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Need help with my living room
Becky McClellan
November 2, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Our living room is about 24 x 24 with an open plan into the dining room with bay windows, corner fireplace and a cabinet that houses the television. I really would like some ideas on changing the fireplace and furniture placement.
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Dytecture
The general furniture placement works for this room. Are you open to painting the walls a different color ? Here is an example of a fireplace with character.


November 2, 2012 at 6:36PM     
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Irisheyes Home Improvement
You need to make multiple seating areas in a room so large.
November 2, 2012 at 7:20PM     
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Hockman Interior Design
I would create an L with the loveseats and move slightly forward toward the tv and plank a chair in the corner next to the tv. Next, I would create a little reading nook back by the fireplace. Also, adding an area rug will help define the tv viewing area from the seating area by the fireplace. Hope this helps always hard to get real feel of room with pics. Best of luck
November 2, 2012 at 9:15PM     
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stevebluestein
Ok basics... start with a rug. The sofas are floating in that room and need a rug to anchor it. Angle the sofa off the fireplace. This puts the sofas on both sides of the fireplace , the TV cabinet can stay where it is... but it's hard to tell from these photos exactly the relation they hold to each other. The clock is too large for over the fireplace. Move it to a wall. All the elements are in that room just in the wrong place. But start with a rug.
November 2, 2012 at 9:34PM     
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pjcham
Before changing anything decide what style or look you are going for. If you are wanting to update your look you might consider slipcovering your sofas in solid colors. After that you could find a large rug with colors in it that you want to use as your accents. Please consider changing your window coverings to ceiling to floor panels. Either coordinate the colors with your wall color or bring out the accent colors you have chosen for pillows and throws. I agree placing the sofas in an L-shape would be worth a try making sure their front legs are on the rug. Try enlarging your end tables by putting both leaves up or just one with some good sized lamps. I would also suggest updating your light fixtures. You have a nice sized room with lots of potential - have fun!
November 3, 2012 at 4:46AM     
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inkwitch
So you're ignoring the fireplace? Sort of the elephant in the room! Okay. stevebluestein solved that issue. Because the FP is angled, the rest of your room will have to play off that.

Do you really need all that seating? 2 sofas and 2 huge recliners? Do you have a half-dozen people living there? Do you entertain a lot? One sofa facing the fireplace is sufficient, flanked by the recliners (if you must have them). Or 2 sofas and one recliner (maybe).

You need:
A floor rug big enough that all the front legs of the furniture rest on it. Something sort of plain since your sofa has a busy pattern. Not Oriental.

Big coffee table -- leather ottomon? 2 separated square tables? Nothing too ornate. FP is rustic/earthy. One of those coffee tables on metal industrial wheels would add character.

Remove the mantel. Simplicity. THat high mantel makes the ceiling look lower. Get a craftsman to make something that finishes it off, but not much can go on the walls with so little space. Think wall sculpture, maybe a grouping of 3. Great location for an evergreen swag with ornaments at Christmas.

Change the ceiling fan lights to something with globe light. Not brass. Oiled bronze or black, with 5 blades. Those lights are out of fashion.

New end tables that don't match. (Matching isn't done anymore except is very formal rooms.) Your furniture is too massive for those spindly tables.

Get a sofa console table for behind the sofa. Good location for a lamp. Gives weight and form to the floating sofa.

Use floor lamps, nor torchiers.

TV will have to move (there are extensions for the connectors so just because the cable is there doesn't mean the tv has to be.) Declutter the tv cabinet.

Don't be afraid of open spaces. Throw an interesting rug on the floor in the open space if it's a traffic area. It doesn't have to match exactly the larger rug for the seating area, but should compliment.

Look at the scale of your accessories. IT's a large room with large furniture. Dainty accessories won't work.

Those curtains don't work with that room. Shape too formal for room. Plain draperies that will cover the whole window in cream, taupe, sand, depending on the paint tones (photos never present colors exactly) that hang straight, maybe even puddle a little.
November 3, 2012 at 5:22AM     
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bacl98
Anxious to see your finished project!
November 3, 2012 at 6:21AM   
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sidneyroche
I think inkwitch has some good ideas for you. Remove paneling above fireplace, lower rustic mantel w/ simple items on mantel. Curtains and ceiling fan changes would make a big impact. After pictures would be fun!
November 4, 2012 at 6:54AM     
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swginokc
Personally, I would follow the angle of the fireplace, and put a sofa at a parallel angle. If you move the sofa out far enough, you can put the second sofa perpendicular to it, on the wall side, not the window side. Float a chair or two, one next to the fireplace on the left, and one adjacent to the main sofa, with its back to the window.
November 4, 2012 at 7:22AM     
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nevadan
I can't discern that much from your photographs, but the "TV cabinet" has got to go. Find a place for a LARGE flat panel TV and plan around that. Large room needs a large screen. You will find that with a falt panel the screen has to be bigger, and at the right height. One sofa will be enough. You need some chair and table groupings. Worry about a rug after you have figured out the furniture arrangements.
November 4, 2012 at 8:17AM     
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decoenthusiaste
Orient your room to the FP corner and adjacent wall by building in TV, bookcases, storage. Replace the fans with double chandys. Then the room will appear brand new and you can start to decorate.
Coyote Basement
Showhome 2010 - 2
River House
November 4, 2012 at 8:36AM     
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Joan Palmer
Simple sofa and a chair for the TV, and sofa and chair for fireplace. Or Two chairs to the fireplace and sofas to the TV. Enjoy both places in the room. Definitely needs area rugs, natural fibers will help with flow and not demand attention. Jute rugs are terrific!
November 4, 2012 at 1:06PM     
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Dar Eckert
Looks like your style is more traditional but if you're ready for a change here's something that may work well with your fireplace. Unfortunately nothing else in the room is modern so you would have to start from scratch.

November 4, 2012 at 1:48PM   
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rosalie66
First of all tv cabinet has to go. Flat screen should go on fireplace wall with new tv cabinet under it. Large area rug. Slip cover sofa's or L shaped sofa and face tv. New drapes buy new credenza where tv was with mirror above , reflex light. Keeps books and family games inside. Paint paneling above fireplace. Good Luck. Really not that big a job. Great bones.
November 4, 2012 at 1:54PM   
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chindowney
1. Divide up the space. You have plenty and it could be fun to consider "dedicating" some to specific purposes. For instance- I'd love to have a comfortable chair, side table and floor lamp next to the fireplace for a winter place with a book or newspaper. Maybe a small desk or table and chair(s) in the corner to the left of the window?

2. If you leave the TV where it is, I'd have a couch facing it with the other facing the fireplace as suggested previously. (As currently arranged, they appear too far apart for conversation.)

3. The fireplace needs work. Good suggestions above. As a minimum, remove the mantle, fill the space with wood trim and paint it and the wood above with the same color as the walls or similar.

4. Fans need updating. New fans (or light fixtures) which conceal bulbs. Could be something upturned (as in your dining room) or the translucent ones commonly available. (Avoid clear or plain white globes which are too bright when viewed directly.) If you replace the fans spend the few extra dollars for a model which incorporates a remote control. If you retain the current units, I'd paint the blades, motor housing and brackets white. (Rustoleum works well on metal parts.)

5. Area rugs- Yes, as suggested,after you've decided on furniture placement.

Good Luck !
November 4, 2012 at 4:34PM   
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judygilpin
Get rid of the TV cabinet..go for a flat screen. Get rid of the fans. Who needs 2 in one room. I would be more delicate with my clients, but just seeing 3 photos makes it difficult to give an honest design suggestion. You have too many large scale furniture pieces and they seem not to be functional as placed. Can the people sitting on the sofas watch TV or enjoy the firplace? Doesn't look like it to me. My advise is to go to a local furniture store with designers on staff or a design/staging business. It may cost a few dollars (very few) to get the look and function you want. Right now, I'd say it's money well spent .

You need somebody " in house" to see the actual set-up, as the photos are difficult to follow for the design that would work the best. If you have the funds, I'd recommend to start all over in replacing the sofa's & chairs. Only keep the peices that have sentimental value.

One last thought, the fireplace needs to be re-worked. Whatever material you chose....stone, drywall, granite, tile....it should be carried all the way from hearth to ceiling. No mantel needed. You could possibly mount the flat screen over the fireplace if that suits your lifestyle.

But, at this point, I advise that you get professional advise LOCALLY. It will give you a room that you will be proud of, but more importantly, a very functional space.
November 4, 2012 at 8:02PM     
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judygilpin
Get rid of the TV cabinet..go for a flat screen. Get rid of the fans. Who needs 2 in one room. I would be more delicate with my clients, but just seeing 3 photos makes it difficult to give an honest design suggestion. You have too many large scale furniture pieces and they seem not to be functional as placed. Can the people sitting on the sofas watch TV or enjoy the firplace? Doesn't look like it to me. My advise is to go to a local furniture store with designers on staff or a design/staging business. It may cost a few dollars (very few) to get the look and function you want. Right now, I'd say it's money well spent .

You need somebody " in house" to see the actual set-up, as the photos are difficult to follow for the design that would work the best. If you have the funds, I'd recommend to start all over in replacing the sofa's & chairs. Only keep the peices that have sentimental value.

One last thought, the fireplace needs to be re-worked. Whatever material you chose....stone, drywall, granite, tile....it should be carried all the way from hearth to ceiling. No mantel needed. You could possibly mount the flat screen over the fireplace if that suits your lifestyle.

But, at this point, I advise that you get professional advise LOCALLY. It will give you a room that you will be proud of, but more importantly, a very functional space.
November 4, 2012 at 8:02PM   
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PRO
Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi Becky McClellan, Marie here.
I'd definitely hire a professional to come out and consult with what you could and could not do.
You need to set a budget on how much you are willing to spend, and share that with a local professional.
I personally and professionally hate corner fireplaces - they really restrict what can be done in a room.
Looks like your fireplace was a wood burning with a gas insert, which means, ripping it out can be very expensive, and not just simply moving gas and ventilation - but tons of stone.

IF you do not have the funds to address this room properly with a major renovation and custom cabinetry,
I've attached two photos of completely different corner fireplace looks utilizing paint, furniture and accessories.
Notice how they both have two chairs flanking the fireplace - which puts all the furniture in somewhat of an angle.
Instead of working against it - work with it to make the balance of your room work with new furniture, accessories and a new modular TV stand.

First thing for you to do - find a inspiration photo of the type of room you want for your end result. Then either gradually work you way to that photo, or hire a professional to help you get there quickly.

Good luck with you project,
November 4, 2012 at 10:56PM   
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jrost
Becky, I took the liberty to look in your ideabook, the first picture you saved is the right idea and a good one to run with as you redo your space. If you are keeping the dining room the way it is, and the rug, find a new rug that compliments it for the family room. Find a rug you love and go from there. Make it large so it anchors the room. 2 ceiling fans are not needed, replace them.Curtains should also come down, in both rooms, Work with the firplace to make it a focal point, remove the mantel, use more stone if it's real.Otherwise a floor to ceiling stacked stone would add character and work well with the furniture you have. replace the recliners with soft oversized chairs or just one with an ottoman, bigger end tables, don't match them, throws and some pillows will add texture and layers to this room that are missing right now. good luck and post new pictures
November 5, 2012 at 10:56AM     
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movethisnotthat
I has playing with this room this morning, you might enjoy it too, urbanbarn.icovia.com lets you decorate a room,pick furniture,move it and so much more. I was able to work several plans with success.
November 6, 2012 at 10:01AM   
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PRO
Art Consulting Online LLC
You could have a cozy reading area near the fireplace and move the couches into the middle of the room, as some others have suggested, but what you really need is some art on the back wall facing us in this picture. There is a great selection in all price ranges and sizes at artconsultingonline.com.
November 6, 2012 at 1:16PM   
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KM&M Designs
You've had lots of advice, some of which I agree with. One thing that I see is the color of the room does not enhance the stone fireplace. I would consider a deep gray like the stone in the center of the fireplace surround, or a warmer tan. I think you were afraid to go too dark, but the fireplace now looks washed out. A deeper tone will make all the difference. I can't really tell what colors are in the sofa's fabric so I can't say if there is a color there to use for the walls. Paint the ceiling 1/2 tint of the wall color to make it less large and looming. This is a trick that really works wonders. If you could afford some crown molding that would make the room more finished. This is something that gets left out when builders try to save money, but it creates a finished look. Perhaps you can think of doing that down the road. You have an elegant dinning room that would benefit from that too. Please don't be afraid that 2 colors one in the livingroom and one in the dinning room will look bad. They are not so completely open that you cannot change colors between rooms.

Add lamps to your tables and don't rely on the fan lights. Those tend to throw shaddows and are difficult to read or do other tasks by. I only see on lamp and a torcher'. That doesn't throw nice ambient light on the space and makes it hard to enjoy.

Do buy a large area rug to define your space(s). I would look for a striped rug. If a new flat screen TV isn't in the budget, move the TV cabinet to the wall where your lamp is on a table. Bring the edges of the sofas together like a sectional with one of your tables in the L that will be created. The sofas should be angled so that the intersection of them is perpendicular to the center of the fireplace. Leave the 2 recliners where they are, but put the lamp on the table between them for reading. I keep telling people to find a good electrician and have a couple of floor outlets put in. They are a necessity in these large open rooms and the cost is minimal. While you have the electrician there have a recessed pin spot light installed 12" out from the fireplace to wash that wall. Go to your favorite big box hardware store and buy replacement glass covers for the fans. Find some that are plain, no frills, no color, a milk glass or swirled glass would do.

Accessorizing the mantle. There are too many small objects lined up like soldiers. Try to create some levels using books and boxes. Edit out some things and rotate your display. There are umpteen DVDs on the TV, find a nice chest similar in size to theTV cabinet and put them in drawers spine up so you can find them, but not see them. Once again, take down the over abundant accessories, I would take everything out of the room and then bring back a few at a time only using my favorites and storing the others for another time. So set the chest and TV cabinet on the long wall where the lamp and table are now. Hang the smaller square painting above the TV and add the 2 candle holders to the side in an a symetric arrangement. Remember not every surface needs to be covered.

In your second picture, behind one sofa there are 2 large paintings, 2 chairs and a table. Move the table behind one of the sofas as a sofa table. Move 1 chair next to the chest, and one can stay in the corner with the torcher' behind it.

I am not a fan of the diamond shaped valance. I think the drapes will look better and more modern if you remove just them. Add some pillows in colors that come from the sofa fabric, just not the dominant color. This will look much fresher.

I believe you have all you need, it just needs to be better placed. Good luck.
November 13, 2012 at 2:03PM   
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KM&M Designs
Forgot to add photos. The first one shows a similar sofa setup and the second, note the painted ceiling. This color carries throughout the first floor and warms and softens the rooms.
November 13, 2012 at 2:08PM   
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KM&M Designs
Forgot to add photos. The first one shows a similar sofa setup and the second, note the painted ceiling. This color carries throughout the first floor and warms and softens the rooms.
November 13, 2012 at 2:08PM   
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Lyn Heinen
Multiple seating areas, area rug and an L shape with sofas are what we've done. We move chairs around if we have a large group over. We have a game table in one corner that can't be seen. Ours is still a work in progress too.
last Monday at 9:20PM   
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Lyn Heinen
Other views of room and one of the formal living. Suggestions are welcome!
last Monday at 9:31PM   
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decoenthusiaste
@ Lyn Heinen - this is a dead thread from Nov 2012. If you want to post your own dilemma please do so. I'm sure you'll get help but not by posting to someone else's two year old defunct thread to which they never responded.
last Tuesday at 8:32AM   
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