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Help - opened up kitchen - what to do with living area?
jbm1
January 13, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We took down the wall between the kitchen and living room in our small split foyer home. I'm quite happy with the kitchen reno, but I'm agonizing over placement of the furniture in the awkward living area. My husband and I spend all of our time in this room and the TV must stay. I hate the recliner, but my husband really has to have something to recline in to watch TV. I really would like someplace to strech out - a couch or chaise? I don't know what to do with 22 foot long bare wall. Although the room is not large, the space between the chairs and tv seems wasted and awkward. I'd like it to feel more cozy. I've tried every arrangement I can think of. New furniture is not out of the question, I need help! I've thought about love seats, sectionals, 4 chairs, bigger tv cabinet to fill up wall....

The wall with the bay window is 15 feet. The window itself is 92 inches wide and that leaves 44 inches on either side of the window. The column "wall" is 8 feet and the distance to the island from there is 6 feet. The island is 77" wide.

I've been using an on-line room planner, but can't figure out how to save it so I can load it here.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures. None of the colors seem to be consistent or true.
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Jean Tuck
I feel things are okay with setup and to make sure rm seems more spacious and social.
I think that a creammy beige drape would be good and in keeping with the spaciousness the renovator was reaching for. Love it.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 10:07AM
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wmpj
How about placing the tv on the long blank wall, the wall that's to the right of the window. Then you could put an L shaped sofa where the window and columns are. The recliner can go where the loveseat is now. What do you think of that idea?
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 10:49AM
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jbm1
@wmpj - The TV has been on that wall for a long time - we just moved it into the corner when we had friends over to watch football recently. When it is on the wall it still looks a little lost. Bigger/taller TV cabinet? I've been considering an L shaped sofa like you suggested. If I put one in the window/column corner it will go to about the end of the window. If the TV goes on the long wall, then there will be a rather large empty corner between the end of the sofa and TV. What would I fill it with? Any ideas what to do with the wall in the dining area?
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 11:01AM
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wmpj
I don't know how much money you want to spend but you could house the TV in an armoire or entertainment center which would fill up the long wall. If you had an L shaped sofa by the window, you could put an end table at the end of it with a large lamp on top and that will give interest to that corner. Or, you could put a tall plant in that corner. It's hard to tell in the picture but do you have baseboard heating under the window? If so, then you may want to avoid putting a sofa there. As for the dining room wall, how do you feel about a large painting? Or, you could do a grouping of pictures. If not a painting, how about a large decorative metal piece like what you would find at Hobby Lobby or Home Goods?
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 11:09AM
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jbm1
Unfortunately, there is a baseboard heater in front of the window. My husband is very reluctant to put furniture in front of it. I have been looking for some kind of tall but narrow sideboard/buffet table to go on the wall behind the table, but don't know if that's the answer either.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 11:17AM
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Dar Eckert
Bookcases (white) on either side of your window would be nice so you could put the TV on either side in the bookcase. Then get a little longer sofa to set opposite the windows. Put the recliner on the wall side and the other chair in front of the railing. The colors of the sofa and chair don't seem to coordinate well maybe replace both.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Darzy
Hi.. I know what you mean about hating recliners! But, if you must have it, I propose getting new recliners and get one for you as well and place them together on the "open" wall side. Put the tv on the opposite wall (flat). Then, put your chair in the corner on the left of the tv. I'm not liking the loveseat blocking your open feeling. How about a backless chaise there?
Auburn Family room
Living room
3 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 11:44AM
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pennymoon
I love your kitchen! I just think you need some strong punches of color. Looks a little drab to me.
2 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 12:01PM
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kobley
Moving the TV is a good idea and then look for a sectional that has a recliner built in. I think Lazy Boy makes some that look like a regular sofa.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 2:11PM
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kobley
I just went to www.lazyboy.com and they have some very nice sectionals with a reclining piece built in and also a lounge piece for you. Depending on the piece you may want to leave your TV where it is.
1 Like   January 13, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Maureen Fuller
Not sure you're wanting input on this at all, but the first thing I see on your kitchen island is the green backside punctuated with the white switch and outlet. I'd suggest wainscoting on that area, in the same color as the cabinets. (Cabinets are nice, by the way!) Would really add a rich touch, I think. If that's more than a kitchen reno-weary family can bear, replace the outlet covers with the paintable ones and blend them out with that same wall color. Add artwork and/or photos if no stools will go there. Anyway, my 2 cents!
3 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 2:43PM
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PRO
the essentials inside
Hi jbm1 & everyone!

jbm1 - beautiful home! Love the new kitchen!

My thoughts are:

-I agree w/Darzy - the backless chaise is a great idea for that space.

-I think you can stick w/2 recliners - get new ones - in the space you have now. Just move them away from the stairs (Get new side tables & lamps too if you can).

-Remove or replace the columns if you can

-Move the tv back to the long wall but get a new wider tv stand & Use the pictures on your window bench to make a gallery wall - kind of like the following that I found on pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/255016397621759846/): Pinterest / Search results for tv gallery wall

Other gallery wall examples:
Northbrook House
Adelson

-Get a backless bench instead of barstools for the bar - that will make extra seating for breakfast plus friends can sit there to watch the game. I'll try to find a picture for that.

-Turn the window bench into extra seating (removable or non-removable cushions)

- Get a large ottoman style coffee table.

I'll be back w/some more pics!

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
3 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 3:23PM
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jbm1
Thanks everyone for the input! If only my room was another 2 feet wider!

Kobley - I've been checking out the sectionals, but the baseboard heater in front of the window is an issue.

Maureen - Those white electrical covers have been screaming at me. I will definitely change them out.

The island doesn't have a true overhang as I thought it would be too cramped with stools on the living room side - a decision I regret. The blank wall on that side of the island does bug me, but company "bellies up to the bar" and leans on the ledge to chat.


Darzy - I hate that loveseat blocking up the room. I'm not sure I could talk the husband into a backless chaise though. The pics you put up are great ideas.

Lyvonne- Ideas about the columns? Replace with ...? Take down completely? I tried to talk the husband into doing something with them when we did the kitchen reno. I need an idea to convince him.
I think the gallery wall pics you posted are great. What color shelves or stand? I don't know if I should go with the wood or white or a rich color. I'm worried about the look with the wide open kitchen cabinets. If I can pull something similar together in the living area, how do I work the eat-in area of the wall?

My loveseat looks putredly pink or beige in the pictures. It is really a light brown which matches a line in the chair that also doesn't show up in the picture. Don't get me started on that olive green recliner, ugh.

Thanks again everyone. Jan
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Darzy
Have you tried putting the loveseat sort of caddy corner on the wall, yet facing the sofa? That space needs to be more open. Or, just put it back to the wall (a few inches out) and a small side table in front acting as a small "coffee table".
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 5:44PM
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jbm1
I've tried angling the loveseat. Deosn't really turn me on. I think its bulk is a big part of the problem. I think I've made up my mind that it needs to go. I really would like to work in a coffee table of some sort too to fill in the hole in the middle of the room.
0 Likes   January 13, 2013 at 6:01PM
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PRO
the essentials inside
jbm1 - the columns aren't load bearing right? They are just for decoration?

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 3:48PM
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kobley
I was thinking the sectional coming out from the wall where the clock is and going towards where the loveseat is now. you could then put a coffee table in the middle. The sofa would not be in front of your heater. A small end table and lamp would be under your clock or a floor lamp if the space is tight. The TV could stay in the corner or move to your large wall.
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 4:01PM
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jbm1
Lyvonne- The columns are not load bearing. Hubby didn't want to turn the spindles on the bottom into a knee wall since it would make the stairwell seem that much more closed in. I think the columns are distracting!

Kobley - I think I get what you mean - the back of the sectional facing the columns and the other back facing the kitchen?
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 4:36PM
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kobley
Yes, and the back on the kitchen could be a lounge piece if you want the space more open. If you go with the lounge piece I would add a chair where your love seat is now. Perhaps one that swivels.
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 4:48PM
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PRO
the essentials inside
I just wrote a long reply but hit refresh by mistake and *poof* it went away. So let me try again...

As for the columns - can you take them out and leaving the rest as it is? That would probably be cheapest option.

As to a gallery wall - you could get a cabinet the same color wood as your dining room table. You wouldn't have to extend it into dining area but could creatively 'separate' the two rooms. I like these:

Adelson 1
Adelson 2

I also photoshopped a little w/a picture gallery wall - VERY basically, as you can see.

I also like the idea a "media wall" but now I can't find those links. :( I'll have to come back for those.

I'm sure my other Houzzer friends will have more great ideas for you. Hope you have a great night!

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
3 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 6:58PM
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jbm1
Lyvonne - Love the photoshop - I can see it now and hopefully hubs will get the idea too.
1 Like   January 16, 2013 at 11:18AM
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PRO
the essentials inside
Happy to help you get the hubs on board! ;)

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 8:17AM
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jbm1
Hi Lyvonne - Was wondering if I should do something with the long wall color. The back kitchen wall is soft olive color - don't remember the name - that I cut down. The long wall and all the others are a soft light grey-green. I know the pictures don't show the colors well. Would going darker on the tv wall helpwarm up the room?
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 8:35AM
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bjowen
I think it looks fresh and pretty. I would get an interesting wall unit for the tv and hang the family pics in a group or make a big collage to hang. Drapes would warm up the window wall, even a window seat or some plants would work. I agree that the kitchen wall facing the room needs a piece of furniture, a dresser with a lamp or some other storage piece. maybe whitewashed or shabby chic? let us see how it turns out, please!
1 Like   January 17, 2013 at 8:47AM
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Darzy
hi jbm..I think I would do something like this if it were my house. I'd get bookcases and create a "custom look" wall for the tv. Then have two chairs flanking the tv. Small swivel chairs would be nice too, so guests can pull the chairs out and swivel to watch tv as well. This would leave it wide open to the dining/kitchen space. Then, a large art piece in the dining room wall. Here is a sample layout.


1 Like   January 17, 2013 at 10:40AM
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Darzy
BTW..I would cut the columns off at the spindles/rail and cap them off. The dated looking columns (and busy look) does not work with your fab new kitchen. : ) It will also give you an opportunity to put a fab piece of art on the blank stairway wall.
1 Like   January 17, 2013 at 10:46AM
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PRO
the essentials inside
Hi jbm1! I would like to see a richer/darker color in the room but it is a toughy since the room is so open. You don't want too many different colors. Of course, the color choice will depend on what else you do with & buy for the room.

I can pick pretty colors but I'm no paint color expert - I'll have to call someone into the thread who can help more w/that question!

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 9:20PM
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PRO
T!ckle Me P!nk Designs LLC
How about an ottoman in the center of the living room in lieu of the chase you sooo want. That way you can still stretch your legs and lounge. You mentioned a sectional, how about using the sectional to define the living room area and do without the two chairs. Add some curtains to frame and highlight the window. Something that does not block light from coming through (consider a "swag and tail" window treatment. I also agree with placing the tv on the larger wall. Enjoy
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 10:31PM
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PRO
the essentials inside
I get too many discussions going and then I can't find the ones I'm looking for - had to search "hubs" to find this again. My mind remembers odd things. ;)

jbm1 - where are you now w/the room?

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
0 Likes   January 28, 2013 at 9:45AM
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jbm1
I am embarrassed to say that not one thing has changed yet besides moving the TV flat on the long wall. I've spent quite a bit of time trying to find the furniture answer. I've decided that a love seat facing the TV wall is too close for comfort for the two of us (he snores while he watches the news). We need either a sofa with a recliner for some distance or 2 separate chairs. We went furniture browsing the other day and we came to no conclusions since I either didn't like the furniture's looks or the hubs didn't like the way it feels. He's 6'2" so he needs something that will support his napping head.

I've been thinking about the wall situation too. I think my biggest problem other than the furniture is how to get started. Need new lamps as well as wall fixins and I am unsure how to get my vision focused.

Oh I did purchase paintable outlet/switch covers!!! Guess that's a little bit of a victory.

Jan
1 Like   January 28, 2013 at 10:39AM
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PRO
the essentials inside
Jan - no embarrassment necessary! It takes time. Actually, in my opinion, it is way better to take your time than to rush to get something done.

Starting with the big items - the couch or chairs - is good b/c that is usually the hardest decision (and typically the most expensive). Wonder if there are any recommendations out there for the best furniture for taller friends -- I'll have to take a look around. Maybe I can find a new line for the store - furniture for tall people. I'm pretty short - 5' - so it is a new perspective for me. :)

I would also just scroll through Houzz and pinterest and start saving stuff that catches your eye. Then go back through your choices a few times and you'll start to recognize your style. Then we Houzzers will help you even more from there! :)

Talk to you soon Jan.

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 6:42AM
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jbm1
Thanks for the pep talk Lyvonne! I'll update you when I get closer to some decisions.
1 Like   January 29, 2013 at 8:16AM
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