Off Centered Design Solution??

missabullockAugust 20, 2012
Just recently built a home in Bowie, MD (25 minutes outside of DC) and we realized we have one blunder that's clearly too late to fix. Our loft has off-centered windows. We wanted to make this a nice lounge area between our 2 kids bedrooms (boy,12 and girl 4). As if that wasn't hard enough, it's not a nicely evened space. I need help and suggestions. It's a 14x13 foot area.
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PRO
Studio NOO Design
Put dark wood 2 inch horizontal blinds to give warmth and then paint this wall an accent color. Obviously, very hard to install curtains here, so putting a darker color on this wall only will make the room feel cozy.. Seing your furniture would help to give you more suggestions.
    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 8:47AM
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missabullock
that's a good idea. we haven't selected any furniture here at all at this point. we wanted to make a nice quiet lounge area for the kids, maybe a funky desk or even a couple of lounge chairs. the thought was to have built in bookshelves on either sides of the windows and a cool area rug. but now i'm just kinda lost :(
    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 8:51AM
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TanCalGal
The wall on left is perfect for built in bookcases. The built-ins will even out the windows and they'll appear perfectly planned. A funky rug, and 2 neutral bean bag chairs.
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14 Likes    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:56PM
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charleee
There are curtain rods that have only one side that attaches to the wall, then they pivot open. For the window on the right you would install the hardware on the left and vice versa for the window on the left. When open, they should meet in the middle.

Then install a bookcase to the left of the left window.
    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 3:09PM
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winger1
A bookcase to the left of the left window could certainly even out the look. But why not make a little fort / retreat around the one that's otherwise too close to the wall? Depending on the age of the children, it could have a nice chair with curtains around it for a semi-private reading retreat or, if they're younger, a fort made of curtains or even out of plywood that could have a real window outside!
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 4:41PM
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PRO
Dytecture
I agree with not drawing attention more than they are already. It depends on what kind of window treatment you are thinking of.

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1 Like    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 4:56PM
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pcmom1
Thinking ...how about placing a mirror, that exactly mimics your window, butted up to the window on the adjacent wall. Create a "corner" window effect. Agree that other window treatment should be full drapes, and perhaps nothing at all on problem window.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:17PM
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AMN
I love j22b's built-in suggestion!
    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:34PM
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PRO
Dorman Associates, Inc.
I also agree with the bookcase built-in suggestion. Maybe continue the built-in under the windows, and go for the roman shades.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:38PM
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missabullock
i think you all are right with the bookshelf. that even us up and i like the idea of the long bar for the window treatments. the kids are 12 and 4 boy and girl....i dont think the clubhouse will work and we wont have quite enuff space for a couch. this loft is on the 2nd floor between the bedrooms. bean bags could work. i will need to sketch out some ideas and post for feedback
1 Like    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:31PM
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crazylife
Since it's a kid's space, and you don't have room for a couch, I would do the book case on the wall to the left without windows, and I'd make the bookshelves pretty deep. It would be easy to add a a very deep built-in window seat the length of the wall under the windows, with a long flat cushion and throw some big pillows in the corners. It will be such a fun, unique room.
I'd suggest window locks that only allow the window to open a few inches since your daughter is still very young.
Kudos to all of you for your innovative solutions.
7 Likes    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Susan Brennan
I would definitely put in roman blinds rather than curtains since the window to the right is so close to the wall, curtains would only block some light even when they are open. I would have a wall unit built to even out the spacing of the windows with either a desk for two incorporated, or an entertainment unit for gaming (depending on how they will use the room) with bookcases and perhaps cupboards either side to put away toys out of site.
If this were to be used as a bedroom, the bed could go up against the wall to the left with the bedside table in the corner to balance the windows.
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 12:54AM
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mrs1916
I like the idea of bookcase to the left, and then a low built-in console area with drawers and a shelf where you could put a TV in the centre of the two windows, and a couple of bean bag chairs on the floor. I think the key is to have one cohesive finish along that wall to make it look like the design was deliberate. It might be pricey if you have to go custom, but I think it would be well worth the cost to fix the issue. I'm also guessing that if you have built this place, you'll likely be living there a while anyway!
I think it was bad that your builder didn't point this out to you during the design phase. Do you think you could negotiate with him to do this work to fix it? Just a thought.
I vote for roman shades too!
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:47AM
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missabullock
its too late to fix/adjust unfortunately. we go to close in just a few short weeks. but i really really like the ideas you all have and i think the custom bookcase built in with the bench will be the winner with the roman shades. i actually can visualize this really well. my husband liked the idea too!
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:40AM
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PRO
Anthony O. James, Architect
Agree about the bookcase, but suggest more built-ins there that are deeper, such as a built in desk that brings the line out to the window, and either a cupboard (built-in) in the corner by the window, or a closet (with built-ins next to it along that left wall). Roman shades or wood blinds would be good for window coverings. Interesting colors, including a different one for the window wall, will also help.
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:02AM
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Ashley Baker
Ditto bookcase -- just be sure to get a great architect / cabinet designer to lay it out so that it helps not hurts. I just wanted to offer one other suggestion on the idea of making the left and right spaces different (posted by Emma)...

You could use an open shelf coming out from the wall (think of a West Elm or Ikea shelf ...put a sample below). This shelf would break the space visually and create a "nook" which then could be used for reading, play area, whatever you decide. I picture it with a bunch of books on the shelves and two bean bag chairs. It's own small rug to accentuate that it is it's own space. I would have loved a little space like this as a kid, to feel like I had my own "private" area, even if my sibling was also in the room.

In this case you would stick with blinds or roman shades on the two windows of course.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:13AM
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terryescramer
Build a corner book case that then extends around and between the windows if you plan on placing a tv n there make a place in the corner unit for it
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:37AM
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PRO
Walsh Krowka & Associates, Inc
I agree with PCMOM suggestion about the mirror (or other element) on the wall adjacent to the corner window. Place it the same distance away from the corner; it will move the away from the paired windows and to the corner window assembly.
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:41AM
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DesignHouse Inc - House Plans
I agree with the idea of adding a bookcase to the left of that window. If you REALLY want it to go away - do curtains from the ceiling to the floor, all the way across the wall covering both windows. I have to say that I am big on balance so that would bug me as well. Even a corner unit with storage for toys, tv, dvds, etc would be great.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:18AM
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DesignHouse Inc - House Plans
See attached example
5 Likes    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:51AM
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myrns
I would use pleated shades on each window wide enough & long enough to cover the trim and paint the wall the same color as the shades..............preferably not white or beige but a definite color. Arrange seating on one wall facing a wall unit on the other. If the room is used for TV watching, the shades would probably be pulled down and blend in with the wall. Otherwise the windows are there only to let light in and not be a focal point.
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:35AM
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missabullock
we don't think this will be used as a tv room....i think they would fight often....regularly over it so maybe more for quiet reading/play/coloring/drawing.
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Mona Ives
I would suggest you hang drapes over th entire back wall with end caps on the outside edges so that you don't need room for a finial. While it might block out some more light than you wanted, it will make the room most symmetrical and take the attention off of this situation. Hang the rod higher than the window so you have more room for brackets. It will also make the room feel more cozy. then you can furnish the space however you like. I see a couple of swiveling chairs and maybe a low bookshelf.
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:51AM
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PRO
CellularWindowShades.com
Check out our shades! They are subtle enough that they wouldn't add a bunch of bulky fabric to the windows and if you match the shade fabric to the wall color, it would be even less obvious. I recommend getting the window treatment color nailed down before the wall color so you can get the paint as close as possible. There are infinite colors of paint! If you go with honeycomb shades, you can get samples here: http://cellularwindowshades.com/samples.html I also like the built in idea to even it out. Great suggestion.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:53AM
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stylistsue
I immediately thought of placing book shelves on the left wall so that they butt up against the window frame as the wall does on the right side, but noticed it had been mentioned. A built in look would be great and then the windows would "match". If that isn't possible, simply hanging draperies from wall to wall would be a simple quick disguise.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 1:58PM
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rkelts
It sounds like built in book cases are the main idea in these threads. What about a built in L shaped seating with large pillows in that corner. The light would be lovely for reading. Below could be drawers for toys/books etc. and make it large enough to double as a bed should a friend stay over.

OR

a desk with computer monitor in that corner (for your son).
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:27PM
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missabullock
i took a look at a few built in ideas on the site and saw some nice L shaped options too tjat dont include a bookshelf. i love this website!
    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 3:09PM
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GizV
I would place shelves and a workspace between the windows and a long workspace along the left wall with shelves. Under the windows, built in seating with storage. Place an interactive pin board between the windows to bring balance to the offset windows.
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This would allow for homework and electronics and crafts for the various activities for these two very different age groups. I'd consider a drop down table for the center one for more open play space, whether that means playing dress up or interactive computer games or just hanging with friends. Lots of oversize cushions and a low table for board games.

For the windows: Some kind of simple shade so when closed make the windows disappear which means similar color to walls.

Please post the final pictures. There are so many amazing suggestions here and it would be very interesting to see your final decision.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:06AM
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missabullock
i definitely will oost the final result. we are waiting for the floors to be finished at the moment. so it'll be a little while from now. and ur so right about the amazing suggestions i talked to hubby for a while yesterday about them. we gotta decide on a final-ish product soon
1 Like    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:36AM
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psuep
I vote for one huge drape, floor to ceiling, that when closed covers the entire wall and when open draws to the left and 'stacks back' in that awkward space. I'd choose a fabric with a large pattern (ikat? horizontal stripe? chevron?) that you can draw from when choosing furnishings and accessories. I love built-ins, but they are so permanent and it sounds like you aren't sure yet how you want to use this room. Also, with kids, the room's function may change several times before they're grown.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:06AM
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judianna20
Comfortable Luxury · More Info


Perfect solution in this pix. Draw attention to left wall by placing furniture there. Simplify window treatment and use pictures to help draw eye to the left.
4 Likes    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 6:47PM
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pcmom1
Wonder if we can create a "room within a room" by walling off the offending window with a real wall, or opaque glass. Create a cubby for a little privacy for taking a phone call, maybe a relaxing little nook for reading, napping...

That way no one really has to see it while up there.
    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:07PM
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GizV
I think the glass wall is a great idea, especially for a teenager who wants a little privacy from the little one. A little phone booth so to speak.
    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:20PM
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GizV
I think the glass wall is a great idea, especially for a teenager who wants a little privacy from the little one. A little phone booth so to speak.
    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:20PM
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