Help! How do I create an entryway and arrange furniture in front room?
lynnscarter
October 19, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi talented designers! I need your help. We have just remodeled three spaces in one large room of our house. When you walk in the front door there is a front room space, in the middle is a dining area, and the back (accessing the yard) is the kitchen. My dilemma is this: how do I create an entryway coming in the front door, and also, how should I arrange furniture (loveseat/chairs/tables/lamps) in the front room? We are going to buy all new furniture for the front room (fairly traditional style) so I would love advice on how to arrange. I have attached a picture of the space and a rough drawing with dimensions. Thanks in advance for your ideas to this tricky space!
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Aggie Purvinska
Is there going to be any TV Viewing in this space?
October 19, 2012 at 9:17am   
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lynnscarter
Good question! No, this will only be a sitting room. Mostly we use this for morning coffee, etc.
October 19, 2012 at 9:40am   
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houssaon
I would put a shelving unit between the door and the picture window perpendicular to the wall to act as a buffer form the front door. Then some pegs and a storage bench for coats and shoes. I'd put the counch in front of the window with two end tables and lamps, a coffee table. Opposite the couch can be two club chairs and a floor lamp. On the remaining wall, you could have a TV over a console or just the console and a piece of art.
October 19, 2012 at 9:40am     
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judianna20
Without doing any construction like for a half wall, I'd start at the door.. Lay an eye catching runner to the hallway door. Against that wall put a narrow, hall table, mirror and lamp. Now you have the feel of a hall. Leave that "pathway" unobstructed.

Hampton
To the right of your front window buy a piece the same size roughly as the front door. That should give you space for a t v if needed.

If this were my room, I would not go with a sofa/s. Everything is so rectangular, my suggestion would be a LARGE round coffee table with 6 matching chairs. Turn the dining table horizontally to the front window.

OR, would you put the dining table in front of the window and put living room furniture next t the kitchen for a more family room feel?




Hillside Farmhouse
October 19, 2012 at 9:55am     
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decoenthusiaste
Do you have inspiraton photos of furnishings you're dreaming of, or have you thought of a light fixture over the dining table? Only see cans in this shot. Start with one of these items for setting your color theme - either pick an area rug or a piece of art. If you put a rug under the dining table, add 4' to the table size for the rug - round 8' table needs 12' rug, 5x7 square needs 9x11 rug. Since this is one of those rooms where you jump right into the space, consider blocking the foyer visually. Would place a sofa perpindicular to the window. Put an end table in under the window by the door. Add a sofa table behind the sofa to serve as a foyer table in that 26" space right by the door. Lucky you have an outlet so you can put lamps on the tables and illuminate your "foyer!" A pair of club chairs and a smaller sofa can finish out this grouping area, with the small sofa facing the window, the chairs opposite the large sofa that created your visual foyer, clustered around a rug with coffee and other end tables. Then your dining area can go out in the middle as you've illustrated. Of course, TV installation might change all of that, so let us know where it will be, if at all.
October 19, 2012 at 10:03am   
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PRO
Sherri Fitzgerald
Hi Lynn
I'm an interior decorator and I have a few ideas for you. First look at the floor plan I attached.(Below)
To keep your entry tidy I would do a coat shelving area along the wall when you enter. It doesn't need to be wide or deep just enough to store a few things as you enter, could be open or have doors to keep it tidy. Like the pics below.

I posted the living room pic to show you how to put your furniture. Notice how the couch and loveseat form an L shape. In the "Cat Mountain Residence". You could use the back of your sofa like a half wall to separate your entrance from the living area........ Put a love seat either under the window or in front of the dining table forming the same L shape....... This creates the illusion of separate room area. .......Have a coffee table placed in front of the couch
In the picture with the blue cushions the couch serves as a wall between the living and dining area.

I also would put a low narrow shelving or drawers behind the couch for use in the entry for storage and tidiness.( like in the first photo)A shelf could hold shoes or drawers for purses etc.
Happy remodeling!
Sherri

Architect: Jon C Bernhard
Sue De Chiara's home
Renovation Redux Mudroom
Cat Mountain Residence
Austin Patterson Disston Architects
October 19, 2012 at 10:14am     
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collachi
I'm going to go against the grain and suggest a piece of furniture that is facing you as you walk into the door. A place to put coats and whatnot. Something freestanding (although it would have to be secured, of course), or a piece that goes all the way to the ceiling with molding at the top that matches your existing molding. I've never liked the feeling of just walking into a living room space.

Traditional Kitchen design by Atlanta General Contractor Clark Harris

Traditional Entry design by Louisville Kitchen And Bath Sarah Pryor of Etown Kitchens + Baths
October 19, 2012 at 10:19am     
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collachi
Oops, there were supposed to be images there, sorry.
October 19, 2012 at 10:20am   
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PRO
FOCAL POINT STYLING
Sorry so sketchy but I'd suggest floating the living room, and have two accent or club chairs at the window. To divide the space, but keep open - have a bench or storage ottomans between LR & DR. Having a sofa table behind sofa (at entry) across from another (or low unit with shelves for baskets) will create feel of an entry, without blocking flow and view.... Hope this helps!
October 19, 2012 at 10:28am     
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houssaon
Here is a half wall that would work on a smaller scale:
October 19, 2012 at 10:35am     
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mjd6750
Found a sofa table with shelves that should work well with Focal Point Styling's suggestion. It also can be"extended" to wrap around the left or right side by adding another piece. Enjoy creating your sitting room!

Re-read your original post, noted your furniture will be traditional,thed
piece attached obviously isn't, but you get the idea.
October 19, 2012 at 11:46am     
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decoenthusiaste
Thanks, Sherri F. for illustrating my concept. So many of us are visual and I see it in my head but can't transfer it to the computer. BTW, I'm a Kennedy, so maybe we're related!
October 19, 2012 at 12:09pm     
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Aggie Purvinska
Lovely concepts:) Do you have a hall closet or do you need one there to the left? Armoire of some sort?
October 19, 2012 at 12:23pm   
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Darzy
A thought, if you get two upholstered chairs for the living space, it's nice if they are suitable size/height to use at the dining table (head chairs) when you have extra guests.
October 19, 2012 at 12:33pm     
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lynnscarter
Hi All- thank you so much for the suggestions. To clarify a few things: we will not use this room for TV, so we don't need an area for that. We do have a hall closet to the right of the stairs. We have had tables in the space to the left of the door to "create" a room space. My only problem is that the tables can shift a bit (having four kids doesn't help this!). so I like the idea of a half wall and post to be built in.

Thanks Focal Point Styling for the sketch- - it is wonderful to have something on paper to consider. Somehow I think that two couches and two chairs would be too much for the space (and our dining table will likely be turned the other way because we always have 6+ at the table). Could you suggest dimensions on the furniture you suggested?

Please bear in mind that although we have a large family, we have two other family rooms, so we don't need to totally max out this room. Thanks again to all. Love the responses! :-)
October 19, 2012 at 12:38pm   
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Sherri Fitzgerald
Sorry Lynn..... I thought this was your only living area. Here are a few nice space ideas where people can gather but not in the usual living room style.
Sherri
Yaletown Loft
Living Room Dining Room with modern / traditional styling
J. Hirsch Interior Design Portfolio
October 19, 2012 at 12:47pm     
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lynnscarter
Here is another sketch that shows the dining and kitchen beyond the front room. Also a partially done kitchen photo. Walnut island and acoustic white cabinetry. Thanks!
October 19, 2012 at 12:56pm   
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PRO
FOCAL POINT STYLING
You're welcome Lynn! If the space need not be maxed out, than maybe just simply having 4 club chairs (or awesome upholstered/print wingback chairs) and a large round coffee table in the living area, with a buffet along wall at entrance is all the space needs + a large mirror on entry wall and a gallery wall mixed with floating shelves on the LR wall. So many helpful suggestions and wonderful community here at Houzz!
October 20, 2012 at 9:36am     
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dcer
I would put the loveseat with its back facing the entryway wall, to better define the entry. Then put a console behind the sofa with a table lamp and a key bowl, etc. Then put the chairs so they are facing the sofa, and backs to the fireplace. Good Luck!
October 20, 2012 at 11:35am   
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liljcj1
Hi! Firstly, nice space! When your guests walk into your home, they should be wowed and when you walk into the home, the entryway should serve as a landing spot for your keys, mail and a temporary dumping spot for all the bags you may bring in or if just have to sit down and put your shoes on before running out the door. Whatever the case, this is real life and a home should function as such. I have attached pics (courtesy of housebeautiful) that should aid you in setting up an entryway. Now the table can be changed out for a table that can store items ...
October 20, 2012 at 10:55pm     
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rawketgrl
You already have some great ideas here. Looks like a fun project, here are a few more ideas for the entry divider. For the living room organization, since everyone likes to congregate in the kitchen, I like the idea of a conversation area with soft comfy chairs around a large round coffee table with a big rug under it all to tie it together. This would be a natural area to retire to after dinner. Have fun, :D
October 21, 2012 at 1:05am     
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benniebonita
Build first once you have size you have measurements for furniture it helps not to over crowd room with out seized furnishing hope this helps with giving you a minds eye : )
Good luck
October 21, 2012 at 2:41am   
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nevadan
Use a recxtangular table inside of the door - perpendicular to the front wall - to creat a little hallway feeling. Use a sectional sofa which goes across the front and curves around the side. This way, when you enter the room the sofa will face toward, not away from, the visitor. very welcoming. Use a round coffee table for the sectional sofa. Arrange two matching chairs so they also face the coffee table. Voila! you are furnished.
October 21, 2012 at 8:15am   
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katherineevers
It sounds like the primary functions of the space will be dining room and foyer. Since you have a large family you'll want a large table that can expand even further for holidays. And with four or more kids running around you'll want lots of room to move. So I'd keep the "living room" furniture to a minimum.
Seating wise, perhaps just a pair of comfy chairs by the window.

How much does your family use the front door? Depending on your use, you will want to decide how large a "drop zone" you'll need for stuff and how large an area you'll need for traffic to flow freely.

It looks like you have a covered entry. Correct? That space helps ease the transition from outside to inside. So if the porch is welcoming, you may not need to create much more of an entry space.

You mentioned that you had a table near the door and it got shifted around by kid traffic. So the table may have made the space too confined. I'd therefore think carefully about installing something permanent that could impede flow.

It looks like you're creating an attractive and useful space for your family. Good luck!
October 21, 2012 at 9:51am     
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PRO
FINNE Architects
Hi,
I have attached a photo from our Eagle Harbor Cabin, where I designed a curvilinear maple screen wall to create a sense of privacy at the front door.
Eagle Harbor Cabin 1
I have also attached a detail photo of the screen wall.
Eagle Harbor Cabin 2
The idea is to make a defined entry space, while still preserving the open feeling of the room.
Good luck!
--Nils Finne, AIA
October 21, 2012 at 2:09pm   
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cheries
Thanks to lynnscarter for asking the question as I have a similar problem with my entryway. I love the suggestions by Lynda at Focal Point, always beautiful designs, liljcj1's beautiful entry idea as well and rawketgrl's room divider idea. Thank you for all of the wonderful ideas. Lynn, hope you will post again with your choice.
October 23, 2012 at 8:58am     
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blairbec
We had a similar entrance in our last home. Living, dining, kitchen were all in one open space. I put an antique Chinese cabinet, used as a shoe cabinet, in the space between the window and the door; perpendicular to the wall. I hung a painting over the cabinet and used a rug in front of the door to designate the space as a foyer. We got lots of commpliments from visitors about how we had used the space. The cabinet was low enough to keep the view open into the living area. We have just moved from there and i don't have a great shot with the door as the focal point, but you may get an idea with these two photos together.
November 11, 2012 at 7:49am     
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blairbec
if you click on the photo, it will show the full width of the two photos.
November 11, 2012 at 7:51am   
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Lorrie Ney
I agree that some type of furniture...table, tall shelving unit or coat rack would work well by the door as you come in from the front yard. Make your own entry way hallway using the back of a couple of large chairs or a sofa!

At my home It's similar, and the coat closet is about 15 feet into the room. NO ONE USES IT! So, everything from the snow boots to the light jackets get slung over furniture just as soon as you walk through the door. I also have lots of muddy pet paws that come in from walks, so a big washable entry rug is a must. I have two rugs, and interchange them between washings.

As you enter..I have a tall, metal vertical up lamp that I can switch on, because I do not like coming home to a darkened home. Immediately I have two large chairs backs facing me with a small end table between them, and to protect the coats from being slung over their backs, I use a rolling tool cart I picked up from Harbor Freight. (About $100, less when on sale.) It's bright red and chrome. It has a shelf at the bottom for snow boots...Gloves and light jacks go on the top. Keys and purses also go on top. I took large pinch clips and put them on the sides to act as jacket hooks. Now, it's auto magic for everyone to use our rolling butler. And when everyone is in, and company has arrived, we simply send it scooting out of site and down the hallway!

During summer, it's still useful for purses and pet leashes, and for collecting library books, etc. before we go out the door. I've got another in the back yard mud room, too. Very useful inexpensive little card, and way easy to put together!
November 12, 2012 at 8:31am   
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designgirl178
Are you planning on using this room for entertaining or just for your morning coffee? I would add a console next to the door and window to make your entryway. Adding a coat area on the wall would be good, becareful not to make it too crowded by adding a bench or other furniture. The console should have storage for purses and keys etc.

I would use two comfortable chairs on either side of the window with a small round table between for your coffee and anything else you like to do while enjoying your coffee. If you want to add a loveseat on the adjacent wall that might be nice too. Since this is a sitting room I would not make it too crowded, you want it relaxing and not busy. Long length curtains that go to the ceiling will be wonderful additions also. An area rug with some pattern to it would also be nice. Good luck.
November 14, 2012 at 4:24pm   
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cheries
Have you done anything to your entryway, I'd love to see it.
April 2, 2013 at 10:47am   
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