Desperately need help designing large living room
sarahsaad77
December 4, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I'm living in a flat near Beirut...long story. Anyway, It's a long livingroom. Longer than what is shown in the picture. I'm standing in the sunroom which is attached to the living room, making it seem even longer. How do I divide up such a large room? Where do I put furniture ? I'm buying new furniture but I need ideas on what to do before I buy anything. We are redoing everything and every time my husband asks me what I want to do I feel overwhelmed. Tomorrow I'll post the size of the living room/dining room. I'll also post more pictures,We removed the arches, and that big closet (because it took all the light) and are replacing them with one white arch that we found on houzz (the third picture is of the one we found on houzz, it's not my house).The only light we have in the living room comes from the end of the room.
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sarahsaad77
I thought of adding a fake fireplace with a stone wall where the gray couch is??? Something to break up the long wall. Behind those red chairs is the sunroom...making the room even longer. Nothing in the room is mine...I think my taste is contemporary with a tradional edge, I'm not sure what to get for furniture.
December 4, 2012 at 12:19pm     
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sarahsaad77
The room is about 9 meters long and has a 4 meter long sunroom attached to it.
December 5, 2012 at 6:44am   
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charleee
Whenever I am faced with a looooong narrow room, I like to break it up into sections. In your case, one section of relaxing/tv watching, another for kids and toys and the third, maybe a cozy reading or homework nook. It's a whole lot easier to arrange furniture when you do this.

I have to tell you, this isn't how I pictured Beirut! According to the media here you shouldn't have any walls!
December 5, 2012 at 7:06am     
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sarahsaad77
lol, I know! I keep telling my parents (in the US) it's calm here. Media really works up the drama of things. This room is only for guests, and dining. We have a huge playroom for the kids, and a private family room in the flat for homework and relaxing. Like I said I thought about putting up a rock wall wall near the end of the room with a fireplace. Problem arranging furniture because it's so big plus the walk way passes in front of couches and dining room makes it weird to put couches facing the wall I want to put a fireplace on. Any suggestions?
December 5, 2012 at 7:36am   
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sarahsaad77
Here are some more pictures of the room, I removed the arches to add light, and I 'm going to use coffee colored tiles that look like wood boards in the sunroom. They will go well against the cream colored marble floor. That's where I stop with creativity...don't know what to do now.
December 5, 2012 at 7:50am   
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charleee
Your pictures escaped, I guess they didn't see your walls!
December 5, 2012 at 7:51am     
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sarahsaad77
lol, I think you're right...I need to figure this out.
December 5, 2012 at 8:15am   
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Lee Poehler
I agree about dividing it into sections. I also think it needs focal point. Candice Olson comes to mind. There was this shwo where she redid a L shaped diinig and turned it into so much more. It seems that she has a nack for dividing rooms and making them functional, of course she is my fav. http://www.stylisheve.com/awesome-and-modern-fireplaces-by-candice-olson/
December 5, 2012 at 9:01am     
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sarahsaad77
I know it looks worse now...
December 5, 2012 at 9:03am   
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charleee
What about a section for tv watching, and a games table in another section for family fun night?
December 5, 2012 at 9:07am     
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sarahsaad77
Bobbi, Lee, thanks so much for taking the time to look at my room. Ive been checking to see if someone would answer all day. So glad to have some help! Lee, I'll check out the site.
December 5, 2012 at 9:09am     
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sarahsaad77
Although I'd like to make it informal and kid friendly, this room should be formal for formal entertainment and dining. I have another room for games and informal living. In Lebanon, there needs to be a room for this. I can, however, make part of it with a tv/entertainment center. Was thinking of doing it on the right wall as you walk into the room and putting couches on the left wall???
Would have to deal with traffic walking in front of it but don't see another way
December 5, 2012 at 10:05am   
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Christine
Ok. so it looks like you have a huge family or extended family and friends based on the number of seats in the room.

Personally I do not like the arch since the room has a lot of angles so by adding the neo-classic arch you add problems because it won't go with anything else in the room and stick out like a sore thumb. I see a very sleek and modern space. Maybe something monochromatic. Maybe your goal should be to create 3 distinct areas. Also if there are any electronic decisions you need to make based on any religious concerns then that should be a factor because one area should be your electronic zone (TV, Stereo, Computer etc), the second area should be a congregating area where everyone can gather and a third could center around a quite space to curl up and read. Given the lines of the room I kind of see a Venetian Plaster effect and one wall with a bright pop of color.

I suggest you change out those paper lantern fixtures and maybe go with something with more oomph. The George Nelson Lamps are wonderful and come in a mixture of shapes. If (for example) you keep the dining area, I would arrange to put 3 George Nelson Pendants at varying hanging heights over the table.

Ikea sells a wonderful modular system that comes with high gloss doors that you can use in your entertainment area and that can be closed off from the children or when company is over. You can also go with Ikea shelves and have a good handyman combine and arrange them in such a way that they go to the cieling and act as a room divider for a library or even play area.
December 5, 2012 at 10:50am     
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Christine
Good luck I hope you post photos as you go along
December 5, 2012 at 10:51am     
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sarahsaad77
Christine, this room is used for entertaining crowds, dinners. love you're ideas. But I'm in a panic because I told some workers to come and build the new arch leading to the sun room next week. If I didn't do the arch what would you suggest as it has a sloped ceiling, different from the high ceilings in the living room. Thought it gave some sophistication to the room. But you're right...it doesn't match anything else. Can I tie it in in any way? Also, if the first area was used for entertainment where would you place the tv/couches...same for the middle area, is it ok to have the back of a couch facing the dining room? And if I have couches for both areas can the couches be back to back?
December 5, 2012 at 1:35pm     
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Lee Poehler
Try putting your sectional as a divder between the dining room and living room face the wall, with plans of tv or fireplace...you can get ventless ethenol clean burining insterts. place a high sofa table behind your sectional. turn into 3 living areas with or without tables use ottomans or benches between to where can be used as one big living area too and you or your company can join which ever conversation they choose. The last photo looks fitting to the area you opened up.
December 5, 2012 at 1:57pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
I would just do a simple arch without the moldings, or keep them minimal. Do you still have the pillars that were used for the smaller arch? I would use those or something similar, and match the styling to go with your apartment.

A central large arch with the pillars in the center and two smaller ones on the sides would be very Middle Eastern, and still would provide a lot of light.
December 5, 2012 at 2:06pm     
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mjlb
Just trying to get my mind around your space... Looks like the room is about 4 meters wide (excluding the dining L), and that the dining L is about 4-meters square? Is the sun room also about 4 meters wide? Do you want to join the sun room space with the other area? Do the double doors lead to a foyer, or is that your main entry?

As for use -- your entertaining includes formal seated dining? For how many? How large are the gatherings in this space?
December 5, 2012 at 2:29pm     
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PRO
North Star Stone
Many good ideas so far and since manufacture stone veneers, I wanted share an idea. A wall and a room can become a focal point with light weight stone veneer. You can select a stone style and color that works with your style. We recently added stone to a large wall and will add the before and after picture as a reference.

If you have any further questions please email us, or feel free to look at our web site with many more ideas.

aandrews@northstarstone.biz
www.northstarstone.biz
December 5, 2012 at 4:29pm     
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sarahsaad77
@ Christine,Love your ideas, but about the arch, I can't change my mind about the one in the picutre. My husband has already talked to the men that are making the mold for it and they've started, so the arch can't be changed. on the bright side, it divides the room a bit. So how can I make it work with the room? ps: love the pictures, the couch, wow! the lamps are great, and the shelves are a great way to divide without losing light. Thansk so much for the input!
December 6, 2012 at 8:23am   
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sarahsaad77
@ Lee, you're drawing is great! Just like my living room. Perfect plan for that area. Thinking of a wall like one in the image. Do you think it'll go with the arch? I can move that ac on the wall over to the area near the sunroom. I have to cover that eye sore floor AC with a fake fireplace, it's the best solution for it . It'll be the perfect area to do that. Let me show yout the picture...
December 6, 2012 at 8:41am     
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sarahsaad77
@ mjlb, Hi, and thanks for helping.
The double doors do lead to a foyer. The sliding glass doors lead out to a garden, my next project. (see picture)

The dining room is 13' deep and 13 feet wide. The long wall is 32' long and the short wall near the foyer is 12 feet long. The short wall near the sunroom is 7' long. The sunroom is 12' x 12'. For the sunroom, the floor isn't marble like the rest of the room, it was rock like the garden outside but its going to be coffee colored wood by Sunday. I kind fo like it looking seperate, it's my favorte place since the rest of the room is a bit dark due to no windows. Also, the walls are 9' painted concrete.

All family events (christmas, easter...) are at our house 16+ people, and when we're entertaining friends it's usually 3 or 4 couples at a time.
December 6, 2012 at 9:22am   
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victorianbungalowranch
Since you are going with European traditional moldings, the one on the right is better than the stone I think. Will you actually have a gas or some other type of fire in it? Where would the AC vent go in relation to the firebox?
December 6, 2012 at 9:22am     
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mjlb
What a gorgeous garden! And thanks for dimension clarification.
December 6, 2012 at 9:25am     
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sarahsaad77
@ Victorian, no, just a mantle surrounding the a/c unit. Need to keep the bottom (where fire would be) open for air to go in. And the top will be an open metal grid for air to flow up. Not sure if I explained well...does it sound confusing? If it is high enough the metal grid shouldn't show, especially if there is molding around the upper part. How would you tie that arch on with thevrest of the room?
December 6, 2012 at 10:17am   
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sarahsaad77
Do you think a mantle like the one on the right would look good with a rock wall behind it?
December 6, 2012 at 10:18am   
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sarahsaad77
What about the space near the foyer. Think I'll put the entertainment center there (dividing as suggested by Christina and others : ). Any ideas for it?

Thanks for all the input, i'm feeling so much more inspired and excited, not so overwhemed. Please, keep the ideas coming. You don't know how much of a help you are
December 6, 2012 at 10:35am   
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victorianbungalowranch
Well, The rock is too rustic to go with the moldings you are using. I would just make the whole thing paneled with an overmantel and with the screened vents intedgrated. It would help to recess them. I would put a fireplace screen in front of the "fireplace," perhaps something like traditional Islamic wood lattice. and maybe a plant on the side.

I see you do have cove molding and baseboards, so that is good. Perhaps beefing up the doorway moldings to match arch and fireplace would be nice, and paint all moldings the same color.

It is a big room, so some color on the ceiling or an accent wall might be nice. Everything is so beige. Some nice metal work trays, maybe on stands a bit higher than usual, and some other metal work, like containers, candlesticks, shoeshine kit, wedding mirror or a tea service, and some tribal or intricate traditonal textiles would be a nice touch. I have seen just beautiful machine-made tablecloths and bedspreads from that region that could make great throws, even curtains. So many wonderful things available locally or maybe up the coast to Turkey that could be integrated into a more western decor. Could be very striking.
December 6, 2012 at 11:04am     
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sarahsaad77
@ Victorian, Love the ideas for the fireplace, Will do moldning around screen doors. Should I do anything to the entrance door or leave them wood? a bit disappointed about not using rock, but you're probably right. .I should have gotten more of a complete room plan before giving the go ahead for that arch. You're right about the region having lots of great oriental textiles...something to consider.

Lebanon is unique in this region in that 40% of the population is Christian and 50% Muslim. there are 12 religions recognized by the country. People usually live in areas according to their religion. My area is Christian and the decor in most of the homes in this area are heavily influenced by the European since France once occupied the country. I want to fit in but at the same time, I'm from Maine...a country girl. My taste is torn between the two very different worlds.
December 6, 2012 at 11:26am   
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Lee Poehler
I love the fireplaces pics you choose. I personally love arches, but with some many doors and windows in the room all of which look square. I don't know if it would flow. That'll be a tough choice. Good Luck!
December 6, 2012 at 12:53pm     
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PRO
Artful Design Interiors
Define separate areas, but not with room dividers or you will chop up the space too much. If you anchor groups of furniture around area rugs, you break up space with chopping it into mini rooms. Color can help define an area.
December 6, 2012 at 12:58pm     
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Darzy
It's okay to do back to back sofas! Or, you can get a "double sided" sofa. Really cool...

December 6, 2012 at 1:00pm     
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PRO
Mary Weimer, ASID
First of all, you need to get several area rugs to anchor the furniture into different groupings. You must have great places where you can find some great rugs at good prices. Make sure the furniture fits on the area rug, not just around it and I would tighten up the groupings so they don't seem so spread out. The rugs should compliment one another, but not be exactly the same. Also, if you can paint, I would do something to give the places some warmth. I would definitely move the arched topped cabinet/hutch somewhere else, not next to the arched door way. Two arches next to one another just don't work in my mind's eye.
December 6, 2012 at 1:03pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
I would like to visit some time. Sounds so interesting. I have read that it has been reborn from the ashes of the civil war, and the beaches are nice. Your garden is so lovely.

I can't see the front door very well, so it is hard to say whether to paint or not. If it is beautiful, I would leave it. Not all doors have to match. If it isn't nice wood or not very interesting, then paint. It is hard for me to paint nice wood though--most people on Houzz aren't so reticent.

Looking through your ideas and projects, I can see why you picked the arch--you just love classic white cabinetry and molding. Most of the spaces you picked are very light, with dark wood furniture, wood floors, marble countertops, and a mix of modern and traditional. Your dream house is a traditional French manor house with lots of classic millwork inside. A spinkle of color in art and tile noted along the way. It also looks like you are looking for storage solutions.

Now you are wondering how to make it work for this space. The arch and the fireplace will set the tone. Do you have things that you just love to peices? What do you mean by rustic? I didn't see a whole lot of rustic in your pics--so I would say more French farmhouse than early American or lodge.

Most of what you picked is very grand. What will it take to make your apartment feel like home for you yet reflect your surroundings? Your house doesn't have to look like a souk or anything, but while you are there you might as well pick up some of the things that are so beautiful. Saw a lot of that in Europe--mixing things up- Western-modern plus traditional plus Middle East (not so much of Asian). So you will be right in style!

With all the white, your idea books look a lot like British Colonial in style--maybe less tropical. It is sort of traditional interiors with molding and such, but simplier and more airy, very light colors, dark and exotic woods, and a dash of the exotic arts and accessories. Minimal pattern--variety in texture--except perhaps in rugs. Perhaps mixed with a bit of French infulence. Is that it?
December 6, 2012 at 4:17pm     
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mjlb
My initial thoughts on furniture arrangement... I can't see my attachment, but hopefully it will appear.
December 6, 2012 at 4:49pm     
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mjlb
Forgot to ask -- do the windows in the sun room wrap around to the left wall?
December 6, 2012 at 4:53pm     
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sarahsaad77
@ Darzy, Decoenthusiaste. It does work, like the one with the table between. Gives just enough of a seperation to look great. Thanks
December 6, 2012 at 8:50pm     
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sarahsaad77
@ Artful designs and Mary, I will definitly get rugs. Mary, I never thought about making sure the furniture fits on the area rug. I've always had small rugs. I will do it but can you tell me the purpose?
December 6, 2012 at 8:58pm   
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sarahsaad77
@ mjlb, you're amazing, doing that room map. Thank you.

Yes, the sunroom has screen doors; the picture of the garden was taken out those doors. There are three sets of doors leading out to the garden, one in the living room, one the dining room, and one in the sunroom. I'll get a picture.

Agree, the first area should be set up like that, and love the idea of chairs, not a couch giving their back to the dining room. Would like a fireplace in that area. It'll have to go on the wall where you put the couch... can keep the two chairs where they are and do couches like in Deco and Lee's pictures?

Sunroom, was going to put wicker couches but one going around the two sides of the room might be better, my husband wanted a more Lebanese tradional room which would have seating like you've put on the map.

Noticed the use of round tables, is that to help blend in the arch that is being made (can't change it since it's in the process of being made). Love round tables, will consider that for dining room.

Thanks again for giving my project so much of your time. I really appreciate it.
December 6, 2012 at 9:29pm   
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sarahsaad77
@ Victorian, I welcome your visit, my home is your home, would love to show you around : ) It is a mixture of beauty and chaos, areas are as conflicting as the people. You're right about the beaches....beautiful. Skiing in the high mts is great too. Thanks for taking the time to look through the pictures and helping me realize my taste.

The doors leading to the foyer are beautiful and have nice wood that mach the foyer. so I will leave them as you suggest.

After reading what you wrote I went back through my pictures on houzz, and had to laugh, you're right. There is definitely a theme. I didn't see it till you pointed it out. I thought I was randomly picking photos I like, but they're all similar. What you wrote is the perfect summary of what I didn't realize till now.

So I have the arches and the and the fireplace picked now, and I'll put molding around the sliding glass doors. Thought about molding on either side of the entrance to the dining room. on the corners going up. Was thinking it would help tie in the arch??

I don't have any pieces I love, I don't have anything other than what you saw in that room. I have to get them all. I didn't buy anything in that room. The dining room was there when we moved and the couches from my husband's sisters. I have to buy all new furniture, everything.
Thanks for all your help Victorian, I mean it, I welcome you to visit!
December 6, 2012 at 10:03pm   
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sarahsaad77
A couple of more questions. One, the room has no windows at the front of the room. All the light is coming from the back of the room. I agree victorian when she says it's too beige, I was afraid to use color because of the lack of natural light. I loved the blue in that picture of the arch I'm using. Think it is too dark for such a room? The long wall is white right now. The other walls are beige. I'm painting the molding at the top white (its a creamy color right now). Other color suggestions??

Second question, lighting. what kind of lighting should I be looking at? Does Christine's photo of the lanterns go with the decided style? I do like them.
December 6, 2012 at 10:31pm   
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PRO
Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi sarahsaad77, Marie here.
Area rugs and lighting are a great ways to "zone" your area into conversation pits, work zones, play zones, eating zone etc.
Once zoned properly, you then ask yourself how your going to use each space, then purchase proper furnishings to complete the look.
Always, with an open space have a master design scheme, so as to not get really busy looking and non-functional, create flow with like textures, colours, patterns.

As you can see from my inspiration photos below, they have one thing in common. They connect visually to one another. Use this to keep your focus on how to zone each area properly. Create intimate interest by adding art, or textural items. Bigger is better, less is more in an all in one room such as yours. Eliminate clutter by adding built-ins, cabinetry to house your day to day items.

Good luck to you, I hope these photos will inspire you to ask the right questions and guide you to an amazing end result!
December 6, 2012 at 10:47pm     
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Nancy's House
It looks like you got a lot of great advise and great ideas! - the trick now is to pull it all together. Maybe would help for you to make a list of your favorite ideas to see if the style matches - even print out the pictures and paste together to get the idea of the flow in the room ... and then show and tell ,,, Looking forward to seeing the room after the molding gets put in!
December 7, 2012 at 2:53am     
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victorianbungalowranch
I think very pale blues often look dirty or washed out in low light, especially if they tend toward the more muted tones. Both the arch and the fireplace pictures have a pale pallette and lots of light in them.

I do think more color would helpin your space, but it will be tricky to pick the right shades. Bright white is a Mediterranean classic, so that is a place to start. Clear clean colors probably will work better than muddy tones, I don't know how you pick color there--do you have a lot of choice or just a limited range of colors to mix with white?

I think clean blues and soft yellows, and perhaps a dash of warm wood tones, brick red, burgundy and navy and earth tones found in tradtitonal rugs and textiles and could work, sort of like a Vemeer painting, but brighter..I see the dining room rug and the banquette seating area as your spots of color and the rest of it being pretty neutral--perhaps some art above the couch in the TV area and a few pillows scattered about..

I don't think another arch for the dining room would help, but perhaps beefing up the crawn or adding some ceiling detail like the picture in your ideabook might help, and perhaps some simple pilasters on the corners entering the dining room would help tie it together with the arch and the fireplace. I would also add traditional trim to the (builti-in?) dining room hutch and all the door and window frames in there, possibly integrated with some traditional wainscotting or a chairrail. Plus some soft floor to ceiling drapes.

I like the clustered latern idea too. Could look great in the dining room, and perhaps mixted in with a few traditional metal hanging lanterns. It would be a real contrast to all the traditional trim and furniture.

I really like the curvy armchairs with the wood frames--I bet they would look great with new upholstery and could work in the new seating area by the "fireplace". The L-couch is pretty neutral and has clean lines and looks comfortable---might work in the TV area by the front door. The low bown couch or armchairs might be OK in the new seating area by the (fireplace) with some slipcovers.

The table and chairs are a little clunky, but if the chairs were painted and the seats recovered, it might work OK for now until the kids are older. A great rug underneath (and not all pale colors) could tie in the dining room to the banquette seating area. It would have to be pretty big and could be hard to clean with kids running in and out, so perhaps just a table runner there for color. The the more colorful rugs in the front entry and the banquette area would work, and maybe in the fireplace area as well.

Here are some pics from your ideabooks:
Project: Astor Street Residence Chicago Historic Renovation
(ceiling detail made with layers of drywall (scroll down)

Project: Lake View Residence
(pilaster /pillardetail, but crown looks a bit out of scale to me--general decor)
http://www.houzz.com/projects/36493/French-Inspired-Addition---Renovation
millwork details for dining room addition and arch, wainscotting (scoll down)

Luxurious and Elegant transitional waterfront estate Large corbels and beams create arch effect--this could have been nice rather than the arch on all three openings surrounding fireplace area.

It sounds like you have a skilled workman for the arch, I would show your inspiration pics and ask for advice on how to bring the whole space together with molding. But you may have to guide him with the proportions and details. I particularly like the stacked drywall effect for the ceiling, and it may be fairly easy to do. I would try to keep the trim fairly simple over all, but unified to bring it all together.

Bright white over everything is the look you chose repeatedly, so go for it. A light blue (Tiffany, sky blue, robin's egg blue) might look nice someplace, but I would choose the rugs and pillows first, and then the upholstery.
December 7, 2012 at 8:23am     
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Christine
Hey Sarahsaad77 Wow, you have some wonderful ideas flowing on this post.

By adding the arch you are committing to making a big change so you have to follow it through in repeating patterns so that the room is tied together.

The only pieces I would suggest keeping are the gray sectional and those lipstick red armchairs by the hutch because if you slip cover them then I think you would have a great base for the room. You can mix traditional and contemporary pieces but you have to mix them together in a thoughful way.

You mentioned the sunroom has a sloped cieling? Can you submit a photo of that? Also the archways by the sunroom. One is obviously the passthrough to the sunroom the other has a hutch in the middle of it. what are those smoked slider looking doorways? on that end of the room?

Are/do you have to keep the dinig table or is there another place for it to go?

At the other end of the room what does that double doorway lead to and where does that single doorway tucked in by the dining table lead to?

If you must have the archway (and by making plaster molds you guys are SERIOUSLY getting that arch in) I would consider making one big archway similar to your inspiration photo. Then (my gut tells me) that if the sunroom is is good shape you could (don't kill me) move the dining room to the sun room area so it is a distinct and separate space to eat and relax after dinner depending on how big. THEN it would be game on because the majority space could be used to set up a small library or entertainment area where the dining table currently is and then you can swing the sofa so the back of it faces where the table currently is and you can do a nice dramatic wall effect and seating area. Check out websites like Porcelanosa for some interesting wall treatments or even better lets think of colors you can incorporate in to the space. Such a large space would look nice if well lit by some pot lights. a good sized rug and a white ash Eames chair and ottoman. Super comfy and would make a great leisure chair. This is just idea one.

So send a photo of the sun room and let's explore its potential as a dedicated space and also give some ideas of how sunlight moves through the room and a color palette you like.
December 7, 2012 at 3:40pm     
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Christine
Some other things that might work in the space also include the following photos. In the second photo I love the cabinet and the lamps and the rug.
December 7, 2012 at 3:53pm     
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Christine
You would also gain tons of mileage by painting all that dark brown trim a lighter color
December 7, 2012 at 3:54pm     
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mjlb
Christine -- I had similar thought re: sun room as dining space, as it would leave a more gracious seating area. But if sunlight is important to Sarah, the sun room probably should be dedicated to daytime use.
December 7, 2012 at 8:00pm     
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Christine
Mjlb. Yeah I know light is an issue that is why I was wondering what those smoked doors off the sunroom were. I was not sure if they are just smoked glass exterior doors to the rear area of the sunroom or if they served as rooms. I also have the same problem in one room because I get only a.m. Light and the room is dim until the sun swings overhead to light my space from the back. That is why I think if she went lighter in paint color (even all bright white) or wall paper with a bit of sheen, she could then use color in her accents to make the space pop. A wide range of lighting options high hats, pendants and lamp light will get Sarah and her family a "to die" for space. I hope she posts additional photos cuz we are on a good roll here. Plus her hubby is my kind of guy because he has committed to the arch. My old man would grumble and grouse til my hair turned gray. There are already so many pluses to the space I am sure all will go well in the end.
December 7, 2012 at 8:59pm     
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sarahsaad77
I want to comment and send pictures but I need until Monday. With the kids home from school I need to devote all energy on them. It's the only time we really have together. See you Monday : )
December 8, 2012 at 2:08pm   
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sarahsaad77
@ Marie, thanks for the great advice on rugs. I will start looking for within the next month. Rugs are generally used November to April - the cooler months here. Then they're washed and stored during the hot humid months. I will consider keeping them throught the summer.
December 9, 2012 at 9:01pm   
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sarahsaad77
@ Victorian, You've given me a lot to look at/think about. Took some time to get through it all and to look at pictures, absorb it. (I'm not complaining, I'm thankful)

I agree with you about the blue paint, it can look dirty in low light (my daughter's room is blue and that happens in the evening). Although all colors are available (we have an ace hardware store here, and Lebanon exports paint) I think I'll go with your all white suggestion. Easy and clean. Or maybe we could use a color in the dining room where there's more ight.


Asked my husband about the wainscoting and pilasters, he'll get me back to me (btw, as pathetic as it may sound, I admit to looking up wainscoting and pilasters among many other words you use..that's how clueless I am...lol). I think it's a great idea. Excited about the idea of adding molding to the hutch. I'm not going to replace the dining furniture now...maybe fall, so that is a perfect solution.
The floor to ceiling drapes is what I've been looking at online today. Never thought about making them so long, Only thought about covering the glass. So many styles. Not sure which one is best. I added some pictures, noticed some give an arched look, not sure if I like it or not though, especially since we're doing the molding around the door.

I like the cluster lantern idea too. Nice find Christine had mentioned something along the same line. I'll see what I can find here.

The chairs are the only think I like in that room. They are cute, aren't they? I can get four more from my Mother in Law. They're from my husband's childhood home in the mts. Old but nice chairs. I would love to try and include them somehow. They're not as curvy as you may think, I'll send another picture...see what you think. The other couches aren't so great so I put the L shaped one in the boys room...I'm sure they can finish it off in no time : ), and the other my girl's room. It's time to get new couches.

I was telling my friend about your idea of choosing the rug and pillows first, and we agreed it's a great idea. One of my problems is that I like all colors. This is a good way to get focus. I'll do it. Like the idea of using color in the textiles / rugs. Pretty sure I'm going to have to stay away from white furniture with the kids. They don't usually go in the living room but....

Thanks for all the helpful advice and pictures (very helpful for understanding all the ideas you gave)
December 10, 2012 at 10:35am     
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sarahsaad77
@ Christine, will definitely paint the trim whites, I agree it's horrible. Still have to look at Porcelanosa before I can comment on it.

@ Christine and mjib,
Thanks for all the great input. I will definitely keep this post going, I'm getting so many great ideas and solutions. Couldn't do it without you all!

I once thought about using the sunroom for a dining room. But I want to get everyday use out of it. I love sitting there, and it gives a bit to the Mediterranean sea and Beirut (like to look for black smoke before leaving home...just kidding), and it's a sunny place to sit. There is a sliding glass door that leads to the garden and I'll attach a picture of it. Sun rises from the dining room hutch side and passes over to the windowless side to set in the Mediterranean.

In the dining room, the door leads to the kitchen. I do need to keep the dining room table till fall probably to finish the project we're doing now, plus we have to finish a bathroom and maybe the kitchen...need time.
December 10, 2012 at 11:25am   
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sarahsaad77
Pictures
December 10, 2012 at 11:34am   
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victorianbungalowranch
Didn't see pics of the Mother-in-law chairs, but I would grab all 4 and put them around the fireplace. They are great and it would be wonderful to include something from your husband's childhood.

Sorry, I tend to ramble as I'm thinking of stuff. The curtains aren't strictly needed, and I would keep it simple. Can be nice for light control, and add a bit of softness. Not every single window will need them--I'd keep the bankette area bare.

The pics are all from your idea books. The French one was for the dining room addition for molding details, not the bedroom.

Yeah, I know what you mean by loving all colors. I'm in that boat too. Have lots of greens at the moment, but it was a lot of reds before, and then Tiffany blues and a bit of pink/terracotta rusts. Have mostly neutral furniture and change around the textiles. I even used to change them seasonally in the living room--soft colors in the winter to spring, reds and tribal in the summer till about Christmas. If I didn't have yuck gold shag carpeting, I would still do that. Turned to greens and earth tones with a bit of turquoise to try to tone it down. Not sure if I like it yet. Need to make it my project this winter now that I finally sprung for bookcases.
December 10, 2012 at 11:38am     
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Christine
Hey Sarah, How's it all going. I see all the feedback here and I hope it allows you to wrap your head around what to do. This is a lovely home and will be stunning when you put the pieces together. It just takes patience and a willingness to leap into the unknown. Post when you can I will try to check when we get gack.

Happy Holidays
December 11, 2012 at 6:34pm     
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sarahsaad77
well, the floor is down in the sunroom and the new walls up. Molding tomorrow. Finally going to be done with dust and I can put up my Christmas tree.
December 17, 2012 at 5:28am   
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orangecamera
I'd love to see pictures of your room now that the work has been done. Please share!
January 4, 2013 at 7:16pm     
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sarahsaad77
I will, but it's taking so much time. They're still working in the sunroom. Done the arch, and floor in there. Haven't even been shopping for furniture or anything because of the Christmas holiday. Traffic is crazy here at Christmas time. Everyone is out shopping. Plus kids were home. I'll post what's been done so far.
January 7, 2013 at 8:28am   
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sarahsaad77
So far this is what we've done.
February 6, 2013 at 8:15am     
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sarahsaad77
My husband wants to paint without picking furniture. I told him rugs and couches first + I'm trying to get him to do wainscoting in the living room. Taking it slow but I want to get it right
February 6, 2013 at 8:18am     
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orangecamera
Wow, that looks great so far :)
February 6, 2013 at 11:37am     
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Christine
Ah-mazing! Tell the hubby to put the brakes on. It would be a shame to rush through it all now that you have such a wonderful start. Are you going to get any professional decorating input. If so then it may be money well spent to do so. Keep us updated and good job so far.
February 12, 2013 at 2:04pm     
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Christine
Sarah I just saw the pictures you put up 2 months ago of your Sunroom. Sick. Your space is soooo beautiful. I think I see water through one of those windows. I would be going mad in your home wanting to dig my fingers in to every inch of it. Truly a lovely, lovely space. I cannot wait for you to post more photos of the progress you and your family are making.
February 13, 2013 at 9:47am     
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Christine
The cane chairs on the patio should be repainted. How about a hot pink or an acid green and freshen up the blue cushions with new fill. The pops of bouganvillea are gorgeous.
February 13, 2013 at 9:50am     
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sarahsaad77
Christine, thanks for the great comments. I'd love to get some professional advise, but not sure who to ask. They work differently here, pushy. We'll see if I can find someone. You're right, you can see the sea out the window, and all of beirut. The cane chairs are another thing that I'm getting rid off. They're just a hand me down from my husband's sister till we have the time to get what we want. Hey, you really know your plants! It is bourganvillea, olive tree, and Jasmine : ) I'll send a picture of them in bloom. I come from Maine and we don't have it there.
February 19, 2013 at 7:25am   
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sarahsaad77
bourganvillea in bloom, it amazes me
February 19, 2013 at 8:09am     
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sarahsaad77
We still haven't painted. We've been at a stand still because of the slanted roof in the sunroom. I'm afraid to paint it white because the arch is white. Which means you won't reall see it since its background is the white ceiling. So I suggested to my husband that we paint it a light blue, not sure though...any suggestions?
February 21, 2013 at 9:05pm   
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Christine
Do you have the same ceiling moulding in the sunroom as you do in the living area? If you do then I think a lighter blue (tourquoisy blue) that matches the color of the water on a sunny day would tie things together. Keep the mouldings a crisp white like the walls (if that's the color you are going with on the walls). Or I would not be afraid to do a white that matches what I think is that stacked stone wall on the window side of the room (below the windows.)

As for the cane chairs, hand-me overs can be wonderful and inexpensive addition to a space so unless they are too far gone then invest in some sand paper and Krylon spray paint and find a couple of large refridgerator boxes, open then up and set the chairs on them and spray away. If the chairs are wobbly then I am sure they have a furniture restorer who can tighten them up for minimal cost. With the color of the Bouganvillas and the water and the sky and the colors from the surrounding buildings, and the sunlight and the white walls you can create a really great space using that same hand-me-over furniture.

Check out a website called Cococozy.com. She makes the dreamiest pillows and cushions that are modern but with great graphic patterns and a few of those would really make the space pop.

What is going on that wall on the right as you enter past the new arches? I think what you have to start doing is to envision the space as a whole. How do you want it to feel? What do you want to be able to do in it and with it? What makes you happy to have around yourself and your family? How much do you want to spend on to it? Can the kids play safely out there or are there too many sharp or hard edges? Things like that can form your vision.

I am going big dream world on my end and I see a lot of white furniture (that is indoor/outdoor, durable and washable). slightly oversized and very comfortable but with touches of pale yellow, pinks and bright green accents. A few pieces of key art pieces (Maybe a bronze statue?). Some tall italian olive jars or Talavera ceramics. An outdoor rug with a bold pattern (trellis pattern) but in muted colors so the view is always on display. Maybe invest in some landscape up lighting. Possibilities are endless.
February 22, 2013 at 6:04am   
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Christine
more... on the large jars you can easily (ie, DIY) turn them into fountains that have water that gently cascades over the sides. They sell kits that allow you to do that. Can't wait to see what you do next. Great, great job. Keep plugging away at it the payoff will be so worth it.
February 22, 2013 at 6:06am   
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sarahsaad77
You're right about Cococozy.com, great pillows! Great designs. Will have to look for something like that. I'm having trouble finding furniture for this room. I have to throw the wicker couches, the dog we used to have, chewed them up. So far i've had bad luck finding something for the room. I've only found wicker couches imported from italy and I hate them because they're low. Seems all Italian stuff is low, drives me nuts because i'm tall. Will keep looking. I was thinking white too.Think I'm going to have to have something made. Love the pillow idea, except for the pink, husband said no pink or purple. lol. That goes for my bedroom, too. Any color except for those. Fair enough. Jars are a great idea, I'm next to Turkey, and they have great jars. Maybe I'll start looking at them. They are beautiful
Same molding in the sunroom. The walls are a white rock from india. It's covering all the walls except for a rectangle on the left wall (suggested by a friend/archetect) which has been left blank for something (picture, mosaic, tv, don't know what yet). in the pictue it's covered with newspaper till it's painted. Kids are old enough to play anywhere, 7-12. Hard for me to invision it done, I just can't. I think that's why I"m having so much trouble doing the room.
February 22, 2013 at 10:11pm   
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Sue Gendle
Create spaces. Take the lounge off the wall and make a room space with it.
February 23, 2013 at 12:09am   
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Christine
Sarah you can't envision it yet because the possibilities are endless and yes the Italians like low modern furniture. Their stuff is beautiful but you need a rope ladder to climb out of it. I am 6'1 so I totally get the need for higher, deeper seats and such. Spend some time visiting outdoor furniture websites to see what grabs you. Then maybe based on that you can get an idea for which direction you want to go in. Restoration Hardware (.com) actually has a broad range of outdoor furniture (teak, wicker, metal, etc.) and based on what style you think would suit you just keep looking along those lines. Just remember that you want the whole house to have a similar vibe so don't do Modern inside and then go French Country outside. Each piece is part of the whole story. Can't wait to see what happens next. Take care.
February 23, 2013 at 6:18am   
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sarahsaad77
Unfinished wall
February 24, 2013 at 12:05am   
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sarahsaad77
Room so far
February 24, 2013 at 12:12am   
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sarahsaad77
Excuse the mess, but here are a few more pictures of the room. Haven't started inside the living room yet. We're snails. The rug isn't staying. Another hand me down till we get our own stuff.
February 24, 2013 at 12:20am   
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sarahsaad77
@sue, what did you mean when tou said, 'take the lounge off the wall'?
February 24, 2013 at 2:25am   
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sarahsaad77
@ Christine, what style would you say the interior is now? Traditional with a contemporary flair??
February 24, 2013 at 2:29am   
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Lee Poehler
I'm loving the progress you've made. It is Amazing! I agree with you paint color needs to match your furniture. Teal/light blue would be ok, but if your furniture and rugs are all different scheme, could end up clashing. Love Love that plant out on your patio! Plus the mention of the sea. Should post photo...make us all drool. lol. Amazing place.
February 25, 2013 at 2:38pm     
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Lee Poehler
Went back to original photos...your inspiritional one was light blue but also had very bold crown molding. Very classy clean look. And your pation plays right into that with blue chairs and that beautiful flirty pink plant.
February 25, 2013 at 2:42pm     
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sarahsaad77
@ thanks Lee. consider the room a blank slate. We're getting new furniture and rugs. So a light bluis is for the ceiling. Have never seen colored ceiling but it seems to be the only option since the molding will blend with the ceiling if we don't color it.
February 26, 2013 at 10:11am     
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sarahsaad77
I just found this photo, they say this method elongates the walls (not a bad thing since it's slanted). Found it very inspiring. May use the white with a lighter but more blue color in the middle.
February 26, 2013 at 10:44am     
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PRO
A Crew of Two
wow, lots of answers here....no time to read them all, but what do you think of moving the dining to the closed end of the room? This would free up all the other space for lounging and interacting
February 26, 2013 at 11:13am     
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Christine
Sarah,

The work on the columns, arches and dark colored floor in the outdoor room area keeps the space leaning towards traditional. However you can make sure it stays a neutral space by how you furnish it.

You must decide on a rug and color scheme first. Since your rug will quite possibly be the largest piece of furniture in the room it should be in the wheelhouse of the color(s) you envision in the space. It must also have colors in it that you can pull from and use in the fabrics, pillows, accents and paint for the space.

If you paint first and then work in to choosing furniture, accents, pillows and rugs and such you are in essence working backwards and you may end up with a room that does not have a good vibe or one you don't like and will change out before too long.

Right now (for me only) I see the stacked stone wall and the tiles in the living space as my jumping off point in terms of a color scheme. I am thinking the cream and beige tones of the stacked brick would be an anchor color for the entire space and then I would probably go for a rich watery blue that plays off of your view of the water from your windows. With that in mind, I would find a rug that has a color scheme of 3 colors that you would repeat in your space so (cream, beige/brown and blue maybe or cream/white, beige/brown/tan and blue/grey).

When you can finish out the sheetrocking and get the door trims painted on the far side of the house and then prime all the walls. There is truth is a vanilla box and once all the construction stuff is out you can begin to put more pieces of the puzzle together. Get a bag and start lugging around a nice piece of that stacked stone from the wall and take a few more pictures of the view of the water and hit some paint stores and start looking at color swatches you can bring home. Then find a good rug store and begin to look at rugs that you both love.
February 26, 2013 at 2:35pm   
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Christine
Also, in an earlier post you mentioned wanting to get professional advice. Go on-line to ASID.org. It is the American Society of Interior Designers. It is the American arm but hey it's a tough economy and you may find some who knows someone in your area or if there is a design school go find a upper class student who you may be able to get to work on the cheap in exchange for practical experience and a stipend. Or you may be able to find a designer who will just help you mock up some story boards for color, materials, furniture and will leave it to you to get it all purchased and in place. Sometimes you can find designers who will do that job for a one time fee or minimal hours (5, 10 12+ hours, etc.)

Keep up the great work. It's looking good.
February 26, 2013 at 2:41pm     
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PRO
JUL313 Gallery
Definately need to incorporate some color and art to make the room come together. It will be a great room when completed. . I have just completed several pieces of art that would look awesome. I can just see a large piece on the wall!! I do commission work as well. Please contact me at julie@jul313.com if you need further info and visit my website at www.jul313.com.
February 26, 2013 at 2:42pm   
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PRO
MyCraftWork, LLC
We're the only US based company specializing in custom made Moroccan luxury goods. Check us out!
March 7, 2013 at 9:14pm   
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sarahsaad77
An update on the sunroom. Left the country for a while, but I'm back...and back to work.
April 27, 2014 at 11:48pm   
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sarahsaad77
An update on the sunroom. Left the country for a while, but I'm back...and back to work.
April 27, 2014 at 11:51pm   
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sarahsaad77
An update on the sunroom. Left the country for a while, but I'm back...and back to work. my outdoor furniture is sitting in this room until furniture is made. will post pics of the other sides of the room later today.
April 27, 2014 at 11:52pm   
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sarahsaad77
An update on the sunroom. Left the country for a while, but I'm back...and back to work. my outdoor furniture is sitting in this room until furniture is made. will post pics of the other sides of the room later today.
April 27, 2014 at 11:52pm   
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sarahsaad77
An update on the sunroom. Left the country for a while, but I'm back...and back to work. my outdoor furniture is sitting in this room until furniture is made. will post pics of the other sides of the room later today.
April 27, 2014 at 11:54pm     
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