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Need a new furniture layout for my living room.
Tina
January 2, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I am looking for ideas to rearrange the furniture in our living room. We are considering getting a new sectional sofa to replace the current leather sofa. The room is long and narrow (~20ft X 12ft). There is a door leading to the dining room on the south side. The windows face north. This is our family/living room so we are stuck with the TV.

The house is a small 1 1/2 story cottage style from about 1935.
Any ideas/suggestions would be welcome! Thanks:)
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decoenthusiaste
Then move the TV above the FP and float a sectional in the center of the room. Worth every penny to install cable there. Maybe add a swivel chair by the window.
January 2, 2013 at 2:00pm     
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candjak
Pull couch and chairs in, away from the windows and walls, to surround the coffee table at center, forming a conversation area with passage all around. This can actually make the room feel more spacious and you'll have wide open access to the windows.

I agree w/ the comment above re: moving the TV over the fireplace. THEN(!) plan a small building project to extend the bookshelves up above the mantle shelf and build a faux "wall" in front of the TV, actually a cabinet face, maybe something with spring hinges thus not requiring knobs, a bi-fold, etc. that opens up when you want to watch something, but closes down to hide it when you don't. Thus you will have a convertible, more formal living room/less formal family room.

A larger throw rug would pull the furniture grouping together. The now blank wall opposite the windows can become a wonderful art gallery! Nice room, pretty floors, LOTS of potential!
January 2, 2013 at 3:54pm     
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olidllc
Use a small scale (GUS) sectional and keep it under the window. Get a narrow console and put the t.v.
On it. Art on the walls. A little bit larger rug in a lighter color and move one of the chairs over by the bookcase at an angle facing the sofa. So it would be next to the console.
January 2, 2013 at 3:55pm     
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candjak
P.S. Consider placing the two chairs on one side of the coffee table, separated by a small occasional table, and the couch on the other.
January 2, 2013 at 3:58pm   
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suemyles
I would like to agree with moving your TV over the fireplace and building shelvings around it & having doors to close it off. I would like to suggest you turn the area rug the other way, place your sofa along the ong edge facing the fireplace. Put the console below the TV behind the sofa as a table. The swivel chair on the window side and the stable one on the right side. Just my 2$ worth.
January 2, 2013 at 4:24pm   
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amymc16
I'd actually buy two sofas and place them facing each other on either side of the fire place.
January 2, 2013 at 5:55pm     
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smldesigns
I like the idea of two sofas. The LR will still be open and inviting. I have some reservation about sectionals. I lived through the time where they were popular and then screamed "50's" and I think unless you have a huge room, they tend to wrap right into the path where one would enter the room. I also agree that a cabinet for the TV would be great - maybe with shutters to hid the tv when needed. I do think I would create a deeper mantel over the fireplace. I would paint out the brick of the fireplace. I don't think I would run the bookcases up the wall because it looks like you have electric sconces there. If you do decided to remove them and run the bookcases up the wall, I would put doors or shutters on the existing ones so you have some covered storage.
January 2, 2013 at 6:09pm     
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PRO
Dexter Sykes
Here are many sectionals. Fabric sofas for example: http://www.ba-sofas.com/fabric-sectionals.htm
January 2, 2013 at 9:31pm     
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jenpa8
If your primary activity in this room is watching TV then you must optimize for that activity. Putting the TV above the fireplace is not a good position for watching TV, only for hiding it. Keep it on the wall but put it on a nice console and hide all the wires and remotes. You'll need your couch far enough away to comfortably watch the TV, I think that means it needs to be where it is, against that wall. So I don't think the issue is the furniture arranging, it's the furniture itself. Buy a sofa in a light neutral to lighten up the room, consider a daybed style. Add in pretty, smaller scaled chairs in a stripe with some pop. The fireplace looks really dark, lighten up with some new tile? I'd lose the pictures around the TV, instead go for something that goes floor up towards the ceiling, but doesn't close in the space, like a light etagere or a bakers rack style. Lastly, it's all about lighting. Get some nice lamps and install 4 can lights with dimmers, it'll make everything you do in the room more enjoyable if you have the right lighting.
January 2, 2013 at 10:08pm     
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Eileen
The layouts not bad, but you need to create a focal point. Since it's a a small cottage I'd play off the charm of the big window. First, I'd suggest adding drapery panels on either side of the window. I'd then pull the sofa out away from the window and add a sofa table behind the window. You can put your matching lamps on the sofa table. Get pillows for the sofa that coordinate with the drapery. Since nothing in the room has a pattern, I'd get drapery/pillows with a pattern. The pictures on either side of the tv make the wall look too flat. I'd take them down, it's too much on that wall anyway. Maybe hang them together over the fireplace as the one there looks a bit small. The rug is fine, but if you're going to buy a new one a rug without thick boarder will open up the room. You could also try switching the piano and the oak buffet. The room is so charming! Please post pic, would love to see what you do with it!
January 2, 2013 at 10:17pm   
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Tina
Thanks so much for giving us some ideas to mull over! Now we have a starting place. It definitely needs some brightening up and some new furniture is in the plan. I really appreciate your comments.
January 3, 2013 at 5:28am   
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stefspad
I agree with keeping the TV where it is, but finding a nice console to put it on. This way, you can easily see the TV and fireplace from the sofa. Bigger rug, yes. Sectional sofa, yes, but agree that they will be out of fashion in a year or two. If that's OK with you, go for it. It's a great little room. Oh, and can you find a way to group the small items on the shelf above the fireplace a little more artfully? As in not scattered all the way across, but perhaps grouped at either end leaving the center clear?
January 3, 2013 at 6:13am     
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tutorlady
I love and agree with many of the comments posted, but since your original
question was specifically about furniture arrangement and the purchase of one
item, I'd suggest the smallish sectional Dexter posted as it will still leave room for
your chair and lamps. Be sure to get throw pillows! Designers at furniture
stores can often help you with this and they can totally pull your room together.
Just be sure to include them in your sofa budget!
January 3, 2013 at 7:45am     
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sguest35
hi Tina, I was very interested in this discussion as we have a 1930s bungalow and are planning to add a fireplace right where you have yours. Furniture arrangement is a great question. It is a small room. We love to use what we have first of all, saving money. A good question was asked, how do you mostly use this room. If it is for the TV, then a console tucked under it helps to ground it.

I have searched the houzz site and found many pictures of these small bungalows with a FP. Take a look yourself and you may discover an arrangement you like. I searched, "craftsman fireplace".

You have a decent but dark couch, lighten it up with bright pillows, perhaps no rug at all, and place it across from the window. Yes, move the TV. Some have it on the bookshelf, next to the FP or above the FP. I would think about how the furniture goes together. Seems that the lounge chair is a different era.

Here is my ideabook link. We are looking to add windows where you have sconces. http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/6346236/thumbs/FP
January 6, 2013 at 5:17am   
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connieleming
Suggest you take advantage of that long window wall with a long sectional with two chaise ends made up of a left arm facing chaise end, an armless loveseat, and a right arm facing chaise end. Then balance the room with a large chair angled in the corner to the right of the French doors and a medium size chair angled out of the corner to the right of the fireplace. Move the tv off center on the same wall more toward the French doors.
January 6, 2013 at 7:01am     
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Tina
Thanks again to all who have commented!
Sguest35, I love some of the pictures you shared!
After digesting some of the suggestions, we have decided to work on a TV room in our partially finished basement and make the living room more of a sitting room. We are awaiting installation of a new gas fireplace insert so will instead have that as the focus of our room.
We will either replace the rug with a larger one or get rid of it all together. The floor is really pretty there. The existing sofa will go across from the windows and we will put two smaller chairs (wingback?) under the window. We'll look for something with pattern, I think. I will post pictures in few months when the room has come together. Thanks again!
January 6, 2013 at 9:15am     
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maggiemay
I love the charm of your home. I like the size of the couch. I suggest the new curtains and pillows (very light color) are not heavy or thick to take up too much room, physically or visually if you really feel they are needed. If you look at the first photo and imagine the room without all the items on the top shelf, the chair by the TV and the small table under the TV, you will have a cleaner look and really see that charm. Editing out is always a good start. Then place the TV on an interesting unit/table (either new, used or modern like a parsons). Put that lower chair where the taller one is and remove the taller one to another room and put a small light pillow on that smaller chair. Your eye will sweep from cabinets to small chair giving you a larger feeling. You can move over the piano bench only when extra seating is needed. The fireplace is the focus if you add another painting above it. See what you already own. To me it seems that you need something about 4 more inches, something larger than the size of your TV but slightly smaller than the fireplace opening. Leave the corner items on the top shelf but remove the line of items under the painting. I like your tall wide jars. Not sure about the TV wall. I suggest the TV furniture to be larger than the TV for the weight and leave it empty of art on the unit and on the wall. Then you can decide if a larger rug is needed. Sorry this got written only today. Enjoy!
January 6, 2013 at 12:20pm     
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kudzooks
Separate the space. Move sofa to face fireplace towards end of room near entrance. Put lounge chair to the right with smaller coffee table. Other chair on left next to fireplace. Could add a footstool. Position T.V. over fireplace. Consider painting the bricks or painting the shelving a softer color so it doesn't stand out so much. Declutter the shelves (too busy) Where are the candles? Soften the wall sconces (too harsh). Room could use a neutral paint on walls and add a nice earth tones and blues, patterned carpet to the center of the entire seating area. One large piece of artwork to replace the smaller two pieces or add a large mirror to bring light from the beautiful spacious window and to balance the space. Add a throw to the sofa with a coordinating color and don't forget the pillows Trust me, it will flow perfectly. Good Luck
January 6, 2013 at 2:28pm   
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PRO
Jerri Holan & Associates, AIA
I think you should place the flat screen TV above the fireplace mantel, maybe put a club chair by the window and by the wall where the current TV is. Lastly, place a sofa opposite the fireplace in the middle of the room.

Alternately, skip a large sofa and put two love seats opposite each other, 90 degrees to the fireplace. Or replace one of the love seats with a pair of clubs.

Adorable cottage!
January 6, 2013 at 5:03pm     
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mikego
Quick fix: both chairs in front of window with a table between, sofa facing fireplace. Reading chair/lamp closest to piano.
January 6, 2013 at 7:26pm   
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