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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help converting living room into a more contemporary tv room/family room.

Margo MarksNovember 13, 2012
We want a family room that's stylish and comfortable. The current room is long and narrow with several openings for windows and doors. We plan on refacing the fireplace with stacked stone for an updated look. We've considered putting the tv over the fireplace or in the corner to the right of the window. What room configuration would you recommend for couch, chair(s), and tv?
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Do you have enough room to put the tv on the wall opposite the fireplace? If so you could have two sofas - one where it is now and a second one directly across from the first. Or you could put to comfy chairs opposite the current sofa. Put an area rug with the front feet of all seating pieces between the two sofa or sofa and two chairs and the coffee table in the middle. If the tv can't fit there, you probably need to put it over the fireplace or in the corner to the right of the window.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Joanne Jean
Get rid of wall unit and shelves dividing the room and buy a nice sectional it will open the space and modernize it. The fireplace is too high to watch the TV comfortably so get a wall mount and put it on the right side of the fireplace. The stone on the fireplace will look amazing. Consider a new coffee table and chair. Also, change the ceiling fans for something more modern.
4 Likes    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:44PM
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If you do all that Joanne Jean recommends, I would also take the small pieces hanging on the walls down. Personally I wouldn't change the fireplace. It's a classic. The only problem I have with it (and I have the same problem with my own fireplace) is the two pieces of white trim above the mantel. I toy with the idea of painting them out the wall color in my own house.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Before buying any new furniture, try rearranging what you have. I would move the large wall unit to the wall opposite the fireplace. Move the sofa so it is in front of the fireplace and place an area rug in front of it. Then I would move the chair out of the corner to the other side of the fireplace and bring the ottoman back over with it. I would try moving the small white cabinet to the other side of the window and use it for the TV, but I would paint the white doors black and change the hardware to bronze to coordinate with your coffee table and other furnishings. You may want to add a throw to the sofa to make the room cozy. I would take the other bookcase that you have currently dividing the room and place it on the other wall by the table and I would also paint the back of the bookcase black so that it coordinates more with the other furniture. Then place either a large picture or a grouping of pictures over it so it balances the large wall unit. Then I would pull the table into the room so that it is in front of the bookcase and put a rug under it will divide the long room into two distinct areas. I would hold off on changing the fireplace until you have your furniture like you want it. Good luck! Show us pictures when you are done!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:50AM
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Jan Albert Design
I would love to see more photos of the space. It looks (but I can't really see) like there is more wall space on the side of the large doorway-nearest the "dining room"....perhaps it's possible to switch the rooms...have the fireplace in the dining room and put the sofa where the dining table is. The problem is your windows in the living room make it impossible for a television. You could move the window across from the sofa to one side and add another one..leaving some space in the center for TV/entertainment. But that's a huge undertaking. Send more photos...think about swapping out the spaces. Maybe that will work.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 4:48AM
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If you are refacing the fireplace the TV might work at a lower level than the current mantle. I would also get rid of the raised hearth (like the photo in your ideabook). Contemporary looks tend to have fewer accessories than traditional schemes so I suggest using a digital picture frame for most of your photos. Have a few of your favorite ones blown up in black and white, frame in basic black frame to use as a grouping on one wall. I agree with sopi about painting the doors on the small cabinet and the white part of the bookcase. For a more eclectic look you paint them a really bold color to get a look similar to this [houzz=
Sky @ MidCity Lofts · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:20AM
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Margo Marks
These are all such great ideas! We're definitely donating the chair, ottoman, and coffee table due to scuffs, cat scratches, and time. Great ideas about painting the book shelf on the back of the sofa!

Cindy- we thought we'd get rid of the low bookcase, but I like the idea of changing it around and continuing to use it. I love the idea of painting the white a highlight color. I also really like the idea of the digital frame and putting a few pictures on the wall.

Sopi- great ideas about re-arranging the furniture! I'm not sure about the sofa in front of the fireplace, but love the many of your other ideas. Wow. We need to start playing with it!

SML Designs- We never thought of the TV across from the fireplace. I also really like the idea of 2 sofas. Interesting. We'll definitely take down the smaller artwork too or re-arrange it.

Joanne- By wall mount do you mean on the corner, or do you mean to put the TV flat on the wall next to the fireplace. Unfortunately, it won't fit in that space.

This is our first time posting on houzz, it's amazing! I love all the ideas and I'd love more!
    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Hi there, I would remodel the fire place, lower the hearth, remove all the paneling above and remove the wooden mantle, replace with a plain simple concrete mantle or similar simple shape. Then hang the TV above, if you must. Put something like stone in front, so your fire doesn't reach the wood floor. I would also consider a more modern color on the wall, Warm light gray f.e) get rid of the characterless chairs and the shelf unit. Replace with lower cabinets, hang artwork from artist you might want to support...Get some plain folded shades for the windows, and curtains next to the door to the deck. Also, consider a low back sofa opposite the fire place (CB 2 or so), so you create behind a small walkway towards the dining area. Then you have space for two lovely chairs (different, not matching to the sofa) with a small glass table between. Think of lighting. Have a sisal carpet underneath the seating area and a more modern square coffee table. It is always good to keep the flow going, something right in front of the slider door to the deck is not so good.
Then have a second, different carpet under a modern tulip style dining table, maybe round or oval and four to six modern chairs. Hang a cool chandelier over the table, get rid of the fan there. One is enough. A mirror could hang opposite to the wall of the door, to reflect the light. This could be a wonderful light filled room. Think less is more. Have one old piece in there, for interest and an eclectic feel. A wing chair with a graphic upholstery could be fun....
Have fun!!!!
Art House Design
    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:44PM
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Margo Marks
Hello! It's been a long time, but here's our update! We will either get rid of the coffee table all together or replace it. Do we need a coffee table?

We also plan to change the fans and paint. We want to paint the walls, ceilings, and all trim. Any paint color ideas so we aren't ALL brown? :)
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:39AM
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Margo Marks
Here's one of the whole room
    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Janet Woods
Looks great! I don't think you "have" to have a coffee table, you just need somewhere to put a drink. You could use a tray on the ottoman, and small side table by the leather chair. The pros are always saying form follows function, so when you are sitting in your favorite spot - where would you put your drink? ? Pier One has some side tables made to slide under the side of the chair so they don't take up much room.

May be pull the rug out a bit so the feet of the sectional sit on it (first picture in group just posted).

Maybe use the rust/red of the throw in some other accessories or a pillow. Maybe colored candles on the dining table?

Try pulling a color out of the fireplace to use on the walls.

Great job so far!!
2 Likes    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 7:12AM
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Manhattan Home Design
Your living room looks great so far! For that last push into the contemporary style, check out this Tribeca coffee table:

It will completely transform the space. The one you have now is pretty rustic, as wood tends to be. Contemporary style is clean and simple, and glass will make the room feel larger.
    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 3:45PM
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Nicole Lewis

I think I would turn the rug the other direction. That way it would go under the chair, almost up to the fireplace, under the chaise part of the sectional, but perhaps not under the front legs of the rest of the sectional.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2015 at 11:50PM
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Nicole Lewis

LOVE the fireplace! A GREAT before and after picture!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2015 at 11:51PM
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