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Please HELP my living room layout is terrible!!!
losmommie
January 12, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We bought our house as I fell in love with it the only problem is that our living room is 23"x 11". Terrible right I know ... We moved in last June and I still have NO idea what to do with this room... If you need more photos let me know... The one side has window the other side has entryways to kitchen sunroom and dining room
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decoenthusiaste
Have you considered two back to back sofas?Below are a couple of ways to do it. One will anchor a conversation area in front of the FP. In it I'd include a reading corner by the window and bookcase to the left of the FP. The other one would anchor a second seating space at the other end of the room which could include a family game table if you don't have one in a separate den or family room.
Traditional Family Room
Lobby Lounge while at BAMO, Inc.
6 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 3:49PM
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speciality
You could divide the room into two living areas by placing two 6x9 rugs going across the room. Then place smaller love seats and two chairs across from each other, surrounding rug. (determine where your tv placement is desired) The other area can have two additional chairs with a table and lamp in between these as a reading/music listening area. Keep both areas toward center of room so that walking room is available near doorways.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 3:50PM
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pauli12
It's a beautiful room... and you can set up a cozy seating area by the fire place and put the TV closer to the other end and have 2 nice seating areas!
I hope you can enjoy doing this.... It is going to be so nice.
2 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 3:53PM
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pauli12
Oh and don't forget that hanging mirrors across from windows expands the space so maybe this is a possibility.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 3:59PM
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feeny
Agree with everyone. Two seating areas is the perfect solution for this room. So many people on Houzz are struggling to incorporate their fireplace and TV into the same square living room. Most of them would be thrilled to have space in the room for two separate areas! So embrace your rectangle, buy two area rugs to float the furniture on, and make the most of it!
6 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Is there a picture of the window wall. It appears to have a door between the windows, is that true?
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:11PM
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losmommie
@barbara yes there is a door between the wall of windows
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 4:13PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Is that an entrance to your home..front door?
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Could we get a picture of that wall with windows & door? Spacing would be helpful.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Will there need be a TV in this room? Or is the main TV in another room?
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:30PM
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gillianlf
I agree with what all the others have said. However, your room is a lot smaller than many of these two space photos. I would aim for a comfy chair and floor lamp near the fireplace on exterior side, and a sofa and armchair grouping facing the windows in the far corner. It looks like there is a door in the middle of the exterior wall is this correct.

One more suggestion that might help with how the room feels once it is furnished is to paint the long walls in a slightly darker tone of the same color you use on the short walls. It will cause them to visually recede and make the room feel a more comfortable dimention. I had the exact same problem in a previous home and it really did work. I can't quite tell if you currently have a different color below the chair rail; if you do try this trick I would paint out below the rail a white that matches the brick on the fireplace and the existing trim or go all one color below and above the chair rail.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:42PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Because the room is so narrow, I like the wall color as it is. I would however, paint the ceiling a lighter shade (but still close to wall color). This will visually minimize the long narrow look of the room. You want the room to seem wider than it is and that can be accomplished with the paint.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:54PM
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losmommie
Hi ladies thanks for all your ideas what I thinking of doing is white washing all of my wooded floors first off.... Then I will be getting a dark brown slipcover mini couch with a chair and chaise the chair being closes to the dining room and the chaise under the window.... I then want to get a faux sheepskin rug for the front part of my room closes to the fire place with my tv on the mantle next to the sconces. For the back of the room I'm thinking of making a breakfast room with shelves on the walls this will be next to my sun deck... What do you guys think
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
I like it all except for the white washed floors. Put it all together and then if you still think you want to white wash the floors, reconsider it again before you do it.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 6:16PM
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losmommie
@Barbara why don't you like white washed flooring?
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
It isn't that I do not like a white washed floor, it is that it is very stylized. The natural look of the wood is very beautiful. The white wash will look either very country or beachy. Your faux sheepskin rug would really pop on the natural floor where it would blend too much with a whitewashed floor. I would also suggest that either the chaise or the chair should be a patterned fabric...at the very least, a fairly bold stripe. I would also remove the sconces before installing the TV for a cleaner look.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 6:30PM
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laurengarges
I agree with Barbara. Those stained wood floors are beautiful and are what makes this room such a standout.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 6:49PM
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losmommie
@barbara even if my kitchen has all light cabinets and backsplash you don't recommend the white wash flooring.. I LOVE white wash flooring
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
I wouldn't do it in the kitchen either. The light cabinets & backsplash would look really great with the wood tone floors.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 7:07PM
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losmommie
@barbara my kitchen has tile I'm attaching pics of my kitchen dining room and sun room :) I want to paint my dining room in the grays
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 7:10PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
The kitchen looks great, but what is the color over the cabinets and on the left side wall. What it needs is color & pattern. What is on the ceiling where the multi bulb lite fixture is located..is it a dropped area? A stripe or patterned roman shade on both windows perhaps. Colorful accessories. What is your thought? The dining room is good sized. I like your idea of grays. Paint the same color above and below the chair rail. I would also remove the niche on the left wall (are there 2?) before you paint if at all possible. You could then add a narrow sideboard with a huge vertical framed mirror over it. I would also put glass in the upper doors of the built-in china. And a great rug.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 7:32PM
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losmommie
Barbara- right now we have dark wood shades in the kitchen basically the same ones we have in the dining room.... I was also thinking putting different doors on the cabinet.. The niches I do not think can come out... I will also be posting before and after pics I'm still so indecisive one white washing the floors
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
What type of cabinet doors would you choose? What color wood? Do you have any pictures of furnishings you would keep? It would give me a better feel of what style you like? A picture of the dark window shades, if you choose to keep them would be helpful. If you do not have many items that you would want to keep, then I would put off painting any walls until you choose furnishings and rugs. For me painting is always last. There are thousands of colors of paint but only a few pieces of furniture, rugs and window treatments that you would like.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 7:49PM
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losmommie
@barbara i really love the whole shabby chic meet Hollywood glam modern if that makes sense... I JUST had a baby when we moved in so I know I can't have white slipcover though I would LOVE that... I'm pretty much starting off clean slate except I would like to keep my pottery barn ottoman
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 7:56PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
When you say shabby chic do you just mean a slipcover look? Because that would look great with a more contemporary glam look. But if you mean you like a chintz, and a little more country, it is harder to add that glam detail and make it work.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:11PM
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losmommie
No I mean as in slipcover look @ Barbara I LOVE slip covers
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
I love slip covered look myself. I like to see that casual comfort paired with sleek and glam. It can really work well...but don't add the whitewashed floor, that pulls it way too casual. Use the slipcovered pieces with some contemporary patterns, such as rugs, pillows and other fabrics. Maybe touches of black, chrome, glass. If you replace cabinet doors, maybe something contemporary and darker would look great with your counter top and backsplash.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:23PM
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losmommie
@barbara yeah that's what I was thinking EXACTLY but I'm trying to go room by room so I don't overwhelm my poor husband...
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Ah yes...the husband...so where do you really want to start...the living room/breakfast area??
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:34PM
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losmommie
@barbara yes that's my focal point for this upcoming month... And then march/April will be the dining room
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
So can we skip the whitewash???Please.. I really like your idea for the living room portion. Is the door on the window wall the front door?
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:37PM
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losmommie
@barbara ugh I'm trying to skip it but it keeps calling my name... I don't want to do like a flat white I want to do the beachy looking white wash... The door that is on the side with the windows is basically the front door there is a small mud room between the front door and entry door
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:43PM
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judianna20
How about no sofa at all in the room, but still work with the idea of the two separate areas? If you just use chairs and coffee tables, you will have more walk around space to get to all the doorways. You could make each area feel differently, like one end leather chairs and a table for games; the other could be more "formal" with upholstered chairs. That could give you at least seating for 8.

1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:45PM
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englishaccent
Here's a little Photoshop magic to show you the floors as the are and then white washed. Barbara I understand your advise on the floors but it made me think when losmommie said that she loves white wash floors with an ! , it made me think if you love something and always wanted it in your home, do it. By the way I am still trying to get a gypsy wagon in my back yard. :)
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
I understand what you are saying..but then there is "be careful what you wish for". If she changes her mind, it is an expensive fix. I think she can get the "feel" she wants without the whitewash...but bottom line it is her house, and if it is that important to her, I agree, she should do it. But slipcover & glam does not say whitewash floor. So..losmommie..it is always up to you what you choose, and never forget..it is your house and I believe whatever you choose you can make it work.
2 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:58PM
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losmommie
@englishaccent that is totally cool that you did that for me thanks so much... And I love your gypsy wagon :)

@barbara I def have some thinking to do after seeing these pictures
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 9:13PM
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losmommie
@barbara I see this and think maybe super dark flooring with a white slipcover??
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 9:15PM
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losmommie
@english is there anyway you can make the floors super dark or how do I do that
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 9:19PM
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englishaccent
Sure. The first pic is a dark stain, the 2nd pic would be as if you stained black.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 12:34AM
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pauli12
I know reality doesn't fit in with our dreams all the time, but the real dark floors will show everything.
Anyway you go.... with that space, it will be a show stopper....something about long narrow rooms..
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 4:03AM
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feeny
Your hardwood floors are lovely in their current color. If you go with a whitewash it won't look as good in that classic room and I suspect you'll tire of it. If you go dark your floors will show everything and it won't look quite as classic as what you have now. It sounds like you have a lot of projects already underway with this house. Personally, I'd focus on those rather than changing floors that already look perfect for the style of house and room you have.
3 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 4:38AM
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Ramona
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 5:01AM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
My preference is the richness of the flooring just the way it is now. Thank you englishaccent for your photos..I think these show the beauty of the current color. I also like the white or off white slipcovers because you can simply wash & bleach as necessary..especially with kids.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 9:35AM
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leathome
Would taking out the doorway in the middle of your room restrict traffic flow? It would be so helpful for room arrangement. I vote for keeping floors as they are. They are perfect for the room.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 9:50AM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
tough space.....however, try a sofa backing to tne windows and drawn near the fireplace, the should be no more than 36 inches deep, try for something less if possible, the a long narrow coffee table and one chair facing toward the fireplace angle off the doorway opposite the sofa,
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 9:50AM
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Cancork Floor Inc.
There is a solution that could please everyone...you could float a "white washed" floor over top the hardwood - this gives the look of white wash floors without the "pain" of painting/stripping/staining floors should this house go back on the market.

www.corkfloorsales.com has a new "White Leather" cork floating floor that will do EXACTLY what white washing would do...without disturbing the hardwood! A cork floating floor can be run into the kitchen...no worries about water damaging wood - cork can be sealed with water based polyurethane that makes the floors water resistant even to large spills.

Don't think of bad laminate! A cork floating floor is one of the most stable surfaces...there is no "hollow bounce" that most people associate with a "floating floor".

I would recommend using 3mm cork underlay. This would protect both the hardwood AND the cork floor from each other while providing a solid support, increased insulation and sound reduction to the room.

The "White Leather" is regularly priced at $3.99/sf and the 3mm cork underlay is $0.33/sf. Cost if install would be the same as installing a laminate floor because the locking system is the same as a laminate. Normally this is priced between $1.50 - $3.50 (depending on the town/city you live and the availability of workers).

Price out the cost of "white washing" vs. the cost of cork flooring. You might be surprised with the savings - not only on the pocket book, but the marriage and the hardwood. An install in your space would only take a day! And if you are handy, you can do it yourself.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Let's go back to your main ideas. TV over the mantle, therefore this area is mainly for family TV viewing. How many in the family? You will want a comfortable sofa from which to view TV...possibly a small sectional. Check out this one http://cascobayfurniture.com/Slipcovered%20Furniture-Sectionals/CDpath10_7/p91/Cindy%20%3Csub%3E[2395]%3C/sub%3E/pages.html But with a cream slipcover. Then a cool rug for the area such as http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Bassar_Area_Rug/440/ Or a great trellis design. And colorful pillows in Ikat, large paisleys etc. on sofa. A patterned roman shade on the windows, as there seem to be heat vents near windows.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 11:24AM
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losmommie
@barbara yes I would like to make this room the family area there are 3 of us... One about to crawl and then we have our doggy a toy poodle..l right now we have shades but I think I would like curtains on the outside of them... And a sectional would not fit I could never find such a small sectional or be able to get around the room with one
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 1:43PM
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feeny
You'd actually be surprised where you can fit a sectional, if you buy a small, simple, not overstuffed L shaped one. We made a cosy little Family/TV room, using a sectional, out of an 11' x 14' sunroom.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
My favorites are simple drapery panels as high as you can go and just off the window side edge, but they cannot be in front of heat vents. Are the heat vents where panels may go? I asked about family members to see how much sofa seating you will need for TV watching. Also, if you click on the sofa/sectional above, you will see a great sofa that is only 6-1/2' long, so they are out there. Two smaller chairs semi in front of the bookcases, angled. About the other end of the room, I can see a breakfast/game area. Maybe a round glass table with 4 slipcovered parson chairs, a great rug, a series of shelves on one wall for a few interesting items, books, games, maybe a large round framed mirror on the other corner wall. Let it all come out into the room a bit., and a storage window seat under the window at that end.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 2:13PM
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Katherine Floritto
losmommie, the PhotoShop pic using 'whitewashed' as well as black floors, truly shows the loveliness of your present ones - BUT - if you are doing this for yourself and not for resale, then the final choice must be yours and your ! tells us how very much you enjoy the look of the lighter flooring, so if it's what you really, really want - go for it. Just keep in mind that, if you change your mind, removing the whitewash may be as costly as replacing the flooring. We lived in a home where a previous owner had attached 1" thick rough cedar, stained very dark, on the diagonal, to a living room wall. At some point, he decided to whitewash it. The boards were glued and nailed. Couldn't get the whitewash out of the wood, paint just made it look silly - we wound up having to rip the entire wall apart, re-drywalling it and painting that. A couple of mirrors and a few paintings (big wall) and it finally looked like it was part of the house..lol I don't know the name of the creator of that disaster, but I referred to him as 'Pete" and, late at night, after all the kids were in bed, I could still be heard grumbling as I walked around the house and guess whose name was the object of the grumble? LOL Best luck with it, whatever you choose. Can't wait to see the pics!! :)
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Regarding the sectional, the one I have listed above would be 8-1/2' x 6'. if you place the long side in front of the window, only 6' would come out into the room. The sectional would give you a "chaise" feel on the end near the window.
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 8:05AM
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