Need to warm this space up
Lana Rice
August 26, 2014 in Design Dilemma
I need a little help. This space needs some design. We just painted this area. Navajo white walls because we may put the house on the market in the next few months. In the meantime, and in case we don't, I want to make the space my own. Leather furniture, Colors in the chairs are deep ruby reds, fern greens, tans and little gold. I need ideas to give it a little more pizazz. I would like a bigger rug, but not sure if I should go for color or a neutral color and add color in other places. I need some fresh new perspective
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Jenna erdt
You need some color. I would pick a few colors and start with some decor.
1 Like   Thanked by Lana Rice    August 26, 2014 at 2:51PM
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0 Likes   Thanked by Lana Rice    August 26, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Great potential!

I would, just to start

-remove the small bench from behind the sofa
-place the chairs facing the tv
-remove the rug and replace it with a more contemporary, lighter colored rug
-remove the lone chair by the piano
-consider destuffing the cushions on the sofa and leather chair
-new pillow-panel drapes
-mantle and bookshelf need decluttering and updating
-tv needs a console under it that hides the electronics
2 Likes   Thanked by Lana Rice    August 26, 2014 at 3:01PM
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Can the tv go in the unit to the right of the fireplace?
0 Likes   Thanked by Lana Rice    August 26, 2014 at 3:25PM
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Lana Rice
No, the shelves are stationary. I am looking for a console for the TV. I am looking for something that stands out. And unfortunately that is about the only place the TV can go. I would love to move the furniture around and have tried a few things but it seems to obstruct the flow from the entry and the breakfast area. Do like the idea of panels and pillows and have been looking for those. I definitely need the panels to have color, just not sure whether solid or print. Definitely like the idea of a lighter and larger rug. I also would like to remove the library table, but not sure of what kind of piece to put there. Tall? Long?
Love the ideas...it really helps.
0 Likes   August 26, 2014 at 3:33PM
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I don't know what you mean by the "library table".

I would remove
the table that is in front of the window
-the small bench
-the trunk
-the ottoman

Replace trunk with a larger coffee table.

I know this all might sound drastic, but there are a lot of small pieces in the room that is making the room look dated.

I would start with a rug purchase or a piece of art for over the fireplace.
0 Likes   August 26, 2014 at 3:47PM
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Lana Rice
I agree, there are two many small pieces. I would love to lose the piano, but it is a family heirloom that my husband won't part with. I am talking about the little table/desk that is underneath the shelf that has the picture on it. I need a statement piece there, but don't know if it should be something tall or mid wall height or what.
I love antiques, so I am searching for several pieces. I agree, I need to start with the rug. The area over the fireplace is frustrating because there isn't a whole lot of space for anything too big.
Again many thanks for all of the ideas
0 Likes   August 26, 2014 at 3:55PM
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abbyjean
Will the big piece of art currently on the piano work on the mantle? That will make the piano smaller in the room.

I would move the ottoman to the chair it belongs with and that will open up the fireplace, which will feel nicer, too.

Try scooting the couch and rug up a bit closer to the fireplace...just a bit...and move the bench behind it to the wall with the console table and try the console table behind the couch instead. Maybe the couch does not even have to move forward to make the console fit behind it.
1 Like   August 26, 2014 at 4:12PM
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Lana Rice
No it is a mirror. But it is too tall for the area over the mantle unless I remove the wreath and lean either the mirror or painting.
I would like to have a big statement there. I am also thinking I would like to change the brick color
0 Likes   August 26, 2014 at 4:17PM
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abbyjean
Is there another place for the mirror where it would really be used? It is way too high to be used on the top of the piano and gives unnecessary height to that space.

I just noticed the wreath when you mentioned one. It also seems too high for the room. Your eye does not notice things up that high.
1 Like   August 26, 2014 at 4:27PM
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Darzy
How about a sisal rug with a cowhide layered on it? That is pizzazy. Then, a light and airy transitional coffee table.

1 Like   August 26, 2014 at 4:28PM
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abbyjean
Can the library table be your new tv console? Put the bench in front of the window then?
0 Likes   August 26, 2014 at 4:30PM
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Lana, the main issue I see with the room is that

-you are trying to create too many focal points
-too many antiques, so we really see none (I know you love them, but concentrate on a few that work)
I will use some of Abby's thoughts.

Here is what I would do:

-move the chairs to the right side of sofa (no table in between the chairs, so you can walk in between them. They are huge and taking away from the fireplace. If you don't want to do that, then remove one of the chairs.....or do you have smaller chairs?

-remove library table. Not needed for now.
-place furniture piece that is at window where library piece is.
-remove art from above space where library piece is. Hung too high.
-Take all the items off the piano. Too cluttered. It is a beautiful piece and stands on its own.
-fireplace.....you can leave something in the cathedral area, but then above the mantle needs to be very simple.....maybe a mirror.
-then there are the shelves and the drapes.

I know.....a lot. I would start with the furniture.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 3:26AM
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So the shelves to the left of the fireplace cannot be moved?
What is the space to the right of the fireplace?

Would you consider having a carpenter remove the shelves, esp those on the right side of the fp?

If the tv were on the right side of the fp, then the chairs could be placed on the left.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 3:37AM
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Lana Rice
Definitely all great points to consider. Regarding the shelves. We have often considered whether the Tv could work there. Now our problem is whether to make that change with the possibility of putting the house on the market in the next year. I have never felt the tv works there and in fact would prefer it not be in the space at all.We have a TV room. What you have all given me is the new perspective I was seeking. I have a lot of work to do! Thanks you.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 4:23AM
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You said this space is off the breakfast area? So, it sounds like it would be the main family room for a new family moving in. Do I have that right?

Most people like their kitchen, breakfast area, family room all in one space. They do not want to go to a separate room to watch tv. I would stage your tv room as a library or office.

Let me throw something out there that I believe would really increase the value of your home. Would you consider removing the bookcase that is on the right side of the fireplace? That would open up the space between the family room and kitchen. It would add great value.

Then, tv on left side in the bookcase area. I would move your entire furniture arrangement, then, to the left to be centered on both the fireplace and tv.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 4:38AM
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Lana Rice
Yes, I believe a new family would use it as their family room. We used the room off the kitchen as a TV room because when my kids were home it made me nuts keeping the main room in order. But that room will need to be shown as a bedroom or office. I would love the idea of opening the room up....can you come convince my husband?
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 4:50AM
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weatherwife
Is the kitchen to the left of the sofa? In other words, when you are entering the room from the kitchen, is the sofa to the right of you and the fireplace to the left? If so, I like the arrangement. (I was thinking the kitchen area was behind the sofa and although I like the idea of floating the sofa I was thinking you might move it facing the window to open the area.). It looks as though there is a small wall where the piano is and a cased opening leading to a hallway beside it?
Anyway, I honestly think your problem is mostly color. It's a warm and inviting room, but there are so many earthy colors (especially brown) that is is beginning to feel drab. If you were definitely going to stay there I would consider changing out the leather sofa and possibly the leather chair for a lighter sofa in a linen or another natural but sturdy fabric. I think that would make an enormous difference and would allow you to accessorize here and there in some lighter tones. Definitely do panels and a sophisticated but fun rug. I think in this case a geometric or animal print. Sisal is always great in a room like this if you have enough pattern everywhere else.
I think the chair by your piano crowds that corner. Remove it and consider a custom piano bench cushion in your pillow or drapery fabric. Start with a clean slate in your accessories. The room just needs new life!
(And pillows, drapery, rug, etc. will do wonders! Changing the sofa out is NOT a great idea unless you are certain you are moving and it will work in your new home.)
1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 4:58AM
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Lana Rice
You are correct about the layout. While it would be great to open up the entry from the kitchen, it would mean completely refiguring the kitchen as the bar in the kitchen has seating on one side and the sink on the other. Hubby isn't going to go for tearing anything out, not even the shelves. I am thinking if I can angle the TV where it is on a nicer console I can possibly re configure everything else. Changing out the furniture may be more of an option than knocking anything out. I love how open the room is, but it does create some challenges. I also do believe that lack of color is a major issue. The chest in front of the window is an heirloom piece I put it there for now, because it doesn't work in the bedrooms and it needs to be refinished. Piano has to stay where it is. On the opposite wall, it needs something else, not sure if that is a piece of furniture, chairs and table, or what.
Definitely need panels for the windows and a rug, coffee table..
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 5:17AM
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weatherwife
A larger table behind the sofa would be great, too. Place family pictures on it and maybe 2 lamps if you have floor plugs? If not, maybe a floral or some pretty pottery.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 5:27AM
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Lana Rice
So any suggestions from anyone on the wall with the picture that is too high on the shelf and where the little library table is? I am thinking I will move that table to my office. Do I hear any yay or nay's for finding a console to angel by the shelves to put the TV on?
You have all been so great....many thanks.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 5:34AM
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Lana,

Think: "big to small". We need to get the large pieces set and the smaller ones will fall into place.

Can you please take a photo of the corner.

Funny, when you said no construction, I was thinking the same thing......tv in corner.

Please take a photo of the corner and then try this and see if you like it. Only way is to try.

Take sofa and angle it, facing corner.
Place one chair to left of sofa, one chair to right of sofa,
So, brown chair would stay where it is/ other chair would go to left of sofa. (we might with them out.....let's see).

Convincing husband: I would talk to a real estate agent to get ideas on what features might sell in your area. Chances are, he/she is going to say "great room". You are almost there. I don't think it would take much to reconfigure that area. Huge return on investment.

But, if he says no, then at least we can do the best with the furniture and decor to make the room look fabulous.
1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 5:48AM
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I would move the library table out. Move heirloom piece to where library table is. Window areas should be left open.
1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 5:48AM
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Lana Rice
I am going to do a little moving around today. I tried the couch on an angle before I think, but it didn't quite seem to work. But I need to try that configuration again. I will send pictures afterwards.
Again, so many thanks for all the help
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 6:20AM
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You are very welcome!
1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 6:31AM
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Would you consider new, smaller chairs, sofa? How about what is in your tv room? Can that be moved in here?

My overall thought is that the furniture is too bulky and dark for the size of the room.
1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 6:33AM
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Lana Rice
Yes, we did talk this morning about possibly changing the furniture. Hubby is more receptive to that than tearing things out. I am going to do some moving around and see how it looks. I bought this great piece for a TV console in our bedroom but actually think the colors would work better in this space. You can't really tell but there are golds and shades of green in it.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 6:40AM
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Lana, good you are moving things around to see. I notice a lot of rooms in your idea book that have smaller, lighter colored furniture. So, you have the right vision, but all these dark, antique pieces are weighing the room down.

Lana, where would you place that in the family room?
1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 6:54AM
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smaller pieces, light, bright open. Took this right from your idea book.

[houzz=
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1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 6:55AM
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Lana Rice
Yes, I do like that look a lot
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 6:58AM
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ashtonchic
You really have a beautiful light, bright room but the heavy furniture is sucking all the light out. I would suggest that you decide what you want to do about selling the house before you spend money on new things. If you wait you can then style the new house just the way you want. Can you move the piano to the TV room and open up the space? Do you have other rugs, in bedrooms or TV room you could bring in to try? A few bright pillows on the couch would be all I would do for now besides moving out small pieces of furniture. If you think you will be staying put, go for new furniture and a whole new look. All the spaces in your idea book are light and cheerful.
1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 7:10AM
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Lana Rice
And that is the million dollar question. We love our house, but the neighborhood has changed. It is perfect for when the grandkids and family come. I wish I could pick it up and move it. We have no clue where we would want to go or what we want in terms of living. Downsize? Townhome? Land? We don't want to do anything until the hubs retires in about a year or so, but I want some style in the meantime. Everything has been updated and painted...now it needs decor.

Can't move the piano to the tv room. It is a fairly small room. And because of the where it is off the kitchen, it would be impossible to make the corners. Also, it is terribly terribly heavy. Built in the late 1890's for the Chicago Worlds Fair and was bought for my husband's grandmother.

I do think if I consider changing the furniture and going with lighter and smaller that those would be able to work in a different home, especially if we downsize.

So much to consider
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 7:19AM
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Parish Shades
At zero cost with little sweat: Let the rug "marry" the chairs and the couches, bring each item to it's edge. Especially move the chairs, they are too close to the fireplace. Turn them inward. It seems like if there were a fire it would be unseen by people sitting in those chairs, but they would have one shoulder too too hot. Trunk is too small as a coffee table for the amount of seating, imagining that there are people in each seat, like a party. Put ottoman next to couch on the end to create the illusion of the popular lounge style couch add ons of today. Position it so you can curl up and watch TV or the fire on a day that you need cosiness. Put a soft blanket there for such use. Get off the grid! It is not homey to have things lined up like a showroom. Imagine how people sit at a campfire. That is more organic for human interaction. Use the fireplace as the determinant on how to place everything in room as it is the constant and the best feature. This is where I would start.
1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 7:27AM
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Lana,

That is awesome about the piano!! I think it is fine there. It is sort of off one its own and doesn't compete with the furniture.

I agree: if you buy smaller, updated pieces, they will work anywhere in a future home.

I have a thought, looking at the overall picture. It takes time, as you know to get a house ready for sale and do it right.

Why don't you start using the family room as your tv room and turn the tv room into an office?

If you are willing to do that, consider what ashtonchic and I asked: is there any furniture in the tv room that would work in the family room?
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 7:28AM
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Lana Rice
We have had that talk about moving back into the family room. If the house is put on the market, we will certainly have to do that because it will be marketed as a 4th bedroom. My office is located at the front of the house directly across from the dining room in what would be a "sitting room" ( house is almost 35 years old). If we should decide to move everything back to the family room, the only furniture I could possibly use is a small slipcovered love seat, which is certainly a possibility. Only other thing is a recliner and another chair that I am begging we get rid of.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 7:44AM
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I think I would consider that.....moving into the fam room. Less to do when you do decide to put the house on the market.

How does the slipcovered love seat look?
Would you be willing to sell the current family room furniture?
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 7:52AM
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Lana Rice
It is an Ikea loveseat. Red slipcover on it currently. It is in pretty good shape. Yes, we have a great resource here in DFW for selling furniture. I don't think I would have a problem at all. I have sold several furniture pieces on it. The sofa and chair are in great shape. The other chair is ok, it is just too overstuffed. We took some of the stuffing out, but it could stand to have more removed. It is is not a particularly comfortable chair with that cushion. My grandkids take the cushion off and put a pillow behind them
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 8:00AM
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It sounds like a good move to me to look into buying some lighter furniture that would easily transport to your next home.

You can use the red loveseat as mockup to see how smaller furniture would work in your space.
1 Like   August 27, 2014 at 9:58AM
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ashtonchic
Have you seen new furniture that you like? You could start out by doing a floor plan to scale for the room. I use 9x12 graph paper with four squares=1 inch to represent a foot. You can cut out little couches, chairs, coffee table etc to scale and see how you could arrange your room. Look on-line for sizes of things you like. Then once you get that done and there is plenty of space to move around, you can purchase what you want.
This is a perfect time to thoughtfully plan what kind of house you want for your future. As you age, you will find that location is more and more important. BTW, we just moved last year to our retirement home so I can appreciate what you are going through!
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 10:17AM
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Lana Rice
Thanks so much. I have see some furniture that I like. My likes have definitely changed since my kids left home. Makes me realize how old this furniture is! Moving to our next stage in life has been a bigger challenge than I though. And one of us does change better than the other. LOL. It will certainly all come together...
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 10:31AM
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An observation:

I think it looks odd that there are doors on the upper right built-in, but none on the left.

What is the reason for this?
Can the doors on the right be removed?
Why can't you use one of these spaces for the tv?
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 10:35AM
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That is always an issue......one spouse liking to keep around "treasures" that the other spouse does not consider valuable.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Lana Rice
Well friends: putting the couch on an angle doesn't work. I think the tv angled in the corner does, though if we move the tv in from the other room it is a bit larger but I think it will work. We just need a different console
It does open up the fireplace but we lose some seating when family is over
The space to the left of the angled Tv kind of ales me nuts with that we air intake
Will have to have the hubs help me move the heirloom pie to the opposite wall
Ottoman doesn't seem to work anywhere
I really have a walking flow issue
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 1:38PM
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weatherwife
Question/suggestion may have been asked and answered already, but can you give up some of the shelves and put your TV in the built in? I think it will look and function so much better.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 1:53PM
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Lana Rice
possibly. I also thought about hanging the tv on the wall in that space. The guy that does our remodeling will be here next week. I am going to ask him about using the shelves and what that would entail.
2 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 2:01PM
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Lana, that is the first time you showed a photo of that corner. So, before this I was able to entertain the idea of the angled tv.

I like to be honest, so here goes. Very simply put, the tv does not work there. Why?

-it looks very out of place, plucked in front of the built in. You have these beautiful built-ins and no place for a tv. To add to that, when buyers come and see the tv there, they will think the same thing. "Oh, there is no place for the tv, so they had to improvise and put it in front of the built-ins".

As I mentioned before and weather wife mentioned, the built-ins would be great. Could you please try 2 different options

option 1

1) tv centered in left built-in
2) couch centered btfn left built-in and fireplace
3) chairs to right of couch and facing wall where tv was previously

option 2

1) couch centered on fireplace
2) chairs to left of couch and facing out window.
3) tv (you can pretend) is in right built-in
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 3:05PM
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Lana Rice
And there is the rub.. With the couch centered on the fireplace and let's pretend the tv is left on the fireplace. Even with nothing in front of the window there is not enough walking space between the back of the chair and the windows and door to the patio for one chair much less two
If you pretend the tv is on the right side you block the entry into the room
From the entry hall and if you put two chairs you would have to strain your neck to see it
So a definite dilemma

You have been so kind with your suggestions
Everyone else too
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 3:23PM
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Lana, not a problem I see, but.......

Option 1

couch is centered BETWEEN the fireplace and built-in (so couch is moved down further).

I don't see a problem with a couple of chairs with their backs to the window, if the chairs are smaller.

One other option you could consider is a sectional with a chaise. . But get a bi-sectional.......can be taken apart and put together in different configurations.


[houzz=
]
0 Likes   Thanked by Lana Rice    August 27, 2014 at 3:44PM
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ashtonchic
I like option above with sectional/chaise on right. TV in built in on right. Then one chair facing windows. Leave enough room to walk through room near windows and patio door. You could do console table with ottomans underneath behind couch for when grandkids come. Take out everything else and then see what you need and what will fit. Put things back judiciously. Think of it as "staging" the house for potential sale.
1 Like   Thanked by Lana Rice    August 27, 2014 at 4:36PM
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So, sectional above can be configured so that chaise is on the opposite side. I believe chaise can also be totally removed and used separately. Just one example.
0 Likes   Thanked by Lana Rice    August 27, 2014 at 4:37PM
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Lana Rice
Hello:
I am back! Thank goodness for the weekend. Ok, new rug.
Moved things around a bit. Again, flow through. Welcome your thoughts
0 Likes   August 30, 2014 at 1:30PM
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leeweber
If you are thinking of selling, I would not purchase anything but re-think the room using things you already own. If you move, your new purchases may not fit and you may be sorry you bought them.
0 Likes   August 30, 2014 at 1:58PM
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Lana Rice
That is my concern. Especially since we have not narrowed down what our next moving phase will look like. But I do want this to work while I am still here.
0 Likes   August 30, 2014 at 2:03PM
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Lana, my honest observations:

-there is too much large, heavy furniture in the space.
-the sofa and dark chair have sagging back cushions. Can be fixed by getting them destuffed

If you don't want to buy new furniture now, I recommend:

Removing the 2 large chairs and replacing them with smaller chairs. Maybe you have some you can try? The chair in the corner is the right size. Can you move the other 2 out and try that?

Get the tv mounted on the wall or at least placed on a wooden console.

Pillows will help.
0 Likes   August 30, 2014 at 2:36PM
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Lana Rice
Yes, definitely smaller chairs with this arrangement. Colorful print. Definitely thought of hanging the TV on the wall, or possibly hanging over the fireplace,l ( not sure what that involves) leaving another space to put seating where the tv is now, or I actually do see putting it in the shelf to the left of the fireplace which would still leave room to put a chair on that side.
I am just trying to invision a family with children living in this space. On the positive side, I do like the lighter rug
0 Likes   August 30, 2014 at 2:43PM
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Rug does lighten it up.

Can we see a photo with the 2 bulky chairs removed and the other chair in their place?

TV over fireplace is too high for how close the sofa is.. You can check with the contractor when he comes about placing it in the right side of built-in. I think that is your best place.
0 Likes   August 30, 2014 at 2:58PM
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Lana Rice
I pulled a chair from my office and the other from by the piano. Ok TV in shelves to the left of fireplace, we will have everything wired to go in cabinets below. Smaller comfortable chair where TV was ( will need to do something between chair and shelves) two smaller comfortable chairs ( colorful fabric?) on the opposite side. Gone are the two bulky chairs). I don't have floor outlets so I need use my corner next to piano and the other side of room ( where I moved the heirloom piece) for lamp lighting. A nice round(? ) coffee table that is distinctive. I think with all the great help we have a win! Time to go shopping!
0 Likes   August 30, 2014 at 3:32PM
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Lana, thanks for trying that,,,,,much better!!

Can you try one more idea? What about placing the wing chairs where the tv and the plaid chair are now. It would open up the entrance. I would not use the plaid chair,

You could leave the tv in the corner for now, just to see how it feels. Then, please post photos.

Then, the tv would go in the RIGHT side of the fireplace.
0 Likes   August 31, 2014 at 3:07AM
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Lana Rice
I will give it a try later this afternoon. I am not going to use these chairs, I was thinking about looking for small club.
0 Likes   August 31, 2014 at 5:44AM
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I understand you are not going to use those chairs......but, I still think it will look more open with the chairs on the opposite side.

Whatever chairs you buy, I would recommend a light, neutral color. It will look more up to date and will be more flexible to fit in with future purchases.
0 Likes   August 31, 2014 at 5:47AM
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Lana Rice
yep, I have found some at Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs that I like. Neutral color. I have two concerns on moving the chairs there. Definitely feel it opens up the space, but it seems to the entry to the room and and the view is not quite as good with the TV in that space. We can get a "swivel" to help with viewing, but worry it might look strange as you are entering the breakfast area as the Tv would take up the full width of that cabinet space. Also I am concerned about getting the needed wiring over there. It is convenient on the left side.
0 Likes   August 31, 2014 at 6:08AM
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PRO
CDR Design
I see your concern and I was concerned about the same., but thought it worth trying. It seems the tv on the right would be sort of floating out in nomansland.

I think you solution with tv on left and smaller, lighter chairs is really the best!!
0 Likes   August 31, 2014 at 6:34AM
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Lana Rice
It was worth a try....but agree. Thank you again for all of your help...it's good to have a plan now...
1 Like   August 31, 2014 at 6:36AM
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Nancy Chango
looks great without those larger chairs. makes the room look so much more open and inviting. you are doing a great job and listening to the pros.
1 Like   Thanked by Lana Rice    August 31, 2014 at 6:59AM
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decoenthusiaste
I'm not enthusiastic about the TV and mini stand under it angled in that corner. Have you considered removing the doors from the cabinet on the right and putting the TV there? That will be a more "sellable" location for it. Was planning to suggest smaller chairs, but you've done that already, so it is working better. Because the chairs are upholstered differently and appear to have a different finish on the legs, I'd place them on each side of the sofa, facing each other over trunk/coffee which looks to be a little far from the sofa to be useful - 18" is maximum.
1 Like   August 31, 2014 at 7:19AM
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