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Please help with design and furniture arrangement in my great room
ywneal
January 3, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Recently moved into our home and the furniture arrangement we currently have is inadequate and feels awkward. Would like to bring in some Hawaii tropical aesthetic as well in the accessories. Thank you.
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PRO
House of Holland - TX
Could you add a few more pictures from differing room angles? That would help. Thanks!
0 Likes   January 3, 2013 at 10:46AM
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mmilos
Replace the ceiling fans with some of those tropical themed island ones...
Woven natural blinds would help too.

I think your furniture arrangement looks pretty good.
0 Likes   January 3, 2013 at 10:47AM
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ywneal
My previous post was done hastily and did not provide enough information. The space in question is probably a bit small for our furniture the way we currently have it arranged. We would like to use our existing furniture, but would like to arrange it to accommodate our new environment and open floor plan. The room doesn't seem all that inviting. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to ask for suggestions on how to liven up the space. I am attaching more photos. Thanks!
0 Likes   January 3, 2013 at 2:50PM
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orangecamera
Are you actually in Hawaii? If not, what is the climate like where you are?

Hawaiian quilts are very graphic come in many colors. There is also fabric that is printed in Hawaiian quilt designs, which you could use to make pillows or curtains. The blue example below is actually a coaster I found at cafepress.
0 Likes   January 3, 2013 at 3:09PM
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smldesigns
Is your corner cupboard really a corner cupboard or a cupboard on an angle? Also, I think you should extend the curtain rods out on each side. Fabric will make the room more inviting - i.e. draperies, throw pillows, and a throw on the sofa. The rug also seems too small for the room. Can you use it somewhere else and get a larger one. Awaiting other photos.
1 Like   January 3, 2013 at 3:28PM
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smldesigns
Rather than the feel of Hawaii, why not look attempt a look that is more British West Indies. I think a caned piece and a natural rug - sisal or jute would work well with the dark furniture. Perhaps the fan can be changed to have palm leaf fronds instead of the typical paddles. Here is a coffee table that has the feeling I am thinking of. http://www.ethanallen.com/product?productId=7370882
2 Likes   January 3, 2013 at 3:40PM
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ywneal
For some reason my photos would not load and I posted a new question instead. I agree that the rug is too small, but haven't decided just how large I should go. The natural rug idea is definitely the route I was considering.
0 Likes   January 3, 2013 at 3:58PM
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ywneal
smldesigns, the corner cupboard is angled. We considered moving it into the dining area as we are using it to store our barware and beverages. Thank you.
0 Likes   January 3, 2013 at 4:07PM
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smldesigns
I think I would try the cupboard where the sideboard is and put the sideboard under the window near the table (if I'm interpreting the pix right). Perhaps that would separate the LR from the DR a little Another option if you aren't using the sideboard, I would put the tv on it. It's heftier than what you are using now. Can you put the sofa opposite the TV - maybe pulled away from the wall and flank each side of it with a chair. If there's not room to do that, put the chairs in an L shape (one at right angle with the sofa and the other facing the sofa - something like what you have now only pull them closer to each other.
0 Likes   January 3, 2013 at 4:26PM
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smldesigns
Also while fiddling with the large pieces of furniture take the small pieces and pictures down so the don't distract you..
0 Likes   January 3, 2013 at 4:27PM
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ywneal
Thanks for all of your suggestions. Here is what I tried today.
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Elizabeth Bishop
I must say your original arrangement was much better then above. Have you considered crown moldings? Your ceiling is high enough it would add interest to your room and lower your ceiling height a bit. Then, raise your drapery rods higher, and lengthen them so that your draperies when opened are off to the side of the window. The carmel color is boring, how about blue or green from your rug colors.... Adding plantation shutters to your windows, would frame them, unless you want to view outside. Next, get an 8x10 rug, and float your sofa with it's back facing the dining room, placing a sofa table behind it to round it. Float your 2 side chairs together, either on the window wall, or solid wall. If your tv is on the solid wall, consider getting a large wall unit to give it more interest and to create a focal point for that area. Your pictures on the wall are way too small and should be taken down, or placed together on a smaller wall as a grouping, making sure the framing is similar. Your lack of color scheme needs to be addressed, as well as pattern, and texture. Usually when planning a space, you choose a fabric, painting or rug which you use in choosing the rooms colors. Have you chosen your colors from the dining room rug? I would also consider adding texture and fabric to the room. Maybe you could consider a large glass coffee table, throws and colorful pillows with texture. In your dining room, I'd add an interesting chandelier over the table, and large plants in the corner, and over your buffet (keep it on the big solid wall) a large mirror or colorful painting or print. Colorful glassware or ceramic accessories and candlesticks. Hope this helps.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 1:23AM
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smldesigns
I think it's better. I agree you should move the rods up and take the pictures down.. Pictures really should be hung above things and unless you really know what you're doing keep them in proportion with the object below. I agree you could use a larger entertainment center, but I think you will get the biggest impact by getting large enough rugs for both areas. While you rugs are lovely, they are too small. I don't see a coffee table so if you have a bench or trunk or something you could use for a coffee table, the would complete the look. I also think you could put some type of blinds on the windows. Hope this helps.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 7:22AM
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ywneal
What a comprehensive response! Thank you! So here are our challenges, Elizabeth. We are renting, move often, and will only be here a couple of years. Making any changes to the structure of the home or any fixtures is not an option. We are using the acrylics as art because they were done by my 9 yo, but in our previous home they were grouped by color series in our hall. We were looking to incorporate family photos and silhouettes as well as some antique engravings, political and military memorabilia, or collectibles from our travels but are deciding how to display or store them as humidity is an issue. I also have a large collection of barware. The tv has to either be situated in the corner near the solid wall or on the wall. We didn't want to get a large wall unit thinking it wouldn't ship well when we moved again. The solid wall also would not allow for centering with the seating area on the opposite wall. Right now we are more inclined to angling it. We are using the curtains we have right now because we'd rather invest elsewhere. Maybe a large Hawaiian textile or local artist print? The view from much of the house is of beautiful green mountains reminiscent of the ones in "Lost" and a decent sized fenced yard and good sized lanai. We are looking to use sisal or jute rugs as it is very humid here and we keep the windows open. We do not want fine art or rugs in this house. You are right in that we did not follow the traditional planning process. We made an assessment of what was in good enough shape to be incorporated in the spaces we have and then were deciding on how to complement with a color scheme. Not ideal, I know. We have light greens, shades of blue, orange/coral/red, and white/tan/browns throughout the home and need to tie them together. Since it is more casual here, we are trying to embody a sophisticated yet casual tropical or beach feel while honoring my child's work, my husband's profession as a military pilot, and our family's love of adventure. We are in the water or on a trail every weekend and like to entertain with cocktails and appetizers or kid's parties rather than dinners. And since we socialize with people from all walks of life, we want to make sure the aesthetic is reflective of this. I was going to ask for more specific feedback on the art and accessorizing in another post. :-) We live in Hawaii now, but are transient and need to plan accordingly by making versatile selections. In fact, we moved into this home from a historic urban townhouse with a completely different aesthetic. Thanks again! I appreciate your feedback!
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 11:34AM
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ywneal
I agree that the rugs are too small and the pictures. Would it better to remove them altogether until I found more appropriate floor coverings? When you say to raise the rods, should they be raised close to ceiling height? How high should I raise them? Thanks!
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 11:42AM
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boppy
You have big picture windows but they need some help in the way of texture or layers. Consider installing simple bamboo blinds, hung closer to the ceiling. Then, rehang curtains (on a more substantial curtain rod) up above the new blinds to give the illusion of larger windows and eliminate the wide white space between the ceiling and the curtains. The room lacks height. Everything is flat with the exception of the one lamp and needs vertical interest. I'm assuming the folded American flag on top of the hutch has some importance to your family and should be grouped with other items of personal value on display. That's a start :)
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 12:00PM
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jjandhk
a beautiful space -- and beautiful furniture to work with!
I like the tall cabinet where it is now.
I like the idea of using the sideboard for the tv--and accessories--if possible.
I'd like to see if you can pull the rug a bit closer to the tv; and turn the couch 90 degrees (to face the tv); with only the front legs of the couch on the rug.
Do you have a coffee table you can put in front of the couch?
And then could you try one side chair on each side of the couch (at 90 degree angles to the couch)?
I think that would balance out the visual weight of the furniture; and if you keep the sofa and chairs away from the walls it makes the room feel larger, and your seating would be more cozy.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 12:22PM
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ywneal
Thanks for all of your feedback! It has been plentiful and helpful. We have a trunk that can be used as a coffee table and will try the sofa on the other wall. That flag is non-negotiable, but we are working on negotiating the removal of the helmet. Our previous home had a man cave in the basement, but we are not so lucky here! We'll try the bamboo blinds and raising the rods as well and will post photos. Most of our framed art is 16x20 if that helps with scale.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 2:54PM
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ywneal
Some of the engravings we are working with are attached.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 5:17PM
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ywneal
Some of the acrylics we are working with...
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 5:23PM
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ywneal
Multimedia and watercolor are larger as is the print defining the child's room... Not sure what direction to go with framing. Stairway, two nooks, and three bedrooms need to be addressed as well.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 5:34PM
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ywneal
Small furnishings I am working with...
1 Like   January 5, 2013 at 5:42PM
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cyn222
TVs always cause problems. I like furniture away from the walls. Good luck, nice room.
0 Likes   January 5, 2013 at 10:41PM
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PRO
Majestic India
Accessorize and add some colour with some tropical print cushion covers or throws. You can find them here. http://www.majestic-india.com/indian-cushion-covers/Turquoise-Kantha-Cushion-Covers
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 7:40AM
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ywneal
We tried a few other furniture arrangements and I wanted to post our nearly finished room. We plan to add a seagrass rug, a couple of enlarged photographs, and a large work of colorful art. Thanks for all of your wonderful suggestions!
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 3:22PM
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reolee
No offense, but the biggest problem I see with your room is the stark whiteness of it! Other than that, I think it looks inviting. I'm thinking possibly soft teals/robin's egg blue would make your pictures and furniture stand out. What colors are in your rug? Pull a color out of your rug & put it on the walls! Add some more colorful pillows, (not so monotone) I like the print rug in the LR better than the solid. It was too much of the same color before.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 3:39PM
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ywneal
Reolee, I cannot paint the walls, unfortunately, so the walls will have to stay white. We were hoping to address the wall issue with largish art and enlarged photographs. We wanted to work with as much of our existing belongings and focus on placement in this area. It was established that our rug was too small and will be replaced, so did not want to commit to a color from the rug. Glad that it looks more inviting, though. We know that it will not be a perfect space given that it is temporary! Thanks for your feedback!
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 4:02PM
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misspeggy7
Add bright, modern pillows and art work Chalk paint the buffet I see in the pic a turquoise, and or the dining table; more paint, you choose the color, but make it sunny and bright. . Chalk paint is a miracle worker. DEFINITELY get a sisal or some sort of natural fiber rug. They have a fantastic one at Ikea; just the kind they sell at Pottery Barn and some of the more high end places. Add big, splashy art by maybe having your kids or some kids do art and then mat and frame it. I find great art at my local Goodwill or on Ebay. You will also be surprised at what you can find on Craigslist. Accessories make ALL the difference.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 4:17PM
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