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Need help! Stuck decorating...
princefam
November 19, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I recently moved to a new house in Florida and have purchased a few items, but just can't seem to "get it"! I have bought and returned so many things and I am frustrated! It is a single space for foyer, living and dining rooms, and the living room is this long, awkward space!
- I just purchased the Barcelona chairs/stools but I am on the verge of returning them (all too white!)
- I am waiting for a low, white, square coffee table (made by my husband)
- i have looked at hundreds of dining chairs and can't decide on a color/style
- the suzani -- i keep thinking it is too big. Maybe i should use it for something else (pillows?)
Any suggestions appreciated!!
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decoenthusiaste
Search the box above for ideas on how you might use the suzani. If you leave it hanging it needs to be reinforced on the back with a "sleeve" for a rod to pass through so it will hang correctly. Try the big mirror behind the dining table. Look for a chandy that is more in tune with the Barcelonas if you keep them. Agree, they are too white. Can you get another color? You can pump up the volume with pillows that bring the suzani colors into the living area - lumbars for the Barcelonas and cover the ones that are on the chairs now. Keep tweaking!
November 19, 2012 at 11:59AM     
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lefty47
HI -- I love your furniture and I don't think the barcelona chairs are too white. I like the Suzani .but have it mounted on a wood frame like it's a big painting and either hang it where it is or behind the sofa . Use some of the colors from that in some accent pillows and decor etc.Or you could use the Suzani on a bed as a bedspread.or headboard.I would do something really special with that dining space . Find a fabulous wallpaper for the wall and up onto the ceiling like a grass cloth with a bit of a sheen to it or lots of texture and then paint the bulkhead a color to match . Hang a big nelson style light fixture or a Fortuni fixture or a modern Orb fixture. So the Barcelona chairs don't look so white , add some more white , like a white throw and or some mongolian goat fur pillows and some white decor items and the white coffee table your hubby is making will help.. I would hang that mirror behind the sofa or on the dining room wall . Hanging it on the dining room wall might cause a problem reflecting to much light back from the front window.I would have full wall drapes on the front window -wall to wall and full height floor to ceiling in white semi sheer texture.Look for some modern white leather dining chairs that also have some chrome legs or touches of chrome.The dining table is great but it could also be painted in a high gloss oxblood red .I think with everything you have ,this room could look very modern Hollywood glam !
November 19, 2012 at 12:30PM     
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michigammemom
I'm not sure the white Barcelona chairs are a good fit with your pair of wing back chairs, your sofa and your dining table. The linen fabric of your upholstered pieces and the dark wood Old World finish on your dining table are not a good fit with the ultra modern chrome and leather. I would suggest orienting the pair of wing back chairs toward your outdoor view with a long console table on the wall opposite the sofa with a couple of upholstered ottomans tucked underneath.
November 19, 2012 at 12:54PM     
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standinginline
I think a big issue here is you have too many conflicting furniture styles among your large pieces...modern, traditional, exotic...most of your pieces are very specific to a certain style and I think you should narrow it down to a style you are going for. If you want to mix up the styles do it in smaller pieces (pillows, etc). Just my take. It's just not going to "feel" right otherwise IMO.
November 19, 2012 at 12:57PM     
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michigammemom
Here's an inspiration photo with a great mix of chair styles. I like the idea of the linen slip covered host and hostess chairs to coordinate with your other upholstered pieces and the rattan side chairs to suit your FL location.
November 19, 2012 at 1:06PM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I think I would get the Barcelona chairs and ottomans in black, putting the chairs opposite the sofa, and moving the 2 more traditional chairs to another room. Then I would put the Barcelona ottomans either with the chairs or in front of the beautiful Suzani, if that is black I'm seeing in the Suzani.

Add bigger art in the living room and mount the mirror vertically in the dining area, or just lean it against that wall. With the Black Barcelona chairs, the white Mongolian lamb pillows, mentioned above, will be great. West Elm has the rectangular size in stock. Bring in the other Suzani colors with pillows on the sofa. I'd move the rug to the dining room and get a darker rug in the living room.

I see no lamps in the living room. Please add some, both floor and table lamps, or install sconces.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
November 19, 2012 at 1:12PM     
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pcmom1
I think that huge mirror would be wonderful leaning against the wall behind the table. I would add some black shades to the chandelier to give it some more presence. Adding chairs and a few table top accessories is all that is needed.

Then try pulling your living room furniture off the walls some and closer together. The two ottomans can actually be brought together to look more like a bench. Just tightening things up a foot on both sides will make it cozier.

I would slightly lower the pictures on the wall in back of the sofa. And bring them slightly closer together.

Your room is coming together wonderfully. Add a nice full plant to the window corner, perhaps another here and there for some life. And relax, neither Rome nor Home were built in a day!
November 19, 2012 at 1:29PM     
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victorianbungalowranch
To me leaning the mirror behind the dining table is an accicent waiting to happen, and it is too big to look right mounted horizontally..

Love the Suzani--don't you dare cut it up! Like others said, it could go behind the couch, but I think it looks nice where it is--perhaps another textile in the living room would be nice to break up that big wall. Moving the huge mirror to the blank area on that wall, adjoining the dining area, would reflect the Suzani and add some nice detail to that awkward space. Then you could put a table and a nice colorful piece of art or textile between the chairs, or the two paintings stacked, and then something bigger and more colorful by the couch.

My vote is for black or natural leather Barcelona chairs and ottomans, although I like the white too, especially with some more color in that room, maybe even an accent wall.

I think the mix looks fine, it is just more work to get an eclectic look to look right than something more consistent in style. But it is also more interesting and unique.
November 19, 2012 at 1:58PM     
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princefam
Thank you so much!!! I will play with the suzani behind the couch and move the mirror... The table will be ready by the end of the week.. Then i will re-post... My fear is, as was postes up there that the styles are too different... I am hoping that eclectic will win. We will see! Will re- post next week for more help!! Thanks so muh to all!!!'
November 19, 2012 at 4:37PM   
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pcmom1
Leaning mirrors are a worry. Any kids running around the house? No matter what, at least attach back of top of mirror to wall with industrial strength velcro!

How do designers address this?
November 19, 2012 at 5:41PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I, too, always worry about leaning mirrors, particularly with kids or big dogs around. So I would always recommend that a mirror leaning against a wall be attached with wires, or chain, or whatever is strong enough to hold it in place in case someone small pushed on it from behind.
November 19, 2012 at 5:43PM     
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victorianbungalowranch
If you look in the first photo, she already has quite simila low slung modern chairsr, but in rattan (?) and with a slatted back.
November 20, 2012 at 3:33PM   
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princefam
Those are folding garden chairs... I placed them there for now but they are really flimsy...
November 20, 2012 at 6:06PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
well we all cant be good at everything.....have you had a qualified designer get involved? The barcelonas are great work with them......whats with the large chairs on the left? Have you drawn the room and worked with a scaled drawing.......I have worked with clients where I show up and we shop for two or three days and its all done...might consider....it's one way to get it done!
November 20, 2012 at 6:12PM     
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JAN MOYER
I would hang the suzani behind the sofa, ditch the wing chairs and the dining table. An inexpensive parsons style would be better.Get the barcelonas in black.. The mirror would be fine behind a dining table, you can anchor it safely, without actually hanging it off the floor. The dining table is the biggest misfit..... a suburban yawn, and you are going for more. New hanging light too!
November 21, 2012 at 4:50AM   
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marylr
I think you are making progress. When looking at your living area, I feel the area rug should be turned length wise. The rug seems to be confining the space and turning it will make the area seem larger. I would also bring the wing back chairs and couch closer to the center of the room making a conversation area around the coffee table. (while waiting for the table you could use the two white ottomans as the coffee table) Your couch is wonderful and using two slipcovered chairs at each end of the dining table in the same linen would tie the rooms together. Then as your budget permits, get four chairs for the sides (something you like). You may want to place an area rug under the table to define that space as well. I would also hang the mirror on the wall behind the dining table and take down the suzani. It is too dark. (it may look very nice folded on the end of a bed) I like the white chairs but maybe using only one will look better and use the money from the one chair and ottoman for end tables and lamps for the living room.
November 21, 2012 at 5:38AM     
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av8ricks
I'd consider a couple of tall palm or tall vases with deeply colored "sticks" to add some vertical movement and some contrast. You can use them to further define the living area and make it alittle more cozy. Also, you might want to consider looking at you picture in black and white. You want to be able to see some contrasting shades of grey in the picture. Good Luck!
November 21, 2012 at 5:51AM     
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princefam
The dining table for better or for worse HAS to stay... My husband woodworks and was super picky w the table. We looked at hundreds and finally he liked this one. It's from ABC carpet, big splurge... So it will be passed on to the children whether they like it or not!! :))
I think after hearing to all these WONDERFUL ideas (thanks thanks!!!) I have a plan.
Please tell me your thoughts so I can stop buying and returning things!!! I'd like to not continue making mistakes :)
1. Suzani behind couch with a black rod
2. Mirror in dining room
3. Light in dining rm out to another room-- and replace w a white more modern one like orbit or other that brings/ties in the white and barcelonas
4. Upholstered white dining chairs ( west elm has some curved ones at a good price but the legs look cheap --- so suggestions welcome). I think they would contrast table nicely
5. Bye w the wing chairs (sob!!)..... And put against that awckward wall this great bench from west elm called the senufo bench -- on sale and not returnable....
The white big table is coming in soon and it is the same height as the senufo bench, but there would be enough space that the wall and bench are visually separated....
Thoughts?
Thanks a TON!!!!!
November 21, 2012 at 7:23AM   
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JAN MOYER
Best bet, best thought? : Call interior designer , stop buying until you have PLAN that incorporates the existing with new purchases. He/she will save you more mistakes, more time and in the end....money. And the light in the dining room needs to go out the door, not to another room, if your end goal is a cohesive space! !
November 21, 2012 at 7:30AM     
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973jamrock
Start with a rug so you can pull some colors in .
November 21, 2012 at 7:47AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
this space could be great, why keep try it on your own! 9 4 9 9 3 9 0 0 8 8
November 21, 2012 at 8:22AM     
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Aggie Purvinska
Can I make a suggestion? If you don't want to hire a designer, you can't become one by randomly buying pieces. To become good at design, you have to look at design, look at magazines, historical design, contemporary design, you have to participate in the contemporary scene, so to speak, and study, study, study, attend to detail, learn the language and speak it. I recommend you stop buying things, make a substantial Ideabook, assess all your needs and wants, budget. Really pay attention to what it is you like about your Inspiration Photos. Take time to look at Design Books. You will not be happy until you do this, and if you still can't pull it together, hire a designer, someone who lives and breathes design every day, and you will see the difference! Good luck to you, I like your palette, btw.
November 21, 2012 at 8:32AM     
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Aggie Purvinska
Carolyn, Switching o black for the Barcelona Chairs and Ottomans is Genius.
November 21, 2012 at 8:35AM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
the Barcelona in White Leather
November 21, 2012 at 8:40AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
take the fabric off the hallway, does living room rug fit in the dining room? Start with the mirror the white Barcelonas and the sofa fo rthe living room, does the dining table need to stay?
November 21, 2012 at 8:44AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
take the fabric off the hallway, does living room rug fit in the dining room? Start with the mirror the white Barcelonas and the sofa fo rthe living room, does the dining table need to stay?
November 21, 2012 at 8:44AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
take the fabric off the hallway, does living room rug fit in the dining room? Start with the mirror the white Barcelonas and the sofa fo rthe living room, does the dining table need to stay?
November 21, 2012 at 8:44AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
take the fabric off the hallway, does living room rug fit in the dining room? Start with the mirror the white Barcelonas and the sofa fo rthe living room, does the dining table need to stay?
November 21, 2012 at 8:44AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
take the fabric off the hallway, does living room rug fit in the dining room? Start with the mirror the white Barcelonas and the sofa fo rthe living room, does the dining table need to stay?
November 21, 2012 at 8:44AM   
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JAN MOYER
gary finley,
Aurrgghh , as designers, it does get frustrating doesn't it? I said same thing re table, and hubby picked that so... we are in agreement as to "tata" and we are toast on the answer which is NO. Sometimes I have to walk away from these threads... or I get the urge to run to the airport and fly down and fix it! !!!
November 21, 2012 at 8:50AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
lol......................................JAN=Gary two of a kind!
November 21, 2012 at 8:55AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
lol......................................JAN=Gary two of a kind!
November 21, 2012 at 8:55AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
lol......................................JAN=Gary two of a kind!
November 21, 2012 at 8:55AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
lol......................................JAN=Gary two of a kind!
November 21, 2012 at 8:55AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
Jan and I could wip this into shape in a long weekend with $10,000.00

Jan pinch your cheeks and lets roll the cameras
November 21, 2012 at 8:57AM   
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JAN MOYER
Look, eclectic can be wonderful, or it can be yet another word for I have this stuff, and I must use it... or I goofed and couldn't fix it... or WHATEVER!
The sofa, the suzani, the barcelonas, the mirror can work together. The dining table, wing chairs and chandelier belong in a different room or different house. There's the truth and the beginning point. Now.... which way do you want to go? The dining table/chandelier is too middle of the road suburban for the space you were trying for. Just my opinion of course, and the one I would give you if standing there. You can't choose things in isolation... they don't live in isolation when you get them in the house. Sorry to hubby....wrong choice on table. For what YOU are liking to go around that table. This is why we also specialize in marriage counseling........ : )
November 21, 2012 at 9:04AM     
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JAN MOYER
gary,
I just snorted coffee out my nose..... lol
November 21, 2012 at 9:14AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
ohhh my I thought I got rough! DO THIS: ttake a look at each item...compare each with each and every other item to see how it does or does not relate....this will give you an idea of what Jan is speaking to......then write back
November 21, 2012 at 9:14AM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
ohhh my I thought I got rough! DO THIS: ttake a look at each item...compare each with each and every other item to see how it does or does not relate....this will give you an idea of what Jan is speaking to......then write back
November 21, 2012 at 9:15AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
we must be friends
November 21, 2012 at 9:20AM     
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JAN MOYER
Seriously, I do NOT mean to be harsh. But ask any designer and they will tell you this sort of instance happens all the time. BUT... at some point you will make zero progress unless you acknowledge truth. I always tell a client: "If you want to go to San Francisco, or to Paris, Or to Miami... name the place!! But if you end up in OUTER Mongolia...do not blame me, as it will not have been my fault. I am the "travel agent" , and you must be willing to follow the road map...the detours too wide, will take you far from the path. I get to say when and where we can detour, so we still arrive at the planned destination......." Easy peasy!!!
November 21, 2012 at 9:23AM   
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JAN MOYER
Gary,
did we go to different high schools together? Do you OD watching Jeff Lewis? Is a new mag on your doorstep like the best mail you can receive, or did you already buy it because yours didn't come in the mail, and now you have TWO n the same day? Do your shelves sag under the weight of design books? Do u mentally re-arrange the furniture in the funeral home while paying your "respects"..... huh?
November 21, 2012 at 9:27AM     
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Kim D
I love your space, I would suggest if you are keeping the same dining room table to make your coffee table in the same dark tone (not white). The white and the dark tones look great together but you have to weave both colors into all the space; in other words the living room doesn't work because its all just white and the opposite goes for the other area (its all dark). Also do you have another area for TV viewing?
November 21, 2012 at 9:42AM   
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pcmom1
I would rather make a bunch of mistakes then have a designer make me feel like an idiot.
November 21, 2012 at 10:03AM     
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Aggie Purvinska
What kind of designer would make one look like an idiot? Why would you say that?
November 21, 2012 at 10:15AM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
The interior designer who makes you feel like an idiot should be fired!
November 21, 2012 at 10:21AM     
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JAN MOYER
Designers do NOT make you feel like an idiot. They help you figure out what you MOST love, what works best with with that, so you get where YOU want to go with the least amount of angst. In order to do that well, sometimes the answer is simply one thing will work better than another thing, based on what you want the finished outcome to be. If someone says "yes! " to every idea you have, perhaps you need to re-think the someone. Or... you didn't need any help at all. It can feel a bit like gong to the doctor... whom many of us sooooo wish would say,... "of course you can eat as much as you like, and smoke your brains out, and watch tv all day and night and feel just great!!!!" But the doc never says that........: ) And decorating is a lot more fun than a trip to the doc, but your outcome will be as good as the designer and your willingness to consider other ideas, along with the firm conviction of what YOU like and don't. Designers want the best outcome, for you.
November 21, 2012 at 10:24AM     
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flgrandma
If you've just moved to Florida from another part of the country, that might be the basic problem that you're having with your decorating. It takes a while to get used to the light here and how it affects your decorating. I've lived in FL for 30 years and originally I kept wanting to decorate for the north - it doesn't work. Your white furniture is beautiful, but I'd return the barcaloungers. Your style seems to be sort or traditional with a little Eastern flair and the barcaloungers just don't go. As suggested by many others you need to bring some of the colors of your gorgeous suzani into the living room (pillows, oriental carpets, lamps and/or shades). Your dining table appears to be too small, but the color and style are wonderful. Maybe with chairs and a lowered chandelier it will look more in proportion. Hope that you can get settled soon and enjoy the weather.
November 21, 2012 at 10:59AM     
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pcmom1
Sorry, didn't want it to seem that all designers make clients feel like dummies! I have a designer that I have worked with over the years who is wonderful. She guides me very gently. Has been great in letting me bounce ideas off her.

I made comment because I thought this thread was getting rather rough!
November 21, 2012 at 11:30AM     
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JAN MOYER
Actually it wasn't getting rough but it was getting rather truthful! I do think designers among themselves will have a laugh at their own frustrations, but it IS both blessing and curse to see a simpler way, a better way, a better proportion, and a more pleasing result in your head while a client struggles, and not be able to do a thing about it . So... on behalf of the "cursed" among us, you must try to forgive us our sometimes unappreciated humor and confidence . Happy Turkey Day! : )
November 21, 2012 at 11:49AM   
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princefam
Thanks flgrandma-- jackpot. I was in Manhattan and New Haven and the FlorIda white tiles, big single spaces and modern house are COMPLETELY throwing me off. It is mostly the flooring and the size of the room, along with the "unfinished" feel of the rooms themselves without any architectural details. I am giving up and searching for a designer. I was trying to save money since we r fresh out of school.
I do have to echo the feeling of some harsh comments -- I started feeling like the poor guys at American Idol who try singing, judges feel they suck (and most often they do) and they leave in tears. I do, however, appreciate the honesty -- if not I would continue thinking I could do it on my own.
Thanks to all.
Barcelonas are going back.!
November 21, 2012 at 11:55AM     
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ashtonchic
You might be happier with a softer style which would go with your sofa, wing back chairs and dining room table. Check out French Country looks on Houzz and see if there is a light bright comfortable look that you like. Florida is a lot like France and Italy - not just Miami contemporary.
November 21, 2012 at 12:06PM     
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victorianbungalowranch
BTW, I think the wingbacks are a modern take on a traditional design and are pretty cool.

I don't understand why so many posters here think you have to trash most of what you have to fit this space--it can develop over time and use what you have already. Our things are not just design objects, they have memories and meaning to them, and yes we make compromises for budget, comfort and for other family members. Figure out what means the most to you and go from there.

The Barcelonas are expensive, so if you aren't sure about them, it is probably good to take them back. I do like the idea of keeping everything low-slung to preserve the view out the back.

Happy Thanksgiving!
November 21, 2012 at 2:04PM     
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JAN MOYER
victorianbungalo,
I think the whole thread has been what to keep in the space, and what should not be a part of that space. The homeowner has been buying, dragging home, and returning items. The wing chairs, while very nice chairs, belong in a different space. They are too bulky in relationship to the Barcelona chairs, as is the dining table a bit too dark and heavy and traditional in style. From what most of us can gather, (and considering her hubby is making a low slung white coffee table), she is going for a sleeker, lower, more modern feel with the exotic highlights being the suzani and mirror. Given the givens, intentional or not, the wings, and the dining table and its chandelier... are the pieces keeping her from getting the look she wanted. So, if those are more important than anything else, keep the sofa, the dining table, chandelier and wings, and out goes the mirror, and the Barcelonas, for some items a bit more transitional in feeling, and less obviously styled. Design doesn't mean throwing out treasure or comfort to get a good looking space, It does mean editing out what does not work, to a different room, or back to the store. You're telling a story in a room, and you edit to get the best final story. Happy Turkey Day!
November 21, 2012 at 2:46PM     
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ashtonchic
In my opinion, Barcelona chairs and stools are very uncomfortable. And they do not fit with the other pieces. I would add some soft window treatments like sheer linen drapes on a rod and float sofa and console table facing the view to separate dining and living areas. Leave seating area with wing chairs on one side with small table in between and TV wall/bookcase with some decorative items across from it. Leave view unobstructed til you find out what else you need. Mirror should be moved to another location where it can be enjoyed as an art piece. Maybe where the wall hanging is. Prints on wall could be arranged behind the wing chairs. Hopefully hubbies new coffee table will look great in front of couch. I can't see what pieces you have at the far end in front of window/slider. I'm not especially keen on the wall hanging. Can't tell how it ties in to rest of space. Looks like a wonderful space though! Maybe some bright pillows on the sofa would help tie it in. But I don't know where it would fit to do it justice. Maybe the bed cover idea is the best
November 21, 2012 at 3:16PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
WOW .....................what I have missed, silly me for working today.

HOWEVER, we are all here for different reason no doubt.

We all come from different design or lack of design backgrounds....I must say that when I see someone beating themself up I like to help out.


you'al need to realize designers give opinions and have dedecated reasons for thos opinions.

I dont show up here to be attempt to be nice but to give good, sound, educated comments.....I think Jan and I work somewhat alike......we give solutions

so with that stated.....there are no absolutes with design, just choices and consequences
November 21, 2012 at 3:43PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
WOW .....................what I have missed, silly me for working today.

HOWEVER, we are all here for different reason no doubt.

We all come from different design or lack of design backgrounds....I must say that when I see someone beating themself up I like to help out.


you'al need to realize designers give opinions and have dedecated reasons for thos opinions.

I dont show up here to be attempt to be nice but to give good, sound, educated comments.....I think Jan and I work somewhat alike......we give solutions

so with that stated.....there are no absolutes with design, just choices and consequences
November 21, 2012 at 3:43PM     
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karen paul interiors
Personally, I am appalled at some of these comments toward a homeowner who is asking for help. She does not need these snarky remarks . Shame on those of you who have done your level best to create a difficult situation. Good advice is one thing (or shall we call it opinion) and self-promotion out of some rather misguided thoughts that some know best and others don't. This is Houzz. We are here to help and give input. This is not for a client who is paying good money for us to be absolutely correct (which many times we are not)....and that some may consider their opinions to be the only offers that have true value, is truly perplexing.

Princefam, don't make any more purchases. Your choices are great and that includes the dining room table. Yes, your chandelier will need to go. No, the wing chairs do not need to be removed. Yes, you will need to re-hang your Suzani in a professional manner and it most likely would do well to have nothing underneath. Your mirror should leave the room for now and held in inventory. Your Barcelona pieces in the white are a good choice.

I would suggest you get your coffee table in place and then what we can do at Houzz is to guide you through a piece at a time to create balance in both rooms. There is no rush to finish.

Frankly, for someone who has no design background and is doing this on her own, you have a really fine start. I like that you are working outside the box and that everything is not perfect. The most wonderful interiors come unexpectedly through trial, error and the effort to right the wrongs in unexpected ways. This always make for an exciting and interesting interior that is not even remotely connected to what I consider connect-a-dot design (the expected).

So put your track shoes on, buck up and keep moving this forward. You have an excellent start. It's not time to cave in. Let's work with what you have and get that into place and then we can jump off from there on the items you need to make it all come together.
November 21, 2012 at 5:00PM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Well stated, Karen! Thanks for setting us all back on the right track.
November 21, 2012 at 5:43PM     
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lishaocool
Personally speaking, you can mix the some tone of your curtain, and buy some light like wall light, or some oil painting, some wood made to display your antique, then use some light line to build the aristocracy atmosphere, I think you also can use the strip of the grass green and dark golden color wallpaper to decorate your room.and then buy some red or pink decorations. in light of what have been discussed above, that, something my opinion
November 22, 2012 at 8:05AM     
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flgrandma
Best wishes to princefam for a wonderful Thanksgivng Day. Don't even think about your house today.
November 22, 2012 at 9:08AM     
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Ann Marin
Hmmm, maybe I missed it, but did anyone mention moving the furniture AWAY from the walls? (That's a bug no-no in design) I LOVE the white barcelona chairs, but why aren't their ottomans together with the chairs? The square art above the sofa is too small. I would try a more boldly patterned/contrasting rug and or pillows and curtain panels to punch up the space and ease the transition of the barcelona chairs to the rest of the furniture.. Good luck, Happy Turkey Day!!
November 22, 2012 at 9:48AM     
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ashtonchic
I hope you don't get overwhelmed with everyone's comments. I don't think you need a designer - you've got a great start to a well designed room.. Do you have a color palette? One thing you could do is look at a your wardrobe to get an idea of what kind of a person you are. Soft, crisp, architectural etc. What is your favorite color? You can also match your floor color (not rug) to a stain color chip and go to a fabric store. What speaks to you when you hold the color chip next to it? You can use the colors in the pattern for your accent colors. Have fun with it? Get your creative juices flowing!! You have lots of friends here wishing you the best......Happy Thanksgiving
November 22, 2012 at 11:27AM     
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pcmom1
Dear Karen Paul,

Thanks for conveying so well what I was feeling. Being truthful is one thing, but it all comes back to, "It isn't what you say, it's how you say it!"
November 23, 2012 at 6:17PM     
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collettec
princefam, I think you're doing well. I like the advice you've been given. There shouldn't be conversations by designers or anyone else that treat you like you're not there and as if they're having conversations with just each other that are insulting to others. You came on this site for advice and help and if that's not the reason for people responding then I don't think they need to. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
November 23, 2012 at 6:55PM     
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judianna20
The dining table stays. Start with that first. I like it. To make it more Florida, off white painted wheel back chairs with a great fun fabric on the seats. At either end, a host/hostess chair in a coordinating fabric. Paint or wallpaper the tray ceiling (pale blue). Lower the chandy and hang the two blue painting on that wall. Plenty of seating for that area.

Use the Suzani in the bedroom on a black iron bed. Replace it with the mirror hung horizontally.

Return the chairs and ottomans. Turn the sofa to face the slider and the view. Flank your husband's coffee table with your two upholstered chairs. On the solid wall a nice simple console, two lamps and another painting. two ottomans tucked under for extra seating.

Fabric panels to the floor on either side of the sliders.

November 23, 2012 at 7:28PM     
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JAN MOYER
There are a lot of unanswered questions here, that likely would have been asked (or seen) by a professional visiting the space:
When you began shopping, what was the intended "feel" of the room, and its major purpose?
(Use as many descriptives as you can. Light, bright, deep and cozy, sleek, eclectic, a little modern, calm, brighter and energizing, a little international, a little funky, and whatever else applies to your "dream room")
When you have friends and family in, how many ...usually? Casually or a little bit more formally?
Where/how/how much/ do you watch television? In another smaller room not seen here? In the master bedroom? In the kitchen? On the computer? Not important?
What is the style of the kitchen? Is it sleek? country? Something in between? What are the cabinets? Does it have a breakfast area, an island? and how many can sit at that breakfast table?
Is it open to the pictured space, or closed off?
Living/dining/foyer combos of significant length leading to sliding doors and a patio, are common in Florida, due to narrow lot lines and close by neighbors. This usually results in generous interior wall space, and fewer windows gazing at a neighbor. There are lots of ways to deal with that, so do you LOVE the Suzani? Forget right or wrong, or that you bought it, do you ADORE it? Or was it a "oh, that will fill space! type of purchase?"
There is no wrong answer to that question. Same question of the mirror, and there is no right or wrong answer to that either.
At the risk of offending DIY'ers,( yet again) these are some of the questions that would be asked if a professional walked through the door right now. It is hard to get out of the decorating woods, if you do not know your intended destination. The process is not one of "oh, I will get some stuff, and pray it all works, as that is and has been an arduous process of buy/return/still not happy/still lost in the woods. " I think you want out of the woods, but to where is the question.
When you're lost, you have to go back to where you began and then..... you must know where you want to GO. Two hundred folks online, professional or other, can give you THEIR destination, what is YOURS?
November 24, 2012 at 5:02AM     
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charlotteleigh
I would like to go on record by stating absolutely that I would NOT EVER use Jan or Gary's services. The reason why should be obvious. Princefam, please do not trash that beautiful dining room table. That is all the advice I have for now.
November 24, 2012 at 10:31PM     
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greengirl
We just moved to FL too. Sold just about everything. The biggest problem I have is with the flooring. We have those same exact tiles. Driving me nuts. But we did what Jan suggested. We asked ourselves a lot of questions about what WE wanted the room to FEEL like, not look like. Then we pick those items that satisfy the feel. In the end, the outcome is what we want to live with.

Look at all your magazine cutouts. Sit in different seats in the room. Live with it a little bit. Don't forget to show the after pix.
November 24, 2012 at 11:42PM     
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greengirl
As an aside, Jan Moyer, I almost fell over "did we go to different high schools together?"
You are only the 2nd person I've heard say that. I use it all the time. The other 1 was a real playa in the 70's as a pick up line. RLOL
November 24, 2012 at 11:45PM   
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JAN MOYER
@ greengirl, That is tooooo funny as I only ever heard one other person say that, and he was from New Jersey! So I stole his line!? And yes... he was...more than a bit!!!
@frederickiic Well, what can I say? That is fine, but design with help, or all alone in your space often means be willing to address the reasons you are stuck. "Stuck" is generally a euphemism for NOT THRILLED AT ALL.. This homeowner wasn't happy with her result thus far, and she is savvy enough to know that she had a couple purchases that MAY not be working well together. Depending on the FEEL the homeowner was looking for, she could either go a bit more in the style direction of the dining table/wing chairs she purchased and use those to their best advantage, or take the direction she sought when she bought the Barcelonas and had her hubby craft a low, sleek, white coffee table. That is all Gary was saying, and that is all I was saying, and the fact that we poked fun at design processes among ourselves here on this site was not meant to offend you, or that homeowner.Too many "ideas" in a room, is just as confusing to ones eye as too many suggestions from every friend on the block when you're "stuck". The room that confuses you in "feel" leads to that "something is off "unhappiness with your space.. Which is why I said go back, start with the FEEL you wanted. When you do that in the beginning.....and keep the vision in your head, you avoid STUCK as it applies to ill fitting purchases that don't suit your vision. It's no different than putting together an outfit for a club opening cocktail party, or dinner at your hubby's stuffy bosses home...
A dress is not just a dress, and a chair is not just a chair!!!
November 25, 2012 at 4:10AM   
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nasmijati
princefam, you have received many strong opinions about your design question today.

If I am understanding the facts correctly, you have just moved to Florida, and are just out of school. Your husband makes furniture. He wants to keep the dining table because he made it. He will be making a white coffee table for the living room. You have been buying and returning furniture because you do not have a master plan. Correct?

This home belongs to both you and your husband. Each of you take some time to think about how you want to FEEL in each space, and what each space will be used for. How many people will be using each space?

Now, together, start making IDEABOOKS on Houzz. Discuss what you like and do not like about each photo. Take notes.
Look at sites with photos of Florida interior design. Some of your belongings will be spot on, others will look like transplants from a colder climate.
Look at sites with photos of eclectic design in hot, humid climates.
This will give you a starting place for thinking about Florida.
There is not a penalty for putting some things in storage/inventory for a little while. Just be sure whatever it is is packed to resist mold and mildew.

Meanwhile, you have a room full of furniture. Sit in each style of chair for an entire evening (watch a long movie). Which chairs are comfortable? Which ones not so comfortable? Could you do better by having a different kind than either of the ones you have now?
Take your time. Breathe. Sleep on it. Talk about it the next day. Breathe. Make decisions together. Return furniture that you have agreed does not meet your needs.

One thing I can tell you about Florida, is that the second-hand shops, consignment shops, and thrift stores have incredible finds. Many older people move to Florida with entirely too many belongings. Sometimes TWO moving vans from their pre-retirement home. (I know, I had to help them pack up.) Once you have an idea of what you want, take "field trips" on a weekend or day off to get an idea of what different second-hand stores carry. I wish you many weekends of joy as you look and learn together what will express your style.
November 27, 2012 at 5:11PM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Gary, just to catch you up, her husband did not make the table. It was a splurge at ABC Carpet.
November 27, 2012 at 5:21PM     
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nasmijati
Pardon my error. I see now that your husband did NOT make the table, but he likes it very much, and it must stay.
November 27, 2012 at 5:28PM     
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princefam
I am wondering why do these Barcelonas pictures near traditional furniture work yet they seem to clash in my living room?
November 29, 2012 at 6:58AM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Because it's a lovely eclectic mix, with large doses of modern in the Barcelona and the abstract art, plus what might or might not be a seagrass rug.
November 29, 2012 at 7:24AM     
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princefam
Thanks, Carolyn! I have more images, still uploading..!
November 29, 2012 at 7:53AM     
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princefam
And here some modern chairs with tables similar to mine....
I feel the eclectic with barcelonas (I think of them as traditional but modern) can work, i just dont know hot to "balance" it...
Not giving up yet! :)
I am also putting a close up of the table...
Have a few more days to return them...,
November 29, 2012 at 7:58AM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
All are beautifully done electric rooms. And it's possible that your two traditional chairs could work with the Barcelona chairs with the right mix of things. That's the sort of design that a professional designer, who has been to your home to see everything in person, could put together for you.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
November 29, 2012 at 8:02AM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
It's not that it can't be done, it's that it can't be done online.
November 29, 2012 at 8:08AM     
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princefam
Thanks, carolyn! I appreciate it
November 29, 2012 at 8:10AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
The wood table is wonderful, I used one much like it years ago.....
I love the barcelonas as mentioned before.

So, with that stated the images of the tradtional pieces and the chrome that you posted show selections that I believe do not work best together and are in conflict with 'the best direction for you'. All classics dont work well together. They can....yes,....they can....however very selectively when everything hinges to the following best selection. These items you have come from differing points of view....you have very little opportunity to 'pull it off' so thats why I keep causioning you.

A Chanel pump and pearls...fine, A fur coat over a mini shirt...fine..... but never Silk Taffeta over Madras Plaid some contrast is just contrast
November 29, 2012 at 8:39AM     
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JAN MOYER
princefam,
Here's the thing: You only have so much space. Hence you can only pack so many "ideas" into that space. The suzani, the coffee table in white that your husband is building, the mirror, the sofa, can all work together. The dining table, and the wing chairs are then a bit of a misfit. Or.... keep the wing chairs, the dining table, the sofa, and even the suzani .... halt the coffee table, and return the Barcelonas and the mirror. When you try to have EVERYTHING... you wind up with NOTHING, and the odd feeling that something feels wrong. It doesn't mean you can't keep it all, as it is YOUR home and you have to be happy in the end. That usually means iimiting the ideas. Or use the "misfits" in a different room, and let them shine..... or do your thing, use it all in that room and other opinions matter not! Everyone and every thing, can not be a "star"in life, on stage, or in a room. There has to be a chorus, and an orchestra, and ......just the guy who yanks the curtain! The dining table is throwing you off, or it is telling you what to do. You can listen to the table, or not. It's your house.
November 29, 2012 at 4:37PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I think it can be done by a talented local designer.
November 29, 2012 at 5:18PM     
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JAN MOYER
princefam,
I attached pics from a recent project where I used a table NOT unlike yours.There is a mix of antiques, and other more modern elements in the room.....but they blend because they all share clean lines, and no one thing shouts for attention.
November 29, 2012 at 6:24PM     
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princefam
Thank you, Jan.
I actually ordered some parsons chairs from RH this weekend due to their sale. I am not crazy about them but they will blend the 2 spaces as people suggested above (same fabric as sofa) and they don't scream like u say.
I have taken the suzani down, and things look fresher! I think that was screaming.
It may go behind the couch, or in my room or as pillows.... I will have the missing items in a week and we will see...
I will repost, rethink.
Thx for the advice
To everyone!!!!!!!
November 29, 2012 at 6:39PM     
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karen paul interiors
"Birds on Wire" Chair Can one or two of these be used in place of something? Can the Hepplewhite metal chair be used at the head of the dining table? This is a metal piece with both gold and silver detailing. Bel Aire Chair Maybe some sort of pierced metal orbital design over the dining table? Contemporary Pendant Lighting
November 29, 2012 at 10:13PM     
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Manon Floreat
Gorgeous selections, Karen.
November 29, 2012 at 11:37PM   
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Billie G
@Princefam, I am sure someone has suggested this already, but I have no time really to go through all the posts. So here is my suggestion: Perhaps if you move your sofa away from the wall on the place where now there are the two small chairs, so that the sofa is facing the big window. Maybe you have a slightly longer and thinner table already that you could use in the back of the sofa as a sofa able with some lamps or flowers. That would create a separation of sorts between the dining room and LR. The big mirror could then be placed on the big wall above the small chairs. Hope this is helpful.
November 30, 2012 at 1:54AM     
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pcmom1
Dear Karen Paul, If you have ever watched the show "Portlandia", then you know all you have to do is "Put a bird on it!".
November 30, 2012 at 7:40AM   
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karen paul interiors
Ha, ha, pc mom. No, don't know the show. Always good to generate a little "life" into a room! :)
November 30, 2012 at 8:10AM   
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karen paul interiors
princefam, I'm not "getting" the rug in the l.r. Is this an area rug and if so, I'm not understanding the hue, pattern?, etc. Is this something that can be negotiated in the scheme of things?
November 30, 2012 at 8:13AM   
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karen paul interiors
princefam, Is this your wing chair with a lighter wood finish? Is the fabric in the Hamilton, color: natural, as shown? http://www.leeindustries.com/productdetail.asp?id=133156239173115 and is this your sofa in the Belgian Linen, color: Sand? http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod520015&categoryId=cat1537055
November 30, 2012 at 10:19PM   
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karen paul interiors
Before you hang your rug (officially), you will need to have a pocket sewn to the back for the rod to slip through. This is the most professional way to do it to have the rug hang properly.
November 30, 2012 at 10:48PM     
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greenthumb2
Hi prince fam. thank you for posting your rooms. I had never seen a Suzani before today.

About the design and decorating challenges; We learn by doing, and reading, and re-doing. Our homes ever evolve as do our styles. Find out what your needs are, find out what traffic pattern you want because after all is said and done, you and family will be moving around freely in there. The open floor plan gives you little L-shape space which is so much more helpful to plan. Although looking through to the back is considered to be a good feature, it brings challenges.

Create a few idea books if you haven't already. This is a great reference tool and will give insight as to what "look" you lean towards in design and color. Pay attention to lighting. Is it natural or staged?

Finding our way with man made objects is a challenge. Your home will be more amazing as you learn to adapt to your walls and possessions.

Editing ideas is a great way to find your design and color palette. So, enjoy the process of learning. :=) the feedback here is amazing. Best of luck to you. I will try to find a link or two with similar floor plans.
http://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary/family-room/open-floor-plans-no-walls-

check my search parameter. I selected contemporary and family room from the left side menu on houzz. Then typed open floor plans, no walls. You do have two walls but I am certain you will understand my idea when you open this link. There are over 200 examples to look at in there. Don't rush, just make an idea book. Then, make some notes about what makes sense for you.

:=)
December 1, 2012 at 12:11AM     
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greenthumb2
hi princefam, you can do the same search I listed above using eclectic instead of contemporary. but, if you start with contemporary, it will help you see the space and furnishings more clearly. then, you can look into the eclectic and it will make your challenges easier. I hope this helps you and family.

Dining chairs; something comfortable and beautiful if you can find them so you and your guests can really have a long conversation at the table. Watch for depth and width for comfort, and height for being able to tuck them in close to the table. Some with arms may not fit....
December 1, 2012 at 12:24AM     
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Susan Mills Design
That looks like a track arm sofa in Belgian Linen sand, if so and you purchased the parson chairs in the same sand linen, they will help to bring things together.

I would move the two wing chairs backing to the window, this is such a long sight line and having them there will stop the eye. What is directly behind is more furniture, over the tops of the chairs you will still see the trees. I would remove the large mirror, it is going to reflect back the wall it faces, which seems to be higher than the others. I would instead put a console with a beautiful piece of art over it. If you used a wood with the same tones if the dining table it would give some balance to the rooms. I would also suggest end tables in the same wood at either end of the sofa. Once you have your white coffee table in place, you will also need to put some warm colourful cushions on the sofa as there will be too many light surfaces,

I also suggest like others have that you need a new light over the dining table, something a bit more in keeping with the style of your furniture. I would also place sheer linen drapes on rod over the window in orb. If you used the monastery console in natural acacia it would refer to the table as it has a nice blend of tones from pale to med brown.

One of the issues right now in this living room is that it does not have a focal point or a conversational area. Having the console and art will create that focal point. I would suggest one chaise angled in towards the room placed facing the two wing chairs and window area, which will create a visual break from the transition to dining area.

I find the two Barcelona chairs a bit out of keeping with your other pieces, I would either find a new spot in your home or return them if possible. You have a cute little couturiers chair over by the window which also needs a new place in your home, maybe a bedroom?

I think you like the repeating motif of the Suzani, as the shape is also in the mirror, if so find some colourful cushions with this motif for the sofa. The hanging Suzani is too big for that space, I would suggest you fold it and use it to layer over a bed. I think hanging it behind the sofa could overwhelm the room.

Most of all enjoy creating your new home, moving into a new environment is a bit overwhelming already without putting pressure on yourself to create an instant home.

Sorry all my images didn't attach, will try again in the morning.
December 1, 2012 at 12:42AM     
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emkay1919
I think the room looks a little bit narrow if u get what I mean. Consider putting something in the big space next to your brown table, it will spread things out a bit more :) good luck
December 1, 2012 at 1:03AM     
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princefam
Thanks for all the helpful comments!
Karen, yes!... The wingchairs are those from Lee, in that same color, but with a lighter wood. The sofa is indeed belgian linen sand, and large 108".nyhe 84 looked tiny in the huge wall.
The rug is a 12x15 seagrass from homedecorators. It has a slight greenish hue, but-- the sisal just sheds like crazy. This one is sturdy enough for 2 kids and a dog...
I actually have 2 tables coming : one the home-made ine by my husband that is 48 x 60 x 17 and is a temporary (1-2 years?) solution so we can use our money for other purchases.
The other table is a pedestal, round table abot 40" with 2 drop leaves (so it turns "rectangular"). I bought it at a store called "wood you" (infinished wood furniture that uou can stain yourself) and I am staining it an antique walnut, very similar to the dinjng table. My idea is to poll that out when we have large family gatherings ( we have a large fam ) so the KIDS sit there and not at my beautiful dinjng table :). At family gatherings we are at least 8-12 adults and 8 children all ages 3-7. I want to put it either in the corner next to the window, round, or in the awckward wall to the right of the dining room with something beautiful on top.
Regarding the window treatments: i initially thought of flowy curtains (i definitely have an earty but eclectic taste). However, That is the only
Light source for the loooong space. And there is no wall space on the sides of the window. Therefore, any curtain would block somw light when opened fully. I also wanted privacy from the sidewalk at the end of our backyard. Therefore, i placed through hunter Douglas this beautiful seagrass curtais that pull all the way up so light is not blocked and provide great privacy after sunset.
I will place the wingbacks at the end of the living room -- i personally think they are too tall for that. Sofa is 32" high.
I will take pictures and attach after feeding the kids! :)
December 1, 2012 at 5:10AM     
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princefam
I must add: i do like monochromatic spaces. I find them soothing. AND.., one day my big dream
Purchase is a color reform rug or an aquasilk rug from ABC-- many years down the line :) when I lived in NY as a student I would to there for eye candy! :)
December 1, 2012 at 5:13AM     
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princefam
Also, regarding the lack of art on the walls. We dont have anything yet. Only 2 batiks from a trip to Brazil that will go in the family rm. I have been checking Etsy. But any suggestions welcome!
December 1, 2012 at 5:21AM     
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JAN MOYER
The more monochromatic a room is, the more it requires texture, or it will go "flat". It's hard to see the rug in the picture, so perhaps that is sisal? BTW...... I would try TURNING the rug. It may sound counter intuitive, but it is very close to the walls, and I think a turn would actually WIDEN the appearance of the room.
December 1, 2012 at 5:21AM     
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JAN MOYER
princefam,
From what you are saying as more info flows in from your space/posts.. : ) particularly as it applies to dining tables, I think maybe your goal is not as "modern" as you originally intended. Wood, particularly in traditionally styled walnut tones feels more traditional in "flavor" . It also feels a bit more northern climate than southern, and less in keeping with a low white coffee table, (albeit a temporary one) and very out of sync with the Barcelona chairs. I truly think you need to pause, call for some in-person design help to aid you in refining your desired end "look" while taking function and size of family gatherings into account. Excellent time and money saver, and a much more direct route to your "destination".
December 1, 2012 at 5:51AM     
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pmjames
Okay. I would get rid of the Barcelona chairs. Since your furniture is traditional make All your accessories super modern and cool. Put the rug where it goes...which is on the floor. Decor is just like people, if you try too hard, everyone knows it. Take some time to live in the space and develop it. Enjoy it and step back when it gets overwhelming.
December 1, 2012 at 6:21AM   
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greenthumb2


hi princefam. this is not for anything except to show how the styles are mixed in this hallway. see how the wrought iron is repeated in windows? not the same material but they bounce off of and compliment each other. And the modern painting is well lit and compliments the lamp, rug, couch (bench) and even ties in the outdoors a bit. This has been copied to several thousand ideabooks. I think it was copied because it shows how to bring a room together. hope it is helpful for your spectacular spot! Bring some work lights to help you see your finishes better during the process. Use ones that you can position differently, with varying wattage so you can catch the ambience. Will help you determine what kind of lighting to buy.

PS. for special occasions, you can use a mirror on your table top with fuzzy bumpers underneath to avoid scratching the wood. If the children are old enough for that one. :=)
December 1, 2012 at 6:52AM     
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JAN MOYER
The "bones": windows, millwork, of the above space are luxuriously traditional, ditto the settee, and entry light fixture. What makes the juxtapositions are the art, standing lamp and entry rug. Those are creating tension. If you repeated the exact scenario in a blander environment minus all the millwork and leaded windows....you'd find it less riveting. Princefams space is tougher for that reason. So a bit of care in selection, can yield exciting... but no so disjointed as to be confusingly without direction.
December 1, 2012 at 7:17AM     
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JAN MOYER
greenthumb and princefam,
Case in point re the Admirlals home above posted by greenthumb: The dining area ( fab! ) has modern glamour applied to same very traditional bones, which include the painted black corner cupboards which were undoubtedly white to begin. The other photos in the home, include some "not quite as successful" juxtapositions.....check the other photos and most particularly the addition with banquette in corner. .....
December 1, 2012 at 7:38AM     
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karen paul interiors
Jan makes some very good points, most especially when it comes to trying to beat your way out of a "box". Architectural detailing goes the longest way in creating a successful environment with which to work. In fact, if the bones of a room are great, the detailing is flawless and if the millwork has begun a symphony, you could almost put in two orange crates, a great oriental rug, light a candle and gaze at your single piece of grown up art. Kidding, of course, but kidding on the square. So, what to do with da box. As Jan pronounced, "Texture, texture everywhere my dear!!". At the moment you have a sea of neutral upholstery, no focal point, a Suzani that is beautiful but overwhelming and a wonderful dining table. First things first. The manner in which you have organized your "sea" is by creating yet another box. This is not a good idea. So, as many have suggested, and you have consented, it is time to start shoving around some furniture. It gets a little dicey with your very long sofa. As you move pieces and post, the design cops will guide you through until most everyone is happy with the arrangement.

Also, you do need to return your Barcelona pieces, now that we have actually identified your sofa, 2 chairs and their respective fabrics. Also, we now know the rug is a sisal....and by all means, do as Jan asked and turn that baby around so we don't have wall to wall sisal that is creating yet another box, inside the box that is inside the first box.

Isn't this fun.? Also, you really must stop making purchases no matter how harmless they may appear to you. It's difficult to keep up with what needs to be done, what can be done and how to accommodate yet another incoming selection.
December 1, 2012 at 8:21AM     
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JAN MOYER
Karen paul interiors
You are sooooo right about "da box"! I don't want ANYONE on here to take that as a criticism, but it is what it is. It's a long narrow space, sans a lot of windows, and as I said in an earlier post, it is a very common scenario in Florida due to the building boom and narrow lot lines. Much of the space is really a loosely defined "passage/hallway" to another place, either outdoors, or another room. So!!! You work with what you have. It can be wonderful, but it takes a little planning, and it takes editing. Minus the bones to "carry" the space, you have to create interest where there is little or none. So yes it can be soothing, BUT it could easily slide right down the hill to bland. So ladies, these spaces like princefams are actually tougher than the biggest 10,000 square foot Georgian you could lay your hands on. But they are most successful when edited, when you have a plan, and when you limit the ideas. Or it will end up looking like Legos tossed at random into a white cardboard box.
Had I been here.... I may have even suggested NO sofa! I may have begun with the rug, I may have done four fabulous and comfy boxy modern club chair around a generous coffee table! A long narrow console with fab art where that sofa is! I have no dimensions, so I can't say..... but hubby might NOT have won that dining room table discussion. Too many things can make a great dining table, so that splurge may have gone to some more pressing fabulousness. But I wasn't and am not there. : )
December 1, 2012 at 8:45AM     
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collettec
Princefam, Saw your initial comments and saw that you had doubts about both the Barcelona chairs and the suzani - the Barcelona chairs not working with your other furnishings and your suzani being too large for the space. I think given that you noted that you felt those things weren't working with the house, space and other furnishings, means that you could see that those pieces weren't working as you had hoped. I think you should just assume that some things might not work and see if they do and if they don't return them.
I think one thing you have to consider is space overall. The table is large, and will require chairs on both sides as well. As Jan noted, it would help to have an overall plan including what will go where in terms of space constraints.
December 1, 2012 at 9:05AM   
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karen paul interiors
So let's talk about dining room chairs while we wait. Personally, I would like to inject a little personality into that area and add some black or charcoal or something....anything. Then whatever we find there can be referenced back into the living room. I loved the idea of the metal Hepplewhites with a cushion for the head of the table. It's style specific in an unusual mix of material and finish. I am not a fan of the Parsons chair as it is just more of the same vanilla. Need to make a beginning statement somewhere...anywhere. That chair is 22 X 22 X 37. Could we then go back to a Slipcovered Parsons in same fabric as pillow for the little Hepplewhite number. Not married to Hepple much as I just like to create some style/drama without hogging the show.
December 1, 2012 at 9:17AM   
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karen paul interiors
Also, once the sisal is turned and we see how that plays, I would like to see the same sisal in the d.r. just for the sake of continuity and to visually expand the area. Thoughts?
December 1, 2012 at 9:19AM   
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greenthumb2
Thank you for helping me to describe what I meant by stating: the specific picture of the foyer (yellows) with traditional and mid century mixed, was to show that entry way. not any other part of that particular home. But, you bring up a great point if there are places that don't work as well within the same link.

I notice no one has really talked about how one would walk through the space. what about that point?

Could we not suggest the current dining room space be the visiting area with the dining room moved to one side of the huge pass through? Technically, the only true part of the dining room now is a chandelier. I think that space could be a great place to share time.

Let us give princefam some time to work through the gamut. It' only been 12 days with a holiday and life with family in between our ideas....it is fun.
December 1, 2012 at 9:23AM   
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karen paul interiors

judy g's idea of creating a little vignette on the current wing chairs wall, can do much to get some style, texture, color, new shapes and materials going on to create a much-needed "importante" wall. So, this is something else we can be noodling out.

princefam, What is the size of that wall opposite the sofa wall? Also are we looking at 8 or 9' ceiling for all walls except this one. Noticed it isn't a full (tall) wall, as in one of the photos I spied vase(s) up top. When you have time, you can take them down and we can begin with a naked wall. :)
December 1, 2012 at 9:31AM     
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karen paul interiors
greenthumb, You can't be serious about people actually having a life beyond design. You have to be kidding!! :)
December 1, 2012 at 9:38AM     
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JAN MOYER
Ladies,
Here is the problem with our "help" on this site, whether DIY or pro: Princefam has not really answered a bunch of VERY important questions .
First, where is the kitchen and what does it look like?Including the new breakfast table.
Where is the family room, the major television, and what is in THAT room?
From the looks of the space, this is a bunch of square footage devoted to what? Entertaining? Formally or informally? To gathering with family and friends and how often? Buffet style? I can say almost without fail, that despite what we all think we will do... we rarely sit in rooms that do not have a tv, and a dining room usually gets infrequent use, unless we assign it another function. No apologies, but we vacuum them, we stare at them and say my my that is pretty!!! But we PASS them.
This is Florida, so my guess would be a lot of gathering out of doors.....?
A room with "no purpose" will have no purpose, other than to cost money in furnishings that are never sat upon. So, princefam, more pictures please even if YOU do not think they are important. They are very important.
December 1, 2012 at 9:43AM   
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karen paul interiors
Susan, you stated the following: "One of the issues right now in this living room is that it does not have a focal point or a conversational area. Having the console and art will create that focal point. I would suggest one chaise angled in towards the room placed facing the two wing chairs and window area, which will create a visual break from the transition to dining area. ".

I like the idea of creating a visual break with the dining room. I'm wondering if this is an opportunity also to break away from the vanilla upholstery in the room. What sort of chaise do you envision and would this be instead of one or two smaller chairs in that area? I like the ideas of transitioning, visual breaks and reduced site line.....beating the way out of da box? Very exciting, indeed! :)
December 1, 2012 at 9:47AM   
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princefam
:)))) i love all the comments! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! My anguish is slowly vanishing... :)
I tried moving the couch to move the rug but cant move it even an inch! Need hubby for that.
I am attaching new pictures without suzani (much better) and closeups for color since taking pics against the light changes the colors....
I LOVE the idea of adding much needed drama to the dining room. I am afraid of adding black and making the space too dark again like when the suzani was up...
December 1, 2012 at 9:48AM     
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princefam
Those 2 items are in foyer now.
December 1, 2012 at 9:49AM   
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princefam
Living room without barcelonas and dining without suzani!
I was initially hoping to make a separate sitting area against that awkward wall where the wingbacks are... The distance to the other wall is huge. We all walk through in front of those to go to the fam rm
December 1, 2012 at 9:52AM   
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princefam
Dining-- disregard the deawers on left but i needed something for my serving plates and tablecloths for now
December 1, 2012 at 9:53AM   
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princefam
Closeups
December 1, 2012 at 9:55AM   
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princefam
Closeups
December 1, 2012 at 9:57AM     
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princefam
More
December 1, 2012 at 9:58AM     
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greenthumb2
thank you for posting more pictures and info. :=) yeah. now you will definitely receive more detailed ideas suited to you. can you tell us about the lighting in that big room?
December 1, 2012 at 9:58AM   
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princefam
Blinds
December 1, 2012 at 9:59AM     
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princefam
Other items I have . My mom made that painting for me. Love it
December 1, 2012 at 10:01AM   
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greenthumb2
that drawer/server could be another color to blend in better. your work is showing....
December 1, 2012 at 10:02AM   
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princefam
I am not fond of the wingbacks in front of sliding door. They are 38 inches high and the couch 32. I also thin it looks "off center"
w lanai
December 1, 2012 at 10:04AM   
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princefam
I am not fond of the wingbacks in front of sliding door. They are 38 inches high and the couch 32. I also thin it looks "off center"
w lanai
December 1, 2012 at 10:06AM     
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princefam
I am not a fan of wingbacks there. They r too tall (38"). Sofa is 32
December 1, 2012 at 10:10AM   
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karen paul interiors
Love the wing chairs there. Suddenly, the room can breathe. Can you live with it for several days? We can offset the tallness of the wings with a great piece of art over sofa and nice size throw pillows. as for it being off center with the lanai....meh. Once you get something going with what is now your mirror wall, you will not feel the imbalance.

Also, now that you have introduced the bench from the foyer, I'm thinking we need to do a quick left turn away from some of the previous suggestions regarding dining chairs and feature wall.
December 1, 2012 at 10:22AM   
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pcmom1
Yes, so questions need to be answered. Pricefam, you say your family walks thru the middle of this room to get to the family room and, I assume, to access the slider. So, traffic flow needs to be one of the first things addressed.

Why not leave a "lane" near where the mirror currently is? Pull the two wingbacks to face the sofa, only much, much closer than they were before. And, think the rug should be turned 90 degrees. There does need to be some space between rug and walls.

Other option as someone mentioned above, is to switch this room with the dining area. It is annoying to try and have a relaxing adult gathering when little ones, and others, are walking back and forth thru the space!
December 1, 2012 at 10:25AM     
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princefam
Sorry for the double postings. My phone freezes and I resend. My bad.
Two orphaned items: a wobbly woman as we call her. Needs professional help to make her safe. And i have these 2 vintage chalcographies (one shown) that were in my mom's attic . If worth framing let me know...
December 1, 2012 at 10:27AM   
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karen paul interiors
Wait! Did I just see two Chippendale chairs in the dining room? I believe we have a starting point with newly designed cushions? Yeah, and bring back the Parsons if they aren't too tall.

princefam, what are the measurements on those chairs. Could also possibly use them on either side of some sort of console on the feature wall?
December 1, 2012 at 10:28AM   
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princefam
37 in at the camelback and 19.5 wide
December 1, 2012 at 10:30AM   
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princefam
My husband thought of covering the feature wall w wood... Yey or ney?
December 1, 2012 at 10:31AM   
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princefam
We tried switching w dining area. Too awkward. This space is huge and long. I attached a drawing of floor space up a few postings ago.
December 1, 2012 at 10:34AM   
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victorianbungalowranch
Gee, seeing from a differnt angle, I really like those wingback chairs and the mirror and the earthy jugs. I would leave that as it is.

I'm a little confused by the rest. Where is that fantastic chandelier with the rustic pendants? It doesn't look like the one over the dining room table, Both are very nice. Is that cool bench and art piece going in the foyer? Maybe a batik can go there. Post picts of them. Would kind of go with the international vibe, and it is nice to have pieces you collected on your travels.

As others suggested, perhaps a "modern traditional" look is more your style with interesting textures, a dash of modern, lots of ethnic and antique type accessories. Maybe a distressed painted Chippendale type chair (somwhat similar to the folding ones), maybe in bamboo, would look great with the table and chandelier. Maybe just painting and slightly distressing the dresser would work for the linens and a simple mirror on top to brighten things up and reflect the chandelier light.

Maybe you just need more art (tribal masks? What about those batiks?) mixed in over the couch and another low slung chair similar to the couch to make a nice conversation group. on the couch side of the living room. Or maybe some old-school rattan (sort of 40's looking) armchairs, or Danish Modern (see below) with comfy cushions for a dash of Florida, upholstered in a darker shade to go with the new blinds, or maybe a subdued barkcloth or textured solid. And a rustic wood bench type coffee table that could be used as extra seating for company. Or instead of white, paint the one your husband made your accent color--aqua might be nice--would pick up a bit of the blue-geys from the shade, but with a bit of color. Pick up the aqua with an old fashioned door, perhaps with some ironwork in it, mounted on the wall behind the new drop-leaf table, or with pillows,and art. Maybe even a soft accent wall..

May be more traditional than what you had in mind, but could look very nice--sort of British Colonial meets Beach. Look at the Causal Elegance interior Pics--could fit just right.

Ideabook: My Houzz: Casual Elegance in a California Beach Home
Ideabook: Get the Look: British Colonial Style
Ideabook: Houzz interview: Sarah's Sydney beach cottage
Ideabook: Decorating Around the World: Hip and Trendy Vancouver.
December 1, 2012 at 10:34AM   
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princefam
My fam rm. i like it. Couch is an old one from crate and barrel bleached a million times after spills and looks great still. I love white w little kids! The chair is from ikea and so are the pillows. The furniture bought locally unfinished and had someone stain it. Great storage for toys. Coffee table stores tons of puzzles and board games and withstands maltreatment. In the nook to the right hubby making built in bench w storage and will need a round table -- no glass
December 1, 2012 at 10:39AM   
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JAN MOYER
princefam,
You're not going to like this. I think you are on your way to having a very cramped up dining room, a useless living room. Why? The layout, hat's why. I really want you to try something before you buy one more thing.
Empty the living room. Take everything, including the dog, out.
TURN THE RUG!!!!! Just do it.
Now ...forget how the builder labeled the plan and the rooms. Forget you are staring at a light fixture in "the dining area"
Take the dining table and set it on the center of the newly turned rug, in same direction. Pull out the leaves. You may even try hanging the suzani on the BIG wall where the sofa was.
Now..... take the RH sofa, and tuck it against the wall where the dining table was. Add the barcelonas and try opposite, or together on any of the remaining "sides" of that "room"
Forget for the moment that you do not have dining chairs, and forget that you don't have the right serving pieces/accents to accompany the dining table. But this will give you a nice big space for dining, or sitting and having a drink, or playing games, or ......whatever!!!! As opposed to a living space that you will not sit in... and a cramped up "dining hallway" ....Try it... and without the chairs. you are going to need imagination. The "living room" space is NOT too large to be a sensational dining room/gathering space You already have a family room. Make a smaller sitting are where the dining table WAS. TRY IT.
No mirror, no wing chairs..... maybe on the suzani. ..... just try it.
December 1, 2012 at 10:39AM     
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princefam
More fam rm, nook for eat in kitchen in progress. I live this lamp. Bought the vase at a fair for nothing, bought a lamp kit at H Depot and a pretty shade at anthropologie. I love it!
December 1, 2012 at 10:42AM   
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princefam
I can try that as soon as i can get help w moving the sofa! Thanks!!!
I have to go to a 3 yo bday party now...:)
Thanks so much!!!!!
December 1, 2012 at 10:45AM   
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princefam
One more thing: coffe table will be similar to this
December 1, 2012 at 10:46AM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Re your double postings, it would be great if you would delete them.
Re the wing chairs, I love them in their new location. I think once you turn your rug, the "off balance" feeling will go away. And it will certainly help once something is added to the opposite wall. Moving the sofa out from the wall would also help matters. It would tighten the conversation area, and then one of the wings could be angled slightly toward the sofa.
December 1, 2012 at 10:56AM   
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JAN MOYER
princefam,
When you "copied" the table.....I think you were going for the LOOK/FEEL of the room in total. Yes or No that I am right about that?
December 1, 2012 at 10:56AM   
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karen paul interiors
Jan, she will have 13" leftover on either side of the sofa. If sofa is about 42" deep and coffee table around 40" and 15-18" between each side, that leaves 26 to 29" leftover in that square for her Barcelonas. Wondering if the mirror behind sofa in that location will expand space visually and reflect the outdoors and new "dining" area.

Ah, but for a wonderful fireplace on that feature wall for the one or two winter nights of cold. Ha! Brilliant use of space. She can't move the sofa until her husband is available. BTW.
December 1, 2012 at 11:06AM   
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victorianbungalowranch
Yep, I think British Colonial is more your style, with a dash of modern and beach. Love the other pictures and the old prints are definately worth framing in some nice acid-free mats. I saw it above your couch and wondered what it was. It is a famous painting "Raft of the Medusa" by Theodore Ge'ricault of survivors of a shipwreck--wonderful--a masterpiece of the French Romantic movement circa 1820 or so I think. Gerome died very young after working years on this, his masterpiece. What is the other one?

You might want to get some of the other elements of your decor decided upon before framing it, so you can better pick the mat (s) and frame to complement what you have.
December 1, 2012 at 11:08AM   
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pcmom1
Agree with Jan above. Try it! Try it! Try it!
December 1, 2012 at 11:13AM   
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karen paul interiors
Ok, so new thought for the "feature" wall. She did say her husband likes to build things. Center table, throw several chairs around, even consider a banquette piece away from the wall (instead of more chairs) and build a bookcase wall for books, accessories, lighting, etc. ?
December 1, 2012 at 11:16AM     
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JAN MOYER
Karenpaul,
I am staring at the "intended: use of spaces on her floor plan and truly.... I think that dining "hallway" thing %$## is a real problem for her. She has eight-ten adults when she gets them together, plus a pile of kids, and truly...I think she's going to end up squashed for those meals. There are young kids, and the living room will end up as a pass by/expensive waste.... I can't really read her dimensions on the plan but I also think she could possibly put the sofa PERPENDICULAR to the original dining wall, with barcelonas opposite. It's pretty square at elevenish by twelvish...: ) and hubby hasn't MADE the coffee table yet. So perhaps that could change dimensions. But I see a conflict between layout, and function for her family as she describes it. I'd have bought the single biggest X based modern farm table I could get my hands on, surrounded it with super great looking comfy chairs, and let EVERYONE sit and use it for eating, and puzzles, and homework, and pizza ....whatever! With a fab serving sideboard, and great lamps, and the sisal and a super duper light above!!!
December 1, 2012 at 11:25AM     
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JAN MOYER
Love the idea of shelves in there!!! Add some nice dimension/depth Would create a visual ENDING to the looooooooong feel of the room as well..... and maybe a super bench settee vs a bolted in place banquette!? I am always for f.l.e.x.i.b.i,l.i.t.y? LOL
December 1, 2012 at 11:30AM   
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JAN MOYER
karenpaul,
: ) WE ARE ON SAME PAGE!!! loooooove it
December 1, 2012 at 11:45AM   
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karen paul interiors
Wondering if the two wing chairs can go on either end of the dining table.Dining Room dining room
December 1, 2012 at 12:02PM     
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Susan Mills Design
Will attach images of the ideas submitted here earlier. My thoughts Karen, were that if she used the wall facing the sofa as a feature wall, with a chaise angled in on the left side of the sofa (as it would be if facing feature wall) and the two wings backing to the windows, this would create that visual seperation. I would also turn the rug, and add two end tables (18" wide) to the sofa sides.

I think the wings recline a bit too much for dining, would love to see the chaise be something interesting such as the one I am showing.

Lots of ideas here and room to work with, could do many things and arrive at the same place=an interesting home.
December 1, 2012 at 12:20PM     
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Susan Mills Design
Does anyone know how to insert a power point, I can't seem to do it!
December 1, 2012 at 12:25PM   
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JAN MOYER
princefam,
You're going to have to pardon the hideous rushed thumbnail sketch, but I would consider "flipping" the way you use the space, given the givens of the size of your family gatherings! Try not to think of your table as formal, even though it was your "splurge" .... it isn't formal. On the sisal rug, with some great chairs and surrounded by bookcases and/or some generous serving space.... ?
The sofa could go either perpendicular or flat against former dining wall. Barcelonas could work too, or trade for a not too huge pair of chairs. Add an 8x10 rug to anchor it. I wish the wing chairs would work head and foot of the dining table, but too low and slouchy for sure. That's just a jump off point... think first how you want the spaces to function.
December 1, 2012 at 12:44PM     
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JAN MOYER
Susan Mills...
You are waaaaay ahead of me! I have enough trouble getting the pics attached! lol
December 1, 2012 at 12:48PM   
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Susan Mills Design
Figured it out, here you go some of my thoughts, in picture form.
December 1, 2012 at 12:49PM   
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princefam
To Jan, yes I liked the whole look of that. At that time i already had the sofa, the rug and the wingbacks and felt it was all a bit dark... When i saw that pic I thought a big light table may lighten all up. I got quotes for a carrera marble piece ( white but earthy) but the quotes were toi high... So I asked my husband to make one until we find a "perfect" one.
Although i like the look of the PK22 and white chairs, i thought that 7 items (2 pk22, 2 white chairs, 2 wingbacks, one couch) in one space may be too much.
So what i liked for myself was:
Low furniture, light table.
But may not work
December 1, 2012 at 1:00PM   
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victorianbungalowranch
You have to save PowerPoint it in a graphic format. Click on save as, then click on the right arrow by the file format and scroll down to JPEG (GIF, PNG and TIFF should work too--but JPEG is most common). Save and then try to post, being sure to pick the right format, not the PowerPoint file. You might want to keep the Powerpoint file so you can change it later.

Not sure how it would post if there is more than one page.

Agree, need to figure out floorplan. But I really think this house in idea books reflects her style, It is the one I posted above called casual elegance. The other one is from the British Colonial page,

Living Room
Punta del Este Beach House

Or with a dash of French influence (note the other living room and breakfast nook):

Ideabook: Houzz Tour: Comfort and Elegance for 5
December 1, 2012 at 1:08PM   
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JAN MOYER
princefam,
You were looking at a picture of a room FILLED with natural light and a lush view. You will NEVER make a deep room, with windows on one side a naturally BRIGHT room, no matter how many white things you add to it. It won't happen, as daylight is not a very penetrating light, and most lusciously light filled rooms have multiple exposures including west or southern, and higher windows and ceilings. So...sometimes you just go with what you've got. To my earlier point, just picking and adding things.... this is how the wheels come off, and frustrate a homeowner. But nobody ever died from a decorating mistake. This is why I want you to try the flip/ usage of the two spaces. First is Function and use, decide the 'feel" you are looking for, then a good solid measure and floor plan....and then the selection process can begin. So one question.... which/what of any of the elements now in those two spaces.... do you LOVE to pieces? Forget where it goes for now... which/what of the things in there right now do you truly love? : )
December 1, 2012 at 1:40PM   
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JAN MOYER
princefam,
Sorry, Didn't see your post that you tried it....and yes, it probably looks weird as you have not got the surrounding visual weights in dining chairs, or case/storage pieces or art, or lamps, or a light in the ceiling for anchors.
December 1, 2012 at 1:51PM   
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princefam
I am texting at yhe party..,how rude! :) thanks to all for the links and sketches, can't wait to open...
How do I attach/link a picture from houzz?
December 1, 2012 at 2:00PM   
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victorianbungalowranch
Copy the web address and paste it in as a separate line. Ideabooks show the first photo. If you want a different one, you have to open it in a new window.
December 1, 2012 at 2:23PM   
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grooper
I love Jan's idea of putting the dining room in the living room and the living room where the dining was. I've been selling homes for nearly 10 yrs and I often tell people not to look at what the rooms are "called" but look at them on how you will/could/should use them! Just b/c the light is hanging in that space doesn't mean the table HAS to go there! BUT I feel you on Florida homes. We just moved to FL from the Carolinas and aren't in a home yet b/c I just cant seem to "fall in love" with anything. No architectural detials, all that white tile...UUGGHHHHHH and nothing is renovated in Orlando! Im sooo anxious to see pics...I REALLY hope you change the rooms around and I LOVED the idea of using the wing back chairs at the head of the dining table!!! BEST of luck to you, you truly have gorgeous things!
December 1, 2012 at 2:49PM   
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karen paul interiors
So, it appears we will have space for the slouchy wings maybe at the other end where prince has placed them at the slider? I like the thought of seating at either end of the new "gathering" room.
December 1, 2012 at 4:05PM   
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JAN MOYER
Dining rooms are a lot like ovens... you either need a nice big one, or you don't need one at all. princefams home was clearly designed with entertaining in mind at a point in time when guests were shut out of the kitchen. in fact, the kitch/family area is largely hidden from any entrance view. But! Who lives here? A young family with children. A mom who wants a beautiful space despite a dog and kids. A hubby who likes wood, although glass, and stone, and granite and iron and tile are popular in Florida for a reason, and that is called termites and humidity. The ceiling detail/tray is the ONLY thing ( lol and an inexpensive boring light) that allowed the builder to call that space "dining room" . Most people rarely entertain formally. Princefam went to a birthday party for a three year old today, so possibly she has years of soccer and pizza in front of her. Maybe... just maybe... that big old room should be a BIG casual table, with modern comfy chairs around indestructible bleached oak. Maybe it should even have a flat screen tv! Maybe you should be able to sprawl out, have a meal, wrap gifts, do homework, flip open a pizza box and still have it look sensational for an adult affair. Maybe the "so called dining area" need be nothing more than four fab chairs around a low table and a big splash of art on the wall. To every thing there is a season.....so it is with rooms for the various times in your life. Or they wind up as lifeless as the lack of actual use they receive. Call it DEATH BY DUSTING...........
December 1, 2012 at 4:12PM     
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JAN MOYER
It's a good thing I'm not there!!! .I would have a hammer to the wall behind the tv in the family room...and I would be hacking that open to the outdoors with a wall of windows and flooding that space with light which would spill.... to that LIVING ROOM!!!! Forgive me Lord, I love hammers, and a good hunk of drywall exploding to the floor......
December 1, 2012 at 4:22PM     
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cadde53
Every few months I use a stone cleaner that you can purchase that is mixed with water, if you have soap marks on your shower you can put less water in the mixture , spray it on your stone, leave it for a few minutes and use a NYLON scrubber to scrub it off. http://www.ozgedus.com/tr/ If you have porcelain/ceramic tile you can still seal the entire tile/grout lines, grout is a porous material ,this helps with keeping your grout clean. This is important in your shower.
December 1, 2012 at 4:39PM   
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Billie G
@Princefam, I would use the family room as a dining room. The space that is now creating lots of problems designing because of awkward dimensions could be used as FR as well as a LR.
December 2, 2012 at 12:29AM     
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flgrandma
Princefam. Great idea to turn LR into DR. The current DR on your plans would make a nice get away place for adults only for reading, having a quiet drink or conversation while the kids are in the FR.
December 2, 2012 at 7:17AM     
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pcmom1
Yes, do think about your life and how each space would best serve your family.

If you entertain a lot: that family room would make a great dining room! People are so much more casual now! And think of all those long trips you will save yourself with plates, food, clean up! For everyday dining, a larger kitchen island with seating on at least two sides. That is also a great spot for kids to sit after school and do homework.

Then turn living room into great media room with wall of built-ins. Lots of comfortable furniture. Only comfortable furniture!

Dining area, another small sitting area?

One thing you don't want to end up with is a "museum room" filled with expensive furniture that is never used! (Save that money and take family to Italy!)
December 2, 2012 at 8:42AM     
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princefam
Well, two initial thoughts: I LOVE the family room! We spend 80% of our time there. All that furniture surrounding the area is full of legos, dinosaurs, trains, airplanes, etc. My kids do homework and play there in the afternoons while I cook dinner... Its sun filled. I don't like the orangey cabinets and brown backsplash nor the gap between the cabinets and ceiling... but that that is the least of my problems for now :). We have lived in many rentals all over the northeast, and no matter where the kids' toys were (basement, playroom) they would be in the kitchen if I (or another caretaker) was there... And toys would be spread around the whole house. So this setup is nice for us w little kids. Contained chaos.
Second thought:
We love eating and therefore entertaining. Our family and friends come visit regularly from NY and we love having a full house.
I must admit I am very intrigued by the idea of switching lr and dr . My husband proposed it before we moved in and I looked at him like he had just said an insult !! :).
I should listen more often! Haha. I will try that ASAP. And to the 2 sides of that console where Jan drew it (where couch is now) may be a good spot for the wingbacks.
I like dining rooms with chairs on a wall... The idea of eating and lounging go well together...

I also love the suggestion of a console plus two stools under and maybe even the 2 chairs on the side of the console. That can provide extra occasional seating and decrease the bulk in the lr.
Jan and Karen: thanks for arriving to the correct diagnosis: box-itis. That is it! Da box. Now I get it...!
That's why everything is so flat and lacking beauty despite my best efforts....
Victoriabungalowranch... I love ALL the links you sent! That is my style! I love all of that. I also like mixing a few ethnic pieces into everything. I am drawn to street fair and flea markets particularly when i travel. Love textiles, embroideries, crafts... They tell a story. And reflect an era of pre-industrialization...:)
December 2, 2012 at 9:42AM     
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victorianbungalowranch
I love all that too:) Anything handmade,or with a history or a story behind it or reflective of another era or another place--Europe, the Far East, Africa, Central Asia. British colonial is kind of a mashup of all that. That picture your mother painted combined with the statue and jars and rustic bench, chandelier. and traditional furniture really made that come to mind.

Please frame those prints--they are great and I'm burning with curiousity what the other one is. The history behind the Raft of Medusa is very interesting. Take a look at Wikipedia....Might not want to tell the kids until they are older LOL.

I see you have loads of ideas in your idea books! Hope all this is helping!

It is possible to refinish the cabinets with liming wax (not paint, like pickling) is a cool possibilty--can look like driftwood to go with the dash of "beach" or "international beach" and aged aesthetic, or can be all kinds of colors. Ebony finish with white is cool, but maybe a bit much for a whole kitchen. Worth experimenting with on a back of a door or something.
December 2, 2012 at 11:51AM     
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princefam
Ta-da!!! Comments? I will try couch in a different spot ( perpendicular) tomorrow, bench in the background is an unfinished piece my husband started years ago... Propped against wall on hallway may offer extra seating. Would 2 couches facing each other look OK?
Wingbacks are too low and angled to go on dining table btw... Didn't work. But i loove the look...
December 2, 2012 at 8:09PM     
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karen paul interiors
Just love you are trying on ideas. This is the fomentation stage. We will all come to the same conclusion around the same time. That's always the time when things begin moving very quickly. Always remember there are no bad ideas.
December 2, 2012 at 8:36PM     
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Darzy
omg..How did I miss this "conversation?!" But, I think I'll stay out of the kitchen. : )
December 2, 2012 at 9:56PM   
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karen paul interiors
Darzy, the more the merrier. We still don't know if we are going to shake or stir the martini, so jump in! :)
December 2, 2012 at 10:12PM   
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Billie G
Princefam, I still think that the dining room table and chairs would suit best in the family room. I have had little kids and a dog and unfortunately a nice LR that was almost never used because we were always busy with the children's appointments, or children coming over to play and sleep over. A lovely cosy family room that can be cleaned up in a flash and used as a "formal" LR when necessary is in my opinion what you really should create. At least for this phase of your life. The kids will be very soon at the age when they will want to be more outside with their friends. Then you can redecorate as your new lifestyle needs or simply move to another house with a more appropriate layout.
December 2, 2012 at 11:11PM     
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Bellamira Design
Rearrange. Face the sofa to sliding doors; separate the dining room. Make two conversation areas with the other four chairs, and keep the ottomans in front of chairs -- or next to them for tables with tray on top. Warm up the room with your favorite "POP" color! The furniture will work. I suggest removing the mirror. Put it on the dining room wall. Put a color painting in its place.
December 2, 2012 at 11:22PM     
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greenthumb2
Dark cushions for the little seating in the kitchen area (the nook by the window) will help anchor. small table here will provide additional area for adults and children. coffee, crafting, homework. I know we are mostly focusing on your living room dining room area but I saw the picture and couldn't resist. :=)
December 2, 2012 at 11:24PM     
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Darzy
Karen Paul...thx! Ok. I can't hold back! I have to jump in. I do not like the "new" dining room space. Okay..from what i hear from you.. you love eclectic, monochromatic style, this furniture and your special "stuff". I think you have what it takes!
1. Hang your beautiful suzani on a natural wood rod behing the sofa (your original plan).
2. Pull the wing backs closer to the sofa (facing the sofa) and bring the sofa out a bit from the wall and keep the natural sisal rug.
4. Put the square modern coffee table you have coming in between the chairs and sofa and put natural wood accessories on it, like candlesticks/wooden bowl on the coffee table. Sofa side tables of natural wood, like stumps (your sample picture above).
5. Lean your mirror in the dining space where the suzani was.
6. Put the low credenza on the wall behind the wing back chairs with the attic print (newly matted and framed) with the sculpture and round art piece on top.
7. Get some beaded or "drum" shades that will fit on the current chandy's light bulbs.
8. Use your current dining table and get mid-century modern chairs (wire even?) and you can even use the rattan ones for extra seating when necessary.
So..the only "color" is the suzani (you want monochromatic), you have an eclectic style going on and still use all of the "stuff" you love! Try it and repost! I'm sure lamp ideas and tweaking will be in order!
Here is a thought for your chair style with your dining table and eclectic desire.. I do love the white leather nailhead chairs too!

San Sebastian
William Hefner Architecture Interiors & Landscape
December 2, 2012 at 11:28PM     
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Bellamira Design
Too much information. Turn the sofa to the slider. Arrange the rug accordingly. Make a walk-way to the sliding door opening. Establish conversation pairs with your chairs with the wing back either angled against the slider, or against the wall. Just be sure you have a passage clear for traffic. You HAVE to add some color. You do not have to sell furniture on Ebay.
December 3, 2012 at 12:47AM     
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JAN MOYER
princefam and darcy,
Don't let temporary imperfection keep you from getting a long term useful space. Pull the leaves out on the table. Yes you need different chairs. Move the xmas tree down to the right hand slider corner, (up against a wall from the side is never its best angle.) Hang the suzani for now, where the sofa WAS, and put the serving buffet on the opposite side of the room. Take the wings out. Put the barcelonas near the sofa, and tuck that big huge mirror behind the sofa for now. Hang an inexpensive "something" over your serving buffet and add a lamp. Now, try that through the holidays..... and see how you enjoy the use of that space. It's when you'll know.
A 16x19 room for dining is NOT overwhelmingly huge when you routinely gather eight or ten adults and a pile of kids. An 11x12 dining area is the size of a kiddie bedroom, and is a postage stamp, and for you... doesn't suit the need. Yes, you need a SUBSTANTIAL storage piece anchor, yes you need weightier light in color chairs, yes it needs a light over the table, maybe even two. But.... figure out the best use for the space. I don't think you need a living room to dust.....given what your posts have said.
With the right pieces it will work, look great. There is no point in adding to a "recipe" until it is thoroughly "tasted" and you know what is missing... or what to correct.
December 3, 2012 at 4:04AM     
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princefam
Darzy,
Thanks for jumping in! I do love the mix of traditional, even rococo with midcentury modern.. I just don't have the guts unless I have support from experienced people to do it right... My one attempt to doing so was to buy the Barcelonas which are pretty classic/versatile from that era and didn't work out... :). But I am happy to entertain the idea!
Karen, I love the ideas for the importante wall... Thanks. And I do love the chairs you suggested for the dining room... I am just thinking we need to figure out where the dining room goes :)
I also love all the funky chairs you have saved in your portfolio...
Kids are out to school soon will submit daylight pictures.
And if you guys think the layout is bad... I have to add we have those awful textured walls too!! According to my husband it is a cheap and easy way to finish so they don't have to smooth out the dry walls..
Florida....
Thanks to all!! I am really really appreciating the help!
December 3, 2012 at 4:57AM   
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princefam
Btw... Barcelonas are gone. Had to make a timely decision... So we can use any other LR chairs...
December 3, 2012 at 5:21AM   
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JAN MOYER
For the moment guys,( princefam too) it really isn't about funky, or ethnic, or international, or mid-century or organic, or any style concerns at all. The buggy got ahead of the horse. It is always first about the USE of space. When that is wrong, your effort doesn't pay you back. The money goes out the window, down the drain, and you're stuck for the long term. It's a bit like worrying about the color of your kitchen walls, or your cabinet hardware before you have a kitchen layout that works and the appliances figured out. Sorry, but a most successful room has a use, and functions for that use, before it can be truly "beautiful".
December 3, 2012 at 5:28AM     
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princefam
I just wanted to add a picture of the last owner... He had a console table against that wall and a curtains, and... Well, just to help narrow yes and nos in terms of layouts....
Oh, and the builder had added these fiberglass, shiny, hollow columns framing the dr/lr that i couldn't stare at any longer.... A screwdriver at the celing did the job.
December 3, 2012 at 5:40AM   
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princefam
also, someone asked...ceilings are 10 feet high. the awkward wall is 9 feet at the living room side and 10 feet at the hallway side.
December 3, 2012 at 7:35AM   
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princefam
another idea for the accent wall?

December 3, 2012 at 7:38AM     
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princefam
Closeup of plan again if the last one is hard to see and new pics. I am using muscle today! :)
Also someone asked re: lanai. This is it. Two garden stools plus seating for 6=seating for 8. Sliding doors open all the way to the right, blending the 2 rooms
I added the 4 kiddie chairs just to help me visualize 2 low chairs there
December 3, 2012 at 8:30AM   
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princefam
Open sliding door
December 3, 2012 at 8:31AM   
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karen paul interiors
Ok, princefam it's time to begin thinking about what you feel will work for you and your family. There have been several suggestions regarding dining room being moved to the family room. You've not responded. My thoughts on that is you will most likely want a dining room away from kids and toys and be able to continue toy containment to the family room area? Next, do you like the idea of placing table in Jan's new position? Do you feel the space will be utilized in a manner that suits your way of life, i.e., larger d.r. area with possibly wings or other chairs in that same area, with another small "gathering" area where the designated d.r. area is? Next question, because of the table legs and your extensions coming at the ends of the table, I'm wondering if your table will expand to a length that will give you significantly increased seating. I think not. So, what if you were to place yet another table in the l.r., perhaps some sort of drop leaf affair and place it on the feature wall, that could give you considerable additional seating when you need it. This, of course, is in the instance you decide to keep the present table in the designated d.r. area. In the l.r. area, is there some sort of activity or need that can be met that hasn't been addressed in the family room. When you have guests, where do you go before and after dinner? Also, how often do you have dinner guests (friends) vs extended family? Is there a need to have a quiet nook for reading (away from TV and kitchen) or to have a one on one with your husband and/or a visiting friend. When you entertain friends, generally how many people are invited for dinner parties and/or visits? Give some honest thought to these questions and once you have answers I believe we will be able to get closer to a viable direction. Jan is correct that no concern should be given to the aesthetics yet. We first must know exactly how the house needs to function for you and what that optimum environment is. Then we can create it as a collective on your behalf. This can be such a fun process but the real work needs to be accomplished first. Take your time with this. Discuss this with your husband as he may also have some needs that are not being met. You just never know until you ask the questions. Once you have the answers, this will go ever so smoothly.
December 3, 2012 at 8:36AM     
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karen paul interiors
I was typing as your were posting. Love the lanai and all the seating.
December 3, 2012 at 8:39AM   
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flgrandma
Yes, yes, please do switch the DR and LR. Your patio area is lovely and will lead right to the DR.
December 3, 2012 at 8:49AM     
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pcmom1
Suggestion of second drop leaf table is a good one. For huge gatherings of friends and family: your table for the adults, and the second for the "Kiddie Table"! I remember both the adults and the kids having a much better time that way.
December 3, 2012 at 9:00AM     
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Billie G
In my opinion the patio looks absolutely beautiful for drinks with family and friends. The view is great and it is covered, so it can be used really well. Especially considering that you live in Florida, where whether is almost always lovely. I would put the blinds in that space and either have no curtains in the LR (DR) or just have some sheer drapes hang form the ceiling. It will make the ceiling appear even higher. You have really many good options.
December 3, 2012 at 9:05AM     
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princefam
Thanks, Karen. Answers:)
1. I DO love the expansive DR as Jan suggested.
The table measures 120 when extended. The drop leaf is a must somewhere (even in a bedroom) sice my little one (3) still stabs his surroundings with the fork, spills his milk and his ink and so on... It will be at least 3 yrs before I trust him :). (I dont think our table is "formal". I think it will age beautifully. I just think my 3 yo boy is worse than my dog right now...)
However..... I am finding the new LR a little depressing.... And it may be that with the mirror on the wall, the coffee table, a rug, and 2 small wooden stools on the side for extra seating it will feel nicer. Yesterday I sat on the couch, staring at a wall between the bedrooms instead as to the outside and was just not happy.... And again, maybe i can become cozy...
See, as a dr in that awkward space at least one is staring at the food and at each other...
I need to let it sink. I find it depressing right now! I nerd a day at least.
3. Fam rm will stay there. I think the idea of entering through my main door and seeing toys and socks everywhere would drive me crazy! The fam rm as it is w slipcovered furniture, distressed wood and OUT OF SIGHT is perfect. They can destroy it on a daily basis.
4. When we entertain: We eat in the dining room and sit in the LR (ie, one couch:))) or the lanai. We have only sat once w guests in the fam rm: superbowl night.
We are not formal... At all. I like pretty things, i must admit, but in a relaxed environment. Grew up in a house where everything was too nice to touch... I dont want that. Love food, conversation, games, etc. We are not really TV watchers.
When family comes we all gather around the kitchen and munch and eat and talk. When dinner is ready We sit in dining room.
December 3, 2012 at 9:10AM   
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princefam
Thanks, Billie for your input! We thought of putting blinds outside, but we sit at night often and the breeze is a must... And behind our backyard is a walking path and we wanted privacy inside the house once the lights are on. Also, the white sliding door with no molding was a pretty ugly focal point ... This framed it and it looks in my opinion more "finished" . I like it.
Another problem is that they would get wet there. The first foot or so gets rain inside the lanai. And things get moldy so fast here!
December 3, 2012 at 9:18AM   
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princefam
If we swithch dr/lr like it is now: which position is best for couch and what other seating would you suggest?
I like the idea of 2 couches facing each other, one against the wall and the other one in front... too much bulk?
Otherwise when you sit (perpendicular to teh wall), you are staring at the 2 hallways... though it looks more open...
December 3, 2012 at 9:28AM   
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victorianbungalowranch
I think you did this before, but I would put the couch on the wall facing out to the lanai so you have something to look at, and put the sisal rug underneath (or a similar one, or one with more color) there with the two wing back chairs to form a small open seating area--could even look nice with the chandelier where it is (was?)

You have two chandeliers right? A big one with glass that was in the dining room and a smaller one (?) with wood pendants? I would put the smaller in the "new" living room or front entry and the bigger one in the "new"dining room if you can, unless you decide on something bigger and more contemporary.

The living room one maybe could be swagged to the side of the couch. I wonder if there is room to set the couch off center and prop (mount) the big mirror off to the side to reflect more light into the space. Will give it an elegant but bit more casual look. Then add something kind of visually heavy on the other side--maybe the little sideboard (in a darker finish) once you get a bigger one for the dining room. Add some rustic pottery or sculpture, maybe even the big Suzani.

These rooms are a lot fancier and bigger and brighter, but it is the kind of look it could be--kind of casually assymetrical. with formal furniture. And a picture of the liming wax
December 3, 2012 at 10:07AM     
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princefam
I have placed 2 mesh chairs from my desk now for visual aid. I think i prefer the couch against the wall! At least from here :)
Thoughts?
December 3, 2012 at 10:47AM     
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karen paul interiors
Very much like the sofa against the wall. Good anchor with rug. How about trying the mirror on the Suzani wall, centered to reflect your seating area?
December 3, 2012 at 11:00AM     
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victorianbungalowranch
Like those wire chairs actually! nice contrast to the couch, etc.. Love the rug but it seems a bit small--maybe a sisal underneath?

Mirror maybe could go on the bench wall, or is that the same as the old Susani wall. Looks like you are tring a few different arrangements. Could maybe go to where the tree is to service more than one area perhaps.

Oh, I see the other chandelier! It is bigger than I thought and lighter Shame to hide something like that. Almost looks like you could bang your head on it there. I wonder if it would look good over the table?
December 3, 2012 at 11:18AM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
I stepped out, but think it may be time to get back in!

A good stage play is only rehearsed four weeks before presenting........there's reason.

This space is getting way over worked...

But as long as the owner likes it, its all good.

However, my thoughts are the l.r. rug is too small, and the wire chairs really need to be rethought
December 3, 2012 at 11:26AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
lol sorry the thing got stuck....not meaning copy all those times
December 3, 2012 at 11:27AM   
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karen paul interiors
Gary, she is only trying things she has on hand just to get a feel for a conversation area in the dining area.
December 3, 2012 at 11:36AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
silly me
December 3, 2012 at 11:40AM   
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victorianbungalowranch
Gary it happens sometimes, but you can go back and delete all the extra comments.
December 3, 2012 at 11:55AM   
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Darzy
I'm not feeling the dining/LR switch. Looks awkward. Plus, Princefam says when they entertain they are in the LR and lanai, and eat in the dining room. Little time is actually sitting at the dining table per se. Your table doesn't seat 12-13 people anyway, so I wouldn't put in the BIG LR space! Also..princefam..don't be afraid of executing your eclectic style just because you returned the barcelona chairs. You can do it! Modern chairs with your dining table (ugh the parsons chairs!). Your modern coffee table with your traditional looking wing chairs/sofa. You are getting the dropleaf, right? Anyway, I'd wait until you have together the items you definately "must" use in your spaces post photos for arrangement ideas.
December 3, 2012 at 1:10PM     
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Billie G
I cannot help myself but add another, probably annoying comment. Why not add a little portion of the wall to the left of the sofa as it is now? That would create another little hallway with a door connecting the wall with the mirror and the side table, and separate the bedroom and the bathroom from the possible LR/DR. That way that area would get a bit more privacy and can act as a real room as oppose to just a walkway. Just a thought. Hope you don't mind.
December 3, 2012 at 2:21PM     
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CUTmodern
I like the complementary colors, but you might want to mix the space up with some modern textures. Have you considered an oak bench as a room divider? What about something like this Nelson-Inspired Bench from CUTmodern.com?
December 3, 2012 at 3:24PM     
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princefam
Billie and all...thanks!!! There is no such thing as an annoying comment!! The more the merrier! I am embarrassed to admit that we have been here for several months and i focused on other rooms (fam rm, guest rm, kids rm) while obsessively thinking on HOW to to the lr/dr. I waited for my parents and all relatives to visit to get ideas... But nope.
So by all means!
I really appreciate everybody's time and thoughtful comments!!
December 3, 2012 at 3:39PM   
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princefam
I cannot move the mirror without a handyman... It is sooo heavy! But i like the idea of the mirror on either hallway if the dr/lr are switched. Couch is 108 long 42 deep. Would 2 couches facing each other be too bulky?
I am going to move it tomorrow to face the sliding door...(need hubby to move back the dining table)
December 3, 2012 at 3:54PM   
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Blinds Direct Canada
For the blinds I would recommend using a panel track with a sheerweave fabric. It is now possible to achieve the bamboo/grasscloth look in vinyl. the product breathes and if you used the Hunter Douglas Skyline it would would not " bounce around" even if you left the doors open.

www.blindsdirectcanada.com http://www.hunterdouglas.ca/channelnet.aspx?cn=SiteBuilder&act=View&crt=SiteKey=11%26PageKey=494
December 3, 2012 at 4:10PM   
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karen paul interiors
You are a very busy girl. Keep shoving pieces around and taking pictures. How do you feel about the area when you sit in the sofa and in the wing chair, in their current positions? Also, I want you to take a look at the table where it is (with the leaves out) and place chairs around, and tell me if it feels as though it has enough length and heft to carry the room. I can see only what I see on my monitor and I'm feeling the table may not be enough to carry the space? So, if you are also having the same experience, then we need to revisit previous options, as I am assuming you are not willing to part with your "splurge" table. Your being in the room gives you a certain advantage, so it's important to listen to your gut, believe what you see and don't try to second guess yourself.
December 3, 2012 at 4:17PM   
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karen paul interiors
I'm very curious about the wood feature wall you posted. No one has responded so I would like to ask what your intention would be with the addition of wood. You would have a certain expectation and I would very much like to understand your thoughts.
December 3, 2012 at 4:22PM   
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karen paul interiors
Regarding your mirror...Whether you have a seating area or continue to have a dining table and chairs in that space, the mirror will have the same effect. I believe the wall where the Suzani was might be the best space for your mirror. Perhaps something else can go on the opposite wall which is on the foyer side. Do we have photos of that "d.r." wall that ends up in the foyer? Also, do we have a photo looking down the hallway on the other side (where the Suzani was)? So far, I've not been happy with the mirror. It would not have been my choice, however, that is not to say that it can't be of good service in the best location....to reflect and to create more visual space.
December 3, 2012 at 4:32PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Ah, the wood wall...well, it seems very premature to be thinking about backgrounds for spaces when princefam has not yet determined where things will go. She seems to indicate she's on a tight budget, but then throws in the idea of a wood clad wall. On a tight budget, I'd be considering paint, tho I agree that a tiled home in Florida could do with some wood to warm it up. So it's a nice concept, princefam, to keep on the back burner. But for MUCH later. Hold that thought!
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
December 3, 2012 at 5:29PM     
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karen paul interiors
When something comes up, it needs to be addressed. Asking questions creates the opportunity to fully understand what is thought to be missing and/or what is thought to be advantageous for whatever reason. Questioning always elicits honest thoughts which has to do with intention. Nothing needs to be back-burnered because it is of utmost importance to understand what is going on in the process of thinking and creating. It is my belief to listen to and understand the homeowner is our utmost priority. We would never want to be guilty of tamping down ideas because of our preconceived ideas of budget, need and priority. Everything that is brought up is worthwhile. It is our responsibility to always explore everything that comes up.
December 3, 2012 at 7:45PM     
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kaklopp
I think you're doing alright so far, however the chairs in front if the mirror need to be angled in to create depth.
December 3, 2012 at 9:05PM     
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kaklopp
Add drapes
Angle in the chairs by the mirror to create depth
Paint?
Add a coffee table
Move the white leather chairs. Preferably to the store where you got them. They don't match the style if this room.
Good luck!
December 3, 2012 at 9:07PM     
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millie55
Hope I am not repeating what someone else has already said but I think you have some lovely furniture just it is all in a row. It looks like a waiting room. Can you break the space up by putting a set of chairs or if poss the couch across the room so to divide the dining area from the living area. I agree to put he two ottomans close together to form a coffee table type arrangement. Try to bring the other furniture a little in from the walls. Wish I had some Barcelona chairs. Lucky you!!
December 4, 2012 at 1:48AM     
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princefam
Regarding the wood wall: my husband can do it. He asked for some wood samples from a store called "elmwood reclaimed timber". The reason? We THINK that could break up the feeling of box/waiting room/ bowling alley by creating a focal point and warming up the room... Though, with no design background, we are not SURE that it will help break up the feeling of "long-ness" As i am learning, a perpendicular object (couch facing window) will! I will try that today.
In retrospect, a sectional would have been a good idea!
THANK so much to all!!
December 4, 2012 at 4:42AM   
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JAN MOYER
Okay, beat me senseless and then I am out. I have scrolled this thread at least ten times. I have stared at princefams pics and challenging layout. Go back and look at her picture of the family room with the little banquette eating area. ........do children grow or am I crazy? Where in heck will a forty inch diameter table on top of a narrow doorway be useful for very long? Even with leaves! Where will homework be tended to? Where will the school projects be done? Mmmm? This was a house "designed" with more adult entertaining in mind. At a time when you "hid" the ugly family functions. Florida is an odd duck relative to the rest of the country in many building scenarios, and while all the above efforts to "save" and use purchases made by the owner are very kind, at some point you have to step back, stop worrying about suzanis, and mirrors, and wood walls and get the functioning pieces in the house in proportion to scale of rooms and use of the rooms/ their best function. All the other stuff... not yet. The length of the bowling alley is not really a big issue. With the right table and chairs, the right storage/ accent pieces, the labels off what the builder called "rooms" , it is more than possible to make super looking functional spaces. Really hate to say it, but the " big splurge" dining table should have been ten years up the road. A HUGE simple, clean lined farm table at 54 x 120 in a forgiving rustic finish for half the price, with modern chrome/vinyl and wipeable armchairs around it might have made more sense. A long server/buffet piece to hold the usual and UNusual with a major sized canvas or mirror above.... a couple of super pendant lights. Some proportional comfy chairs added to the long sofa from RH ...(.in the old dining location.)
Failure to plan is to plan to fail. But a design mistake is not death either. It's a fixable thing. It starts with how you live, and how you would like to live. And a plan. Anything else is buying, and buying and returning, and spinning wheels. That's how you get to "in retrospect" and in answer to that, I would say you will sit in a "living" room and do.....what? Or will you be in the kitchen/family room? And looking for a place for ten adults and pile of kids to have a meal on a rainy day, or even to spread out a big work in progress homework project? Sorry.... just asking!!
December 4, 2012 at 5:46AM     
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donzeiser
I think you guys are all a little burnt on this topic. That said, I can use some advise on my post, http://www.houzz.com/discussions/262815

:)
December 4, 2012 at 6:04AM   
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princefam
Jan-- you are right and I know it! We want to be able to build a green home down the line, and for now this box will do. I am just trying to be happy when I open the front door and not defeated, like I feel now! The kids are 3 and 5 and for now homework in the kitchen is OK (older one is in K) both at the granite bar and and the dining banquette my husband is finishing up which will need a round table Later on, one of the bedrooms (behind the "dr") is now my study plus a daybed, and in time I will make that into the kids' study so they can have peace and quiet.
That being said, i prefer the dr where it was just because i like seeing the lr from the foyer when I fist come in, as the main rm, and not the dr.
You are a really talented and practical designer. I really appreciate your input! Now i know why people get designers involved from the planning of the house :).
I just need help now in making choices for lr and dr to de-box it, and feel better about our box :))
December 4, 2012 at 6:19AM     
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JAN MOYER
I get it hon, I really do. Love the one you're with! With that in mind....get some in-person design help at your home to help you see that which is not yet THERE, and PAST what is there. Because that is what good design help and a hammer on your head will do for you : ) Stop twisting in the wind!? Three thousand suggestions will only further confuse you and the rooms, and the key is to LISTEN to someone with whom you feel comfortable, and get UNSTUCK. At the pace you can afford, and yes... a little patience will undoubtedly be required.
December 4, 2012 at 6:41AM     
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Mary Dancey Interiors
There are so many comments and I tried to read most of them but I started just scanning so don't know if this has been suggested yet but here is a visual I put together for you. I feel that as you want to keep most of the existing furniture you have to find a way to make it work for you as is. Get the space planning nailed down first and then worry about the accessories.

The room and the furniture is to scale as much as it can be with the plan and measurements you supplied above.

The only piece I added is the sofa table to break up the view from the rear.

Edited to add: I just had a thought while looking at the floor plan - you could add a buffet behind the sofa to do double duty for the dining room and living room areas.
Cheers
Mary
December 4, 2012 at 7:25AM     
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pcmom1
Yes, sometimes we move everything around only to find we were on the right track (with rooms' functions!) all along.

Do understand how walking in and seeing the dining table would be better than have someone at the door see everyone lounging around the "living room". And I really like the plan just posted by Mary Dancy. The sofa facing the window really helps to break up that long narrow space! Plus, nice to look out window and buffet behind sofa so functional!

Just wanted to pass along that you can hire a designer by the hour. I found one thru a friend many years ago (young and on strict budget!) and I would have her over a couple of hours at a time. I would have list of questions and pictures cut out, etc.

Never forget the first time she walked in and said, "Oh, you are doing French Country." and me thinking, "So, that's what this is!".
December 4, 2012 at 8:35AM     
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karen paul interiors
Agree with pcmom. The exercise of asking the question and having so many responses can be very confusing and/or informative. What you have achieved thus far is a better understanding of what the problem was, what direction seems to be best and will now be able to hire a designer by the hour. The more a client knows and understands about his/her needs the better the success of a project. You will have made notes on comments you can relate to. You now understand how your needs will be met according to the layout. So your time here on Houzz has been extremely valuable. So, with the most recent floor plan with the sofa facing the window is a good one and has always made sense. However, you would not have been able to see that earlier as it has been suggested numerous times. Let us know how you progress and what you and your designer come up with. Also, be certain to share this thread with your designer as the reading of it will better assist in informing the designer of your wants and needs. We are always here and are happy to help but it is now time for you to reach out to a local professional. You have been a joy to work with and it has been great fun for all of us.
December 4, 2012 at 9:28AM     
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princefam
Thanks to all :))))))))
December 4, 2012 at 9:39AM   
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karen paul interiors
Good luck! :)
December 4, 2012 at 9:47AM   
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Mary Dancey Interiors
My pleasure!
December 4, 2012 at 10:53AM   
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Ramona
I spent too long here reading all this instead of doing my work. At least this thread inspired me to post a discussion about my living/dining room!! I will wait until the chairs I am having recovered get here.

As to your dilemmas:

I love your dining table; don't let anyone drag you down about it.

I like the idea of making the living room into the dining room and turning the rug was an absolute necessity.

I think your 'new' living room can be made inviting with some inspired thinking.

You have a wonderful design sense and are feeling your way. Don't waste money and time buying things endlessly and returning them.

Finding dining room chairs is very difficult. There are tons of ugly choices out there.

What sort of style do you like for dining room chairs? I've been searching forever.

I have just found a set on Ebay I am negotiating on.

Good luck. Good have good instincts. You just need practice.
December 4, 2012 at 10:57AM     
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Отделка и дизайн
У вас прекрасный минимализм но для души можно немного витражей текстиль в стиле прованс Удачи Я из РОССИИ и у нас сейчас мало солнышка -потому такой совет Спасибо
December 5, 2012 at 7:10AM   
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Отделка и дизайн
У вас прекрасный минимализм но для души можно немного витражей текстиль в стиле прованс Удачи Я из РОССИИ и у нас сейчас мало солнышка -потому такой совет Спасибо
December 5, 2012 at 7:10AM   
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sondramartina
Lady from Russia is advising :
You have a beautiful minimalism but for the soul can be slightly stained textiles in the style of Provence fun.
I'm from RUSSIA and now we have a little sun, because this site.


Thank you Google.
December 5, 2012 at 8:40AM     
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JAN MOYER
Indeed God Bless Google, the internet, and peace and freedom.... everywhere. For design and all the more important stuff. Happy holidays, no matter what you celebrate!
December 5, 2012 at 9:01AM     
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greenthumb2
Does princefam win for the most responses? :=) Amazing....
December 5, 2012 at 9:36AM     
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millie55
Hear hear to the wonders of google Internet and interior design from New Zealand too. Merry Christmas and would loooooove to see the final result posted.
December 5, 2012 at 9:42AM   
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millie55
Hear hear to the wonders of google Internet and interior design from New Zealand too. Merry Christmas and would loooooove to see the final result posted.
December 5, 2012 at 9:45AM     
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Darzy
Hi princefam! How are you doing? I saw this eclectic space and thought of your tapestry so I thought I'd share with you.

December 16, 2012 at 1:06PM   
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JAN MOYER
Oh noooooooooooooooo!!!! Not until after xmas!!! I am certain ms princefam is shopping at Toy r Us or...wherever!! Santa goes to Florida, yes ? : ) Then another 100,000 helpful responses for the New Year perhaps! Merry!
December 16, 2012 at 1:13PM   
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Darzy
For sure Jan..I really wasnt expecting a response from princefam! Just wanted to post while I had the photo pasted. : )
December 16, 2012 at 1:28PM   
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JAN MOYER
Darzy,
I am still laughing.......Merry Xmas /HNY!
December 16, 2012 at 1:33PM   
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Darzy
Jan, I don't see what is so hilarious or even remotely funny. I saw a photo and thought of princefam.
December 16, 2012 at 2:27PM   
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JAN MOYER
Darzy,
I am not laughing at you, I was laughing at the size of the thread as pointed out in a comment prior to your post, and the thought of another 1000 ( ? )approx of them after xmas.
December 16, 2012 at 2:49PM   
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Darzy
okay
December 16, 2012 at 2:58PM   
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princefam
Darzy, thank you so much! I love the picture! I appreciate it ! Have a great holiday!
December 17, 2012 at 6:49AM   
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Galleria Place
Possibly add some wall decor???
Or even a wall fireplace.?? We have some lovely wall fireplaces from Holly & Martin.
Just have a look http://www.bargainbacker.com/FIREPLACES-AND-ACCESSORIES_c_4779.html
February 1, 2013 at 9:50PM   
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