Need Help with my small Living Room!

shortyxDecember 11, 2010

I'm in the process of redoing our living room to make it more stylish and functional.

I drew up the dimensions in the picture below. It's 15 x 12.5 and has 3 door ways and a window connected to it! Ugh major dilemma

I'm currently looking for a new sofa, and I'm debating between a regular sized sofa and a chair or a sectional.

The area is used for TV watching and entertaining so it needs to be comfy but also be roomy for guests.

It also has no focal point so I'm trying to figure out one.

Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!

Here's a picture from the Kitchen doorway:

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Hmmmm, I'm trying to come up with an arrangement, but the 15' walls are shown shorter than the 12.5 foot walls.
I would think the TV end of your living room is out of balance with the rest of your room. That TV does not carry as much balance and impact to counteract the weighty items such as the window, 48" doorway to the kitchen, and the sofa.

When it is not Christmas, what do you have on the window wall? It seems to me that your 15 foot walls should be the location of your heaviest furniture items, and if you cannot relocate that small TV to the spot between the front door and the window, then you absolutely MUST buy a tall storage unit that can also hold your TV and other electronics.

How much wall space is on either side of the opening to the kitchen?

Do you watch TV from the kitchen? Or is the TV there because the connections are there?

If the doorway to the HALL is far enough away from the corner, I'd put another tall but shallow set of shelves in the spot between the hall and kitchen doorway. On the other side of the kitchen doorway, I'd mount framed pictures in gallery style frames from the top of the doorway down to end table height. If it is about 3 feet wide a space, I think one single row of frames would look nice.

Put the TV on a swivel base atop that table or cabinet.
If it stays in its same spot, a chaise lounge sectional could be at that end, sort of in front of the big storage unit, but far enough out from it to leave some circulation.
Then a double seated armless unit attached to it. Then a corner unit attached to that. And coming out at right angles, another corner unit. It would bring the seating out a bit, but not block too much of the traffic flow. And NO BIG COFFEE TABLE. Look at Pottery Barn glass topped wrought iron framed square tables in the TANNER line. They are very appropriate for use with a sectional. I'd also look at the NESTING TABLES same TANNER style too. They could be used anywhere and be adaptable when your guests require it.

Over on the window wall, a wingback chair with a table and lamp would be nice. Depending on your decor style, wingback for traditional and club chair for more modern. If the club chair swivels, so much the better. Depending on your budget, a leather club chair can be a focal point. Over all, I'd say keep it simple and as modular as possible so you can move things around later.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 1:02PM
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In our living room we have chairs and couch in an 11 by 12 1/2 foot space facing each other with TV between. Works well for us and would leave room for your hallway. From the back of the couch to wall behind chairs you can barely see is 11 foot. The console the TV is on is 64 inches long. Couch is 6 foot. Recliners are the smaller size.

There are more pictures in that album of changes to the same room over the two years we have lived here.

We had exactly the same lay out as you at our last house and it was a pain for all the openings. AND we had one more door way to a bedroom. The other was the same. At that house I had the couch in front of the window and TV on hall way wall. I can link you to that room too if you would like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Living room

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 10:07PM
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Ok, I've changed the sectional setup to a different group.
Put the chaise lounge piece at the end beside the door to the hallway. Then the two seated section, and then the end piece with one arm, which would be down by the TV wall.

If you wish to have a focal wall, the TV wall could be it. It seems that in the picture you show, that piece is really too close to the doorway. Does it have components in it? Is that why it is there? Because I think that something that size could fit nicely on the entry door wall, between the 36" doorway and the windows. With a lamp on it. And then the club/wingback chair next to that.

Keeping the passageway open down in front of the window wall would be nice. And having a sort of console table there in front of the window would give that area some depth as well. I forgot to ask, what is the window dimension? How far from the floor does it come? If all the way to the floor, the console table would still look nice there, with curtains pulled open or closed tight.

Keeping your furnishings balanced around the room, without being stuck totally against the walls, will go a long way to making the space "breathe" with life. Be sure to add storage pieces, like the tall entertainment center for the TV wall, a bookcase shallow enough to fit at the other end of the room beside the kitchen entry, and then a series of framed pictures/art which gives visual impact without taking up more floor space.

I really like the yellow slipcovered sofa, but it is a bulky item. If that is your decor style, then you are a Pottery Barn sort of person. Is that sofa a long one, or is it a love seat? W/out seeing all of it, I cannot tell if it is long, or if it is a love seat spaced away from the 15' wall.

What kind of curtains do you have? Floor length? Do they close? Are they panels at the sides with sheers always covering the windows? Are you happy with the window coverings or plan to change them too? What about the color on the wall? With the kitchen very visible, how do the two coordinate with color and style? Floors in kitchen? Would you like a tall (and small) square table in the LR corner just outside the kitchen, with two high square chairs as a link between kitchen and LR when you have guests watching TV and chatting with the food prep people? One of our folks on here has such a table setup in her kitchen area, and it adds a LOT to the livability of the space. (Enigmaquandry)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Thank you for all the feedback.

I took some more pictures so you could get a better idea of the space.

Taken from the back corner near the TV, this shows the size of the window. Which takes up almost the entire wall:

Heres another one takin from the door, shows the opening to the kitchen and bedrooms

This is what you see right when you walk in from the front door:

To answer your question about the kitchen table. We have that at the far end of our kitchen:

Another idea I had was to buy a sectional and put it against the two main empty walls and put the TV at an angle where the xmas tree is now, near the window.
The only thing that sucks about this is you would have traffic crossing over the TV to get to the bedrooms and kitchen.
I would love to have the most seating possible and I feel like the only way to acheive this is to put a sectional up against the wall.

Would this be a big no no?

Oh and the yellow sofa we have now is 84"

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 6:33PM
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shortytx, how many people live in your house & what kind of furniture do you like? Do you like to stretch out on a sofa while watching tv, or sit up, or recliner? Those 3 doors make it a challenge. It's too bad the front door isn't at the other end so all the walk through areas are minimized.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 8:41PM
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Hi marti8a!

It's just me and my husband and our 2 dogs.
My husband really likes to lay out while he watches TV and we also have friends over to watch games & fights so seating is always needed.
I prefer to sit up and have a more stylish put together living since its the first area you see when you walk in.

I know the 3 doorways are such a pain! I just asked my husband if we could move the door over! Too much work he says. Booo!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 8:59PM
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'Would this be a big no no? '

no, i don't think so. that's probably what i'd do. I'd get one of those sofa's that turn at the end and have a sitting space on the turn. L shaped. then put a chair by the window (closer to the door) and the tv where the tree is.

I think in most places I've lived we've had to walk in front of the tv to get to other rooms. only allow people in/out during a commercial...

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 11:00PM
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A thought:
Put your cabinet that is currently along the wall at the front door against the wall near the window and entry to the kitchen; put the sofa facing towards the shelves and the tv on a skinny table where the shelves are (or wall mount your tv there); put a console in back of the sofa but make sure there is about 18' from the wall so the space 'breathes' and some tall skinny art or a tall vertical sculpture or vase of flowers on or above the new console so it faces the entry door and looks inviting and greets you when you enter the room. Put a nice area rug in front of the sofa with a small coffe table there and a comfortable chair against the wall next to the large window. Add some color with light textured fabric (light linen or soft cotton) full length drapes at both sides of the window and some very sheer drapes beneath them to give the room some sense of enclosure and coziness. Put a pillow or two on the sofa and chair that matches the drapes or the drape color so there is some cohesion between items. Add a wall hanging or other interesting art on the wall flanking the sofa arm.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 1:45PM
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All I can say is your LR is bigger than mine! :-) Plus we bought oversized furniture (big no no) AND have a piano. Yikes! BTW I was unable to see your photos.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 1:57PM
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Your rooms are lovely. I really like your kitchen.
Seems to me the optimum spot for viewing the TV is right where you have it. Like Cakequeen says, mounting it on the wall is a great option. Especially if it can swivel.

If you consider a sectional, do the armed end to the RIGHT, closest to the TV, and have a single unarmed seat next to that, then the chaise next coming out from the wall near the door. The chaise would create a traffic flow around the area. I would also consider a big ottoman to go beside the armed end of the sofa, serving as more seating or as a coffee table with a tray sitting on it. Dips and such, you know.

Those floating shelves are nice, but they are too light weight to hold down that side of the room. A storage unit with doors below could tidy up your living room and not get in the way of traffic. If you are into serving in the living room, a parsons table very narrow could fit in front of the wide windows. Or, get a long low upholstered bench for other folks to perch on if they come into the living area from the kitchen to watch something on TV.

I'd keep the Tv where it is now because it will allow folks in the kitchen to be part of the occasion.

The furniture object you have half hidden behind the front door is in the way there, and might balance better on the other side of the front door, with a dimmable lamp sitting on it. By all means, cover your windows with a long unbroken row of floor length drapery panels. Pottery Barn sells these, so does BedBathBeyond much cheaper. I like the huge grommets myself, but clip rings work too if you want skinny rods. The curtains unifying the long run of windows will make the room appear larger and more sophisticated.

BTW, if you don't want your yellow sofa, I LOVE it. Hope it finds a "good home." :)

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 9:04PM
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your kitchen is so well done! here is a possible plan ... also showing what can be done with the tv ... hope this helps ...

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 3:32AM
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Summerfield Designs. That is a lovely design you have come up with.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 7:37PM
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Summerfield, I'm hoping this is a "sign"....a blessed heavenly SIGN......that you have given us a place in your heart for this coming year.......

Love your ideas, and the way your visuals say it better than words.

Thanks for LavenderLass's house design, and now for Shortyx's living room. So sophisticated and lovely. It helps us all to envision our own homes in a new way.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 7:44PM
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