Dimensions for Formal Living/Library

jamnich314December 20, 2012

Doing a rough sketch of a house for five right now and stumped a little on the dimensions for the Formal Living/Library in the front corner of the house.

The house is a variation of an American Four Square: Formal Living front left, Formal Dining front right, with foyer in between. Family Room back left, Kitchen back right, Dining nook between them. U-shaped stairs between Living and Family rooms and a hall attached that runs between Dining and Kitchen and leads to Mudroom from Garage (hopefully that makes sense!)

Anyhow, trying to figure out rough dimensions. The stairs will be roughly 8 feet wide and 10 feet deep (4 foot landing). I don't want the Living Room to stick out too much from the end of the stairs into the hall but also don't want the room to be too small.

Would a 12x14 Living Room feel too small? The 12 foot walls would be the front exterior wall and the wall bordering the stairs. The 14 foot walls would be the side exterior wall - with a fireplace in the middle and built-in bookshelves on each side - and the wall containing the doorway to the entry.

Furniture in the room would be a couch, love-seat and coffee table; nothing major. Instead of one of the couches there might be two chairs with an end table between. May also put a window seat in the front facing window.

Basically, I want to know if that amount of furniture would feel cramped in a 12x14 room? I want it to be a cozy spot but not too cozy if you know what I mean.

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Yes, it would be a tight fit. The overall dimensions for a "square-U", as might be arranged in front of a fireplace, a TV and/or a view to the exterior, consisting of two love seats seperated by two lounge chairs with a coffee table in the center is approximately 13' X 13', without the circulation space to enter the room and move to and from the seating area.

Best bet is to actually measure your furniture, assuming you will be using it in your project.

Good luck on your project.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Also, the fireplace and bookshelves will take up some room and you are taking it out of the smaller side so you may end up with only 10' in width - plus the entry way so you will need circulating room.

We have a study that is 13' by 13'6". We have bookshelves on one wall and two cased openings. We will only be able to fit a sofa, wing chair and small chair with a small coffee table. It won't be a real gathering place - more a quiet get away to read or talk on the phone for one or two people.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 10:24AM
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Will there be doors to this room? i don't think it will work with doors. How big is the opening? How do you envision using it?

It might work with the sofa against the stair wall. You will have room for small end tables on either side for table lamps. Coffee table would be in front of sofa. Then I would put a 36"w x 30" high round table with a pair of chairs in front of the front exterior wall. This can be used for games,homework, working on a laptop. Maybe with a floor lamp.

But I agree if us too small to use for a gathering place but could work as a quiet retreat.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 11:11AM
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It would be more of a quiet retreat than a gathering place; a place to read or maybe watch TV if we can work the bookshelves somehow to incorporate enough room for a smaller TV. The larger family room in the back would be the 'gathering place.'

I imagine a couch and one or two chairs with an end table would end up being the furniture. We have a coffee table now in our living room and I find it more cumbersome than useful.

As far as the doors go, I'm imagining a double pocket door opening to the foyer. That way, it's essentially a 5 or 6 foot wide doorway but if somebody really wants some privacy in there they can shut the doors. Something like the link below, with or without the windows.

Here is a link that might be useful: Double Pocket Doors example

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:17AM
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Is it going to have two doors or is it a dead end room? You don't have room for a couch facing the fireplace I don't think . . . plus it would be a barrier to the fireplace. If there is another door involved on the back side, that may make furniture arranging even tougher. 10' is not much width when you have to account for walkways.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:19AM
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This might help. Keep in mind this is VERY rough.

The green boxes on the exterior walls are windows.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:16AM
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I think it will depend on how big your furniture is, and then to some degree, what size rooms you are used to now. :)

My last house had a 14X11 formal living room, and it was a little tight but not unbearable. I just used smaller scale furniture and didn't over-clutter the room up. It was fine. No one died. ;)

My current house has bigger rooms, and I have, accordingly, put more stuff in them. I look at the bigger rooms now and think I could never go back to something smaller - but the reality is that 14X14 truly isn't all that small anyway. It's not HUGE either, but you only have one entry point in the room so it gives you one long wall to work with, along with some nice windows for light and brightness.

My vote is that you'll be fine. :)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:24AM
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