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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

need help planning a living room around awkward fireplace. small budget, cannot afford to remove fireplace!

Andrea AmayaJanuary 14, 2013
our living room has a fireplace that juts out. the ledge around it is not meant for seating (too shallow and high), but probably meant for vases, etc. we have a baby that will be walking within the month, so keeping it baby-proof is important. we also live off of one income, so we have a limited budget. we just moved into this house less than a year ago, and then had a baby, but we're finally able to fix the house up. we will be painting/replacing oldcarpet with carpet and laminate throughout the house.

we like our sectional couch, as it makes it comfortable for lounging (we are homebodies these days mostly bc of the baby.)

any ideas on how to arrange furniture? it feels like the room is so off-kilter, and it drives me crazy. we have a budget of under $800 for fixing up the dining/living room, as we're spending thousands on the painting/flooring, and we've already had to buy some bigger furniture pieces. thanks if you have suggestions!

note: the tree, and the baby's pack and play, are obviously, not permanent room pieces. :)
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You haven't really given us any pictures of the furniture or of the living area to work with. Why don't you clear out the tree and baby stuff and re-take pics so we can feel the proportion of your space. My only first thought was to replace the 80's pouf valances with something more up to date, yet something that baby can't reach when toddling.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Updated and baby-proofed window treatments (watch out for those cord loops!) will make a big difference, coupled with the new paint and flooring.

When it comes to the ledge around the fireplace--keep stuff off of it. Not only will that be better for baby (nothing to reach for), it will be better for the look of the space.

Some color is needed. I don't know if you have pillows or something on the sectional (we look forward to more pics of the details), but think about where you can add some color for more interest. I'm thinking pillows, appropriately-sized wall art (http://www.etsy.com is a great resource for original art), maybe a livingroom rug and dining room rug (check local Marshalls/TJMaxx/Homegoods and Overstock.com). Pick one color theme and apply it throughout the space.

Do you have any end tables in the living space? You need some human-level lighting. Table lamps and/or floor lamps will help you achieve a more comfortable and beautiful lighting effect.

QUESTION: What kind of flooring do you plan to install?

Some inspiration:
Urban Four-Square · More Info

2006 Southern Living Idea House Sunroom Daniel Island · More Info

Odd Spaces · More Info
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 1:22PM
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I think you could update the window treatments, perhaps a natural shade wood blind or roman shades in a pattern and as noted, cordless. I think that you need some color with paint and given the high ceilings, nothing too pastel or light, more mid range in shade. One option for highlighting the fireplace but not having things on it would be to paint it the same color as the wall color but in a deeper shade so that it stands out visually. You might want to pull a wall color from the granite in your kitchen counter.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 2:13PM
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Matteo Dezigns
If you are on a small budget, i would suggest 1 of 2 things. First, you can simply paint the fireplace wall so it becomes an accent/divider between the 2 spaces. The second option would be to use the glass mosaic tile squares (12in x 12in) squares that typically are used on backsplash areas for kitchens and choose a very bold look that includes browns/coppers to accent the fireplace instead of trying to cover it up. The tiles are inexpensive and easy to install, flexible, and can be easily cut to fit your space, especially on a smooth walls.
I hope you like my suggestions!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 6:33PM
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I would be tempted to cover the fireplace on the living room side (making it a 2-sided fireplace instead of 3-sided) and putting the TV in that corner. Then you could move your seating to the front wall with the window. I agree that keeping the fireplace ledge clutter free will go a long way to making the room look nicer. I would also turn your dining table so that it is "sticking out" in the same direction as the fireplace. That would help integrate the fireplace into the plan.
    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:52AM
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