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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Desperate! Need suggestions please!

SharonFebruary 25, 2013
by Sharon Derhak
105 seconds ago in Design Dilemma
Desperatly need help in setting up a comfy, cozy family room with many issues!
Our family room is where we live and there are so many obstacles when it comes to furniture placement! Years ago it was the attatched garage/barn so there are numerous doorways into other rooms, It is also the main entrance into the house. When you walk in, directly to the left is the entrance into the kitchen, a little way past that doorway, on the same side, is the entrance into the laundry/powder room, and straight ahead is a spiral staircase leading up to a small loft area. There is only one wall in the entire room that does NOT have a doorway of some sort & this wall holds a pellet stove & a tv, and a lge aquarium that will be coming down. We would eventually like to replace it with a lge screen tv, either on a stand or wall-mounted. To the left of the pellet stove is the entrance into the pantry/storage room.

As you can imagine, having 4 entrance doors, a spiral staircase, and a huge round load-bearing post in the middle of the room makes furniture placement extremely difficult! The only sitting arrangements we have now is one couch, a small recliner, & a small wicker rocking chair that can be moved to where we need it. I would like to eventually have enough sitting for 6-8 people as this is the main room we live in. I would also like to remove the wall-to-wall carpet & replace with wood floors & paint the entire room. Half of the room (when you first walk in the house) has cathedral ceilings & the back half of the room (over the loft area) has maybe 10 ft ceilings. ANY & ALL suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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If you have more photos that show each wall and the ceiling, you can post them as comments.

Adding a floor plan with measurements would help get more posters to respond.

Have you settled on a budget?

Will you be doing any work yourselves?

Are you keeping the current furniture?
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 1:50PM
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A Crew of Two
Start by clearing out all the extra stuff- plants, coat rack, jugs etc. Everything in the room is overwhelming your space. decide what you want the space to do. I see a desk, a fish tank? Is this room for relaxing, TV watching? Once you decide the purpose it will be easier to choose your furniture and it's placement. You seem to have a country, shabby chic feel going. Everything looks tired. Since the room seems small pick smaller scale furniture in fun prints. Pick fabrics that look soft and muted. Burlap curtains would be really cute. Paint the room a soft honey color Benjamin Moore Happy Valley
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Our family room is approx 20'x17. there is only one wall in the room that does NOT have some sort of entrance/exit door in it & that is a 17'wall. However, at the end of this wall is the circular staircase leading to a loft, and at the other end is a pellet stove. This wall would be the place for a tv. The other 17'wall has the entrance door into the house & 3 lge windows. (think old garage door dimensions as this room was once the garage. :) )

One of the 20'walls(right side of the room) has 2 entrance doors, one leading into the kitchen, the other into a laundry/powder room.
The other 20'wall has two small windows looking into a sunroom & a entrance door leading into the pantry/storage room.
In the approx center of this room is a huge round support post and seperates a 20ft high cathedral ceiling from an 8 ft ceiling

We would like to replace all furniture in this room except my antique blanket box, & another old wooded box filled to the brim with arts & crafts :)
We would not be doing much work ourselves as there are health issues & a hubby who isn't a lot handy! :)
    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:30PM
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This room is basically where we live, especially in the winter as it has the pellet stove. The fish tank will be going and I'm thinking the desk as well because it's basically just home to a 10 yr old desktop computer that's on it's last leg. I would love to be able to fit a full size couch for my husband, a small reclining loveseat, and another comfy chair of some type. i LOVE old fashioned small plaids ( blues, reds, etc...)
    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:37PM
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A Crew of Two
The space is much larger than the pics convey! Let the furniture float then.....it doesn't have to be pushed up against the walls. Plaids mixed with some textured fabrics and large florals would be lovely. There are some great chairs out there that are also recliners. Lazy boy has several that do not look like grandpa chairs...lol. I think the space can be very cool. Without a actual floor plan furniture placement suggestions are hard. Could you take a pic from the loft looking down? Another great way to add seating is ottomans- you can move them anywhere. Good luck...post pics when you are done!
    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:55PM
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Please remove at least half of your accessories, then repost for suggestions. Sorry but its too overwhelming now! Good luck.
    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:59PM
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love your style,but it is a little busy at the moment,and having all the doors doesn't help but that cannot be changed,and you have already decided the fishtank and desk will go,good time to have a good old clear out!!!!i think you have lived here for a while and by taking away as much as you can you can see the potential of your room anew!!then decide what you really want to keep,the boxes and the smaller items like the plaids,if you have space somewhere to store them in the house then you can have a fresh look,i know it might sound harsh,but its hard to see what the bones of this room are...do you have a picture of the round support and the ceilings,please??
1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Carol, somewhere in the pics I posted are some of the round support post. The ceiling in front of the post is approx 20 ft high, and because of the loft area upstairs, the ceiling in back of the post is 8 ft high.

I know this room is totally overcrowded, I just thought I'd take a few pics of it anyway. :(
1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:26PM
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A Crew of Two
Don't be sad.....keitha was a bit rude. These forums are meant to be friendly, not judgmental. It is great to see the before, just make sure we get to see the after ;)
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:40PM
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KKLINTON, The loft area is not open but I did take a few pics while standing on the stairs.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:50PM
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A Crew of Two
great, thank you......those darn posts...lol! I think you just need to choose smaller scale furniture so they fit comfortably between the posts and the doors. Could you place the sofa.loveseat where the aquarium is? and then place the TV in the desk area? Then you could place two chairs where the sofa is now but back just a bit. another chair could then be place facing the TV where chair w/light are now. so I guess just flip the room a bit.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:06PM
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Thank you so much for your comments, K! I truly appreciate you and the time you are spending on me. :) You have some really great ideas! Thanks again, so much! This room is certainly going to be quite the work in progress!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:11PM
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the post really is there!!it was hiding!!sorry!!the furniture you want will fitt in the room,but you might have to be a bit ruthless about occasional tables but instead of the fishtank you could have a bookshelf or unit that holds the tv too,that will take a lot of the things and will free up the floorspace..
1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:12PM
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I have also given some thought to maybe covering the wall that the tv 7 fish tank are on in wood.,, I love wood so much and think it might add some interest where all the other walls are drywall
    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:15PM
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That's a great idea too, Carole!. Thank you!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:19PM
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found another one!!!
    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:55PM
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I'd use the large empty wall for floor to ceiling storage and the big screen tv you plan to buy. Half the storage can be open, half closed-door for your collections. Rotate half the collections into view at a time, store the other half. Books can go in open shelves. Craft items (you have a lot) can go in matching closed storage shelves. Plan for a new desk, too.

When you take their recliners away, men are not happy. Plan to replace the recliner with a pair of new recliners (one for you, too). Put an end table with drawers in between. You may need end tables on each side, too.
Perpendicular to the recliners (which should face the tv, let's be realistic), you can put a sofa. If you have a larger family who watch tv together, try the sofa facing the tv with a swivel recliner on each side. Lazyboy has lots of great recliners.

Steps in order, with ideas about cost on the budget side. You can easily spend five or ten times as much, of course. Pros may have other ideas about how to do things.

Pick out new sofa and two recliners, three end tables. $3400.

Use colors from new sofa and recliners to choose paint.

Get painting done professionally. ($500) That's a good time to sort things: keep, donate, trash. Plan on keeping half of the small items. Donate sofa, chairs, tables, lamps, throws, pillows, curtains, aquarium.

Get sofa and recliners delivered.

Buy new big screen tv. $600.

Measure long wall for tv stand and shelving/storage.

Buy or have custom-made tv stand and shelving. $1500 (Ikea quality).

Buy new computer desk. $300.

Buy new lighting. $500.

Buy new window treatments $600.

Flooring would be extra, of course. Your carpet looks in good shape.

If I wanted to spend my budget in stages, I would buy the tv and storage wall first, reuse the current furniture in a U shape centered on the tv and put away or donate 80% of the small items. Next stage would be new furniture and new paint with new lamps, curtains, pillows and throws.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:20PM
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I'm really sorry! !!! I didn't mean to come across as rude.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:39PM
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What if you put the sofa just in front of the two posts / console between and behind, so you stop people walking diagonally through the room. That will help, you force the pathways by the doors where you must keep it open.

Treat the desk area with the chair by the door like the entry hall, and maybe add a sofa table to the back of the sofa between the posts as a place to laydown as you enter.

Put the chair where the couch was / diagonally and move the fishtank to the laundry room behind so eventually you can get a chair on that wall across from the couch and next to the fire - maybe a rocking chair you have around (you can buy a tie on pad for it).

Move the coat rack behind the front door if possible with the boot rack.

Now, I've got some unsolicited advice about fresh paint and fabrics - the most inexpensive way to have a new room.

I can see clary green walls, green will help your couch and your wood tones spark, make it feel cozy and warm. Green is enough of a neutral that
Paint the entry door that is now white one shade darker in artichoke. (heck, you could start there for charm alone!)

Then, in pillow covers, new valances or recovering the recliner, bring in some fresh fabrics that are as cheerful as you must be. What do you think about new valances at the window, maybe this brighter floral to help your pretty dark red roman shades pop to life and stand out against the green walls http://beautifulfabric.com/asccustompages/products.asp?fav=0&fpage=1&page=1&categoryID=17&productID=7678&pStart=200&recNum=267
At the door, a coordinating stripe on the window http://beautifulfabric.com/asccustompages/products.asp?fav=0&fpage=1&page=1&categoryID=21&productID=5390&pStart=0&recNum=114

A small scale check perfect for reclining if you plan to recover instead of purchase

If you don't sew, it is often less expensive to take fabrics to the local tailor for simple valances than to purchase them - you can have custom for less. I hope you can see the cheer I envisioned with these ideas.

For clutter, here is a tip I used when I was a student and young mom. Consider purchasing from the local office supply, the cardboard bankers boxes that come with tops and handles that are cut in. If you hot glue covers in fabric from the old valances, or use a coordinating shelf paper in burlap that wipes up easy. These stack - place them by the desk where the little things are overflowing now, and put the stuff in the boxes nice and neat. You will have a place to organize projects loosely by box. You can put your knitting / hobby supplies in one and carry it about, and so forth.

With a painted wall above your desk, maybe buy a spray can of buff / ecru paint and paint all the frames now holding family pictures on the top of your desk. Get a sturdy tall ladder, and send a teenager high to use command strips and hang them up on the tall wall over the desk. This way, everyday you can see a big gallery of creamy white frames with smiling family love inside from the front door. They will look wonderful and all it takes to make them look good is matching painted frames to unify the entire concept.

Even if you only add new pillow covers, paint the door, and put your things in stacked boxes with moving some things around - well, it will feel wow! Spring is on its way.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 7:41PM
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First of all, I read Keitha's comments and I did not read them as "mean". I was kind of thinking the same thing myself. If you could box everything up (like a huge spring clean) and look at the room when it's empty if might help with gaining some new perspective on the room. It does look like a tricky room to work with. Here's a possible suggestion. Put a sofa on the wall in front of the big window. Put your two chairs to the right of them with their backs to the door and your small white table between them. Remove all window coverings and replace them with something simpler, like blinds. Make them all the same to bring some cohesion to the space. Put a solid console unit in front of the window opposite the two chairs. This will still leave you with one window for light and you can put your television here and some of your special things. You can treat the area with the stove as a separate area, perhaps for reading with a small chair or bench and a light. I understand you love wood but I would (just me) paint your supporting posts the same colour as the walls so they blend in better. It's hard to see what is to the left side of your door but could you put a coat/boot system in the area with shelving for storing gloves, scarves etc. Keep us posted with whatever you do decide to do. thanks
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Thanks oneofeleven... I'm really not a mean person! I did feel that it would be best if Sharon did some purging before she got started on the project but I guess I didn't convey that very well! There have been some great ideas mentioned .
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Thank you everyone for all of your ideas & suggestions! I probably should of done a bit more research before going ahead & posting pics. It is a room that I wouldn't even attempt to "empty" until the weather gets a lot warmer as that pellet stove is pretty much our only heat source, and needless to say, NH winters are quite brutal! :) I just had a ton of extra time on my hands today & as I was sitting here, I was thinking about how I could make this room more livable.
The room is quite cluttered right now because like i said, we don't wander far from it in the winter months! I will keep all your suggestions close to heart & give a lot more thought as to how I can make it comfy, cosy, and attractive! Thanks again everyone, I appreciate it!
    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:10PM
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Oh, one more thing... there is only 1 post & it's in the middle of the room and I will not be keeping the aquarium or the desk in the room!
    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:15PM
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Angelina Vick
I can see why people are asking to see it uncluttered, it's hard to see the room.

You can take steps right now Sharon, you don't have to wait until winter is over.

I suggest you measure the whole space. Make a diagram of everything, the footage, what can't move, like windows and doors. Then...you will have a base to start from.

Then...make a list of things you like. Colors, types of art, plants or no plants...etc.
Then...make a list of what the room's function is. Living room with a tv and desk? Family room? Think about what makes a space comfy to you.

Once you have those answers...come back and post them...you will get helpful answers.

2 Likes    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:19PM
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I would go for a Scandi look and paint all wood and walls a soft white, have wood flooring and use whites, soft greys and grey- blue for sofas. Too much natural wood is dating the room. Buy rug in the grey- blue and whole room will calm down. Lx
    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Don't stress Keitha: I didn't think you were rude. I shared your thoughts: sometimes there is just too much going on in a room to make a helpful suggestion and the momentoes in a room can alter the scale as the space you can see is misleading. Some times it is hard to convey tone in text without offending anyone. We're all friends here and hopefully we don't judge each other too harshly.
Some great suggestions from all people. Looking forward to seeing 'after' photos.
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:42PM
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A wee suggestion. The white door sitting inside the timber frame adds to the busy-ness you are trying to eliminate. Can you paint/stain or replace it to blend in with the frame? I wouldn't want you to paint the frame white to match the door. Maybe you could stain both door and frame a dark color?
1 Like    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 4:43AM
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that is a great idea,spacesaviing and less annoying!!there are very modern style doors like that or any style you like,really,here are some examples
    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 5:52AM
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@sharon: I am not familiar with pellet stoves. Can you tell me what your experience has been with yours?
    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 6:21AM
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