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Make my room more family friendly
maryobkeogh
November 16, 2012 in Design Dilemma
This is our sitting room, we currently don't use it, we have a cosy tv room that we mostly use for relaxing and the kids have a playroom with all their toys. i would like to make this room more functional and family friendly, the shape makes it less than perfect to sit in - it's long but has 2 doors at either end and i don't feel it has the right structure. i am thinking of relocating the TV from the left corner of the room to maybe over the fireplace (altho it might be too high and plus i like that mirror) but it might help with being more comfortable to use the room. i also may change the furniture - appreciate any ideas? Thanks
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decoenthusiaste
Please post more pics. Best to start at the entry door and move clockwise around the room snapping pics at each corner and at mid-wall on all four sides. First thought is there are good colors in the arg and pillows, but the brown area rug is way out of place here. Take a look at homedecorators.com where you can shop by color, and look at rugs thak pick up on some of the colors in the painting. Can't tell how much space there is between the door on the left and the FP, but would consider putting the sofas facing each other and the chair in the background brought into the grouping.
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 5:28AM
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maryobkeogh
thanks for y our comments, here are some additional pics. actually the brown rug has gone since i took that photo, you will see the cream rug has replaced it. looking forward to some thoughts. if i put the sofas facing each other, what do i do with the space around them? thanks
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 6:23AM
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janishill
decoenthusiaste is correct. We need more pictures and the brown rug has to go...or at least the brown coffee table.

From the little bit we can see I would start by taking out all the decorative items and rearranging the furniture. I wonder if the chair and the ottoman can go in the front right corner?

I notice the legs of the loveseat are on the rug, but thelegs of the sofa are not. Either all major pieces of furniture should have the legs on the rug or all major pieces of furniture should not have the legs on the rug. ...and that includes the chair.

Please post additional pictures, so we can help you. Your room has lots of potential!
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 6:36AM
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Dar Eckert
How would you like to use this room? Will it be for playing games, reading, TV? Who will use this room? It will help to know your ideas for the use of the room. Now it looks very feminine which may discourage males from using it but it might be perfect for you for reading.

I can see this as a game room for the whole family. I would do that by arranging your chairs and sofas in a U shape around the fireplace. Move them all closer together so that at least the front legs of the chairs and sofas are on the rug.

Then get a large square coffee table for playing games on. Preferrable one that would stand up to spills and feet.

Move family games into the room, maybe leave a favorite one out on the coffee table.

Then light the fire, grab a glass of wine, put on music and get family together for some games.
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 7:43AM
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maryobkeogh
Dar Eckert, thank you for your inputs, that is exactly what I want to do - make the room work for the family to spend time in, perhaps become a games room (as we have a separate tv room) - so maybe move in the kids xbox and games etc. If I arrange the furtniture around the fire place, what do I do with the space behind them e.g. the wall space under the painting?
Thanks again!
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 7:46AM
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decoenthusiaste
Good thing you posted more pics - didn't know there was another chair or built-ins around the FP.
If you want something under the picture, angle the two chairs there, with the floor lamp beside one of them for reading (needs a new shade, please.) Then put the sofas in an "L" close enough together on the rug so that game players can reach the coffee table to play. Would consider buying a large square or round coffee table and later a game table for the corner where the chair was by the French door. Wait to see how the family takes to the idea of board games and family time here before buying the game table..
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 9:54AM
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pamrhess
ditch the two large chairs. get 2 smaller but still comfy chairs, and 2 ottomans/stools -- I'm thinking either ceramic garden stools or x-benches. Make a u shaped seating area with the backless stools closest to the door from which you took the pics, and the two chairs where the one big chair is now. put in a cocktail table between the 2 chairs, and a generous coffee table in the middle. Or skip the stools and get some floor pillows that can stack on top of each other, Kids will gravitate to a low , large table with nothing on it. -- great for homework, games, coloring etc. You need a bigger rug to tie it all together. Top photo is an example. http://www.ehow.com/how_7709697_arrange-furniture-rectangular-home.html
Clearing the big furniture will make the room feel more spacious and welcoming. Keep the corners empty. Focus the energy in the middle of the room.
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 10:29AM
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maryobkeogh
does this look better?
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 11:13AM
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PRO
Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
Yes! Much better already!
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 11:42AM
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maureenindk
I agree that the furniture needs to be placed in a U shape in front of the fireplace (get rid of one or both chairs) and you need a much larger coffee table to balance the size of the seating. I would also consider replacing all the small pillows with just a few --they are taking up all the seating space.Some bigger lamps and an afghan over the arm of the sofa might invite someone to sit in there and read. Every surface has something on it. Consider editing your art objects so there are some free surfaces for books, cups, etc. Really use your candles on the fireplace. Hang those pictures leaning on the corners of the chimney together on one side of the fireplace and balance them with something large on the shelf on the other side.
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 11:56AM
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alicefaz
I would get rid of all the separate furniture and buy a good sectional. Then I would anchor it with a patterned rug using the colors from your wonderful painting and top it off with a very large square glass topped coffee table. The current coffee table is too small and the rug needs color.
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 12:44PM
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maryobkeogh
Great inputs, thanks everybody. I'm going to hang the pictures leaning currently, see if i can get a bigger coffee table and I've already moved many cushions as they were taking over! I'm also going to get rid of the big chairs and have some free space. may also remove some of the smaller items and de-clutter a little. I'll post some more as I go. any other thoughts much appreciated.
Thanks!
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 12:45PM
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janishill
Yes , it is better, but it would work a little better if you moved the rug back about a foot then put the front legs of the sofa on it. Just the way it is now, just with both the sofa, loveseat and rug moved back a little. The pull the chair out of the corner and place it opposite the loveseat. Now the loveseat, sofa and chair should form a U shape. See photos for arrangement ideas

The chair in the opposite corner is in an awkard place. Can you move it out of the room? It really throws the room off balance.

It would also be nice if you could use the built ins to hold all the games.
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 12:51PM
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maryobkeogh
Hi Guys, Let me know what you think of the changes I've made this weekend!
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 4:42AM
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maryobkeogh
another couple slight changes
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 5:44AM
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maureenindk
Love the larger lamp pulled into the conversation group. Still think you need to get rid of a chair and all of those pillows (you seem to have one on every surface including the floor now) Fold the afghan instead of having it spread over the back of the sofa. To ground your pink and cream color scheme, how about a big earthy rattan basket on the hearth to hold your game boxes and a green plant and maybe a big book on your coffee table instead?
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 5:57AM
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maryobkeogh
I tried to cut down on cushions, i find the chairs look really boring with no cushion / colour though. I'm going to move some and see how I go. Folding the afghan also. Thanks!
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 6:10AM
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maryobkeogh
how's this
4 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 6:30AM
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cgreenhere
really enjoyed watching the transformation- I am excited to begin my own project- thanks for posting and all the comments.- very helpful
2 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 6:36AM
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maureenindk
Oh that looks really nice and very inviting. Love the simpler arrangement on the coffee table and especially the little green tree. Now it looks like a comfortable place for a group to sit and talk. :-)
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 2:51PM
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orangecamera
I do like what you've done with the room! Since you have a tv room, do you need to keep the tv in this room? Do you have an interesting or at least decent view through the windows?

I'd ditch the tv and flip the furniture around. A chair on either side of the fireplace, facing the windows. Move the side tables over along with the chairs. Slide the sofas over toward the windows as needed Make the windows/view your focal point.
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 3:07PM
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apple_pie_order
This room has a great fireplace and windows. The fireplace mirror and very large painting are attractive, though of different styles. The large furniture pieces are crowding the room. Try one sofa facing the fireplace, one chair on either side, lamp tables at the ends of the sofa. If your kids are the age to be running and tripping, a glass table is not a good choice. A wooden one would be sturdier and less dangerous.

If the room is going to be used by kids, it is going to get a lot more wear and tear. I strongly suggest you move your art objects to a big wide display case, perhaps under the large painting. Put out one art object at a time on the mantle, anchored with some museum wax, and change it every few months. You have fourteen pillows in the first two photos. That's at least 9 too many (really, you only need two on the sofa and one per chair at most). Put most in a closet and change them seasonally. For a bigger change, try recovering four pillows with a dark orange-red or deep chestnut-burgundy tone fabric from the painting, not the deep pink (very feminine), and send the deep pink throw and cherubs somewhere else. Light and white pillows are often better suited to a bedroom.

The room also has far too many art objects on the walls. One object per wall with windows or doors is enough. Take them down, choose one per wall to put up, rotate your display seasonally. Decide if you want the look to be gilt-edged-mirror-and-painting formality, kid-friendly informality with the tv up front and center, or pink parlor-dainty. You have many things to choose among; you don't need it all there at one time.
1 Like   November 18, 2012 at 3:51PM
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janishill
Your room is SOO much nicer! You have done a great job. I love that you arranged the furniture in a U shape and that you have taken out some of the pillows and rearranged the remainder.

I wonder if maybe you could put the loveseat in the TV room. Then you could have the sofa in front of the window with a chair flanking each side.

I am attaching pictures of trays on coffee tables. If you could find a nice tray, put your plant and a silver candle or a red candle in a silver candle holder and a short stack of books it would look great. The idea is to repeat teh silver from the lamp. Oh...nad i like that coffee table much better than the white one, though I think the brown one (from the first picture) could be nice as well.

How do you feel about the room?
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 3:57PM
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janishill
DRAT! Forgot to attach the pictures! :-)
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 4:02PM
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maryobkeogh
thank you everyone for your inputs. Orangecamera, we want to use this room for x-box games so the tv will have to stay. I'm considering anchoring the tv over the fireplace so it's central to the seating area.
apple_pie_order, I agree re the table, I like the light the glass top brings, but may consider a change. I will also look for orange-red cushions, and different throws (although some have commented that these look deep pink, they are actually red). I've already removed most of the pillows so that's covered I think. Now I've removed some art objects. To your question aboud deciding whether to be gilt mirror / art or kid friendly. I think it's going to end up being a combination, but more friendly than not, if that makes sense. Somebody recommended I hang the paintings that are currently leaning on the fireplace wall at either side. so I will do that - hang the gold framed one with the house, on one side of the fire place and perhaps relocate the mirror to the other side, once the Tv's up over the mantle?
Janishill, thanks, I also agree there's too much furniture. I don't have a place to put the loveseat, but may find an option so I can take it out of there. I like your tray idea very much so I'm working on that one! I am pleased, I think the room looks much more comfortable and also better designed, so thanks!
thanks again all.
2 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 4:56AM
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maryobkeogh
final images for now! Let me know what you guys think.
0 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 5:31AM
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decoenthusiaste
You've come a long way with this room! Don't forget! If art is free hanging (no furniture under it) put the center of the piece about 60" from the floor. If it is with furniture (like at the FP) it should attach visually to the piece of furniture it is with (no more than 8-10" above it.) If you visually center your pieces above the furniture they're with or on the wall without furniture, you'll get an immediate sense of stability, warmth, comfort because nothing is "off" visually. BTW, you can have a flat screen mounted on a tilt to make for easier viewing since your seating is so close to the FP. I think your next project should be to install some pretty tile on the FP surround for color and interest. Are you up to it?
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 5:47AM
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janishill
Wow! What a difference. Your room looks comfy and cozy, but not sloppy.

A few little tweeks here and there is all it will take. Personally I would like to see the lamps on tne built ins pulled out from the wall toward the canter of the cabinets. 3 inches will make a tremendous difference. The shade shouldn't be touching the walls. :-)

I would also like to see something break up the symetry on the mantle. If you could put a short stack of books (2 or 3) under the clock to raise it up and place the topiaries and the short llamps - lampetts ;-) - toward the end of the mantle it would have a little more eye appeal.

Again, you have been a good sport and have done an excellent job in your room!
0 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 6:08AM
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heatherd1968
This room is 100% nicer. Well done. I think your fireplace looks great. Please don't be tempted to put an ugly TV on top of it!! Once your pictures are hung and lamps moved away from wall it is fit for the pages of a magazine. :-)
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 6:52AM
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maryobkeogh
one last pic for Janishill
0 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 7:22AM
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janishill
Put the candle holder in the center, as it visually weighs more. Then move the clock to the left, but just have it sitting on the bottom two books. The red one is a tad too much. :-)
2 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 7:27AM
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maryobkeogh
you are right. check it out.
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 7:51AM
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janishill
I am just seeing this post. The mantle looks great!

OK...so back to the TV room we must go! :-D
0 Likes   November 21, 2012 at 3:17PM
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janishill
Mary...if you live in the Boston area I would just come over one day and help you move things around. All the red decorative items you have flow from one room to the next...and you have a lot of them! That is not a bad thing though. It is just a matter of figuring out the best place to put any given item.
0 Likes   November 21, 2012 at 3:23PM
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maureenindk
Mary, I think you must be the nicest and most patient person in the world to try all of our ideas. Wish I was coming over to have tea with you in that room!
1 Like   November 21, 2012 at 6:49PM
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flgrandma
I don't think this is a question of design, but on of usage. You have a play room for your children and a tv room for the family where you could certainly play board games. I think this would be a lovely room for book club meetings or having lady friends over for visiting, mah jongg, bridge, etc. . or just getting away by yourself for a little peace and quiet.
2 Likes   November 21, 2012 at 7:06PM
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maryobkeogh
Hi Janis
Unfortunately I am not in the Boston area - I live in Ireland! Yes there are red items in 3 of the main rooms, the kitchen, sitting room and tv room (library) - although we have pared those back now and it's not as overwhelming.
thanks for all your help everyone, i really feel like it's made a big difference and am excited to finish the tv room and then refresh the play room.
do you think I should move the piano to the sitting room? and would the jazz painting work in the tv room?
speak later, thanks!
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 1:51AM
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maryobkeogh
thank you Maureenindk! I would love to have you all over for tea also!
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 1:54AM
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janishill
The jazz painting would look perfect over the mantle in the TV room. I think the white loveseat from the living room and the red chair from the kitchen would look fantastic in the TV room. Then you could put the sofa from the TV room into the play room. That sofa and the playroom curtains would work perfectly. I like the green rug in the TV room. It needs to be turned long ways in front of the sofa though.
Speaking of...I will go to that thread now. :-)
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 4:28AM
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maryobkeogh
Hi Janis, I just saw this post! Interesting suggestions re the furtniture arrangement! the loveseat in the living room is not actually white, it's a buttery cream - do you think it might work anyway? Moving the jazz painting as we speak. Over to the other thread! thanks :)
1 Like   November 22, 2012 at 9:28AM
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cgreenhere
where are these other threads - feel like i am missing the show.
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 12:47PM
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maryobkeogh
Hi cgreenhere - I have a couple of rooms on the go at the moment, here's a link to one - http://www.houzz.com/discussions/250737 I hope it works!
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 1:04PM
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