Furniture placement help please.

kellienoelleJanuary 27, 2013

We just bought a new house and are trying to take inventory of what we currently own....what we move vs what we Craigslist. This house will be downsizing for us so we are looking to purge some thing. We have most of the decisions made....except for the main living area. The space is roomy enough for us, but the layout is a bit awkward and we are having a hard time figuring out a proper furniture placement. My husband and mother like how the current HO have it laid out, I hate it. However, I can see them ganging up on me unless I can come up with something better. Our plan was to buy new stuff to furnish the room and were hoping to order so it would be ready close to our closing date in 8 weeks, so basically we can consider just starting from a clean slate. Unfortunately, I just have a few pics and a few measurements so hopefully you can be creative without more information. A few basics....the room is 23'5" from the front wall to the opening of some cute odd little bonus room (in the first pic, those windows are part of that room, not the wall of this one), 14'3" wide, but that narrows to 10'8" at the stairs (essentially this incorporates the entryway as the front door is right in front of those stairs). So, here are some pics both from the online listing and that I took myself....the challenges are that bonus room in the back, the room to the right, the fireplace, and the stairs all greatly limit where to place the furniture.

If I can't work out a solution prior, I guess we could always live there a bit with out current stuff and then figure out what works best, and order to come in later, even if that means moving our stuff twice.

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That is a pretty house!

I think the layout is not so bad, if your furniture is not So ginormous as that, and you get a rug that fits the room, instead of the little patches under stuff.

Is this the only LR, and main TV space? Nobody in this arrangement has a good view, IMO, OK maybe the chair.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:04AM
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I think their furniture is too big and the sofa in particular feels as if it starts to encroach on the space defined as the entry area between the front door and the foot of the stairs.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

If I can't work out a solution prior, I guess we could always live there a bit with out current stuff and then figure out what works best, and order to come in later, even if that means moving our stuff twice.
I'd just move your existing furniture, and then play with it, and see what does, and doesn't work. You can then better determine the exact dimensions for new furniture. I sure wouldn't get in any rush that may or may not work well with the room and traffic.

I'm thinking 2 loveseats, or a loveseat and a shorter sofa...tables with lamps, or floor lamps with good light for reading.

Pretty room though.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:10AM
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I would move in with your existing furniture and live with the room for a while.

That room is going to pose some challenges to you. As you point out, the staircase and fireplace squeeze the room in the middle. The current configuration doesn't seem to make good use of the space to the right of the fireplace.

I am soooo not a TV-above-fireplace person, so that would be the first thing to go if I were moving in there. Is there another room for TV watching?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:22AM
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This is the only living and TV space (unless we took the chandelier down and used the dining room). And, yes, we do have an equally ginormaous TV (my husband won that debate). I agree that the current HO's furniture is too large for that space. My other issue with it is that there is no "conversation area" as that chair is so far removed from the sofa. I have no intentions of getting anything oversized like that. I was considering an apartment sized sofa and a couple of comfortable, but smaller chairs.

Can you see any arrangement that could work if the TV was to be placed to the area to the right of the fireplace? I too prefer that they not be above.

And yes, perhaps waiting until we are there and can rearrange at will would be the best idea.

This post was edited by kellienoelle on Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 14:13

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 2:12PM
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When we moved, I used existing peices to "block out" a space that eventually held a small sectional. It was helpful to place chairs or a loveseat at the ends to get a feel for how it would look in the room.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 2:24PM
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But, what is the room to the left of the fireplace? Looks like a sofa or chair in there?
And how about the bump out? Can that be your conversation area?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 2:34PM
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To the left is an area that was a porch, but has been converted to a room that I have seen most commonly used as offices (which is what they are using it for and we may too) or playrooms in these older houses. The bumpout is what the current HO is using as a playroom. Both are also spaces that are sort of awkward (gotta love older houses). Here is the bonus room, I believe it measures about 10 feet long and 7 1/2 feet wide.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 2:44PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

One thing that might work, if you discover your current furniture won't, is four comfy club chairs around a round coffee table in front of the fireplace. When it is just the two of you watching tv, you can sit in the two chairs that are facing (sort of) the fireplace and tv. If you have others watching, the extra chairs can be easily moved.

I agree that it is a very pretty house! I love old houses-your windows are beautiful and it looks like the house has great flow. Congratulations and enjoy your downsizing!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:11PM
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Do you see any possibility of being able to place the sofa in front of the fireplace and still have room for a walkway behind or in front? I would be looking at a sofa that is much smaller than what the current homeowners have selected, for example I linked one that is only 34" in depth. If that could work, it would make things much much easier. Of course that also means the TV over the fireplace.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sofa example.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:44PM
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I would make the extra room the TV viewing area. It would be much easier.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Unfortunately, that wouldn't work with our lifestyle. Plus the room is much too small. I am home and have my measurements here, it is 10'8" long and 7'2" wide. Plus even without the issue of watching the TV, I am still wondering how a plan with a sofa will work in that living room. There has to be a way! Especially since I am not trying to squeeze in existing furniture (well, long term anyway). I can see the idea of the club chairs working, but the traditionalist in me wants a comfy sofa.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:48PM
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I hear you. I am thinking . . .and thinking of a way NOT to put the TV near or on the FP. While I don't mind the way TVs over the FP look, I find them too high for comfort. And, to the side . . .I just don't like the look.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 11:21PM
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OK, here is what I think you should do. As others said, forget the furniture shopping. This gives you a chance to really get to know the house before making major changes.

When you move in, put your current sofa facing the FP. Live with it for awhile. See if the flow bothers you, and whether a different sofa would make a difference.

Don't commit to furniture now!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Fantastic advice, and exactly what I need to do (if I can). I think this concern may be a product of my saying that I am "embracing" the downsizing while secretly it is freaking me out a bit. We're starting to pack up the roomy house that I love that is actually too big, too far from my work. I know I will love this new house, and figure out how to make the size and layout work for us, but for right now I feel my happiness in this house is hinging on making this one room work . After all, if I can't make the living space, where we spend 75% of our awake time, work for us, how is the rest of the house (with its small closets, bathrooms, bedrooms) going to work?

Once I move in, I am saving 1 hour in commuting time, I am walking distance to things that I want to do, and I am (hopefully) enjoying the little charms of the house, I will feel more at home. I won't say this is buyer's remorse for now, just buyers freakout!

Thanks for the advice everybody!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 11:55PM
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I am so sorry you are concerned about it, but just wait, live in it for a while and see how it works. We have downsized once since the kids left the nest. When #3 got his master's, we decided it was time for us to look for us. We downsized and then I wanted to move into an historic district, near shopping, church and social activities of the retirement years, boutiques, card playing and lunching with the ladies in a nearby haunt. I could not make my furniture work on paper and used the master's in building construction sciences to try it and he could not make it work. I had already given away all the furniture they could use, all 3 and all that I could push off on housekeeper and gardener. What remained, I could not part with and we still have a large house we rent full of "stuff." But now a couple years later, I am thinking all I need are a love seat and 2 chairs in the front room, a little cubby with a computer, 1-1/2 baths, as most likely a nursing home awaits one day.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:36AM
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KellieNoelle (Noelle is one of my daugher's middle names!), I think you can do both . . .embrace the downsizing and be really sad about leaving a house you love. It makes complete sense to me!

You will definitely enjoy that shorter commute, and then it sounds like you will have plenty of fun things to do with your extra time!

I know what you mean about needing the room to work, and sort of putting all of your energy there. I think we can all agree that, even without a stick of furniture, the LR is a gorgeous room, and I imagine the rest if the house is just as beautiful.

As you live there, I do think the house will guide you. You just need to get to know each other first!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:56PM
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You'll figure it out. I think all those extra spaces will wind up being used frequently.
It will all come together and I think once things settle down, you will be able to enjoy all your extra time in your new home.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:20PM
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If your furniture is smaller scale, why couldn't you try the couch opposite the FP/tv and then 2 small chairs on either side?? Use an area rug to guide your arrangement.
Good luck with your move- I'm sure this house will become home for you in no time. :)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:12AM
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I agree with what others have said - move in, and live with it for awhile.

We had a tough time with our family room as far as TV placement was concerned. I see how this is an issue for you.

Really, the only place for your TV is over the fireplace.

One thing that comes to mind is a sectional. While I'd hate to see you spend money, this is the room that you will probably spend a lot of time in.

To maximize seating, a small-scale sectional would work really well here - with a round coffee table to soften the angles.

You may still be able to place a chair in the corner (where that big chair is in your photo). Again, a smaller scale chair - I've seen cute recliners that are nice (not your typical lazy-boy)

Lee Industries has some GREAT pieces -- go to their site and they give all the measurements of all of their products.

I love your home - and I think once there, you will really embrace a smaller home.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:17AM
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How about this...maybe the pics aren't right to fully show what I am thinking...

The TV in the far corner to the right of the fireplace placed on a table we already have, but with the TV angled to face the roonm, a smaller (shorter)sofa to the left of the fireplace (there is 10'8" from wall to the stairs) with a coffee table in front, a couple of chairs off to the right of the entry way with a side table between (which may actually help to define that space as an entry way. We have a 9'x11' rug which could help to define this as a workable space and encompass all of these elements. We may not have room for a side table by the sofa, but could have a sofa table behind it to put thing on.

Does that make sense? I went in and did measurements, so just need to draw to scale on graft paper to really plot it out if that would help to visualize. There would some wasted space to the back of the room, but this area would also serve as the passthrough to both the bonus room on the back and the (current) entry to the current office space on the right.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:13PM
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