How to Use this Room - Sitting Room - Approx. 6x20 - Off Living

JeremyDLJuly 19, 2014

We are considering buying a home and it has an odd addition that I cannot figure out why it was added.

Home was build in 1920. Addition has cinder block foundation so is significantly newer. It is approximately 6'x20' (could be a little more or less in either direction.

Has two windows on each short wall and four or five windows on the long wall.

There are two entries to the room (each off the living room) on either side of the fireplace.

Who can help me come up with a good use for this space?


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Can you see the fire on the other side? If so, I would make it a reading area with a couple of leather chairs and bookcases all around.

Or, how about an office space, hobby area or kids play area.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:26PM
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No, fireplace is one sided. It could certainly be any of those items.

It strikes me that there must have been some "better" intended use. I am likely wrong.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:30PM
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Sunroom is the first thing I think of. Which side of the house is it on? How big are the windows?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:38PM
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There was likely no fixed purpose for the room, or it could have been an outdoor porch that was enclosed. Depending on the amount of sun it gets in winter you could use it as a conservatory, or a playroom if you have children (toys conveniently stored OUT of the living room but nearby), a sewing room, a tv room with blackout shades, etc.

Our Florida home had French doors on either side of the great room fireplace that led into a terra cotta tiled room tha was fairly narrow (10 ft) but ran the length of the great room. It in turn had two sets of French doors out to the pool. We furnished it very casually with big club chairs and ottomans around a screen for video games. There was a bar where we kept juice and snacks and it was the de facto kids' sitting room. We loved it and they did too!

If I hadn't had children we would have probably put palms and one seating area and used it as overflow for parties.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:51PM
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I guess my bigger issue is that I cannot fathom a setup that doesn't become an eyesore through the two doorways.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:10PM
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An eyesore? Why would a nicely furnished room glimpsed from two doorways be an eyesore?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:14PM
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Let's get creative:
- no furniture, throw down a yoga mat, add some music and/or incense and call it your meditation retreat!
- hide the treadmill, elliptical or other gym equipment between the arches and behind the fireplace!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:43PM
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You're describing what was known as "the por-den" in my grandparents' house in Ohio. It was, indeed, originally a porch, albeit more like 12-13' long instead of the 20' you have. Quarry tile flooring, French doors opening off each side of the fireplace. When theirs was closed in, they left only one of the short-wall doors. To the best of my recollection, there was a daybed in there, and a little end table. There was a bookshelf under the window on the other short wall, and maybe a small chair and a floor lamp.

I think my gramps used to take naps in there. I know I liked to hang out in there and read comic books when I was a kid.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:26AM
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Maybe you could put some tall green leafy plants in sight through the door ways and then do whatever you want behind the fireplace.

I have a couple small parrots. I would put their cages back here hopefully with views out the windows. Alternatively, I think it would be a great place to sit and read in a comfortable lounge chair, hidden behind the wall, between the leafy palm fronds. Or put a desk there to work.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:16AM
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I had the same thought as Chispaâ¦and exercise room. And you can always put arched doors in there. Arched glass-paned doors with curtains on the other side would be pretty and hide the other side.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:29AM
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My aunt had a similar room in her house. She furnished it as a sun room - beautiful vintage rattan furniture and loads of plants. There were no curtains. Like kwsl's former house, my aunt's overlooked the pool

It was the only room in the house without a hardwood floor, so the dog bowls were set up in a corner.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:34AM
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i would make it the kids' toy area/playroom if you have young kids and want to keep their toys out of the family room... obviously set up storage/toy boxes/easel, etc in area that isn't visible from doorways!

if you have kids and they're alittle older and the house doesn't have a basement that you'd be going down to, it seems a good size for a pingpong table! we had a basement full of assorted game tables, and pingpong was by far the favorite! but, foozball could work too. either table could fit in the fireplace area and not be seen from the other room when looking straight on...

if you don't have kids, i would probably set it up as an excercise area if you don't belong to a gym...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:51AM
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Perhaps -- in the future -- change one of the end windows into a door to an outside patio or deck area ....

OR -- if you want -- in the future -- close up one of the doorways -- and have the arch re-made into a bookcase on this side of the room .....

A vote for creating an office space for now .....

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:30PM
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No curtains, bookcases on the walls, one easy chair with lamp/table and on the other side with the window, lots of plants which can be seen from the living room. Closing the door on the right side of the fireplace is a good idea also.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 5:11PM
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These rooms are very common in 1920s era homes in my area of New England. It is my understanding that they were used as sun room/conservatories. They're especially lovely when they open on to a garden or patio. I've attached a link to a Gardenweb thread on this topic. Scroll down to Sombreuil Mongrel's response--this seems pretty accurate. I love the idea of using the room to bridge the indoors with the outdoors--wicker/rattan, plants, etc. You could always have louvered shutter panels installed on the sunroom side if you want to block the view from the living room. Nice house!

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardenweb 1920s sunroom thread

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:14PM
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Delete double post.

This post was edited by WMA89 on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 19:28

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:17PM
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Very common in my town, too. We call them sunrooms, or dens. Probably 75% of the 1920s colonials in my town have one off the living room. I have one but it has just one door. I know people who have closed off (permanently with a wall) the second door because it makes using the room so much easier.

When we first moved in, we used ours as a playroom. Now it's my home office and "dog room" (dog bed and crate are in there along with my desk, work table, and bookcases).

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:46PM
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