Help Decorating a Small Home

movinginvaFebruary 19, 2011

Hello All,

I am new to this forum. I too have a small house and as I am sure you all know, decorating a small home can sometimes be tricky. Here is the layout of my house, any advice on pieces of furniture etc will be helpful. Keep in mind that I am removing the wall between the living room and kitchen and installing a bar in its place.


Here is a link that might be useful: House Layout

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Nice floor plan drawing.

Do you have certain interests you would like to pursue in your house?

I think it is a great idea to create the bar area. Will open things up nicely.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 7:57PM
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Well, have you lived in this house for any length of time so far? What sort of bar are you wanting to build? One just to replace the wall and have cabs beneath it? Or a bar for people to sit at counter height? Or a 42 inch high bar which might perhaps hide a little of your kitchen from the front door, but have no seating there?

One thing that I would do while I was at it would be to tear out the little closet for that adjacent bedroom. I'd include it in the kitchen and run the bar back that far. Even think about turning your bar into an island by having an opening at both ends, so the kitchen won't be isolated from the living room activity. As that sofa is set up now, it turns a very cold back view to anyone coming into the house. I too like a console or sofa table behind a sofa, but in this situation it seems the sofa you drew is much too long for this location.

How low are the window sills on that huge window in the living room? Could you use a loveseat in front of the window and then a pair of comfy chairs with a lamp table between them in the spot where the sofa is.

I'm thinking also that there could be a screen perpendicular to the coat closet, and which can be moved away to get big furniture into the front door. This screen, with holes in it to give some view from either direction, will sort of direct the traffic flow without being too unfriendly. Since that coat closet sticks out into the living room, it might be possible to put a bench in that shallow alcove without getting in the way of coming into the house from the garage.

Note: Could you turn the garage door to open the other way, into the garage instead of into the house?

And for your office/bedroom, it is the largest of your three bedrooms, so you can spare a little square footage to build a PAIR of closets 2 foot deep on either side of that lovely window. If the windows are NOT LOW, then that would be a great spot to build in a window seat. I'm passionate about window seats. It seems you'd still have room to put a bed on two of those walls. Or your desk and reading chair.

If you were planning to do a kitchen reno, I think I'd move swap the dining room and kitchen as it is now. Then, you could take out that whole wall except for maybe a couple of floor/ceiling columns which would contribute to a really grand looking entry/living/dining space. And the kitchen could connect well enough with the wall shared with the dining room now being the island/bar.

Glad to have you join the choir. We have fun with every small home that joins the neighborhood. :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:07PM
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What size rooms do you have there? If your living room is as narrow as it appears in the plan, you might want to have a loveseat instead of a sofa, or even a couple of comfortable chairs and a settee.

I know this isn't what you ask, so feel free to ignore this next part. I would use the dining space as your office and the 3rd bedroom as dining area. Why? Because of the location of the half bath. Most guests aren't comfortable going to the bathroom a few feet from other people, but it's the perfect location for overnight guests who use the office as a bedroom.

And the 3rd bedroom is more convenient to the living room than the current dining room. You could open the wall completely, or just make a larger cased opening. You could even take out the little closet and make it easier to access from the kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:52PM
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I didn't print out your floor plan to scale, but some things look 'off'. Your sofa must be enormous, or there's something wrong with its scale. For sure, I would say there is insufficient clearance between the bar and refrig. Also, I would extend wall to refrig edge, as the side of a refrig is not that appealing a view as you open your front door. It looks as tho' the dining room is very small - maybe 12 x 8? There is no direct entrance into house from the garage? Probably more later, but gotta' run.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:54PM
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Marti- I was thinking the same thing! The dining room and office would work so much better, if they were switched around, especially if you could open up the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Everything will feel so much bigger, when it's not closed off into separate spaces.

Movingva- It's a cute house! I'm sure we could come up with some great furniture arrangements, but it would help if you could provide actual dimensions of the rooms. This would make it easier to know what furniture will fit in the space.

Also, if the office could go in the back, it might be nice to have it be part office/part mudroom/entry from the garage. That would really help with flow and provide more storage area, with a nice desk/office area built in on one wall. Just a thought :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 10:14PM
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By golly, I think Marti has an excellent idea about moving the dining room to that bedroom now used as an office.

Instead of knocking down the wall you currently plan on knocking down, you can leave it up, and knock down the one between the bedroom and the kitchen (probably NOT a load bearing wall.) AND while you are at it, knock down the wall between that bedroom and the living room.
I think that one will be a load bearing wall, so having columns beefy enough to hold up headers for that area of the house would also give some much needed architectural detailing. I think that would give a little privacy for the business end of your kitchen, keeping it out of the line of sight for the front door, and yet creating a nice flow for the living/dining/kitchen area. Your TV on that LR wall would work and be seen from the kitchen too.

I'm trying to remember the image you uploaded. Can you get the HTML code and copy it to move the image to your thread here? It would be easier to refer back to it.

And making the present dining room your guest/office, that is very nice. Just a small space is all required, and it would be as far removed from the TV and home activities as possible.

Great thinking, Marti!!!

And for some reason, it seems to me there is an awful lot of space in your entry area that does not do anything for you. Would it be possible to make it have a function? I'll change my idea of the screen, since if the bar moves to the other wall, viewing the kitchen first thing won't be a problem. But that space has to do something to look really good when you open the front door. And you must allow for bringing furniture into the house easily.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 10:18PM
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The drawings are not to scale, and I can certainly add measurements. Unfortunately, I have already started pulling the wall down. Because of the header, the space will not be completely open, so there will be a bit of privacy in the kitchen. Because of hubby's job and a limited budget, am not sure how long we will remain in the area so I do not want to get into too much work on the house. Since we are not formal diners, nor do we have tons of friends or family in the area, I was planning on using the dining room as a workout/day room, since we have a very large back yard, and no access to it, and that is one of the things that I absolutely need. I was thinking of putting a door in place of the window, to allow for access to the back yard.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:14AM
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I certainly understand about needing access to the backyard. I hadn't noticed there was no door to it. Our house had no backyard door either, just one on the side and we had to walk around. I was never so happy as when we finally put a back door in.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 12:26PM
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