I'm not really sure how to go about phrasing this so I get it across right. Bear with me. :)
So I'm pretty minimalist, and DH is very minimalist. I grew up with a hoarder for a mother - no, that's not an exaggeration. It was as bad as some of those shows they show on TV. So for a few years in young adulthood I had a bit of processing to do. I learned how to not bring things into the house that we don't need. I regularly make thrift store runs to get rid of things that we've outgrown. We really don't have a huge amount of things.
Trouble is, we also recently moved into a pretty big house. (For us, anyway.) It's a four bedroom, 2900-ish (I think?) square foot house. It has way more space than we're used to. Fine. Trouble is, it's kind of... I dunno. Bare. Our stuff would be perfect for about 1000 square feet of space. It would be cozy that way and not overloaded. Now we have a lot more space.
DD and DS's rooms are fine, and the master bedroom would be fine if it wasn't painted white. (The walls are kind of bare and it's a huge room and I just hate white walls.) But OK. We got a really nice bedroom set consisiting of bed, dresser/mirror and nightstands. And that's all we have there. It doesn't even take up half the space in the room.
But the largest bedroom (which is supposed to be my office, one day) is just bare right now, has a bookshelf and that's it.
The living room has this huge couch, and that's it. Also the white walls.
The kitchen and dining room are fine. Dining table, hutch, no problem.
There is a foyer area that we're using as a TV room (I'm sick and pregnant right now, so the kids are not TV-free as they normally are. Once I'm better, though, we'll move the TV back out, so it will just be another room with a couch. And again, white walls.
The WHOLE basement (i.e. first floor) is DH's domain. It is three huge, white, bare rooms. He has his computer desk and TV in one tiny corner. The rest is just bare. The kids like to run around it and strew their toys around it. It's a total eyesore, and I rarely even go down there.
There is some artwork put up here and there, and a couple of houseplants, but overall, there's a feeling of... I dunno. It looks unfinished. It doesn't feel nice. Or cozy.
We don't have a whole lot of money free for furnishings, and honestly, what sort of furnishings would we need...? I look at catalogs for inspiration, or sometimes I'll look at houses in moveies or on pinterest, and it just looks like people have a lot of STUFF lying around. It's not like we're broke, but if we have money we'll be spending it on the yard
(it's hideous right now, really needs some TLC, it's all just dead grass and weeds in a neighborhood of manicured green lawns).
I'm thinking a paint job would improve things, but it would cost a pretty penny for a house this size. Plus while I don't love the white paint, it's pretty new, so I can't really justify spending the money "just" to spruce it up. I'm thinking a few twinkly lights here and there would work, but with a house this size? HOW can you make it cozy? And how can I feel at "home" in such a huge beastly thing? I'm kidding, this house is actually really lovely and has low utilities and it's in a great location and there's a lot that's good about it, but it's just... I'm just at a loss to how to make it look not-bare, while not just buying random things to fill it with... ?? We have everything we need... But it still seems empty and bare.
I can't put more houseplants in because our cat digs them up. And DH hates rugs, which I like to at least have for visual effect. In the winter we'll probably be getting some heavy drapes for the windows which might make it a bit cozier, but right now it's just sheer curtains everywhere. Which is pretty and breezy but adds to the sparse feeling.