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I'm looking for a verb that means to remove decoration from a room, in the sense of taking paintings off walls or removing furniture. I would prefer a word that has negative connotations.

I though of "redecorate", but redecorating involves adding new decoration and sounds too positive.

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Strip the room? Strip the room of its contents? –  JAM Aug 31 '12 at 3:06
    
-1 No research effort shown. –  MετάEd Aug 31 '12 at 4:20
    
@ΜετάEd: If you didn't know the word, it's not obvious to me how you'd track it down. Apart from remove (which probably wouldn't include strip in any dictionary definition), what could OP search for? –  FumbleFingers Aug 31 '12 at 4:22
    
@FumbleFingers Antonyms for "decorate": I quickly turned up "strip" at Thesaurus.com under the result "garnish" with "decrease, divest, harm, hurt, leave plain". And OP could have tried synonyms for "remove" and "redecorate". If nothing turned up, OP still should say so. From How to Ask: "Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and most of all it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer". –  MετάEd Aug 31 '12 at 4:38
    
Maybe you should just use "undecorate." It seems to be a trend in interior decorating, though I don't think it's got a negative connotation. wordspy.com/words/undecorating.asp Gutting a room implies removing drywall or plaster and any fixtures; taking it down to the framework. –  JLG Sep 4 '12 at 20:13
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You'd strip the room, house, or whatever (that's 839 written instances of "strip the room").

OED strip To unclothe, denude ... To denude or divest (a thing) of attributes ... To take as plunder or spoil. (Obs.)

I'm not convinced about that Obs. I think if a burglar had enough time (while you were away on holiday, say), then with a van, he could easily strip your house of everything of value.

You might also strip the house if you're moving out following a sale that didn't go well. If you'd only recently put up some expensive curtains, say, that the buyers didn't want to pay extra for, you might take them even if they're not going to be any use in your new place.

Of course, if OP wants to sound really "negative, he could always say he...

gutted the place before he left.

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Have you considered something like disfigure or deface?

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