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Need help with living room
jtshoob
November 28, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hello. I need help with furniture layout and decorating ideas for our living room. We just moved in and eager to start decorating this space. I provided a sketch of the room and tried many furniture layouts but I’m not good at this. We plan to buy new furniture. We have a piano we would like to keep in the room but are struggling to find the perfect spot. I would like a cozy space (with no TV) that my family can relax and enjoy quality time together. I’m not sure about the burnt orange paint color or shelving by fireplace (nice storage for kid stuff). Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated!
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standinginline
A couple shades of green would look great against the wood molding, trim and mantel. A medium shade of green on the fireplace wall and lighter shade of green everywhere else (where there is currently gray). Painting above the mantel (example: http://www.greatbigcanvas.com/category/hayslette-max/) ...not sure if the piano would even fit anywhere in here? If it fits on any wall, I would assume it would need to on the staircase wall, but that looks a bit tight with the vent near the floor and light switch, etc.

Personally, I prefer fabric couches slipcovered (for kids). I have two young kids and a slipcovered sectional (for 3 years now) and it works really well for us. For your room, I would think a sectional would be good here, and then i could see two arm chairs near the front windows. Or couch with a chaise on one end and place an arm chair on the other side, away from the chaise. Fabric/leather storage ottomans are great for extra storage.
November 28, 2012 at 2:10pm   
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decoenthusiaste
Would put a game/snack table and chairs in the bay window, piano on the stairwell wall since it needs an interior wall. No pics on that wall though with all the gear - vents, switches, outlets and thermostat. Those items can be painted to match the walls and fade away a bit. Group a sectional and two armchairs in front of the FP. with a coffee table and a side table (not matched to the coffee table,) a table lamp, floor lamp and a chandy over the game table would be a good start.
November 28, 2012 at 3:50pm     
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collettec
I would consider painting your mantel either a white or some shade of gray to go with your fireplace. Not sure if you want to keep the shelves to either side, but if you do, I would paint them the same shade of white or gray as the mantel so that the fireplace, mantel and shelves look more cohesive. Not sure what size or type of piano you have or where it would fit. Perhaps somewhere near the bay window if there's room? I would consider possibly a configuration of two sofas or loveseats facing each other to either side of the fireplace for a conversation group since you won't need to view a television, with possibly a chair or two facing the fireplace to make access easier. A coffee table or ottoman in between. I would pick out art that you like for over the fireplace and/or patterned drapes, which I think would work well here as the inspiration for some of the other accent colors in the room. A color that might work well with the gray as a wall color if find art or drapes that contain the color would be a yellow.
November 28, 2012 at 4:00pm     
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jtshoob
Emzc your furniture suggestions is what I was thinking too. I’m not sure how I feel about painting the mantel. Something about that mantel bothers me - I wasn't sure if it was orange wall throwing me or the design of it. I like the idea the more I think about it.
November 28, 2012 at 4:31pm   
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charleee
If this room is for family fun time, how about a game table near the bow window? [houzz=
]
November 28, 2012 at 4:31pm     
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collettec
Just wanted to add in regard to your mantel, if you're not sure about it, and are not keeping the orange paint, I would consider painting first and then deciding whether or not to paint the mantel. If you're keeping the shelving to the side, it really doesn't match either the mantel in wood tone or the fireplace, so in that case might be a consideration to paint it all for that reason. Congrats on your new home. This is a lovely room and fireplace as well.
November 29, 2012 at 10:54am     
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judianna20
I would paint the trim and the mantle white and the walls all the same color. Paint the bookcases white, also, and move them to either side of the french doors. They are not beefy enough to be paired with the stone of the fireplace. If the piano is a baby grand, put it in the bay window area. Two sofas perpendicular to the fireplace, coffee table and two matching accent chairs facing the fireplace, as emzc has suggested. Behind each sofa, have sofa tables. Would like to see the room just gray and white with your choice of pop color for pillows and heavy, lined, white linen panels on your windows.

November 29, 2012 at 11:54am     
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jtshoob
Beautiful room Judyg! Thanks for sharing! I love the yellow accents (emzc also suggested) and the furniture arrangements! Painting the trim really isn't an options for us. I LOVE white trim but my husband does not. Oak trim is through the entire house and painting it is more than I'm willing to take on right now. Thank you for your suggestions!
November 29, 2012 at 3:05pm   
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Dar Eckert
A medium gray color for the wall that is now spice color. Then paint the book cases and mantel light gray or white.
November 30, 2012 at 6:10am   
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PRO
Octavian Ungureanu, Architect
Divide the room into three functional zones and the rest is easy!
Remodel the fireplace because the stone mantel is ugly, maybe a white plaster cover will fit better with a tv zone near it, either on the left, either on the right side.......
I would also use a wooden hard floor instead of the grey carpet(?)
i like the Judyg picture (martha O'Hara's Interior) it seems very similar to yours!
If you use some assorted palette colors, be bold to get some strong accents or use some contrast colors too.... it is up to you!
November 30, 2012 at 8:28am   
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charleee
I guess it's a matter of taste. I don't find your mantel to be ugly at all, and I think it's quite rude for Octavian to say this.
November 30, 2012 at 8:36am     
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PRO
Octavian Ungureanu, Architect
I am sorry i didn't want to be rude!
November 30, 2012 at 9:01am     
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nomadkath
how about painting the fireplace wall the same as the other walls....I like that warm neutral shade. I think that would help make the mantle more visible. an area carpet in front of the fireplace maybe with some color would pull together the furniture grouping. Like the game table by the front window -and also a good size coffee table for games, drinks, books in front of the fireplace. game, etc storage ( with closing doors) on either side of the French doors. piano by staircase. Something you love over the mantle....i'd like a large painting. it's going to be a pretty room....
November 30, 2012 at 9:51am   
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jtshoob
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas! So much to think about!

I never thought about a game table but sure my family would love the idea! We have a family room in the basement and thinking a game table might fit better there. Its something I will definately need to think about.

Thanks Olldbob for your kind words!
November 30, 2012 at 3:44pm   
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bethanyd
What a great room, no pun intended. Judy gave the best advice.
November 30, 2012 at 4:09pm   
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tatts
The fireplace is certainly an unusual (odd?) type of brick. To my eye, it's not attractive brick and the arch detail. is odd. Those shelves look out of place because they are just stuck up against the fireplace and they don't match the other wood finishes. And the mantel doesn't suit the fireplace because it's very colonial/traditional stuck on top of a fireplace that's modern in both design and color.

I'd paint the brick (gasp!). Or--paint the wall so that the fireplace blends in and replace the mantel with one that extends all the way across both shelves, making them one cohesive whole. Don't make the mantel too chunky, but make it simpler--Craftsman/Shaker.

I'd get that TV down from over the fireplace. You will probably rarely use the fireplace, but it's dictating the viewing position of the TV (way too high) that is used every day.

Whoever built that house did you no favors with the door/window/fireplace placements. I'm tempted to fill the whole fireplace wall with built-in shelves to the ceiling with window seats, incorporating the fireplace and the TV, which I'd put at chair height in the shelves on the end near the bay window.
November 30, 2012 at 7:32pm   
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Debra Fleming
buy a pad of graph paper. measure your furniture. cut out pieces. play around. much easier than moving furniture again and again.
December 1, 2012 at 4:11am     
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jtshoob
Thanks Debra! That's the first thing we did, except I do everything on the computer! Sure makes it easier to see how furniture will fit!
December 1, 2012 at 8:21am   
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jtshoob
Thanks Tatts for the ideas. The house is what it is and I'm looking to work with what I have - windows and all. There is no way we will paint the brick. Personally I like it. The fireplace is our focal point and yes, it will be used a lot. Our last one was used and I don't see why this fireplace would be any different. I agree the mantel does not go with the fireplace and someday we might redo it. We know a very talented person who designs and replaced mantels for us before. I like the suggestions about painting it and believe that would be the perfect fix. I also agree about the side shelves and will remove when we paint. I was hoping to reuse the shelves elsewhere but the previous owner notched out part of the bottom so it could be used specifically for this fireplace. The TV will not be going in this room. My neck would be strained from watching it. We just moved in and our belongings are not in place. The TV is at a safe height in our family room.
December 1, 2012 at 9:24am   
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PRO
All 4 Show, LLC
Paint the trim!! You will not regret it!!!
December 1, 2012 at 9:32pm   
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PRO
All 4 Show, LLC
Paint the trim!! You will not regret it!!!
December 1, 2012 at 9:33pm   
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peacoc
hi this is a fab space you have here, if its going to be for lounging of an evening i would go for a nice morrocan feel, remove the storage cabinets next to the fire, they could be used downstairs in the childrens games room for storage of games, i would replace the floor with a oak parquet flooring and have a nice large persion rug in the centre, paint the walls a nice off white culour and have a really nice morrocan ceiling light, logs on that fire, a a few nice cented soya candles and lamps and i think this would be a fab relaxing retreat.
December 1, 2012 at 11:37pm     
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PRO
Octavian Ungureanu, Architect
I agree with the oak parquet floor
December 2, 2012 at 5:02am   
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Jayme H.
That orange has to go. And I agree that the fireplace side units need painting or removing. I also would prob. paint the mantel. Be careful when u buy furniture that it is not too big. Measure and then go home and outline it with masking tape or some other way to avoid overcrowding. This is a pretty nice room with neutral carpet which I would not remove for now....I Would put a sofa and/or love seat either facing the fireplace or on a side and across from it another seating arrangement. If a sofa would be too big facing it, I would not put it there, but either side then. Nice place.
December 2, 2012 at 6:12pm   
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