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Combined living room and dining room - still stuck! Any ideas please?
anniefrannie
February 28, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hello I posted yesterday but today with photos (and have ironed the chair covers since the photos were taken). Would really appreciate some inputs.

Thank you

Best of

Annie Frannie
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mictros
Without knowing your likes, color faves, and what you don't like about the space? Hard to give you input dear. Needs light and brighter colors is as much as I'm willing to say without knowing who designed it as it is. Tact is everything.
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 6:01AM
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
Are those stained glass portals beside the can't-tell-what-it-is in the first photo?
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 6:24AM
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lex1616
So pretty......
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 6:36AM
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Nik
I am guessing that you...want to make a separation between the two?

One option would be to make a partial wall or partition between the two. Maybe a glass split wall or a floor to ceiling wine rack. A wine rack can be visually stimulating while still allowing light to pass through.

ETHAN CARMEL ARCHITECTS
Contemporary Wine Cellar
A Passion for Wine
Sitting Room Pittsburgh
Living Room
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 6:51AM
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anniefrannie
Yes they are - I realise my photos really help to make the place look miserable, have attached slightly better photo of the north facing side of the room which has the stained glass windows, a wood burner and two nooks. I am going to have the dreadful brick work plastered over pretty soon and will at least start out with an off white to try to create some more light.
The problem (and I realise there's more than one) is that I have a long, low, combined dining and sitting room. It's 30 feet long by 14 feet wide, plenty of space for two functions but leaves me with a weird "dead area" in the middle. Just to make life even more difficult this is a cottage so the windows aren't huge, the beams are there for a reason...
I have two double windows and french doors on the west facing side of the room they overlook the terrace and garden.
The entrance to the room is on the east facing side.
Who designed the room? The removals team.


Annie Frannie (currently a mixture of despair and shame)
2 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 6:53AM
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Jayme H.
Your clever wording made me laugh! Could u turn your table the other way to "use up" more space? Also, do you have any sideboard, buffet, etc?
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 6:59AM
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Since I am an avid proponent of not painting brick. I would cut a piece of drywall and fill in the square above the mantle, around the portal windows and below the window seats. This will lighten up that wall without being permanent. I would the hang a bright colored painting in the space above the fire place.
2 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 7:03AM
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anniefrannie
That's an idea - at present it does look like everything is hugging the nearest available wall...
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 7:04AM
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anniefrannie
Interiors international - the brickwork is officially dire, it looks like something I could have done on a really bad day.
I am thinking of saving up for a mirror frame tv to go above the fireplace (my daughter has offered to donate to that from her college fund...).
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 7:09AM
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anniefrannie
Jayme - I forgot to mention that there is a slight downward slope between the dining table side and the sitting room side - just realised when I began man-handling the table...
1 Like   February 28, 2013 at 7:14AM
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anniefrannie
Nikrangel - thanks for the screen ideas - I like the trinity 33 idea - wonder if it's possible to get screens with concealed but v effective lighting?
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 7:23AM
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PRO
Barnhart Gallery
AF -- I hope you realize how special your home is! You are getting great advice already, so I will only add that I would agree to painting or colorwashing the brick if it's younger than 60 years old, look to spread that vibrant cobalt blue a bit, and that I hope to see what you do.
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 7:25AM
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PRO
ASVInteriors
I agree with all the posters above - (particularly about your brick walls) you have a good basis and very simple elegance means less can mean more. If you are worried about your dead zone space, fill it with a lovely rug that is arrestingly beautiful. Wall art on the floor. A cottage with a low roof requires that you keep the eyes drawn low and this will certainly fit that bill!
1 Like   February 28, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Jayme H.
Is there any space to do a little seating/furniture arrangement like the one in the left of this pic? An area like this with it's own area rug can fill in a space well. (Ie: along one side of the room).
2 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 7:34AM
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anniefrannie
Thank you Barnhart, ASV and all previous posters - so the brick walls will be plastered soon, I have a very temporary fix for the middle no-man's- land (although still guilty of some wall hugging) and will do some antiquing over the weekend.
1 Like   February 28, 2013 at 7:39AM
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Jayme H.
A big pic there would look great!
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 7:43AM
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anniefrannie
Hey Jayme - there is plenty of space - for now I have moved a leather ottoman and a blonde cowhide rug down from my bedroom - it's not perfect but it's better than it was 20 minutes ago...As you'll guess from the shot one of my light bulbs has just conked out (nobody said it was going to be easy)...
thanks again for engaging in my saga....
AF
1 Like   February 28, 2013 at 7:46AM
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Jayme H.
I just love your home..so rustic and interesting! Please keep updating so we can see your progress! The cowhide probably adds some interest!
1 Like   February 28, 2013 at 7:59AM
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mictros
I just have to ask. Why no overhead lighting? There are many options available that don't require hard wiring into the ceiling and can be run to an outlet instead. I was so afraid I'd offend you! The first thought that came to me when I saw the space was "man cave". Lodge looks can be awesome but effective lighting is a dire need to brighten this room. Love the exposed beams! The French doors are a wonderful pattern. I so hope I have not offended you. It was not my intention if I did.
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 8:04AM
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anniefrannie
Mictros - you gave me the kick in the pants I needed to see the room properly.

I agree on overhead lighting - not sure who/ how to fit it but will ask around - sadly no chance of a chandelier as the ceiling height is a maximum of 6ft 8 inches.

Glad you said man cave - given that this is a loo-seat-down household (just my daughter and myself) it goes a long way to explain why we don't like what we have in the main room without knowing quite why (although we don't do curly girly gingham and florals either).


AF
2 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 8:19AM
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mictros
Whoa! Sounds like overhead wiring for flush mounts in your future. I have the same problem in a low ceiling hall. Solved it with a flush mount fixture but I had ONE direct lighting access. So I got a traditional 3 light that has adjustable lights like track light but with glass sconces?
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 8:43AM
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hollybar
Is there an area in your home you like? A vignette? Hard to suggest anything without knowing a bit about the feeling you want. For myself,I am in love with your space & would turn it toward the gleaming & fey. Gilt mirrors & Cy Twombly (not ren faire & twee wee folke) & definitely the blonde cowhide. I would also remove the slipcovers from two of the chairs. Depending on what I'd find,I'd paint (maybe) re-cover (likely...silk velvet or metallic linen print... I only need a bit ;).
In short,what is your vision?
1 Like   February 28, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Patricia Pelgrims
Is there a possibility of placing one of the sofas facing the fireplace ?
The sittingroom area doesn't really need overhead lighting. You can create a fantastic atmosphere with table and floorstanding lamps.
It is however a bit of a problem in the dining area, where you could always hang a chandelier with real candles, provided you don't hang it too close to the ceiling.
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 9:02AM
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kitasei
It looks like the vertical timber beams have been varnished with a high gloss finish, while the ceiling beams are rustic. If so, please sand the finish off any shiny timber. It gives a Disneyland look. You say you hate the brick, but is it so bad you don't want to at least preserve the trim around the windows? It's such a distinctive feature, and the quality may be tolerable to you if you can edit out some of the other elements that detract from a cooler simplicity I think you're after - like the stained glass in the windows? What's behind them anyway?
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 9:08AM
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kitasei
Not sure what a mirror framed tv is, but it does not sound compatible with a rustic/brick and timber setting...
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 9:09AM
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anniefrannie
Kitasei it's a TV with a mirror finish on the screen when it's switched off and can be framed so that it looks properly and completely like a mirror. The brick is definitely going to be plastered over and painted so that's one thing less to worry about.

AF
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 9:44AM
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anniefrannie
Kitasei - thank you for taking the time out to respond twice - behind the stained glass windows is a little patch of garden with a trellis (good roses in the summer). I agree about the timbers - will see how I can get them toned down (sadly can't get rid of them - this is a seventeenth century cottage so the bedroom and bathrooms upstairs depend on them)...cooler simplicity would be excellent.

Best of

AF
1 Like   February 28, 2013 at 9:52AM
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Jayme H.
A 17th Century cottage..Wow..so awesome...I love the timbers and rustic appearance of the home...please post more as you go along.
2 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 9:57AM
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kitasei
You have lovely divided light white doors elsewhere in the house. If the stained glass windows were replaced with something similar, I think they'd give you a lovely view of the rose garden and more light. I like all of the timber elements very much, and am sure that they will blend well with the feminine lines and white walls you are bringing in. Reminds me of Kathryn Ireland's style..
0 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 10:10AM
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anniefrannie
I am about to raid the attic in case there is anything that I've forgotten that I own. Will report back after a weekend of antiquing. Thank you every one for all your ideas, you've given me loads to think about and re-enthused me to move this one forward.

Best of

AF
5 Likes   February 28, 2013 at 10:12AM
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anniefrannie
Hey again thank you - am in the process of making my list

Stop me if this sounds crazy... I've just remembered something from my garden design days:
Long, thin gardens tend to look better if they are broken into sections and circular/organic shapes are used to distract the eye from the oblong.

So I'm thinking:
go for round/oval tables;
maybe look at a glass-top table in the middle section(in imitation of the water feature effect);
screening;
play around with height - which includes interesting art on the wall, overhead lights;
end the crazy wall hugging - it makes the place look like a doctor's waiting room
the brown sofas look like empty flowerbeds - am stuck with them for the moment so will need to liven them up
don't buy any more "man-cave" brown leather items.

I promise to have the brick wall plastered and painted asap, and will investigate matching the round windows to the french doors (although the windows could be a phase two job).

AF
4 Likes   March 1, 2013 at 2:34AM
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Patricia Pelgrims
There you go ! Make visual areas. I asked before if you could place one of the sofas facing the fireplace, shaping a corner with the other sofa ? That will already give you some definition of 2 visually seperate areas.
Also If you pull it back somewhat into your middle section (but not too much) you don't have too fill up that space with more furniture. Plus you will have one less item hugging the walls. ;)
0 Likes   March 1, 2013 at 3:14AM
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anniefrannie
Hi Patricia - I will take a look at moving the sofas around - although I do have my eye on a padded bench which has x legs (not sure what these are really called) which would help to complete the sitting area.
I'll be covering it in a plain, pale, ivory velvet to keep it soft in colour but sharpen the contrast with the wood.
best of

AF
2 Likes   March 1, 2013 at 4:02AM
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anniefrannie
Hello all

I am slowly getting there - the brick wall has been plastered and is slowly drying out. I found a pretty urn to break up the dining table and a very temporary light to sit above the dining area. Will post a photo in a moment.

Wish me luck - I'm off to the local auction rooms on Friday!
AF
3 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 7:11AM
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anniefrannie
Dining table with urn and temporary lighting
3 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 7:24AM
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