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Need help with large/awkward living room, layout/floor plan
jenjoyce01
November 5, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We have a large living room, large curved bay windows on one side, two doors and large window on other side, fireplace at one end and open door at opposite end. We will get new furniture and rug/s. Please share any advice on:
- layout ideas
- what kind of furniture (i.e., two sofas, multiple seating areas, etc)
- the windows are really nice, hate to "shut them off" with sofa placement
- we have 3 kids so not looking for anything too fancy, but this is our most formal room.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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Egle Baraskaute
Well you probably wanna use the fireplace as the main area of the room, so transform it into a "family area" with the seating and a cozy rug. Since the dining table is on the exact same level with the windows on the left, just find the right angle how to place it there. Since it's really a big room I would try to make it "multifunctional", so that it's not only used when the Queen of England comes for visit ;)
1 Like   November 5, 2012 at 8:40AM
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Mona Ives
How about two chairs flanking the fireplace with a small sofa facing the fireplace. Then put a small sofa (same width) right behind it facing the opposite direction. Then put a larger table in the window area with two or three handsome larger upholstered chairs flanking it. Then put two upholstered or leather chairs to the right of the sofa facing the front (of the photo) with a smaller table in between and a coffee table in the middle. Put an area rug under the coffee table. If possible, hang a smaller chandelier in the bay window over the table.
1 Like   November 5, 2012 at 9:54AM
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Valbona Shkodra
On the curved bay window I would put a window seat, in order to make the room more rectangular and there will be plenty places to sit. So you theorically can divide the room like in two, one for the living room and the other for the dining room ( from the look of it there is lots of space ), so you can make it more cozy. And the sofa should face the fireplace. Have you considered putting curtains on that big window? There's plenty of light coming from the bay window, I think you should consider it.
A big rug would also be nice, it fills up the floor and makes it warmer.
5 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 10:33AM
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jenjoyce01
Just to clarify, this is just a living room, not a combined dining room. We have a separate dining room. We just had the extra table in here. Doesn't need to stay.
2 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Design by Stars
Oh Darling, those bits you have must go. This room cries out for something grand. I definitely see two large manly chairs for fireplace lounging. Maybe slippers and smoking jacket required. Open the room with very large rug. A window nest for sure. Possibly backlighting the big flat window. One or two love seats grouped with smaller coosh chairs perfect. And, a good bottle of Crystal to toast your new room of course... Enjoy.
3 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Joni B.
What a beautiful room, I'm excited to hear what the designers think! I think two seating areas is appropriate in such a large space, one flanking the fireplace and one behind it, as Mona suggested. Are there any musicians in the family, such that a music area (piano, etc.) would be appropriate under the bay window?
2 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Joni B.
You could also embrace the curves, with a sofa like this:


3 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 1:00PM
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clemenza2
I would place a long white narrowish parsons table in front of the bay window, with two or three pretty upholstered stools underneath....you could use this area as a bar or for extra dining places during holidays or parties.....and for everyday use, what a great place it would be to do homework, address Christmas cards, or just have your Sunday coffee and paper -- with the fireplace lit, of course. In front of the fireplace I would place four large, chunky armchairs with either a large ottoman in the middle, or a substantial round coffee table with a bottom shelf for books. This way, no one would have their backs completely flush to the beautiful window and the chairs could be moved easily to allow access to the porch doors. Anchor the chairs on a large patterned area rug, pulling in the pretty blue on the walls and the reddish gold of the floors. Leave the area in front of the large plate glass window empty.....sometimes the function of space is to be space..... Empty and light. It's a beautiful room, enjoy it...
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Universal Stretch Ceilings
Hello, We would recommend you to stretch ceilings solution. It will bring your together and will make it unique! would you mind to see above your head a blue sky?
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 1:32PM
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decoenthusiaste
With such a large space, here are some inspiration rooms you might think about. Don't forgetto include a snack/game table and a quiet reiding area.
Santaluz Home
Vendome Home Renovation
lakeside resort
Home Farm 1
1 Like   November 5, 2012 at 2:15PM
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movethisnotthat
the last picture you saved in your ideasbook IS excellent !! Hope you don't mind me looking, you are on the right track with it !! good for you !!
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 3:12PM
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pamelakolberg
I'd break it up into separate area's, tv above fireplace and group a couch and a couple chairs, then in the long bay window, I'd setup the table and chairs...on the other window wall, maybe a desk or chaise lounge style chair with lamp for a reading area.
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 3:25PM
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ATGStores.com
Hi, Jen! We agree with Design by Stars and Movethisnotthat - the space is luxurious and you're on the right track. A rug would be an excellent convergence point, but you may also want to consider a knock-'em-dead flush- or semi flush-mounted lighting fixture (http://www.atgstores.com/semi-flush-ceiling-lights_449.html?) to install over the center of the space. We've attached a few images to give you ideas. Good luck!
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 3:32PM
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All About Interiors LLC
I would suggest 2 larger sized chairs with a small table in between infront of the window as one seating area. The second seating area would flank the fireplace. You could do a loveseat/couch combo or couch and 2 chairs combo or a sectional. This would depend on how many family members, whether you entertain large groups etc... II would also tie the two areas with similar or coordinating area rugs to warm up the space. I hope this helps.
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 3:43PM
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Katrina McKay
My suggestion would be something like the picture Home Farm 1. You should also consider what are the use/uses for this room. That will determine the placement of your furniture. Also less formal furniture will give a more relaxed feel to the room.

Good luck!
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 3:57PM
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sluggodog
I like the layout of the link attached. Your room seems to look wide enough to accommodate this layout and this offers lot's of seating. Omit the long table on the left of the sofa (maybe put on the right side) or put something like this in the long bay window with some lamps and/or two chairs on either side, but not big fabric chairs that would stick out too much..

3 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 3:57PM
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jennielyn64
I think a narrow writing desk in front of the window to enjoy the view but not block it and maybe a couple comfy chairs flanking the desk for reading or conversation. AND a seperate conversation area in front of the fire place!
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Linda Anthony
If I understand, this is not the Family Room/TV room, right?
I agree, groupings of furniture as suggested, would make the place cozier. If you do groupings, select carpeting for those groupings to sit on - by that I mean NOT just for under a coffee table. The front legs of all the furniture in each grouping should be on the carpet (you can see that in the Home Farm 1 pic)
NO window seat - would close it in and limit groupings to some extent.
I like ALL of the above pics EXCEPT for the Vendome Home Renovation - takes up too much room and not much seating.
Make sure you have multiple lamps (table or floor)
Not sure what the doors, on each side of the FirePlace are hiding, but I would take them off and add or expose bookshelves. Paint back of them same color as walls. Also think the fireplace screen needs updated, something in black with some black accessories (lamps/shades etc) here and there to pull the black out. Nothing dresses up a lady or a room like black (and it's a neutral). Perhaps some black in the area rugs (not much because black shows all lint), just some small specs...
This is a beautiful room, and am sure you are on the right track asking for advice.
One more hint, MOST furniture stores offer free Interior Design assistance, so bring go to your biggest and best stores and bring them all out and then decide who you want to use and where you want to purchase furniture. They measure and can show you how to arrange (computer design) before you order. ENJOY!
2 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 4:14PM
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Linda Anthony
oh, a couple more things - everything in this room is square so you'll want to bring in some round items... like a beautiful, fancy, round black mirror over the Fireplace, one round rug, or a couple round end tables. People no longer buy matchy-matchy side/end tables/lamps. In fact, some larger buffet style are incorporated where an end table once might have been. Now if you have a table behind a sofa, then a matched pair of buffet type lamps would work.
2 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 4:18PM
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PRO
DESIGN COACH
I would get rid of the big white built in thingie around the fireplace. It makes no sense scale wise. Are they miniature hobbit doors? Its hard to tell the scale of the room. It's very dated and you're furniture plan would be much easier once you get rid of this monstrosity. Also ignore the bow window. Its not a big enough indent to highlight it.
Use area rugs to define the space, use pieces of newspaper cut and taped to the size of sofas, chairs and tables to figure out your layout if you don't want to hire a pro. :)
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 6:26PM
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Leslie Haney
The rooms center piece is certainly the fireplace and with that in mind I would change out the mantle and surround. What's with those doors? Are they hiding kid sized rooms behind? It's a puzzle and first thing I would want to do in that room is open them and see what's behind. Too distracting. We don't have a picture of the room where you seem to have taken your picture and you don't list size or dimensions of the room so many of us are really guessing what might work.
I would make at least 2 distinct areas possibly one in front, facing the fireplace and the other closer to where you took pictures. No sofas on walls, most of your furniture in this room should 'float'. How large a group you entertain comes into question. Do you have 8 or more people? If so, maybe a variation on Sluggodog's version. On the right side of the room I would try and leave as open as possible since the large window looks to be flanked by two doors leading outside (or a sunroom?). The left side of the room (bow/bay window) perhaps a small game table with 2 chairs. Chess/checkers/cards?
Pay special attention to lighting and if possible small canned lighting with multiple 'zones' so you can accent the fireplace only, or just the seating areas, or game table. (dimmers please).
The floor looks wonderful, but I agree with many of the comments above about needing to anchor your spaces with at least one. It will make the room warmer and I'm guessing you want that 'come and stay and let's talk' feel. Formal yes, but not stuffy and unused as a result.
If this room is any indication of what your home has to offer, you are very fortunate and I wish you tons of luck and much fun in your home. Love the natural light! This is a great room.
1 Like   November 5, 2012 at 7:02PM
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lionnessone
I visualize two separate seating areas.
Two love seats or small settees of the same colour with a large ottoman, location fireplace area.
On the opposite end of the room: a chesterfield in a different colour from your settees an oversize coffee table, with four armchairs flanking the coffee table, location window area. Install a window seat with a long narrow oval shape table. This area is where you can entertain your children, family and or friends. You can move your armchairs around the long oval table when needed for extra seating. See photos.

[houzz=]houzz=Victorian Splendor][houzz=Rustic Kitchen][[houzz=Cherry Hills Remodel]h[houzz=Kiawah Family Home]ouzz=Light saturated living room]
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 7:27PM
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Linda Anthony
Like many of the suggestions except for the 'can' lights - too many beautiful chandeliers or table lamps available - always use small light bulbs in you lamps, BTW, and turn on several for nice soft lighting round the part of the room being utilized.
Not sure what is outside the bow/bay window but think the built in seat distracts from the area. A nice drum table w/lamp which could also have a couple side chairs pulled up, as needed - like a small conversation area separate from the other zones. The area is too big for the built in and it wouldn't look as 'formal' as the rest of the LR.
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 7:44PM
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CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Wow, beautiful room and so many great ideas! These sketches, albeit quick, show a different approach. Since this is truly your living room, why not pull in a little drama and simplicity? If you marry the style of the furniture on the right with your classic and modern again combination of warm floors with cool gray walls, add a chandelier, pull the white woodwork up to the ceiling of the fp wall and add a round entry table...might be fun!
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 8:13PM
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CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Scroll on sketches to entire image.
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 8:15PM
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jenjoyce01
Wow, you guys rock, what can I say?!? So many outstanding and clever ideas - I can't wait to think more carefully on them. Cracking up about the hobbit doors - we've lived here a couple months now and never thought about them like that (but I do peek inside them all the time, only one opens, other is false). Any more ideas, toss em out there. But huge thanks to everyone who posted so far with such fabulous ideas!
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 8:26PM
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Leya Matalas
furniture is mostly for placement.. choose what you really love- start with the carpet. to anchor your conversation grouping around, then pull some key complimentary colours from that. Its going to be lovely. its a great room.
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Leya Matalas
heres an all white cabinet wall area
0 Likes   November 5, 2012 at 9:22PM
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Cherry Clifford
I agree with Linda and Design Coach in general. Looks like everyone thinks you need to break it up and use larger rugs. I definitely think the window is too narrow to obstruct with a desk or chairs though. Possibly as one of them mentioned, just leave it alone except for a possible drum or round accent table. There's a lot of money in the windows on each side of the room. Other than to soften them a bit, I would play up on the beautiful trim.

I also agree that the Hobbit doors are useless. Since it is a formal area, I would not be placing a television above the fireplace but would remove ALL of the surrounding trim from the fireplace, including the mantle. Since there is no hearth, it would be great for this to be a flush mounted and neatly trimmed WBFP. That way, you can finish out each side of the fireplace with new built in shelving that goes from floor to ceiling and hang as large a piece of art as will comfortably fit directly above the fireplace. Light it with an eye-ball spot. This room is long an narrow so by vertically stretching the fireplace wall, you balance out its proportions.

Additionally, though I love the idea of a chandelier, it looks like your ceilings are too low to hang a large enough one to do justice to its space. Consider rewiring for either two of the previously suggested flush mount types of fixtures of go with the can lighting. I know someone said they didn't like that idea but if you use LED or Halogens and put them on a dimmer you can create a lot of mood for the money.

Good luck.
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 2:40AM
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By Design EK
I love the room. You already have a lot of great suggestions so I will just say I recommend defining the functions that will take place, or that you want to take place in the room. Like long evenings reading by a cozy fire? Entertaining guests, kids study area?
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 5:52AM
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whiskeyrobot
the only thing awkward about the space is that it's so large! I would suggest breaking it into seperate seating areas. Don't try to focus the entire living room on one spot. Think of a large hotel lobby - you have a rug centering a few chairs or maybe a couch in one spot, then another cozy section focused on the fireplace, etc etc.

The part that makes the room feel so empty is that you don't show the space broken up on the floor. I think that once you break the room up into a few areas you need to add some decent size rugs to make everything work. Also, try to keep the flow of how you move through the space as uninterrupted as possible. No one wants to go through an obstacle course on their way through the living room.
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 7:04AM
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jenjoyce01
The room is about 17x25 (not counting the bow window area). The end you can't see, where the picture is taken from, is pretty useless between the door from entryway and the door to the patio (currently has an armoire). You could put a smallish table and chairs there. There is a stone hearth that is flush with the floor. In the short term, we're looking for projects we can DIY (hubby is pretty handy), so building a wood thingy above FP is feasible, but prob not tearing the whole mantle off. I would love a chandelier, but the ceilings are just 8' and currently there is no wiring. We have a separate family room and dining room, so no tv in here. It will be used for friends and family gatherings, holidays, etc. The house was built in '41. Thanks all!
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 7:45AM
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CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Hi Again J, the thought of large family gatherings in your historical home inspired another quick sketch. This plan would accommodate around 22 people. You could reuse the existing antique furniture by reupholstering the loveseat and chairs, place the round table near the main entry of the room (or use a round table which has a flat side), the chandelier doesn't have to function or could be a candelier. Oh, the opportunities, have fun d.i.y.-ing!
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 10:04AM
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CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Hi Again J, the thought of large family gatherings in your historical home inspired another quick sketch. This plan would accommodate around 22 people. You could reuse the existing antique furniture by reupholstering the loveseat and chairs, place the round table near the main entry of the room (or use a round table which has a flat side), the chandelier doesn't have to function or could be a candelier. Oh, the opportunities, have fun d.i.y.-ing!
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 10:05AM
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Julia G
I wish my problem would be large space :) Section it! Organize TV watching & sitting area,
playing area for kids (if any), reading nook, sort of library corner, etc. Good luck!
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Julia G
I wish my problem would be large space :) Section it! Organize TV watching & sitting area,
playing area for kids (if any), reading nook, sort of library corner, etc. Good luck!
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 10:59AM
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jenjoyce01
InsideOut/Diane, I am really curious about your last drawing, but I cannot enlarge it enough to read any of the writing. What is the piece below the (I think) bench? Thanks again!!
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 3:56PM
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CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Hi! Oh my gosh, I just looked at the sketch and it looks like gibberish, LOL. I was thinking that, starting at the fireplace wall: reupholstered antique chairs, 2 new sofas with an ottoman in between, a big comfy bench, your antique loveseat reupholstered with your round table behind it (or a half round table behind). For lighting, layers and function are important. If you added white wood (to match lower) above the fireplace mantle you could add sconces. :-) Diane
1 Like   November 6, 2012 at 7:41PM
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lionnessone
Hi jenjoyce01; I saw this photo on Houzz and thought of you.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
What do you think?

[houzz=
]
2 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 5:03PM
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Cherry Clifford
Lionesse, that's perfect!
0 Likes   November 13, 2012 at 6:21AM
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lionnessone
Just thought I would ask you how your layout/floor plan is coming along!
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 6:00PM
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