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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help us! Need advice for "formal" living room after recent reno

JenniferFebruary 23, 2013
We have recently done a renovation to our house where we added a full addition including a family room, full bath, and laundry room. Now, in our old family room, we have created a space that seems awkward and we are having really difficult time figuring out where to place furniture and what to do.

As you can see, the fireplace is off center as is the ceiling fan and we aren't sure if we should push the furniture in or push it against the walls. We have already purchased a new smaller loveseat (http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Gordon_Tufted_Loveseat/400/ in blue!) and are fine to get rid of every other piece of furniture in here.

Here is what we want the room to function as in order of priority: sitting area for lounging, reading by fire; office (maybe built-ins and built-in desk around window?); would love to have a small piano in here too, and we want it to function as an impromptu play room with our 20-month-old.

We basically are willing to repaint, put up a feature wall with wallpaper, buy new chairs, rugs, and just completely redo this more "formal" living room. Any suggestions on what to buy, furniture layout, color scheme, etc.? Thanks in advance for any suggestions. It is making me crazy!!
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The biggest problem is that the room is a thoroughfare to the kitchen - am I right?

If there is another way to access the kitchen, I would try closing off the access to this room from the front door, as it will allow you to position furniture more easily. (try a temporary screen and see if it makes a difference).

Until you tackle the traffic flow, I think furniture placement will be virtually impossible!

Good luck!
    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 6:01PM
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This room is at the front of the house and is adjacent to the kitchen, but the family room (where the front door is) goes the full length of the house and also has a large opening to the dining room\kitchen area. basically, you can run in a full circle (which my child does!) around these three rooms. Does that make sense?
    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 6:06PM
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A pretty blue might be nice for the walls as I see you have a blue chair. Lower pictures.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Sharp sofa.
    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Terry Hughes
Paint the walls a nice neutral beige. Try putting the overstuffed chair in the corner to the right of the window as you face it from the kitchen, then try the couch facing the window. you need approx. 3' from the doorway of the kitchen to the back of the couch. then try a low table in front of the window with a pretty lamp. Get rid of the kids toys and the desk and the blue chair. Try the desk and chair in another room.
    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 6:40PM
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I think you can direct traffic -

Turn the rug the other way and place it close to the hearth.
Divide the room in half more - put the great looking blue wing to left of fireplace angled toward window. Put new loveseat facing fireplace, with writing desk / narrow table behind like a sofa table. Put two matching lamps on each end. Center this on fireplace wall not fireplace / leave walkway along window in front. Buy craigslist china sideboard and glass hutch and paint it chalk paint french linen or gray, then put it where the office-y looking hutch is, and put books above and bins with files below. Use this like a high end office credenza. Get an upholstered dining chair for the writing desk - west elm has some good ones that are comfortable to sit in a long time. Change out fan for drum fixture. Eventually, add a long narrow bench centered under the front window, that can be moved around to make conversation areas when you have friends over / provide extra seating when you have a party. Put sturdy straw baskets underneath with the special front room toys - I had wood track and trains there when mine were small, because of the space.

No coffee table for play area while mom and dad are hanging out reading. You can add a small accent table to archway side of great blue chair for drinks.

Consider painting out fireplace a beautiful taupe and carrying this around the room in a paler off white, to pop against moldings. Go see YoungHouseLove's blog for their painted brick solutions in old house and new.
    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 6:57PM
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Did you get the blue leather sofa? Leather is great for the office/study use. I like it. Put shelf unit on wall beside brick fireplace to fill in. Put a comfy chair in front of it with a reading lamp. Find a rug with a pattern with your blue and cream and browns. It needs to be a punch in there. How about a writing desk instead of built ins for 'office'. It could go on front of the window for light and a view. Put sofa facing the fireplace. Drape panels either side of the window in the smokey blue to compliment the sofa.
    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Ok, helpful suggestions so far! For the rug, would you recommend going with a smaller size than what we have? I am wanting a new one anyways...we also do have a wooden coffee table that we have in storage...should we break this out or get something less heavy to put in front of the loveseat? lastly, any good resources for cordless lamps?
    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Hi Jennifer,
Here are a few color sample you might find useful.
Lovely house Good luck!
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:24AM
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Wow! I like the top left and bottom right. That is so cool. How did you do that?
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 6:49AM
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