Struggling with layout for small, uniquely shaped living room

ireneoJanuary 6, 2013


I originally posted this in the small houses forum but it was suggested I try over here :)

This is the floor plan of the living room in the 1100 sq ft house we are buying. We'd really like to maximize seating for gatherings of friends and family, and i thought the clever folks here might have some ideas. We will be mostly buying new furniture for this room so any and all ideas are welcome.

In the picture, the door on the right is the entryway. The hall on the left leads to bedrooms, kitchen, rest of house. The bay window has a slightly lower ceiling, like an alcove, if that makes sense. About 5 feet. The room has sloped/vaulted ceilings on both sides with the high point running from the front door wall to the hallway wall. The brick on the bottom is a fireplace, with a hearth just one brick high (not good for seating but won't block foot room from a couch much.)

Thanks so much! If anyone has ideas I can mock them up. A big goal is flow of conversation and my main concern is preserving ability to get from front door to rest of house.

Built-ins are a possibility as my DH is a talented (hobby) carpenter, but i wouldn't want to do them for the sake of doing them, would only want them if they maximize useful space.

each square on the diagram is 1 foot by 1 foot.

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How high is the ceiling at the top and bottom walls of the room, excluding the bay?

Are you going to do TV watching in this room?

What is the sill height on the two windows?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:18PM
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Good questions!

Ceiling is 6.5ft at walls and 8 in the center

No TV (it's a lifestyle choice :) )

Window bottoms are 2ft up from floor..

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:26PM
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I think you have room for a short loveseat on the long wall and a chair across with a small table in between. Then a chair and ottoman and a small table over by the bay window. The ottoman could be pulled away from the chair for additional seating. You would probably have to use floor lamps, and I couple of side chairs could be tucked in the corner behind the doorswing for additional seating.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:59PM
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How about a small clean-lined sectional in the lower left-hand corner (left of the fireplace)

Then a matching small loveseat OR comfy swivel chair to the right-hand side of the fireplace

Add a round ottoman directly in front of the fireplace

Two armchairs and a round table and lamp in the bay window.

Bookcases with closed door storage at the bottom to surround the small window on the left-hand side of the main entrance ....

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:10PM
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Something like this perhaps? I included tea cats suggestion of a bookcase in bottom right. I wonder if angle of chair + ottoman is odd? It is a tight fit to leave room for the passageway.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:53PM
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That's essentially what I was thinking although two small round tables may also serve better instead of a large coffee table--for more flexibility. And, I would try to keep the sofa at 6 feet or under.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 7:35PM
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Thank you all so much for the suggestions! We are all moved in, and now able to really move furniture about the space and try things out. It's really a cozy room and there is space for more seating than I expected!

We have a pretty good layout I think, but I am struggling with what type of chair to get to fill the space next to the wingback chair. I have a windsor chair there now but im not sure it is substantial enough to stand up to the wingback. whatever chaired put there probably shouldnt be too tall because the windows are quite low.

I will post a bunch more photos (sorry, it seems I can only post one at a time). Please note the floors have yet to be refinished, and two of the chairs will be on their way to be upholstered soon, so you can ignore color (but upholstery suggestions for the bergere are very welcome :)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:37PM
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Rotating left

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:38PM
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And left...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:39PM
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And left...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Any thoughts on the shape/type of seating to go next to the wingback chair?

This post was edited by ireneo on Thu, Jan 31, 13 at 21:45

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:41PM
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It's a really charming little room, but am not sure another mismatched chair style would be the best. The couch and large coffee table really weight the room to one side and then the chairs scattered around don't seem to provide any balance. You said you will be buying new furniture. Are you replacing the couch? Pal suggested two small tables instead of the large coffee table, which kind of overwhelms your space. Any chance you'd try the two poofs in front of the couch instead? Even if just for a visual.

I like the west elm chair; is there any way you could afford two of them for the bow window? Then choose your favorite of the others for next to the fireplace?

Your west elm chair:

Or maybe think about constructing a window seat in the bow? I know the windows are low and you'd have to plan for some support to hold back pillows, but it would be a lovely place to sit.

or with careful measuring you might find a lower backed curved sofa or loveseat to fit the space:

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 3:36PM
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I'm thinking I would put the dog bed in the bay and put the wingback in it's current place and then use the smaller chairs in the bay area.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:44PM
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lyfia - i followed your recommendation and that actually looks a lot better! and the pup loves her new window seat. i'll post some pictures this evening.

i know there are a lot of different chair shapes but i really love all three, and i'd like to make all three work if possible. here are some examples of rooms i think pull together an eclectic look well.

Eclectic Living Room design by New York Interior Designer Kim Parker Interiors

Eclectic Living Room design by Boston Architect LDa Architecture & Interiors

Eclectic Living Room design by Dallas Interior Designer Astleford Interiors, Inc.

Eclectic Family Room design by Baltimore Interior Designer Elizabeth Reich

so i am hoping to do something similar, if possible. if not, maybe i need to rethink the space a bit, and find a new home for the tall wingback chair.

oly, i think we are getting this couch, in a deep chestnut brown..

and i am not sure what we will get for coffee table yet, but i agree, it is too big for the space. i am thinking the suggestion of two smaller pieces is smart.

i'll add pictures this evening of new layout, with poufs where the coffee table is. :) then it's decision time, on whether i have to get rid of the tall wingback chair or not.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 2:23PM
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