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Lounge/dining room setup - confused what to do next
Sue White
December 19, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi! I've just moved into my lovely new apartment and would love some advice on how to decorate and configure the area.
It's the main (only) living areas of the apartment and opens up off the kitchen. (PHOTOS - LOTS.. IN COMMENTS FROM ME BELOW THIS ORIGINAL POST)

I'm totally Open to all advice but thought I'd explain what I like/don't like and how I plan to use the space:
*i'm keeping the couch, coffee table, white side table and tv
*in the dining room - the desk is important (I need to work from this space) - but I definitely want to hide the desk from view - I work from home and seeing desk drives me crazy. Ideas?
*dining room table can go (hate it) although like the small size and the dining chairs, which I rescued from street and recovered thanks to my new staple gun :)
* the desk is bulky but I need to keep it cause it's a fancy sit/stand thing - great ergonomics. Need to hide it NOT with that ugly cupboard, which came with the house and I can happily sell. House has plenty of storage elsewhere.
*i love the floorboards, happy with the blinds, and the white walls. Haven't yet put up my art or any books - maybe should build in a bookshelf somewhere? I love books but they are still in boxes (moved in last week!)
*was thinking lots of of plants where that one plant is sitting - like the hanging wall things like this one - www.flowerboxgallery.com.au
*tv needs to stay but I don't think it matters where it goes as I can't find an antenna thing in wall so prob need an electrician in to instal on - i don't watch much tv but when I do it's from the couch. I'd LOVE to disguise the tv in some way not sure what.
*dont really use dining table much - live alone and usually eat around couch and friends visiting do the same (informal, us Aussies!), or in the shared backyard of my building. But I do want to keep a small dining table for odd occassion.

All tips and advice welcome!! I have some budget to buy a few nice bits of furniture or build in a couple of things, not sure how much yet.
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Darzy
If you can show pictures of your space you'll get lots of ideas!
December 19, 2012 at 1:39pm     
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Sue White
trying! can't figure out how to attach more than a few at a time, or to original post. Stay tuned, working on this as we speak!
December 19, 2012 at 1:48pm   
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Sue White
more!
December 19, 2012 at 1:48pm   
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Sue White
and more! kind of embarrassing posting up a work in progress, but think the advice of you guys worth a little blushing :)
December 19, 2012 at 1:50pm   
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Sue White
nearly done :) I know that cupboard is an eyesore. I just needed to get it out of the tiny second bedroom (which is used frequently for guests and hence can't be home of my office/computer). it came with the house and I was just giving it one last try before I sell it. now i'm thinking pretty/white distressed looking wooden divider? stuck.
December 19, 2012 at 1:52pm   
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Sue White
lucky last. Tried to show how the kitchen/lounge/dining all join together - tricky getting all angles in a tight space, hence photo overload. Go for it! :)
December 19, 2012 at 1:53pm   
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Sue White
On it. First one below from hallway (so i guess the most formal entry). Second one standing in the kitchen looking out at lounge dining. Last one is from middle of office. That one's tricky as the monster cupboard blocking everything (and is so heavy I can't move it till I sell it and the lucky new owner does it!)
December 19, 2012 at 2:01pm   
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Darzy
Great space! Congrats! If you'd like to hide the office area, how about installing frosted french doors to the office/dining space? The light will still shine in, you can close the doors completely, or leave them nearly open and will hide the desk behind. If you installed a chandelier in the center of the office, it would also be a great feature looking in from the LR. How about putting the big cabinet flush against the wall where the small table/chairs are and paint it a fun raspberry..like the fabric. Then, just float the table and chairs below the chandy. A think a small round table would break up all the rectangles. Have fun! Rug idea too..If french doors not in the budget, how about simple a screen to hide the desk when desired?
Decor by Jennifer Inc
Chevron Stripe Shag Rug, Gray and Cream
Bangkok Folding Screen Room Divider
December 19, 2012 at 3:27pm   
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Sue White
Oooh, good stuff! I love the chandelier idea in the dining room! And hadn't thought about how square it is. Actually when i bought it the stylist had a clear, round glass table in there - I've pasted pic below. I don't like clear/glass so just ditched that idea, but I see what you mean. I am going to have a think on the frosted doors - the lounge is a bit smaller in reality than the photos suggest, so it's nice having the whole opening, but I've definitely been todying with that. I suspect having an office/dining room combo is a bit tricky - the space is bigger than I need for either, but putting both together seems a bit odd. And the lounge room a bit too small to make a lounge/dining Hmm.. Raspberry cupboard could be great!
thanks :)
December 19, 2012 at 3:48pm   
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Darzy
I was thinking more a tiny bistro table. Can you put the desk chair in the corner with the desk facing the window? That way you will have your back to the wall and have a better view while you work. You could get a screen in the other corner, so you can hide the desk area..only when you want to. If there is enough space.


December 19, 2012 at 4:03pm   
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Sue White
Desk is so long it only fits along one of the long walls. So it doesn't fit either side of the windows, only either where I have it or the wall which currently has the dining table. It's a big desk, which is unfortunate. But i'm unwilling to let it go (also unfortunate!). What do you reckon I should do in the lounge room with the TV?
December 19, 2012 at 4:16pm   
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Darzy
I think your sofa and tv is positioned best right now. I'd suggest an area rug, pillows that complement each other for the sofa but do not match. Depending on rug selection, a slipper chair/small table in the corner left of the tv would be cozy. I'd relocate the brown step plant holder. Are you willing to paint? : ) A pale gold? I like your idea of the living wall. I see you like raspberry, and gold (in the LR chair - but paint white). Is the sofa dark charcoal? I'm thinking a raspberry/gray/gold pallette. A fun and colorful rug can punch up your space. Here is an inspiration photo. Too much for you? : )

December 19, 2012 at 5:15pm   
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Sue White
yes, brown step plant holder already relocated to spare room, where I might give it a coat of bright blue paint.... Living wall exciting. Still want to disguise my tv and agree with you about a rug - top idea :)
December 19, 2012 at 5:22pm   
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Darzy
Hi Sue.. I just "called in for some reinforcement". Better ideas coming. : )
December 19, 2012 at 6:07pm   
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Sue White
awesome! more the merrier :)
December 19, 2012 at 6:12pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I keep typing things to you and they keep disappearing from my screen, so this may be slow going.
Here's the plan, which I may post bit by bit so as not to lose it as I'm 20 minutes into this with nothing to show you!

1. After you lose the cupboard from your dining room/office, I'd like you to acquire a folding screen and put it on wheels to roll in front of your desk when you don't want it seen. Since you don't really want a dining room, we'll make the room into an office/library, getting rid of the dining table and adding some green Billy bookcases from Ikea. Buy at least 3 of them with the height added pieces that make them nice and tall. You can get some with doors if you want or all without doors. Jarkarta Folding Screen Room Divider BILLY Bookcase With Glass Doors
December 19, 2012 at 7:20pm   
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Darzy
The calvary has arrived! Thank you Carolyn. Sue will be pleased as punch. I was thinking screen as well! The office/library idea is perfect and as Sue pointed out, a dinette area with the desk doesn't really work. What colors would you like to see in your living room space? The tv in the living space isn't that bad looking..with the right console. : )
December 19, 2012 at 7:28pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I keep typing more ideas and they disappear when I go to get a photo to illustrate. VERY frustrating!
So here's 1. cont'd: We are using the screen over the desk area only and just when you want to hide it because we want to give the whole apartment an open look to increase its visual size. We've gotten rid of the dining table and chairs, so let's add a comfy reading chair, angled in front of the bookcases that are on the right hand wall. Throw in a smallish rug (1x1.5 meters or 3x5') at an angle.

2. Now poor Sue has no dining table, but then she didn't really want one! So we'll swap out the small coffee table for a larger round one, possibly with a glass top, even tho I believe you said you're not keen on them. However, they take up less visual space. We'll have a stack of floor cushions in a corner for you to use when you and your Aussie buddies want to chow down around the coffee table.

3. I'd slide the TV down the wall one way or the other, if possible. You have a green jungle of plants in the room, so we'll add some artwork to bring in another color on the space we've cleared to one side of the TV. The art should be large and colorful, and with a bit of green mixed in with other colors. Take those other colors and use them for your pillow colors for the sofa and floor pillows.

Best of luck! Keep us informed please and let us know if you have more questions.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
December 19, 2012 at 7:42pm   
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Darzy
Brilliant Carolyn! Yes, Sue..let us know what you decide. We'd love to see the results of your labor.
December 19, 2012 at 8:05pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I was happy to help, Darzy. You've been terribly mistreated today by that nasty and vulgar tirade from someone who will probably never be happy. Just remember that you bring help and joy to so many people who truly appreciate it.
December 19, 2012 at 8:16pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Goodness, I thought it was a man!
December 19, 2012 at 8:32pm   
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Sue White
ooh, so much to play with and think about! these are all great ideas. I really love thinking about the office/dining as an office/library - that's so much more me and has opened up a swag of new inspiration. I actually have a great reading chair in my bedroom that is never going to be used in there, so I might drag it out and recover it.

I will come back after the holiday season and post the results! In the meantime, all suggestions welcome as I play with this. Thanks Darzy and Carolyn for all your efforts - I'm off to the beach to contemplate!
December 19, 2012 at 8:34pm     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
What fun! Enjoy the beach and the holiday, Sue! Your pretty results will be a nice New Years gift to us.
December 19, 2012 at 8:37pm     
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karen paul interiors

I do like the idea of "screening" your area, and I'm wondering if you were to do something more sculptural that hides the office and also acts as a piece of art that has sinuous lines, could it be better, rather than a tri-fold affair that offers blocking capability but feels more like a visual barrier? I like the curves of this piece and I am certain with a little looking and ingenuity you will be able to re-create such a concept for less. This is a much coveted designer piece and so (unfortunately) the price tag reflects that reality.
December 19, 2012 at 8:39pm     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
A bit of galvanized metal could do the trick. Great idea, Karen!
December 19, 2012 at 8:42pm     
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Sue White
Hi Karen, yes, it definitely needs disguising. Thanks - I hadn't seen anything like this - sculptural is a good word, and probably adds some of the softer edges Carolyn was veering me towards too. Of course, it would all be a lot easier if I was willing to give up ugly sit/stand desk for a slimmer look thing. But I'm still favouiring function over form for that one. A screen which acts as a piece of art is a gorgeous idea. Going to do some hunting locally over the holidays to see what options exist here in Sydney. I ship quite often from the US but just small stuff - shipping cost a killer for the big things, and our customs so strict anything with a sniff of wood can get stuck at the docks. The price of living on a (large) island!
December 19, 2012 at 8:45pm     
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Sue White
Ahh - now we're talking! Thanks Carolyn!
December 19, 2012 at 8:45pm   
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karen paul interiors
Galvanized metal! Carolyn, what a fabulous idea. Just the reflective quality alone could be huge. I'm very certain she could have something fabricated for her in Sydney. Yes, a wonderful metal sculpture that is a work of art and does wonderful duty AND without adding more wood. Brilliant, my dear. :)
December 19, 2012 at 9:07pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I'm thinking corrugated.
December 19, 2012 at 9:11pm   
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karen paul interiors
Another idea and would be easy to fabricate. Greenwich Village Townhouse Another idea would be a venitian blind style room divider...secured top and bottom (with wand, of course).Natural Balance Home Builders With the verticals I like that you can see through and that you can't, as well. Living Room - View through house Love the red screen with the piece of art hanging from it. Historic Brownstone Renovation
December 19, 2012 at 9:21pm   
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