Living Room Furniture and entertainment center design
a_rainbow
October 8, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hello!!
I am simply looking or a furniture layout, size, and critique on my entertainment center. Below is more info that may be of some help...

I have been playing with it a lot recently. I am unsure about furniture size suggestions and table suggestions and finishes. This is just what I was thinking. I think I need a small table on each side of recliner but am not sure? Perhaps apt size sofa and single chair...30-31" deep? Maybe on legs to keep more open?

This is the upstairs living room part 2. I say that because it's lofted. Directly below it is the kitchen, which is open to living room part 1. I split them because our living room downstairs has a beautiful Tulikivi soapstone heater and we wanted it to be the focal point when entering. Accent down there is red with black, white, and grays in kitchen and living. Also, I wanted to keep toys upstairs not down, so it's basically a family room upstairs. The sofas down there are black leather from room and board. Id like to bring that accent up as well I think?

The lofted living is functional as of now (old brown sofas that will go eventually!), but entertainment center is quite temporary. It's a birch plywd shelf with angle brackets. Speakers are currently mounted on wall.. The speakers have legs and can also stand.

2 years ago I designed up this entertainment center to be floor to ceiling cabinets with speakers hidden in tall cabinets with mesh doors. It still included a desk and the TV was really built-in looking. My own personal electrician (hubby) placed electrical accordingly, including conduit running down to crawlspace. (cannot move) I was wanting to use the length and create two spaces: A game table in line with the desk, and the living room beyond. My new scheme still works with that. After using this shelf as our entertainment center, I realized that I like that it feels more open. Adding floor to ceiling cabinetry would make it feel like a wall and smaller. I am almost glad we made this temporary shelf because it led me in this direction.

Hubby wants a smaller profile contemporary recliner. We sat on a few at room and board and I told him I didn't think I had the room. However, now I look at it and I might! I do think it needs to be facing the TV. I was thinking maybe recliner could have some type of print? perhaps with the red? and the sofa and single chair could be a dark charcoal or black? With some red, silver accent pillows? Perhaps a runner on the cabinets? I like the round saarinen tables/chairs. Suggestions? Maybe thin plastic red desk chair? red photo accents in built in? Maybe an arch lamp behind the the recliner? I have two sconce rough-ins (black circles on wall) but no lights purchased.

What we own are the TV and the two side tall speakers, and gray carpet is installed. Ill send existing pic but it's pretty bland since we haven't finished it yet!

This is more info than needed! Please let me know thoughts on my space! Changes?
THANKS!
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a_rainbow
I am unsure if a recliner can even fit there? I'd love to make a liar out of myself and tell hubby he can have a recliner!

Also, in terms of budget... I don't have one. Mostly because it's a work in progress, and I will eventually find everything I need. But I want to start locating pieces. I can start collecting as I see the deals! And I like having time to get it all. Until my kids aren't so crazy, haha, I won't get the sofas but again, I want to know what sizes to aim for and knowing sofa sizes helps me with table sizes. I will probably do the built in entertainment area first. Collect tables, and then recliner and sofas.
October 8, 2013 at 3:13PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Your plan is looking great. I'm impressed! Here are the changes I would make:
1. Use a round table between the two chairs.

2. Eliminate the end table by the sofa. Use floor lamps.

3. I'd order the recliner in red leather. In fact Macy's has a nice red one called the Pavia. http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/pavia-club-recliner-chair?ID=281645

4. Charcoal fabric would work great on the other chair and the sofa.

5. I, too, adore the Saarinen table and think it would be a good choice.

6. I would wall mount your entertainment center, leaving about a foot of space underneath it, which will make the room look much bigger. Same with desk.

I don't know what you mean by a runner on the entertainment center. You need a rug in the room.


October 8, 2013 at 3:46PM     
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a_rainbow
I love that living room you sent!!!
Love the details!

for runner (table runner) i just meant a simple perhaps contemporary quilt to set on top of cabinets :-)... Maybe i store a folded blanket in top for sofa use. Maybe nothing at all and let wood "counter" be left exposed.

I love that chair!!! It's fantastic!!! And on a great price!! I want that for hubby! It's perfect!! We don't have a Macy's! I am sure there is one in anchorage and my mother in law is on her way back rats!!! She would have sat in it! My sister in law lives there... I do love it!! Argh! I could afford that now!

I failed to mention, carpet was 12 ft wide. We told our installer cabinet bases would hit floor, so let it start from railing and where it ends, just leave it. He did as he was told. So carpet doesn't hit the wall in built in. It only does under the desk (finished the carpet 4 feet there for open desk). Cabinets need to hit the floor. :-(

...did I mention that I like that recliner?!?!? Will talk to hubby tonight!!! I wish I could walk in a Macy's and sit on it!!!

Maybe I should call Macy's an Horace see what they have. See if they can ship north on truck. Plenty of forwarders. We had tires sent up same way...
October 8, 2013 at 3:59PM   
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a_rainbow
I'll put that size recliner from macy's in my drawing.

According to my dimensions, are there shallow charcoal pieces for my space? That section for the charcoal single is 2'-9" so 36" won't work...
October 8, 2013 at 4:02PM   
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Arley
You could do a banquette in the corner for the game table. That would give you some more room and possible some storage. Of course the back would need to be done nicely since you can see it from downstairs. Or you could do it with benches and no seat backs. BTW what tool did you use to do the drawings, they look great!
October 8, 2013 at 4:42PM     
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a_rainbow
It's just sketchup. I made the furniture and applied colors and texture and just changed colors. The red recliner is tile. Haha! I just changed color. Pillows got tricky so I stopped there. :-) Back when I worked, the architecture firm I was employed at was just starting to bring it in but folks were teaching to themselves. After leaving (baby #1 came along) I didn't get a chance to play with it. 5 years later (now) I decided to learn it for the sake of working on colors for my exterior siding. So I tackled it!! And now I use it for everything! In laws houses and side projects.

Funny you should mention banquets. I had thought of that just recently... But with railing, I second guessed. Low could work yes, but perhaps something that can move. I designed the railing on a budget. I had diff idea but am so glad budget forced me to rethink!! It's birch locally grown and milled, with black iron pipe we cleaned up and sprayed. :-) I love it! But I could have used solid wood on lower half and created a built in game table! I just didnt think of it at the time. There is a floor outlet in corner for code. (Hubby the electrician.) So I can't cover that up. We are outside city limits but still followed code for safety. Need to set an example for family :-)
October 8, 2013 at 5:13PM   
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a_rainbow
I say too much. Ill work on that!!!
October 8, 2013 at 5:13PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I would prefer the open nature of chairs around the round table instead of a banquette which to me seems too solid.

I have sat in the Pavia recliner, and one of my sons bought two for his family room at my suggestion. It's a great chair for women and men who aren't above about 5' 10".

Regarding the carpeting that ends short, I suggest you put tile (maybe slate) in the bare space under the entertainment center and use the same tile for the top of the unit (or not).

Kartell has some cool chairs that would work with the Saarinen table. Or there are many others. My faves are, of course, the Saarinen tulip chairs, but they are quite pricey.
October 8, 2013 at 5:39PM   
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a_rainbow
I see the saarinen table and chairs on some of those fun timed furniture sites.

look at this deal... although, it's 48"
http://www.lexmod.com/p-6584-eero-saarinen-style-tulip-dining-set-with-red-cushions.aspx

also, we currently have some eames chairs (with wooden legs although they aren't actual fiberglass..more like plastic) but I could bring those upstairs with saarinen and get different dining table chairs. Something for me to think about later.
October 8, 2013 at 6:11PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
That's a remarkable deal if the chairs are at all well made. But what size table did you draw?
October 8, 2013 at 6:25PM   
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a_rainbow
Mine in drawing is 36". But I am not sure the clearance I want around it? I could probably look it up. What size do you think I could fit?

It says the list price is $2340 but it could still be a knock off. I could check the materials they list and see if it matches with the other saarinen and chairs. I could see us bringing our knock off eames chairs upstairs for saarinen table and getting some nice dining chairs from room and board or something. Our bar stools are really nice short back maple wood counter height stools with black leather from room and board. I think he would rather get something just as nice for future dining table. (borrowing table from in laws) Our eames plastic chairs are white. So they would work up there. But i can look into that down the road. Things I can start looking out for are coffee table, floor lamp, and side table! Even the white saarinen table I could get as I see the deals :-)
October 8, 2013 at 6:48PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
If what you drew is 36", then a 48" table would not fit. You should have 8' of space for your 36" table and chairs and I'm not sure you have even that. Plus the tulip chairs are probably larger than what you should have.
October 9, 2013 at 5:34AM   
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a_rainbow
Ooooo! I'm close! I have 7-1/2 ft from railing to sofa. So if I get the right furniture and place it right I can pull of that 8 feet perhaps. Maybe no tulip chairs. :-)
October 9, 2013 at 9:36AM   
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a_rainbow
There is also maybe doubling the coffee table as a game table. But we sit on floor instead. Sofa becomes longer but not centered? More seating. In other plan I was going to supply other seating options like poufs or bean bags (we have a large closet to right of stairs for storing stuff like bean bags)
Are there coffee tables that are meant to also be good for game table? I mean there is couch nearby so us parents can sit on that. HA!
October 9, 2013 at 10:18AM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Seven and a half feet would be very tight. How about changing to a round coffee table and putting a small rectangular game table against the railing on the right? Otherwise, borrow someones 36" table and try it with chairs.
October 9, 2013 at 10:43AM     
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a_rainbow
Did you see my previous post? It might have been at same time you posted. It's an alternative layout. More seating and then making the coffee table a little bigger with maybe open bottom but also storage on upper half and using it as a game table?
October 9, 2013 at 11:23AM   
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a_rainbow
Also, if layout 2 is a go, then I'm beyond my comfort level for finding right pieces. Less furniture was easier. Make recliner the star with red (you suggested leather and hubby says "yes!!!!" On leather) and other two pieces a fabric in a dark charcoal.

In layout 2 it's sofa 2 singles and a recliner. Now what? I do like the ikea poang chair with red cushion. These are inexpensive and my mother in law has in cream cushion and its rather comfy! I like bent wood also! It's my preference when I'm there.

In red




Round side table... I was thinking maybe a stump in round shape! Yay or nay?

Does coffee need to match?? Or can it just be similar wood tone? maybe on wheels?

I will struggle here with fabric choices and pulling it together with this layout. :-)
October 9, 2013 at 4:24PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
While I love stump tables, I would prefer to place something more open next to a couple of fairly heavy looking chairs. A stump table could well go with the Ikea Poang chair that has an airy look with its open legs.

I would try hard to NOT match the coffee table, and I think that I would nix any idea of a table on wheels with young children.

If you use the layout with 3 chairs and a sofa, I'd make sure that the two chairs that are on one side of the sofa match each other and I'd place the recliner on the other side, or you could select 2 matching recliners, making sure they are small ones, and have them facing one another.
October 9, 2013 at 5:42PM     
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a_rainbow
Thanks to those of you who have given your suggestions!
I apologize as I have been having uploading pic issues and couldn't get them to work in the post. so I deleted post and reposted. Sorry about that!

@Carolyn,
Thank you so much for your time and recommendations/suggestions, and help! I am now much more confident in the direction this is going!

If sofas weren't so "heavy" and had legs, then perhaps a stump would work? I ask purely for my sake in wanting to learn more! I am glad you said that because the thought of stumps came up downstairs but those are truly heavy contemporary looking pieces of furniture! So I will not go in that direction downstairs for sure!

I am super excited about this space. I just need to pick the option best for our family. Hubby will know the answer! He always does!

When it comes time to pick out fabric options (if there are any), you may "see" me again!!.

Next up...master bathroom tile choices! Last two spaces to complete our home!
October 9, 2013 at 7:28PM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
You asked about using a stump table with a sofa that has legs. The stump tables I'm thinking of are small like the one in the first photo below and would therefore be too small to be used with a sofa. They are meant, in my opinion, to be used with chairs.

The second photo shows a stump table that is of coffee table size and so if this is the kind you have in mind, it could indeed be used in front of a sofa with legs or even a sofa without legs if the room is spacious. The spaciousness of a room can definitely affect what can and can't be done.

Natural Tree Stump Side Table
Custom Made Wood Stump Tables
October 10, 2013 at 7:22AM     
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a_rainbow
Thanks! Definitely great to know. I like both photos but was referring to photo 1. I should probably just keep tables open no matter what to keep it all open. I don't want stumps if they don't belong. :-)

I suppose if I got the poang chair on the corner it could have one but I don't want it to start becoming to mixed with diff things.

Learn something new everyday!
October 10, 2013 at 9:13AM   
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Arley
Hi baumer. If what you want is a game table, get out a game board and lay out the setting. I am pretty sure a 36" diameter feels tight for say, Monopoly or scrabble where you have to lay out your pieces. They keep falling on the floor with a 36" especially with kids. But, since you have a closet near by maybe you could throw a 42" round table top in there to use on game night? Of course you would have to "design" it correctly, like pad the bottom so it wouldn't scratch your smaller table and find a way to stabilize it when in use.

I like layout 2 for the coziness, but it doesn't leave room for "open play" and the toys you mentioned. What if you started with the seating on the left side of the room and left the right side open until you get a feel for the new furniture. You don't need to purchase it all at once.
October 11, 2013 at 8:25AM     
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a_rainbow
Ah ha!! another issue. larger games! thanks for bringing that up!

The way I see it, is kids will grow up and living room won't be play room. Both kids have decent sized rooms :-) they will eventually spend more time in there.

I'm starting to lean more towards layout 2 for more seating.

I do like your idea of storing a table and using when we want. I could also just use dining table for larger games downstairs.

I could get carpenter father in law involved in a very open table with maybe an expandable top and store expansion piece in closet... He'd be thrilled to work together on that :-) a mini , shorter, dining table.

There are options for sure.

For the time being, kids have taken it over. But I want to start looking and planning and would hate to find a steal in a 36" table if its too tight. I was glad that was caught by Carolyn earlier.

1. Storing table for occasional use

2. Creating or finding and expandable coffee table

3. finding one that is just right in size for smaller puzzles and games and using dining downstairs for larger games (thanks for bringing that to my attention!)

I assume my entertainment center design looks great and that will be my very first part to complete!

Should I match paint to carpet so it looks like its continuing floor to wall? Darker with future furniture? Lighter? I don't want the caroet and wall grays to compete or clash!
October 11, 2013 at 5:32PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Hey, baumer, I still think you might get away with a 36" table if you move it and a couple of chairs off to the side when not in use. So don't give up. I liked that plan!
October 11, 2013 at 5:40PM     
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a_rainbow
Yeah? :-)

In that plan I could always store some "fun" seating like bean bags in closet. And the seats at the round table could count as seating.

Option 1 is cheaper with less larger furniture pieces.
October 11, 2013 at 7:48PM   
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