Where do we place TV and Sectional?
Erica Garza
October 8, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi All!!

I feel like I've hit designer goldmine with this forum :) We are in the process of closing on our home (God willing with this ridiculous govt shutdown causing delays!) and of course I'm beginning the task of designing what we're keeping vs shopping for. As of right now we've decided we want

- sectional
- media console
- ottoman or coffee table
- side tables/lamps???

Basic LR stuff right? Except we are stuck...we can't agree on the placement of the TV! I personally don't want to block the 3 windows on the back of the house, but he also doesn't want to place the tv OVER the fireplace mantle. The side wall to the left is also the straight walk from the front door.

Possible options:

1) place TV in front of windows
2) the opposite wall of the fireplace (between two single windows)
3) to the left of the fireplace

And then that leaves the placing of the sectional. Where should it go w/ each configuration? I may be overthinking it but I just don't know what to do :/

Thoughts? Help! :) Pictures attached.
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yoboseiyo
yeah, put the TV and table for it between the windows.
you don't have to turn the furniture from the fireplace to do it.

i wouldn't get a sectional. they're great seating, but they limit room arrangments.
get a nice size sofa and either a loveseat or a couple chairs.

is one of these doors the front door?
i'm assuming where the tile is, is the front door. in this case, if you want to create more of an "entry" at the base of the stairs, put the couch perpendicular to the stairs, but pulled out about 4' or so, so that people can walk through. the chairs would go opposite, along the window wall, with a side table between. and i'd put either an ottoman or coffee table in the middle, and get a large rug to anchor the area.

if you can't find a large enough rug, and don't mind layering them, get 2-3 smaller rugs that aren't so thick, and layer them. try and get the area with all 3 overlapping under the coffee table or ottoman, so that people won't be prone to tripping on it.

you'll still be able to access and enjoy the fireplace, but also watch tv fairly comfortably.


to keep the sofa from making it feel automatically closed off, get one that /doesn't/ have a skirt (on legs), in a lighter color. i would make at least 1 of the chairs a pattern, and i would also make sure that the chairs don't match exactly. like, one a slipper chair, and another upholstered, armed, dining chair. (something like this
but probably not those colors.)
October 8, 2013 at 6:03PM      Thanked by Erica Garza
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Dytecture
A floor plan would be helpful for furniture placement ideas.
October 8, 2013 at 6:13PM     
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Erica Garza
Thanks for the feedback! We are leaning toward a sectional because we want something large enough to sit hubby and I without falling off! We purchased an 82" West Elm Henry Sofa and it is HORRIBLE and uncomfy and so we are smitten w/ the comfort/size of a sectional, but I do understand what you're saying. We never made use of the loveseat when we had one..everyone always piled 3 deep into a couch.

You're correct. The tile shown is to the front door so its a small entry way. I do like the idea of the sofa/sectional placed in front of the stairs. I suppose if we purchased a low enough media console the tv won't block the windows out too badly? I do like the style of chair u posted, although I'd want something that was comfy for longer visits w/ family. I'm notorious for overcrowding a room w/ stuff! So I'm trying hard to avoid that. Any ideas on the style of couch or perhaps bigger upholstered chairs?

This is similar to the sectional size I had in mind. Still not ideal?
October 8, 2013 at 6:19PM   
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Erica Garza
Here's what I came up w/ for the layout. Hope it helps
October 8, 2013 at 6:33PM   
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yoboseiyo
i'd say that sectional's a little heavy feeling, but it could work if it's lighter than it looks on my screen.

i would put it close to the wall opposite the fireplace, with the L making the "entry way" as before. if possible, i would try it with the chaise against the wall and with it against the fireplace, and see which way you like best.

if you have the chaise against the fp, you could still do the tv between the windows. it'll depend on the size of the sectional-arm that swings into the room. if it's the shorter arm (so the chaise would be against the wall), i would say that the tv wouldn't work between those windows. if it's the chaise-arm, it could work, especially since the fireplace is offset from the windows.
October 8, 2013 at 6:49PM     
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yoboseiyo
and at that point you could still do a chair or 2, depending on scale.
maybe 1 arm chair and an ottoman made up of smaller upholstered stools, so people can pull them apart and sit around the room more comfortably when you have large groups there.
October 8, 2013 at 6:51PM   
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yoboseiyo
i totally just thought of something.

you'll need to measure the sectional, but! if you have the shorter arm against the fireplace wall and like it there, push it almost against that wall (as long as it doesn't obstruct the fireplace). then you can keep the tv between the windows, and most of the seating can easily enjoy the fireplace.

put a nice size console table between the short arm of the sofa and the fireplace wall, so you can put lighting on it, and people can put drinks on it.
October 8, 2013 at 6:58PM     
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bellesum
Could you please include the wall dimensions? If the fireplace to the opposite wall is less than 20 feet long, then it may be hard to have a TV area on the opposite wall with a back to back sitting area next to fireplace. In that case, TV may be better to the left of the wall. Generally, given the number of windows in this room, the spot to the left of the fireplace may suffer the least glare for TV watching. Agree with your husband about no TV above fireplace. :) Always thought it was a bit too high.
October 8, 2013 at 7:00PM   
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decoenthusiaste
Careful with chaise sectionals - difficult to work with when you want to rearrange. I'd go for two equal wings and then two chairs. Swivel chairs will be more flexible for you. Have you considered installing a room divider right out in front of the entry door and wiring it for the TV? That would kill two birds with the same stone - no "jump-in" entry and TV in a better spot for arranging the furniture.
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October 8, 2013 at 7:34PM   
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Renee
If the goal is comfy TV watching then tape out an arrangement that mounts the TV on the wall next to the fireplace. It is no fun to watch TV with your neck turned all the time.

I think mounting the TV with a console underneath will be the best way not to compete with the fireplace. Then you can place the couch directly across between the windows and watch the TV straight on. You can put a long bench with pillows against the window wall as a separate seating area. You will have to tape out whether a sectional will work. I think it will be block the entry too much. Maybe a good couch and a chair on the window wall side.

Would love to see a photo of the whole fireplace wall to see if I am totally off :).
October 8, 2013 at 8:11PM   
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Erica Garza
Here's the view to the FP wall. Sorry I don't have measurements. We didn't get any type of floor plans and this is a 25yr old freshly flipped home. Lots of possibilities and eventually I want to add beautiful window molding as well. I'm starting to understand what you all mean by a sectional being too big for this space. And I am notorious for wanting to switch a room up often to keep from getting bored.
October 9, 2013 at 5:44AM     
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joelcoqui
you dont want to put the TV anywhere near the staircase... but never put your back towards the fireplace. sideways ,OK
October 9, 2013 at 5:46AM   
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Erica Garza
Yea I agree joelcoqui. I don't want it near the staircase..I just feel that would be awkward. I definitely want comfortable seating and not just in a single sofa. We have a 4yr old who loves to jump around so it has to be durable, but I also don't want a stiff couch. Not exactly sure if i want leather again or fabric. I'm leaning more towards fabric just for the feel of softness, but I love how clean leather stays. Ugh. I need to narrow this down quick or we'll be sitting on the floor :/
October 9, 2013 at 6:04AM   
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Erica Garza
I'm open to various styles for decorating too...I just need to see it come together visually. Here are sofas vs smaller sectionals since hubby has not written those off just yet
October 9, 2013 at 8:36AM     
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pcmom1
I really like Deco's idea of adding a room divider or wall to the area and creating a true foyer. That would add a lot of livability and privacy to the space. And another tv option!

Poster, could you add shots of the kitchen and dining? I always say that if the living room configuration is proving difficult, don't overlook the option of switching the function of the living and dining rooms!

That wall that the fireplace backs on to may be the perfect spot for the tv cabinet. Then place sectional against wall.

Dining table would have romance of the fireplace. Between the windows a beautiful hutch.

Just sayin don't be afraid to think out of the box!
October 9, 2013 at 8:58AM     
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Erica Garza
Oh the dining room is way too small to function as an LR. It would barely fit a 6 seater table in there which we definitely need.
October 9, 2013 at 9:00AM   
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pcmom1
What are the actual dimensions? Most folks sit way too far back from the tv. It may make a good viewing spot. And what size tv do you have to accomodate?

October 9, 2013 at 9:02AM   
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Erica Garza
We have a 52" tv..here's a photo of the room. Sorry, I have no dimensions. But i can say its fairly small and wouldn't comfortably fit us. here's a pic of it though and view of the back. To the right is the LR. The kitchen is in the front and what you see to the left of the front door entry photo.
October 9, 2013 at 9:04AM   
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Erica Garza
oh goodness it uploaded thumbnails! lol Let me try again
October 9, 2013 at 9:06AM   
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PRO
Gantt's Decorating
PLEASE DON't GET A SECTIONAL!!!! If you follow this regularly, how many times to people post wanting to know how to place the sectional they have from their mlast house? In twenty five years I have NEVER sold a client a sectional. You can get the same seating space with a sofa and love seat or two sofas. Face it no one will ever sit in that strange space that connects the two pieces in the middle. Put two pieces at a right angle with a table in the corner. This is to me a much better look and much much more practical and versatile. Good Luck, whatever you decide. Bill
October 9, 2013 at 9:07AM   
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loves2read
I didn't bother to read anyone comments because what I saw in photos was that you have NO floor plug/outlet in the floor...

You are going to need to consider how you are bringing light source to any furniture you "float" in middle of the room...

Personally I always check for something like that and refused to buy any house that needed floating furniture and didn't have an available floor plug...
I hate tripping over cords stretched from wall sockets and there is no remedy for having table lamps around seating ...
you NEED levels of lighting to make a house feel comfortable...

it is lovely space but whoever designed it wasn't really concerned with LIVING in it...IMO...
October 9, 2013 at 9:09AM   
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groveraxle
Erica, I don't have time right this minute to work on your room, but something you said struck me and I must respond. You don't need to move quickly and it doesn't hurt to sit on the floor. It doesn't hurt nearly as much as making a wrong furniture choice (as you've already discovered). So move in with a couple of folding lawn chairs and take your time...and I'll try to return later with some suggestions for your space.
October 9, 2013 at 9:13AM     
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Erica Garza
Mr Gantt's - I'm starting to understand what you mean. I've never owned one, but i know we never utilized our loveseat. What about a large sofa and perhaps two upholstered chairs (big ones) , nothing too formal?
October 9, 2013 at 9:14AM     
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pcmom1
Since you can't see switching rooms (just like to bring that up!), and your tv is 52 inch, I would put it between those two windows. Arrange furniture for easy viewing. I don't think it is a sin to not make the fireplace the focal point.
October 9, 2013 at 9:24AM   
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Erica Garza
loves2read - I hear what you're saying, however in our last home and everywhere else I've ever lived, floor outlets weren't included either. I suspect if its that big of an issue for us then we can hire an electrician to get that taken care of but i think w/ the suggestions I'm reading thus far the solution to set the TV between the windows makes sense. That means the corner near the closet would hold a coffee table and lamp. Outlets are limited, but again, we can remedy it. I wish I had measurements to give a better feel for the space, but its not huge by any means. I think w/ the right pieces it can be comfortable :)
October 9, 2013 at 10:31AM   
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groveraxle
Please ignore the fact that your furniture is askew. In fact, ignore the fact that it's also not your style (I'm guessing). It was chosen because it was oriented more-or-less in the right direction and it's just to show a possible configuration.

Look at the sideboard to the right of the fireplace, the one on which I've placed an objet d'art, the one that could serve as a buffet in your somewhat-too-small dining room, the one that, in the second picture, pops up your TV.

FTR, I may have to resign my position as president of the Just-Say-No-to-Sectionals Association after this. My bad.
October 9, 2013 at 10:46AM     
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kamilen
Groveraxle, what a great idea! Love this suggestion!
October 9, 2013 at 10:56AM   
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Gantt's Decorating
nothing looks more elegant than twin sofas. If this is a family room, I find the reality is that a lot of people prefer to lie down rather than sit and watch TV. Not only do two sofas look rich they allow space for two adults to lie down. My favorite arrangement is two sofas facing each other perpendicular to the fireplace with a cocktail table in the center. It is also less expensive since a chair usually costs 3/4 as much as a sofa. Bill
October 9, 2013 at 11:53AM     
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Erica Garza
Groveraxle - Impressive and may I say I am UBER JEALOUS of the fabulous software you're using to accomplish that. I can't be PS is it?! Either way, I never considered the idea of a console to the left of the FP. Hmmm. I personally don't want anything too modern..the WE sofa left a pretty sour taste in my mouth when it comes for "comfort" for modern pieces.

Gantt - I agree. Two sofas facing each other is the perfect conversation setup there is. Hubby and I though are tv-watcher-snugglers so we'd have to have a couch that fits us both comfortably together. If we did that arrangement then the opposite wall to the FP would perfectly fit a console of any height. Ok..i need to find some furniture we both like! Any recommendations on sofa companies? Don't want to break the bank but I want something that lasts too :)
October 9, 2013 at 12:26PM   
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aqsscvds
I got a sectional that the pieces can come apart and still look good. At the moment it looks a like I have two couches facing each other, but am considering putting it back together for some snuggle time now that it is getting chilly. I love that I have so many options. We have also set it up as a love seat and couch with the chase in a different room. You can also buy an extra end to switch out the chaise and store one or the other if you don't want to use it for a period of time before changing it again.
October 9, 2013 at 12:52PM   
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Gantt's Decorating
Ericka, as a decorator and a small business owner I say if you want it to last buy furniture made in the US. Big box and large furniture stores are ruining the furniture industry bringing even upholstered furniture from china. With the resurgence of bed bugs etc. even if I didn't care about quality or the furniture industry I don't know if I'd want a sofa from china. You want to be sure what you get has a hardwood frame that is glued and doweled. Also be certain to get the "Double rub " factor on the fabric. While most think 20,000 double rubs are sufficient for residential use, I try to use contract grade on all my sofas 100,000 to 200,000 double rubs. I know then that with all that I sold a 20 to 30 year sofa.
October 9, 2013 at 3:41PM     
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pcmom1
Mmm...could incorporate Deco's and Grover's ideas and put a room divider at the end of the fireplace. Just in case that pop up console is too expensive, etc.
October 9, 2013 at 5:07PM   
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decoenthusiaste
Just a few more thoughts. If you get a pop-up you could screen the foyer off with a beauty like #1 or install a slider like #5 to divide off the space. I prefer creating a more private foyer no matter what you do with the TV, I still think something like #3 will work best for you, but may cost more than the pop-up. However it is a 2 for 1 solution and with a pop-up I think you'll still want to screen the foyer from the living area. The other two pix are just for reference as one beside the fireplace and another free standing, but too open for my taste.
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October 9, 2013 at 5:27PM   
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bms0422
Placing the TV opposite the fireplace forces you to put your furniture facing away from that lovely fireplace. i vote for the wall to the left of the fireplace to wall mount your TV, then flip the sectional sofa placement (as shown by groveraxel) and place the sofa approximately even with the right corner of the fireplace wall (but with enough distance between the wall and sofa to walk through) with the longest piece backing up to the wall with three windows and the other side of the sofa backing up to the single window wall. This placement will work as a visual room divider while leaving an open feeling. Consider chairs across the room from the sofa, and by all means, float the sofa away from the walls. For me, the console sitting in the opening to the right of the fireplace just looks out of place.

Love all of the windows and natural light! Great floor plan!
October 9, 2013 at 5:49PM   
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bellesum
Agree with bms0422's layout suggestion, except that if space permits, leave a space between the back of the sectional and the wall with 3 windows about equivalent to the passageway to the dining room so the sectional lines up with the right end of the FP. If or when you have young kids, this space under the 3 windows and behind the sectional would be a great spot to hide a small play area and their gazillion toys!
October 9, 2013 at 6:12PM   
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groveraxle
A couple of responses to previous comments: I would not screen the foyer from the living area. I think the drama of those windows on the far wall should smack you in the face when you walk through the door.

At first I thought the TV should go on the wall to the left of the fireplace until I saw the view toward the entrance. It would put the TV too close to the entrance and force the furniture to shift in that direction, totally unbalancing the room.

I would not put it in front of the wall-o-windows because it will be a huge problem for those times when the sun is "just wrong." And I would not put it opposite the fireplace because it divides the room too much, creating a linear space in the middle of the room that pays no tribute to the windows on the end.

And yes, a lift cabinet is expensive. The advantage is it can do double duty as a console when it's closed. Also, you can buy the lift mechanism and install it in any cabinet you like.

I implore you not to screen the entry. A sofa or sectional will be all the division you need.
October 9, 2013 at 6:32PM   
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groveraxle
Oh, beautiful space, BTW.
October 9, 2013 at 6:33PM   
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Renee
Thanks for the pic. That wall space next to the fireplace may be too close to the front door for the TV. I am warming to the other poster's idea of the dining room as TV room with a sectional. A big dining table would look beautiful in front of the three windows and it would double as a fun work area for your son as he grows.
October 9, 2013 at 6:59PM     
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Erica Garza
Thanks everyone for all of the feedback.

We do have an almost 5yr old boy so I know that hidden storage will definitely be something I'll incorporate (either with a clever purchase of a console or an ottoman that allows for goodies to be tossed inside).

Grover- so forgive me ..its been a long day. I agree with everyone who TV to the left may unbalance the room and shift everything too close to the entrance and stairs. But you also said no to tv in front of 3windows and no to the opposite wall from the fireplace. Um, where do I put it then?! lol The area above the mantle is too high and too small to hold our 52" tv so that's automatically out :(

I don't think sun will play much of an issue when viewing the tv. For one we have 2 large trees in the back yard that offer great shade and I've been there to see the sun set on the far right back corner of the home (if you're looking at the 3 windows head on). Light shimmering in, but its not overwhelming. I may take this back come summertime next year tho!

I'm not sure i like the idea of interrupting the flow of traffic from the dining room w/ a partition. the top right "how to hide a tv" photo MIGHT be something he likes. I"ll have to show him tonight.

I'm trying to work out furniture placement in my head.
Here are a couple that caught my eye.
October 9, 2013 at 7:33PM     
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Erica Garza
Good morning! Any feedback on the sofa selections shown here?
October 10, 2013 at 6:19AM   
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groveraxle
Good morning, Erica. I do see that the lift cabinet between the living and dining is probably too much of a barrier, leaving virtually no room to walk between the rooms.

Another possibility would be to put the TV in a lift cabinet or on a console perpendicular to the fireplace. I would try floating the TV and the furniture in roughly a square--kind of an island--in front of the fireplace with room to walk all the way around. And in this case, I would not use a sectional, but instead a sofa (facing the TV) and two chairs (facing the fireplace). This arrangement would be much like your first photo above.

Here again, the lift cabinet would be great to avoid seeing the back of the TV.

I would not make any sofa selections till you have your arrangement decided since that will determine what furniture and what sizes you need. I know you're anxious to move in and have everything settled, but I think you should take a week or so moving the TV and a couple of lawn chairs around the living room till you find the arrangement that works best. You'll be glad in the end.
October 10, 2013 at 7:19AM   
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Erica Garza
Thanks Grover. Oh we have 2 months to decide on furniture. We know we have to also hire a cable guy to come out and install an outlet for the tv. This home was built in 88 so the renovators made alot of changes but left a few things we know we need. Kind of glad it wasn't decided for us actually!

What exactly is a lift cabinet? Is that what those sample images above are? I know console :)
October 10, 2013 at 8:42AM   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
No TV blocking windows ever. Put TV on wall next to fireplace. Use your main focal point. Get a big 50" or bigger screen. A low media console. In dark or reclaimed wood. Is your only lights in fan? I would remove fan add track lights see Ikea. Love your windows. Don't over cover. Just panels on ends only. With roman shades under them. A sectional would work facing firepl place on wall L shape the L running out by big windows. 2 low back swivel chairs in a print. They would look at big windows. Use the room. It's nice size. You can get a big sect in there. Sect in a solid. Dark brown leather. Chairs fabric. In beige, cream, and a teal. Ottomans are nice for putting your feet up and watching TV, make it big 36" square or round only. If going table same size and shape, reclaimed wood. Window covers stay in the taupe with green undertones. Roman shades taupe with a teal. Use teal as accent color, peacock good too, just stay in that tone, with pillows, accessories. On mantel 3 pots ,in teal, Cream, black.on one end only. On wall between windows and over sect. Add a big 45" sunburst mirror hang 6" above top of sofa back. Floor lamp in back, by L. End table on opposite end , large chest type add tall lamp Ina teal base and Cream drum style shade. Area rug in front of sect. 8x10. Go traditional design. In gold, cream, brown. A little teal. No panels on smaller windows because of sofa. Just roman leave 1/2 way up.
October 10, 2013 at 9:02AM        Thanked by Erica Garza
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Sectional will work in your room. It is perfect for what you want. You can get deep seats for even more comfort. If you go fabric on sofa, keep it in the dark gold more camel. Teal would work, with pillows pillows in various prints shapes and size. Mix it up.
October 10, 2013 at 9:05AM   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Don't do a U shape like in pic. Do a 3-4 seater with the along L. L could be 6 ft. Other on wall 7-8 ft. Add. Big palm in corner by Big window.
October 10, 2013 at 9:08AM   
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groveraxle
Erica, a lift cabinet is a cabinet into which the TV descends. With the TV down, it looks just like a console or sideboard, but you use a remote to make the TV lift up. And if you don't find a style you like, a regular cabinet can be retrofitted with a lift mechanism.

Here are a few: http://www.brookstone.com/tv-lift-cabinets http://www.tvlift.com/cabinets-with-tv-lifts.html

Wow, I just discovered you can actually put a TV lift under the floor: http://www.tvlift.com/buy-tv-lift.html
October 10, 2013 at 10:07AM   
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groveraxle
Here is a 23-second video of a lift cabinet in action:
October 10, 2013 at 10:16AM   
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Erica Garza
and wow! I've never seen that before. So cool. I need to show this to hubby..
October 10, 2013 at 11:48AM   
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Erica Garza
Travis - This is my idea as far as window treatment...big beautiful window molding. Not even sure I want to add drapes yet. But I do know we want to pretty up all of the windows this way.
October 10, 2013 at 12:00PM   
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Erica Garza
Or something like this
October 10, 2013 at 12:01PM   
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Erica Garza
I'm also loving these tones of golds, cremes, dark browns with a hint of color ..the blue is great..feminine and masculine. The sofa..love it..as a sectional or couches. Suddenly I'm loving the idea of leather again, but supple leather. I hate stiff leather sofas

We want something beautiful, but functional for a family.
October 10, 2013 at 12:16PM   
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Erica Garza
I have a rough sketch of the house based on the appraisal :) First floor....
October 10, 2013 at 1:48PM   
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PRO
Whispar Design
What a fun time - decorating your new house - congratulations!
With regards to the window treatments, here is one option if you want to keep the view and soften up the wall space. The panels are not necessarily correct for you space but it at least gives you a visual of stationary panels, especially for your back wall with the three windows.


Also, you mentioned the cable needing to be installed. You might want to check with your cable provider instead of contracting it out to save a little bit of money with everything else you have going on. In our area, Comcast will do a wall drop for around $40 if you are a customer so maybe that will help.
October 10, 2013 at 2:35PM   
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Erica Garza
oh that's nice Whispar! Never seen that treatment before. Yes, SO much to decide on and I really am in no rush, however we WILL need seating since the holidays are coming up so I can't exactly slack and just let the weeks go by. Ordering furniture and getting it delivered can sometimes take weeks.
October 10, 2013 at 3:53PM   
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decoenthusiaste
You can rent furniture if delivery is going to cut too close. Larger cities have places like Cort which has upscale stuff.
October 10, 2013 at 6:36PM   
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pcmom1
I tried putting my tv in front of windows: glare was awful! Think that should be a no go.

How about you put that nice pop up console suggested by Grover where Deco suggested the wall for the entry? That would double as a break to the front door and allow for sofas or sectional to see the tv and the fireplace.



And you will want some privacy and insulation on the windows at night and in the winter. I still love cellular blinds. They compact down to just a couple of inches when not in use. You could get white to blend with your window trim.
October 10, 2013 at 6:41PM   
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decoenthusiaste
Yes, pcmom1, I think installing the room divider and then putting either a pop-up or a less expensive credenza with the TV on or hanging above it would be perfect and allow for all kinds of furniture arrangements.
October 11, 2013 at 6:25AM   
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Erica Garza
an update and thanks for the help to everyone who posted! we went with a sectional and couldn't be happier. we maximized seating without compromising comfort. at first we thought to get chairs but decided we are ultimately a lounging family unit and would rather be informal w seating but retain a very clean living space.
February 28, 2014 at 9:15AM     
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