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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help with three things in the living area

sqezefrauDecember 23, 2012
We need advice with three things in our living area. Firstly what ideas do people have for finishing of the end wall under the big clock. Originally we planned to have panels the same height as the cupboards on the left to hang the TV, but then we changed our minds as they didn't seem to fit the room. So now that wall is a little unbalanced. We have thought of mounting some shelves but haven't seen any we really like. Another idea is to hang some art work - but what size would work and how to hang it / them?
Second question what to do about the windows? We have lived for years in houses without any kind of window treatment, but feel that maybe we should have some here. For two reasons really - to keep the heat inside in winter and also to dampen the sound as all the surfaces are quite hard. The problem is that there is no space on either side of any of the windows to pull back drapes and we do like to have lots of light in the room. We have wall lighting between the windows and also light switches and electric sockets.
Third and final question - we need some directional light at the seating area so that we can read and I can sew. We are both not the youngest so reading in bad light can be a challenge. The problem is what to do with the cables to the lights - they would run across travel areas which would have a danger of tripping up.
Thanks for any suggestions.
P.S. The house is a bungalow in Spain and is very open plan.
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1. For clock wall, I would recommend something that is large in scale so your eye is drawn up. I'm recommending a large 3 piece wall-to-wall built in bookcase. Just make sure that it's as tall as the three-quarter wall (looks to be about 10.5 feet high) on the right side of the first photo. I would eliminate the existing bookcase and hang art on that wall.

2. For the window treatments keeping with the theme of your decor, I'm suggesting plantation shutters for the windows and sliding door. They will help keep the heat in. If shutters are not your style, try adding valances with roman shades. As for sound dampening a few colorful area rugs would help keep the noise down.

3. If your concerned about tripping over wires, I would inquire about having floor outlets installed near your desired lighting locations (if possible). If floor outlets are not possible, overhead ceiling mounted lighting would be my next choice. As a last resort you can purchase a small molded plastic floor tracks that you tuck the electrical cords into to prevent people from tripping in traffic areas (see photo).
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 9:44AM
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I'd move the clock down and add a large piece of art. You could flip the sofa arrangement so the one is in front of the window and add end tables. It looks like some of the windows have enough space for drapes and the other you could use Roman binds made of the same fabric.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:06AM
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Dar Eckert
Agree with houssaon, move the seating area in front of doors. Turn your dining table 90 degrees to maximize the area for the living area. The wall with clock would look nice as an accent wall in turquoise or medium gray. Would love to see the hutch centered on that wall and the piano angled into the corner.
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:27AM
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The clock wall needs an accent color which I would want to draw from a colorful area rug. However, it should be a color you love well enough to wrap over the partition to the other side of the pillar and beam, since that is just an extension of the same wall. The cupboards don't look to be built in. Have you considered moving one of them to that wall? You could build in a TV center to match it. The one that looks to be a china cabinet with doors below might make a great room divider. Put it by the pillar, perpendicular to the wall and facing the dining area to divide the two "rooms." Upholster the back of it for more sound control, warmth and color. Please keep the piano on an interior wall for its good health. Agree about turning the dining table and would put it on a rug also (4 feet wider and longer than the table.) Rugs will dampen sound and warm things up. Insulated soft roman shades (lined and inner lined) would be my choice for all the windows. If you group furniture in front of the sliders, consider installing a wall hung fireplace where the piano and cupboards are now. You have room for a couple of swivel chairs I think.
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    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 11:11AM
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I think a great entertainment center or built in which would hold tv would be great on that end. Height should end at window height.

I think room could use some warming up: I would add rugs under dining table and to the sofa area. Then window panels also. That would also help with sound absorption.
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Cancork Floor Inc.
If this is in Spain, I would recommend cork on those floors! You are in the heart of cork country and you will solve the warmth problem and sound problem in one go! But that's just me! Blinds can only do some much for sound and only so much for heat retention. The floors are giving you the temperature/sound issues.

Other than that, move one of the sofas under the window (on the wall with the glass door) and swing the TV setting around to the wall with the book cases and piano. The two book cases (if they fit) can then go on the wall with the clock. You know have a space that can use all the light for ready/sewing and a space that says "reading area".

The piano is taking up a tremendous amount of open space. Unless you use this every day, several times per day, you may want to find a new wall for the piano. This then allows you to move furniture onto that wall without blocking walking space to the glass doors.

The piano could go beside the glass door (but instruments don't like openings to the outdoors) or in the corner by the dining room table (in the corner where there appears to be a very dark piece of furniture. Now you have a wall that free to become a separate sitting area (an armchair with foot stool) opposite the glass doors.
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 12:10PM
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It appears that you have plenty of room for the drapery stackback (the amount of space that drapery occupies when they are open) I would consider moving your drapery rods way up...even to the ceiling. I think that this would bring down the ceiling height visually as well as taking up some of the vastness of that space!
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Thank you for the suggestions. There are reasons for things being where they are. The piano would not fit in any of the spaces on the outside walls - they are all too small.
The sofa is not in front of the window because it would cover the lower part of the window and block out some light. Also it faces the window to take advantage of the view of the garden and the hills beyond - rather than just look at a wall with no real focal point.
The table turned at 90 degs would seriously compromise the traffic area in and out of the kitchen which is off that end of the room.
    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 4:16AM
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Just wondering, could you take the smaller sofa pull it away from the other? Swing it around so that it is at an angle, with it's back to the slider. If will face out towards the piano more. Then you will walk into the seating area between the two sofas.

The beautiful chest that is behind the smaller sofa. Could you use it as the coffee table? Or as the end table for the larger sofa?

I don't see any lamps and you said you need light for sewing, etc. Add some slim floor lamps.

For sound control: large rugs and stationary panels on the windows. These can be hung to barely cover the window molding so that light won't be cut off. For more insulation and night time privacy look into cellular shades. These are the honeycomb ones that compress down to about an inch when not needed.

For your wall, try moving the clock to the wall between slider and window (would be over area where I just moved the smaller sofa!). Then add a tall plant to where the clock was. It will balance out the height of furniture piece on the other side of TV.
    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 8:34AM
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I notice the pictures that decoenthusiaste put up all don't appear to have any kind of window treatment. We are still in two minds as to what to do about the windows - my husband likes the idea of roman blinds, I still wonder about living without anything on the windows - as we always have up to now. But we had outside blinds that came down at night. Everyone else seems to think we should have something over the windows. It's the challenge of the sliding doors that gets me. If we do any of the windows i think we need to do them all.

We both like the idea of some kind of swivel seating. The architect originally planned for three areas on the room - 2 seating areas and one dining. I am still looking for chairs that I like to have in the middle area - I think 2 chairs - maybe each side of the cat table would be ok - even with the piano there.

pcmom1 - we will try moving the small sofa over and have the entry into the seating area away from the window wall. That would also allow us to put a light near that sofa too for reading etc.

I had thought of getting one of those lights that go over with a big arch - but not sure if they are so tall that one can walk under them. What does anyone think of that?

Don't see now who said that the things on the TV wall should be as high as the windows - but we agree on that. Funny how you don't see these things yourself! We thought that we might put a sculpture of some sort on top of the cupboards and then some art work as houssaon suggested. I make art quilts which we have on the walls in other areas of the house, so my husband thinks I should make one for there too. They also help with absorbing sound.

Lots of people have suggested area rugs, but you really only want them in the winter here in Spain and not in the summer. That is why the floors are all tiled - to cool in the summer. It's actually ok in winter too - I just wear sheepskin slippers when it gets really cold :-) And my husband doesn't like rugs :-)

Well lots of comments from me - any more thoughts from the community?
    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 10:08AM
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If there is anything you can move, just play with it and post again. You'll get more input then. Houzzers love interaction with posters.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 5:01PM
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