Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My living room- my headache space

I admit it, I need help!  We have lived in our house almost 6 years and I still have yet to figure this room out. Arrrrgh.  It is an odd layout with a low window, fireplace, open kitchen entry, etc.

Take a look:

First things first.   I wish I had pictures of all the ways we have tried to lay this room out.  Nothing has worked...yet.  I am in the midst of brainstorming and I have a few ideas, but would welcome lots more.

The color of the walls is staying, the window above the couch is staying, but the couch is NOT!  I am on the lookout for a couch like the antique couch I recovered or something else with some personality. Besides that, what else would you put on the wall on either side of the window?
To the left of where I am standing to take this photo is where the living room and kitchen connect.
This picture is taken from the hall that leads to the bedrooms.  We talked about putting the TV over the fireplace, but have been informed a few times about the heat from our gas fireplace, and the strain on your neck to look up.
 The wall where the TV is cannot hold a couch, it isn't deep enough for a couch and someones legs.  Trip factor.  So it seems the TV will be staying there.
I am thinking I would like to create a built in mirror above the fireplace with some gorgeous trim and mouldings.
Do you like the bench for the entry and the table on each side of the fireplace.  If not, what would you do there?
In this nook next to the large window and the couch, I have a desk.  It works in that space for now.  Keep it there or move it?
Keep the ottoman or not.
We are in the process of searching for hardwood floors.  At first I thought dark, but at night it looks too dark.  If you have wood floors, what are your thoughts after you chose what you chose?

To sum up, I am replacing the couch as soon as I find one.  We are getting new flooring.  Bye-bye builder grade carpeting.  I need wall decor ideas.  I would love to add salvaged architecture around the room and on the walls.  Built in mirror over the fireplace.
I am open to any and all ideas!

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  1. What about putting the TV over the fireplace and framing it out? Like this: http://www.allthingsthrifty.com/2013/10/how-to-build-a-tv-frame-tutorial.html. Then you could put the two chairs where the dresser is to create a simple seating area (maybe with the table that is to the left of the fireplace between them and some artwork on the wall). Or if you get a straight couch, place it so it is perpendicular to the fireplace (kind of sectioning off the office area), then you can put the two chairs under the window? Just some ideas!

  2. I agree the couch has to go, and the lighter colored flooring is better then the dark.
    There is an interior designer in Fenton that will come to your home, for free, for an hour.
    There are also computer programs where you can rearrange your furniture on the screen of your computer, rather then physically dragging it around.
    Here's my opinion (I hope it's not offensive):
    I think a part of the problem in your room is the mixture of sizes, wood, fabric, and colors; it's not jiving.
    Now, about creating a room within a room? Put a couch to the back of the fireplace, and the TV where the "window" about the couch is. You can get a couch table to place behind the couch (I had a great one but freecycled it). Or maybe put the bench, by the door, behind the couch. If you wanted the bench by the door for the kids to put shoes on and off, then of course, leave the bench :)
    The window you didn't want to move would like great above the fireplace. The mirror above the fireplace looks awkward b/c of it's shape. Something rectangular needs to be above the fireplace. B/C of the size of the fireplace, it dwarfs (overshadows) the table you have next to it. If you want a table there, it needs to be taller. If you love that table and want to keep it, move the mirror from above the fireplace to above the table. Above the fireplace you can put the "window" or a nice rectangular framed picture; it would need to be almost 2/3's the length of the fireplace though. The sconces by the fireplace need to be next to each other; consider moving the larger one to the left of the smaller one. Consider putting some pillar candles on top of them. If you decide to leave the bench where it is, center the sconces above the bench. Where the TV currently is, you can move your writing table there.
    I agree with your thoughts that the ottoman needing to go, as well as the couch. Maybe a nice painted wood coffee table, painted the same color as the little table by the fireplace, would work. Put the 2 chairs, with the end table that's next to the couch in between them, with the backs facing toward where the TV currently is (so just move the one chair toward the wall, put the end table to the left of that chair, and put the second chair to the left of it). HTH

  3. I think you have to decide where you want the "heart" of the living room focused - around the fireplace or the TV and that will dictate the room within a room layout. I think the current issue of This Old House magazine had some ideas about this. I think part of the awkwardness of the room is the fireplace along the entry wall. A fireplace is usually the heart of a room and draws you further into it, but yours is kind of "bam" right there as you walk in. Design-wise it really should be on the "window" wall. Perhaps if you put a sofa or credenza perpendicular to the fireplace wall (to the right of the fireplace) that would cut down on the abruptness of entering. I know it might wreck the traffic flow though. I think Stephanie is right about needing some bigger items on the wall. Or maybe more artwork grouped together to create a large impression. What about a tall desk to replace the small desk. It would give a counter-balance to the fireplace wall. The window wall looks pretty lonely. I think a lot of the problem with decorating modern homes is the confused focal point. I have a large fieldstone fireplace with high ceilings in my living room, but I don't have a TV screen in there. The fireplace is the focal point and the furniture is arranged around that. You could combine your focal points (if you can resolve the heat issue) by putting the TV above the fireplace. Bring the sofa closer and make a second room with your desk area. Hope my suggestions give you some ideas!

  4. I've read the previous comments and I can't improve on any of them - very thoughtful ideas! I do have hardwood floors that are pine - the reddish color - works nicely, but I do love the look of dark wood with lighter walls. I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,