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Help - what IS this space? How to fill it?
hillaryu
January 11, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Can you help me? This shelf/slab is in the middle of my townhome (open living room/dining room concept room). So if you are looking at it, the living room is to the right and the dining room is at your left. The stairway is behind it.

My default action is to put photos here, but looks kind of bland. Any other ideas? Seems like such waste of space. Even if I put in shelving feels like it would close up what is already a small room. What do I put here?
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
Is that a fireplace under the opening?? I think at minimum you should take everything off the shelf, and the very best solution would be to close up this opening completely, which would give you great art walls in the stair hall as well as the room we're looking at.
January 11, 2013 at 5:32pm   
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hillaryu
Cynthia, thank you so much for responding! No, its't not a fireplace opening (I just moved in so have stuff everywhere! :)) It's my pet gate that just got into the photo. The stuff yes, i will move it. so it will be completely empty. So you are saying build a wall so we could hang items. Wouldnt this still leave a wooden slab there though?
January 11, 2013 at 5:40pm   
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houssaon
Maybe the builder thought it would make a good place for a buffet. I wonder if there is anything in the area below the slab or if it is just a boxed in section. If it is empty, you could remove it and put a piece of furniture there.
January 11, 2013 at 5:47pm   
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cassidyd
You could hang a nice piece of stained glass in the opening or else put a slab of granite on the surface and install some pendant lights so it could serve as a sort of bar.... Those are my thoughts!
January 11, 2013 at 5:47pm   
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
By slab, do you mean the "shelf", hillaryu? It would come off and the wall would be completely closed in as if the opening never happened. Best case scenario, in my opinion!
January 11, 2013 at 5:49pm   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
leave well enough alone.......enjoy the space and the open uncluttered area
January 11, 2013 at 5:50pm     
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momx3
I think it should be closed in, but at the least I'd hang a nice large iron scrollwork design, or stained window.
January 11, 2013 at 5:55pm   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
are there windows in the dining room
January 11, 2013 at 5:59pm   
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caligirlsmom
I agree with Cynthia. The "view" isn't anything spectacular anyway, whereas you could hang a beautiful mirror or art on the closed-up space. It doesn't appear that you are getting any natural light from it either, so no loss that way.
January 11, 2013 at 6:04pm     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
it seems there may actually be light from a window in the stair hall ? am I correct.....the space needs to be considered from both sides and I fear closing it will be a huge mistake as the stair hall will be soooo closed in.... there is no advantage from the stairs side to have it closed and the dining side at this time borrows from the stair space to add to the dining's space. the dinning space will feel very tight if the opening is closed......bet ya
January 11, 2013 at 6:09pm     
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
Gary, we are making some presumptions and you are right that we shouldn't be so hasty giving advice without seeing the floor plans of the house. We're basing this advice on one fuzzy picture! :)

Thanks for the reality check.
January 11, 2013 at 6:18pm   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
just calling it as I view it from my corner of the world
January 11, 2013 at 6:25pm   
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megan_barnett
Or you could try your own take on this idea to "decorate" the hole: http://www.curbly.com/users/diy-maven/posts/9320-turn-old-windows-into-a-room-divider. My brother-in-law did this in their condo and it looks great. You could consider a glass insert or glass blocks which would preserve the open feeling but not having you staring at a staircase (remove the "slab" first though). As a final suggestion, decorate the heck out of the wall beside the staircase leading upstairs - it's all about creating visual interest!
January 11, 2013 at 6:32pm   
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janishill
ACn you post photos from the other side, please?
January 11, 2013 at 6:55pm   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
i think we are missing it here.......................the space is maybe best left alone.........clear it off and enjoy it for a week
January 11, 2013 at 7:00pm   
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