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What to do with this fireplace?
Trish
January 10, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi. This living room is killing me! It's long and narrow. The fireplace is not used, I currently have cheapo shelving on either side. I tried floating my big sofa in the center of the room, but my sons throw themselves on it, which scratches the floors. So the floors are safer with no floating furniture. However, my current arrangement isn't' conducive to gathering. I'd also like to minimize the presence of the fireplace, which I tried to do by painting it the same color as the walls. So, any advice on what to do with Fireplace or seating arrangements would be appreciated.
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mmilos
This looks like a classic Craftsman type fireplace arrangement. Do you live in a historic home?
Definitely spend the money on getting some built in storage on either side of the fireplace.
January 10, 2013 at 10:00am   
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Trish
Yes, It's an American four square colonial from 1925. Thanks for the response.
January 10, 2013 at 10:16am   
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mmilos
Can you take a picture of the front window wall?

Search this site for "Craftsman fireplace" to get some ideas for furniture arrangements, built-ins etc. Here's a picture of an idea that might work with your room:

January 10, 2013 at 10:24am     
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shannons5000
What is opposite of the long couch?

Are you opposed to getting rid of the orange seat? the room just doesn't feel cohesive. I agree re the built in shelves and think that you should move that table that is in front of the fireplace. If you don't use the fireplace you could get a candelabra for it.

I also think you should remove everything from your mantel and put one thin height, long width piece there.
January 10, 2013 at 10:30am     
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John Seiffert
I'm not designer but it seems a reading area would be appropriate near fireplace then space 3 or 4 chairs around center of room for communall gathering. Sofas may not work for pass through. New carpet under sofa if it does work to keep floors in good condition.

Beautiful house and furnishings.
January 10, 2013 at 12:21pm     
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John Seiffert
I would love to design a new mantel and nice bookcases for the space. You are lucky to have good bones to start.
January 10, 2013 at 12:25pm   
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Trish
Here's a pic of front. Window wall. I can definitely ditch the. Love seat but a four chair setup blocks entry to dining room.
January 10, 2013 at 12:58pm   
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PRO
Appliances Connection
I think it is definitely worth it to replace the fireplace. It will make a huge difference. For the bookcases, I suggest darker woods and a more modern design. Here are some examples of what i mean.
January 10, 2013 at 1:24pm     
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abbshel
I love the pic mmilos posted with the Craftsman fireplace and built-ins and think that would be ideal for your space!
January 10, 2013 at 1:27pm     
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Harrut
Hi
I might be wrong but from my take of your photos it appears that the archway is possibly not helping the room and "cutting" it's size... I'd be tempted to see if you could reduce the arch without it impacting on the beautiful flooring.
January 10, 2013 at 1:28pm     
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E Klo
We just did built in shelves in our place last fall.. i would put something like this on either side of your fire place:
[houzz=Modern Sitting Area]

I would also paint the brick around the fireplace a couple of shades darker then the walls to make it "pop" and warm up the space a bit. Don't hide that fireplace.. show it off - it's beautiful!

I'd do two smaller matching chairs on either side of the fireplace (in front of the built-ins) to bring cohesiveness to the space: [houzz=living room]. Pick a pattern that pulls the grey color from your couch, and coordinate some pillows on the couch that pull in the colors from the chairs to bring it together.

I would de-clutter the mantle (take everything off), and then add one big mirror or art piece on the wall: [houzz=Personal Home Tour] .

Hope this helps!
January 10, 2013 at 1:35pm   
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Trish
I often think about narrowing that archway. And I'm definitely going to simplify the mantel. Built ins I will have to get some quotes on. Had the FP darker and just thought it didn't work. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
January 10, 2013 at 1:59pm   
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PRO
Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
You have a lovely start with the fireplace. It is the architectural focal point of the room. Definately go for the built in shelves. The floor is getting scratched because the rug is too small. That also looks like a sisal rug which may have a rough back particularly if no pad is under it or no secondary backing is applied. This could also be scratching the floor.Size is the most common mistake people make when choosing an area rug. If cost is an issue there are many lovely patterned wall to wall carpets that can be cut and bound. I would make the rug large enough so only -20"-24" of wood shows all around the room. You can put a small remnant of the carpeting in front of the door. Keep an extra in case it gets soiled. If you notice in the picture mmilos posted the rug is a least 12" inches under the front of the seating pieces. A larger picure above the fireplace will complete the look. In small spaces a few larger well placed accessories are always better than a lot of small peices that can lead to a cluttered feeling- another of the most common mistakes. Of all design principles I think scale is the one most people struggle with.
January 10, 2013 at 1:59pm     
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PRO
Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
You could also do a more detailed mantle and fireplace surround if you want. You might also want to consider a gas log. It is so much easier to use than a real wood fireplace you will find you use it more.
January 10, 2013 at 2:04pm     
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englishaccent
I like the color of the wall you have going up the staircase. I was thinking you could put that on the inset walls beside the fireplace and behind the shelving to pop the fireplace facade more. Attached is a crude picture of this idea. I thought you should pull the color of that great Asian piece you have next to the stairway over the mantel in a picture. I also put a stronger color area rug to define this as a different area of the room. Can you flip the love seat with the chair and maybe have two occasional chairs under the window? Although, it is nice to the love seat distributing some of the weight of the room to the other side.
I feel like you need to add some artwork behind the lamp on the table next to the front door. Can you add a couple of panels in your window treatment that has that persimmon color in it? I'm just trying to establish some rhythm to the room.
January 10, 2013 at 2:20pm     
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