Ok, so....lunia! Wow, are you buying a house? That's so exciting!
I think your living room is almost the same size as mine....if I remember correctly, mine is about 12X19...or 20? Can't remember. Anyway, I had a very hard time with the space until I decided to divide it into two areas. Not with walls or anything, but two distinct groupings of furniture. I like to call them "The Library" and "The Garden."
Anyway, the one area houses all my bookshelves, my desk, desk chair, and a big reading chair and footstool. The other area is my main socializing/relaxing area, and I have a couch and 2 chairs, coffee table, TV, and a buttload of plants. I use the couch as the divider. Well, you can see pics, there's a link in my profile.
It's hard to know what to recommend, since I'm not sure what you like, but it's okay not to pick just one look for a room. The best rooms, IMHO, are ecclectic, with a little bit of whatever you love. If you keep choosing things that you really, really love, and don't settle for less, they will work together. Also, don't settle!! I think it's probably tempting to want to fill up empty rooms with a load of so-so furniture because you want to get it "done," but I think rooms look better if you slowly find the "right" things for it over time. (I'm not saying the most expensive things, but the things that you like best....although I speak from experience when I say you shouldn't skimp when it comes to the sofa.) It's okay to have empty spaces. Probably you want to pick the couch first, because you need one! But don't feel you have to buy a "set" of furniture. Mixing it up usually looks better.
They ("they") say you should buy your more expensive furniture/your "investment" furniture in neutral colours (black, white, brown, taupe, beige, grey, etc., and I think that's probably a good idea, especially if you're not sure where you're going. You can dress up your neutral furniture with colourful accessories, just like you dress up a neutral suit with coloured blouses and scarves. And you can change it around when you get bored. Personally, I consider green a neutral, so do keep that in mind if you're looking at my pictures!
Also, I really recommend not sinking money into patterned items....pillows/rugs, yes; sofas/wallpaper, no. I made this mistake with a sofa once, and even though the pattern was all neutrals, I still regretted it bitterly! I found it really limiting - I couldn't easily mix in other patterns, colours, and styles, so I felt "stuck." If you're not sure about your style, it's probably also a good idea to look at classic, simple shapes - nothing too ornate or too "out there" modern...at least, not if you're spending a lot of money. If you're still deciding what you like, you can mix classic pieces into just about any design scheme.
It's probably a good idea to start keeping a decorating file, and just throw everything into it that you're thinking about. Go through magazines and catalogues and cut out pictures that appeal to you. Don't censor yourself or worry that a room is "too crazy" or "too old fashioned" or whatever - just cut out stuff you like and throw it in. Over time, as you build your collection, you should start to get a clearer picture of what you like and how to make it work in a room.
I often think the easiest way to deal with bathrooms is with colour! Since it's such a small room, you can do anything in there - you can use bright or deep colours on the walls, get towels to match or contrast, and it will all work. You can build up whatever else you need or want over time, but if you take care of the colour first, it will be pretty easy to put together. My bathroom was the first room I tackled when I moved in...I'm about to RE-do it, actually, once I finish the bedroom. The first thing I did was invest in forest green towels, bath curtain, etc. I bought some inexpensive framed prints in the "green" theme, one of which had purple in it, so I painted this huge, zig-zaggy green and purple stripe on the wall, all the way around the room. I'm actually keeping the stripe after the re-do, and toning down the dark green by painting the rest of the room light green and getting some lighter green towels and stuff. I also painted the door purple (!) and painted some other stuff green/purple, but I'll be painting over that - just keeping the stripe.
If you're stuck trying to figure out where to start, try looking to something you already have, like a favourite artwork, or your posters. Art is usually a fabulous jumping point for colour schemes and themes. My dining room was originally inspired by some Chinese art left to me by my grandmother and by Sun Yat Sen Gardens in Vancouver. My kitchen was inspired by the colours in an art glass vase! (You can see those rooms at the link in my profile, too.) My living room was inspired by my love of plants to become a sort of ecclectic garden. You can also look to your wardrobe if you're unsure what colours you can live with...our clothes are a big clue as to colour schemes!
Anyway, here are some of my favourite websites, which I use a lot for decorating advice and tips: Better Homes and Gardens
(great articles, great tools, and don't miss the arranging a room feature, which I used to get the furniture arrangement I have now)HGTV
(click on the "decorating" tab and then check out the links on the left, especially the "room design" section, where you can get lots of ideas for specific rooms, and also "design styles" which will help if you're interested in learning more about different styles, like Asian, or modern, or whatever)Style at Home
(Canadian site, lots of good articles)ivillage Home Dec section
(I've just found this one, and am still checking it out myself, but I'm finding lots of good tips)
Ok, I don't know if that's too much info or too little, but I hope it helps! Please stay with us in the thread and let us know how the progress goes - and we love pics, by the way!!