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Storage or Seating for this awkward nook?
Blue
January 27, 2013 in Design Dilemma
This is the space between staircases in my small townhouse. Dimensions are 19 deep x 61 wide. This level is open from the living room all the way to kitchen. I have no storage (yet) in this level other than kitchen cabinets, so I really want some storage somewhere. On the other hand, it has been noted that all of my seating is along the same wall. So when I have a group of people, we're all lined up like we're in a lineup. I wouldn't mind a bench there either. Would really like some ideas. I hope you can comment on a poll.
Storage
Seating
Other
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mveasey
I would do a built in bench with storage drawers underneath . The space is too awkward vertically to give you plenty of storage, I think. You could do interesting pillows for the back wall for comfort...
January 27, 2013 at 8:54pm     
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PRO
Tres McKinney Design
I would consider moving the pair of taupe leater chairs to the living room, possibly facing the sofa and tall back chair which I am assuming are facing a TV. Then you can add a large scaled cabinet on the wall oppositethe stairs. The taupe chairs and round table do not appear to have a function other than filling space. They do not appear to function as a dining area. With the slope of the stair walls and open railing a larger storage piece would look awkward. An area rug in this area would also add warmth to the space.
January 27, 2013 at 8:59pm     
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Blue
Right now, we're 50-50 on the poll, so your comments really help me envision something.

@mveasey: I like the storage bench idea, but haven't found one that isn't too "casual - farmhouse". I also hoped it would be light enough to move out from the wall if we needed seating at the table. (yes, the table does lift to full dining height). I love the idea of the pillows there -- it could change the mood and tie in colors from each side of the room.

@Tres McKinney Design: I'm not sure there's room in the LR for those chairs. There is a wall-mounted cabinet on the TV wall with doors that open down(out), which would require that any seating be either very easy to move, or be postitioned in the middle of the room. I know I have a non-traditional dining area, but it's actually one of the more functional areas (for my lifestyle) in the house. I take my morning tea and paper there every day and I eat most meals there. I like being comfy and feeling like I'm in a lounge when I do it. I'm willing to make changes, but if I move those chairs, what will replace them?
January 28, 2013 at 4:18am     
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njmomma
I think you can put a console table with draws there (storage) with 2 ottomans underneath that can also double as storage and seating. The console table can also be used as a small buffet when you have people over, wine, glasses and drinks, chips and dips. A multi functional area. Off set the balance of the awkward wall with pictures on the wall and a large vase to the left, low tray to catch keys and wallet for every day use.
January 28, 2013 at 4:44am     
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Blue
Thanks for the great comments.
@njmomma Love the idea for a console table with draws and ottomans. And great comment on needing a vase or something with height to offset that awkward wall. What about a tall table lamp? A lampshade in that spot might disguise the awkward wall. There is only one spot for a picture on that wall and it's really small as you can see.
If anyone has pics for a console table with ottomans that would do well in this spot, please post...
January 28, 2013 at 8:01am   
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njmomma
My concern with the lamp is the wire showing from the staircase side and yes, that wall is a challenge.

The console should take up the whole space and have the height abd space needed to put two storage ottomans under it. Measure, measure, measure.
January 28, 2013 at 8:24am   
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njmomma
pics for inspiration:
January 28, 2013 at 8:31am     
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PRO
V.I.P. Kitchens, LLC.
if possible.. Id just simply bust into the area and create a small closet for your items to be hidden if you need more hidden storage space.
January 28, 2013 at 8:33am     
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njmomma
The inspiration wall with mirrors, can start in the lower half of the wall and expand upward. You won't need too many, just small mirrors, different styles and placement is the key.
January 28, 2013 at 8:35am   
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PRO
the essentials inside
Hi Blue & everyone!

I have a couple of questions, if you don't mind --

What are the measurements of the wall you are discussing in this thread?

I know you didn't ask about the living area - but I'm wondering - where is the tv cabinet? On the wall in front of the chair or is it across the floor from the couch?

Thanks for sharing your house here. I love it.

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
January 28, 2013 at 8:40am     
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lisabarnett67
What about a modern looking bench or console/bookcase with storage cubbies that is on lockable casters with cushions on top for comfort? I bet they have something like that at IKEA that wouldn't look too farmhouse for you. There is a unit called Expedit that might work for that, the single narrow one laid on its side with casters. The cubbies are cubes of equal size, and they have baskets or drawers that fit them exactly.
January 28, 2013 at 8:54am     
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Tres McKinney Design
Thanks for clarifying that it is a dining area. I also prefer eating at a table as apposed to all meals at a counter so can appreciate your desire to maintain that space as a dining area. I have seen large built in cabinets with a drop down tab. You still would be able to seat at least two or three or more depending on how far the table could extend without interfering with traffic flow. A tall cabinet around 18"deep provides a lot of storage. In the niche between the stairs consider a chest of drawers (taller than your trunk) which would be more functional than the trunk for storage. Place it more to the right so it is centered on the wall behind it and then you might have room for one ottoman to the left. This would also allow you to put a lamp on the chest (left end of the chest where the wall behind is higher) and hide the cord and outlet.
January 28, 2013 at 10:12am     
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Blue
@njmomma - great ideas! I hadn't thought about the lamp wires -- you're right, not attractive.
@essentials - the space in front of the wall is 61 wide. Not sure which part of the wall I should measure to give you measurements. At it's narrowest (where the picture is hung) it's roughly 14 inches. The TV is on the opposite side of the Couch and is wall mounted (and there is also a wall-mounted cabinet below the TV that runs the width of the living room. I'll try to post another pic tonight to give you an idea of what's going on over there.
@vip - there's nothing to bust into. there are two sets of stairs behind that wall, one going up and one going down. So what would have been the under-stair space is headroom for the staircase coming up. Sadly, nothing to build into, but good idea nonetheless.
@Lisa -- I actually looked at that Expedit cabinet, but it's apparently not meant to be a bench -- won't hold a person's weight when on it's side and on casters. If I recall correctly, it was rated to bear about 70 pounds total when on its side. Sadly, does not work for me! Someone correct me if I'm mistaken about that.
@ Tres - a chest could be interesting. hard to find one not too deep (I only have 19 inches of depth there) The trunk that is there now does stick out a little into the room and doesn't really bother me, but I had never thought of that as permanent. (It needs to go!)
January 28, 2013 at 10:47am   
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Blue
FYI...seating is pulling ahead in the poll now. If I end up with seating in that nook, I could always put a small cabinet between the leather chair and the sofa. There is also room for something between the window and the sofa, but it must be movable so I can open the shutters and access the window. I'm really enjoying all the creative comments.
January 28, 2013 at 10:56am   
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PRO
Tres McKinney Design
How about a tall cabinet between the sofa and the large painting in your dining area? It could be either be placed against the wall or perpendicular as a room divider maybe 3'-4' wide depending on how much space you have. If perpendicular then have the cabinet doors face the dining area.The back side of the cabinet should be finished. I think a bench placed in the niche between the two stairs would feel like no mans land, an uncomfortable place to sit and not add anything to the space. Go for a substantial piece that provides the needed storage, balances the dining area and accomplishes the storage challenge that originally set you on this quest.
January 28, 2013 at 8:37pm   
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Blue
Cabinet is interesting idea. How tall? As high as the painting or somewhere in between?
January 29, 2013 at 4:25am   
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lisabarnett67
Oops, I didn't know that about the Expedit, sorry! I think when I was considering it for a bench it was for my kids, so that makes sense....
January 29, 2013 at 7:02am   
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the essentials inside
Hi all!

Blue - attached is a pic of an item we carry - this is 2 corner chairs put together. The chairs are 32" H, 25"D and together, they are about 50" W. I don't know your budget but the pair together will be about $740 (shipping included).

If you are looking for a lower price point, I saw a corner chair w/under seat storage on clearance at Target. Here's the link -- http://www.target.com/p/mitchell-tufted-upholstered-sectional-corner-chair-with-seat-storage-khaki/-/A-13956299#prodSlot=medium_1_4&term=corner+chair

Hope that helps! I'd love to see the pic of the tv wall/cabinet when you have it.

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
January 29, 2013 at 4:04pm     
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Blue
@essential. Those look great but I think they are too deep for the space because it is also the main hallway. I'd hate for someone to trip over a leg and go hurtling down the stairs!
Also am finally attaching the tv and cabinet. This should give you a good idea of the entire floor.
Ignore the art. I'm trying to decide what to do with that wall. I might make it a gallery wall or I might place small floating shelves with some sculpture or glassworks or I may leave it blank.
January 29, 2013 at 5:19pm   
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PRO
the essentials inside
Sorry - now I see the 19" deep. As my dear daughter would say "duh."

Thanks for the pic. For some reason, I thought your front door was over there. Your home is lovely but a bit tricky from a decorating perspective.

I'll put my thinking cap on again for the stair area. :)

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
January 29, 2013 at 6:59pm   
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mveasey
Hello again,
I attached some photos of benches that I think might work. I do love those split seats though! They could do double duty as extra dining chairs!
Regarding your TV area, I think I would do a gallery wall and blend in the TV ( see other photos).
Would that be an option?
January 29, 2013 at 8:51pm     
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PRO
Southern Home Improvement, LLC
Hinged-lid storage bench
January 29, 2013 at 9:11pm   
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Tres McKinney Design
It looks like you do have room for one or two chairs in front of the TV console to face the sofa. This will make for a more inviting conversation area when the TV watching is not the focus. Focussing on the TV only when creating a seating arrangement is often a reason why a room does not seem to work. Consider painting the wall the TV is mounted on a contrast color.
Regarding the stair niche - it is OK if a chest is a few inches deeper than the niche. Most chests are in the 22" depth. A table lamp will give a nice comforting glow. A bouquet of flowers or a tray set up as a bar for parties or even used as a buffet would be more complimentary while supplying needed storage. I don't think anyone would use the bench or feel comfortable sitting there with the open stairs on each side.
January 29, 2013 at 9:54pm     
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PRO
Apartment 46 for the Home
Okay I'm throwing my hat in there as this has been a super entertaining thread but no one has mentioned anything fun and vintage. I vote for seating and storage but in a non-conventional way (of course that's our design ethos). I would put a small comfy chair in the corner with the railing and storage to the side of it against the wall WITH a small lamp on top of it. A chair does not need to be flush with the wall. You can put one of the taupe ones there to see if you like the idea. I actually really love the chest as it injects a sense of soul into the space and is interesting. Do you open it often? If not, you can store seasonal items like heavy blankets or rain boots, or whatever, and then put a couple stacked vintage cases on top of it that are also storage OR move the chest upstairs or elsewhere like end of a bed, and do multiple stacked suitcases like the attached image. I'm a fan of mixing it up and too much matchiness can create a stagnant design and feel. I would opt for a totally different looking chair than the super modern in the living space and the two polished leather (?) club chairs. Even something mid-century, or a cool but petite wingback would add some stylish fun.
January 29, 2013 at 10:11pm     
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Darzy
Yes, you could do both. Seating stools (with storage) and a console table for decor/drink table.

January 29, 2013 at 10:18pm     
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Blue
Love those pictures...thank you.
@Trey - I had thought about putting one chair in front of the TV cabinet off to the side, but I haven't considered two. I think the picture may make the room appear larger than it is. Two can fit, but then I start losing easy access to the cabinet and the window. I was thinking possibly one of the ghost chairs so it didn't feel bulky or overwhelming in the LR.

@mveasey & @southern - I love those benches. I actually have the beige one in one of my idea books on Houzz! maybe that with the pillows someone else had mentioned?

Love the gallery wall idea, my problem though is that the TV is about 55 inches. my art pieces aren't nearly as large as the TV. I wasn't sure how it would look if I had a mish-mash of small pieces mixed in with the larger TV. I'm hesitant to try it because I don't want 1000 holes in the wall if it doesn't work out well.

I hadn't thought about making the wall behind the TV the contrast wall. Nice idea.

@Apartment 46. I love the vintage feel and adding something a little wacky into the environment. The trunk was my grandfather's and is no longer in great shape (too many train trips, I suppose). I have Christmas decorations stored in it. I had a piece of glass made to fit the top and I used it as a table in my last place, but it never fit right. Now I just don't think I have the right place for it anymore and because the insides are starting to deteriorate, I might just have to let it go.

@darzy - those are great stools too!
January 30, 2013 at 11:42am   
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Blue
Update : 19 votes for Storage; 20 Votes for Seating. 8 votes for "other" What is other????
January 31, 2013 at 2:41pm     
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Darzy
The "other" is probably "both" in the space.
January 31, 2013 at 2:48pm     
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PRO
Apartment 46 for the Home
I chose "other" and Darzy is right! It's for both.
January 31, 2013 at 3:37pm     
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gstegman
A medium sized chair with a small side table would look best
January 31, 2013 at 3:51pm   
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jordankeen10
I would say something like you have is but a little bigger
January 31, 2013 at 3:58pm   
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