Strangely shaped living/dining room - how to best use?
January 14, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi Houzzers! My little family and I are moving into a new house which we are super excited about. But one issue I am having is how to best arrange the living/dining room using mainly our existing furniture (so suggestions to replace furniture would not be so helpful... :))

As you can see, the room is like two rectangles offset next to each other. In the dining room area, our larger dining room table will only fit lengthwise, and the matching china cabinet will only work (I think) stuck in the corner since there is a kitchen pass-through on the bottom wall.

Then in the living room area (that is not our furniture in the picture), we need to fit an L-shaped sectional and have it facing our flat screen TV, which have a low table/stand for (Husband Requirement :)). We have some bookshelves that I would like to work into the room but which can be taken apart (they were 3 bookshelves which we put together. I'll attach a third picture with the existing furniture as a comment.

Oh, another thing to note is that we have a 2 1/2 year old son and another baby on the way, so kid friendly (and place for them to play) is also desired...

Any help you clever people can provide would be greatly appreciated!! :)

Thanks so much!!
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Here is the current furniture (except the TV and stand) - please ignore the mess! :)
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 12:43AM
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Love the window wall !!! Float the couch in the center of the room facing the tv wall. Use the small area where couch is in photo for another sitting area. Delightful space.
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 12:46AM
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Dezign Studio Inc
I was going to suggest you remove the walls between the staircase and Living/dining , but with small kids that won't be practical. But if possible , you could remove the wall between dining and staircase, and have the door to the Living room in line with stair railing, to stop kids from climbing stairs. Then you can place the dining table ,parallel to your kitchen wall and the china cabinet on the kitchen wall .
You can install the other door, in line with common kitchen wall and staircase wall. So only the glass wall stays. Then you can pull the sectional further in the living room .
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 1:25AM
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Thanks for the ideas so far! The house is actually a long-term rental, so we can make minor adjustments, but not moving walls. Interesting idea though, Dezign! :) And Cyn, I really like the idea of floating the couch - I think that will be our best bet...
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 1:30AM
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Are you allowed to remove some of the swinging doors? That will give a lot more usable floor space.
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 3:14AM
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Hi Orange - good point. The doors need to stay there because the house (as is typical here in Germany) is not centrally heated and heating the entire stairwell would cost us thousands per year (I miss US electricity bills! LOL).

BUT - the door next to the glass wall (actually also glass) does not need to be used - it blends in with the wall itself quite like the door to the patio. My only concern there is whatever we put in front of that glass wall/door would be seen from the hallway which might not look so nice?
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 5:00AM
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How about this?

Since the children are (will be) small, I'm planning this for one in a booster seat, and one in a high chair. You can push the table into the corner and save a lot of space.

Your sofa would be in the corner against that glass wall with the door you don't need to open. I wasn't sure what the size of your actual sofa is, so I just drew it in there. I have a feeling it's not quite as big as I made it. Anyway, if you don't want to see the back of your sofa through the glass wall, I have an idea for that.

You can make a faux 1/2 height wall. The easiest lightest least expensive way I can think is using foam core sheets, and either painting them or covering with wallpaper. Just stick them up to the window/door frames. You can stencil a nice design, paint stripes, leave them solid...anything you want. (I see you like about footprints of you and your children, in subtle colors to match your decor so it doesn't look like a nursery school).

Once you've got the furniture placement figured out, area rugs will help make it child-friendly for playing on the floor. Check this out: You can configure it to the shape and colors you want. (scroll down on the page, there's a way to visually configure's fun!) I like the pieces because if one gets really stained, you can replace it. And if/when you move, you can take this with you and reconfigure.
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 6:24AM
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Thanks Orange!! I hadn't considered having this set-up but I really like it. And actually, I think there is enough space in the dining area to have the table relatively centered and the china cabinet where you put it.

This also leaves the middle area open to allow for playing, since some little guy around here really loves to play soccer with daddy...and set up his toy train...and legos...and and and ;)

From the couch to the TV in this set-up is about 5 meters (15 feet) - do you think that is too far away? It is a relatively large TV so maybe the usual 10 foot rule (read this somewhere, is that a thing?) wouldn't apply?

PS - love the contra form - it is even an EU company! :)
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 6:33AM
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I'm glad you like it. If there's room, you can pull the sofa away from that wall, and bring it closer to the tv. Then there's a small alcove behind the sofa, which you could use for a toy and book storage cabinet, and even a child sized table and chairs.
0 Likes   January 14, 2013 at 6:52AM
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