh.

~Angela :-)

angela | the painted house November 19, 2008 at 10:16 pm

Remember me? It’s been too long! :)

Okay, that TV totally reminds me of the entertainment center on Friends that Joey and Chandler built. Remember? Ha!

That is one heck of a deal on that house–miniature stuff and all!

Brandee November 19, 2008 at 10:30 pm

That TV is too funny!

Sarah (Thriftydecorchick) November 19, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I laughed out loud at the first one — it just looks so wrong!! :) And come ON with that tv cabinet!!!

Jan November 19, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Oh no!!! That dining room table looks like a TV tray in that HUGE Dining Room. And that HUGE Entertainment Center, what were they thinking? Did you see the size of the table lamp in the living room?

I have started a new meme…on Mondays…MANSION TOUR. Talk about size…over 3300 sq ft and slightly more than the house you have shown. Take a peek:


architectdesign November 20, 2008 at 12:32 am

What a charming house! I have the same problem as everyone else, this house would be way out of my price range were it in DC – probably around 800k in a good neighborhood which is INSANE! Sadly, this is how much of the country decorates and they think it’s fine *shudder*. I know I’ll be in the minority, but the first thing I’d do is paint a lot of that wood trim a nice crisp white. Sorry folks, too much oak for me! I would also get a new more vintage styled front door. Great find!

Mom in High Heels November 20, 2008 at 2:49 am

The TV cabinet is hysterical. If the house belongs to a couple, you KNOW there was a fight over that. Apparently he won. Someone also needs to tell the sellers to pull the living room furniture off the walls! The sofa is…well, not where I would place it, but it could come off the wall and the chairs could come a little further into the room. They look like they’re lurking on the fringes of the room instead of being actually in it. What is wrong with people? What is wrong with their Realtor?

Liz@violetposy November 20, 2008 at 3:44 am

LOL! $155,000 is like £75,000 – seriously you couldn’t buy a shed in the UK for that let alone that gorgeous little house! The TV had me giggling though, that house has to be owned by a single man. Tiny dining room table…..MASSIVE TV! :)

Suzann November 20, 2008 at 7:08 am

Oh my! I saw this house’s exterior and thought – oh yummy! a special treat. Then I saw the inside photos and began to gag. Yikes! Didn’t their mama teach them to always leave the room and come back in as a visitor. Those problems are too big to be overlooked by anyone. Awesome share!

Kathy November 20, 2008 at 8:00 am

It could be charming, but I have to admit the thing that struck me is the stained molding. I know it’s popular in some parts of the country, but I don’t like it.

Angela November 20, 2008 at 8:27 am

Oh My Word – that is a very cute house that has SERIOUS potential!! A makeover and they could get more $$ for it!! Well, maybe…depends on where it’s located…but anyway, totally a cute house! I would love to get my hands on that one and fix ‘er up!

Cathy November 20, 2008 at 9:01 am

Oh my..I never thought about furniture being too small.. I don’t have too small/too large problem..I have too much crap to start. No really. I feel that my dining room table is too big for the room sometimes. I have posted a few pics of my house here and there if ya want to peak..Pleae give me some advise. Pics listed under house label

janet November 20, 2008 at 10:00 am

Some people just don’t understand or don’t want to understand. As hard as it is for some of us to imagine, some people don’t care about decorating! The rest of us are dying to get in there and give it the look it deserves.


Emily November 20, 2008 at 10:36 am

Some people are just clueless when it comes to decorating. I had a scale problem when I moved first moved into the house I live in now, because it was a lot larger than my previous house, so I needed to find larger pieces of furniture or more furniture to fill the rooms. Even just knowing how to place the furniture better would help these people.

TraceyB November 20, 2008 at 11:29 am

Artwork hung too high is my biggest pet peeve!!

Heather November 20, 2008 at 11:48 am

I wonder if their realtor had something to say about the tv or not. I would of highly recommended they move it out of the doorway.

Mike November 20, 2008 at 12:07 pm

*ROTFL* The absolute best is the TV placement. WHAT on EARTH were they THINKING? This is a very cute house, but definitely needs some work on scale and placement of things.

Lisa November 20, 2008 at 12:20 pm

that is a travesty of injustice to that beautiful home. That could Easily be reworked into a great home, if only I were there to help! ha ha
Love the site, sista
coastal nest

Dean November 20, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Yep the TV takes the cake. If the doorbell rings does the TV answer the door?

Kelly November 20, 2008 at 1:09 pm

This looks just like a house in Iowa my in-laws lived in. Theirs needed updating and sold for just $75,000.

Billy November 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm

This is such an easy fix: living room; take the surround off the TV and quarter it in the corner, create a quick sofa table out of dimensional lumber and table cloths to move the sofa away from the window, leave one chair to the left of the fireplace; Dinning Room center the linen press between the small windows, put every leaf in the table and move toward the center of the room, or spin it 90, move extra chair from LR to the corner add table, lamp and a book; Bedroom even a 19.99 blue light special bed cover would work. It is really easy to see great bone structure. Got a link to the listing? (Pleeeease)

A repo the same age but smaller than this one traded for $750k last week a block away from me.It had gone to completive bid in 2005 with a listing price $869k.

Norma November 20, 2008 at 4:27 pm

I think what they were doing with the picture, was to ofset it from the 2 windows, which didn’t work, it should be the height as the 2 windows. Now that t.v. stand has to go, they need something alot smaller there , it just sticks out too much, they could sell it and take the money from that unit and buy a nice smaller one.The rug has to go, that’s the first thing you see, it’s just too distracting, they need a nice calm rug that’s easy on the eyes, not soo busy.Every thing in the dinning room looks so small, this room needs some work.

reagan November 20, 2008 at 4:49 pm

wow there are some definite issues here.

Summer Kitchen Interiors November 20, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Why do people insist on puting big screen T.V.’s where they do not fit! It is a cute house, but it ends there and just becomes a source of entertainment. So many things to pick apart… so little time!

Kathy :) November 20, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Oh how sad for that little house, I love the house (can’t get over the $$) to some people a house is just a house a place to eat and sleep, all the little touches are what make it a home I feel !!!

Kathy :)

hookedonhouses November 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Billy–I actually wrote this post months ago and can no longer remember where I found the house. Wish I had thought to write the MLS link down, although it has most likely sold by now! Isn’t it a great little house? I hope the new owner does it up right. :-)

Sue November 20, 2008 at 6:14 pm

My favorite was that horrible comforter….it’s a very charming house but some people just don’t have that decorating gene.

The Roost November 20, 2008 at 7:12 pm

Yep, You are so right…..Scale is so important!

Sue November 20, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Oh but that house is just waiting for the right person to decorte it wonderfully..the present owners are clueless! Now, my poor rooms are probably OVER decorated…how I wish to have that room to work with.
The bedroom is so sad…I volunteer to step in and do something with that pitiful bedding. : )

The house itself is charmimg! That TV cabinet is so NOT!


sandra/tx November 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Such a nice house. A stager could work wonders for them.

Derek November 20, 2008 at 11:27 pm

There is the old saying, ” 20 pounds of potatos in a 5 pound sack”. Quite the reverse here. Just one question? Were the current owners LARGE people?

RehabOrDie November 21, 2008 at 8:04 am

I’m smiling at the comments on real estate prices. I looked at a nearly identical bungalow two years ago just outside of Park Hills and it was just north of $100k. We still passed because it wasn’t big enough for our needs. It was cute, though. Lots of funky bungalows around here.

If you want a REALLY cheap house in a rapidly improving neighborhood, check out our entry on Cheap Houses in Covington. I’m of the opinion that one could buy a renovation project for as little as $10,000 (or even as little as $1), and get a pretty decent property. In some areas you can even get a $6k loan/grant and there are rehab funds available through the city too.

Yes, this is what we did. Frankly, after all this, I think it’s well worth it.

BTW, there are LOTS of great properties all over northern Kentucky.

Courtney @ Nesting Instincts November 21, 2008 at 8:26 am

I’d come off my hiatus to help them fix that one! Yikes. That is hilarious. I love what Dean said – does the TV also answer the door? LOL still giggling over that one….

Darla - Sassy Homemaker November 21, 2008 at 8:46 am

Very pretty house. LOL on the entertainment center. That makes me giggle.

Edith November 21, 2008 at 12:04 pm

What a lovely “little” house. (It’s way bigger than mine!) I can’t believe the low price. But yes, it seems like it must be a single guy living there. I too can’t get over the TV!! But I have to say, people who would paint over beautiful original woodwork should bypass such a house and go straight to the ones where the woodwork is already painted, or in poor condition. Having gone through the substantial effort of replacing destroyed woodwork covered in layer upon layer of paint, and doing all the staining and sanding myself by hand, I can attest to the amount of work involved and think it’s a damn shame someone would paint over wood like that!!!!

Aubrey November 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Yeah–where is that budget-friendly house?

You know, I bet they sell it so fast–people will come in and think, ‘I can make this look SO much better’ and snatch it up just to help it. The poor house is pleading for help. Seriously, the TV? WHAT were they thinking? How can you have such a great house and RUIN the decorating?

Aubrey November 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Maybe the owners can be on Design Star. To make it interesting.

Robyns Online World November 21, 2008 at 9:42 pm

I like the bedroom pic – it reminds me of The Princess and the Pea story :-)

Marie November 21, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Okay, so they need help with proportion and scale, but I can think of one positive thing to mention, they certainly got rid of their clutter! Because the rooms are clutter-free, they seem very roomy. Good for them.

Paul McQuown November 22, 2008 at 9:02 am

I love the site !!! This home looks nice by itself. The comforter was a minor thing, what with the mattress showing at the end of the bed. Charm is the word I would use, it is a charming home. Perfect for empty nesters.

Suzanne - Easy at Home November 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

This post reminds me of my girlfriend’s home. While her home is lovely in its intent, she just gets it all wrong! So very wrong! LOL! Every time I go, I want to jump off of the couch and start moving things around. Think of the fun [I’d] have!!!

Rhonda from Minnesota November 25, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Oh the possibilities this place has….let me at it! It’s hard to sit here and not correct things! :)

Jennae @ Green Your Decor December 2, 2008 at 12:41 am

Definitely a beautiful home, but you’re right — the scale of so many of their pieces is all wrong! We have problems with scale too, because we have so little space. But if I had as much space as they do, I’d be taking advantage of it. A redesign would definitely do them some good.

bungalowbliss December 9, 2008 at 2:12 pm

How funny that the size/proportion issue runs throughout the house. I giggled when I saw the comforter…and the dining table looks like dollhouse furniture! Totally love the house, though!

cannedam December 14, 2008 at 11:03 am

Is that bare mattress showing at the end of the bed? :0

Kathi January 4, 2009 at 7:30 am

When I look at houses I’m able to see the potential and look past the owner’s style or lack of it. This is a charming house! I love that they didn’t paint the woodwork or put carpet over the hardwoods. I spent hours and hours removing red rubber glue carpet pad off the hardwoods in my Florida home with a heat gun and paint scraper! This house has kept all of the charm of the past. I would buy it in a minute with the understanding that the owner’s would take that TV with them!

ida February 26, 2009 at 3:08 am

its the tv stand. omg. couldnt they do a corner tv cabnet or something. they really needed to move the furniture around before someone hurts themselves on that stand. and the dining room what a waste. good grief. then the MASTER BEDROOM……whats up with the 2 piller bed. did someone have a hard time getting untied? things that make you go hummmm. oh by the way they need a nice black and red sheet and blanket set.

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