help with living room
edna1980
November 2, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We moved in to this house last year and haven't touched a thing. I love the kitchen, but I can't decide what to do with the living room. It is 16.5x20, needs updates, and I don't I think the way I have the furniture now is the best use of space. I can't decide on what kind of rug, pictures, and maybe curtains to make it more warm and inviting. We have young children and a large dog, so I'm hesitant to put in expensive/delicate furniture and materials. I would like to replace the flooring soon with a dark, hand-scraped hardwood floor. We're also thinking of putting veneer stone from top to bottom on the fireplace. Any thoughts on how I can arrange the furniture? Seems like there are 3 focal points, all competing for attention - fireplace, tv, view of the pool. The tv is 57" and can go into another room if it had to, but the kitchen opens up to the living room, so it's nice to be able to watch tv while we're cooking. Because it's so big, it does not fit to the right of the fireplace. I would also like to remove the paneling on the walls, but my hubby says he likes the paneling. Would you leave it or remove it? If we leave it, would you paint it or should we leave it white?

Thanks so much for your input!
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pitbulls
A rug under your coffee table with some navy in it
November 2, 2013 at 5:23AM   
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dclostboy
Can you rotate so that at least one of the couches faces the fireplace? It would necessitate moving the tv to the other open wall.
November 2, 2013 at 5:30AM     
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CDR Design
Lot's of potential here. Using your existing furniture, I would:

1) place the tv on the long wall opposite the windows (needs to be housed in ent center or large bookcases beside it.
2) Place large loveseat on wall where tv is now but floated out from wall
3) Float couch out from window (you can walk behind) and face it toward tv


If you buy new furniture, you might want to consider a low sectional or a couch where tv is now and chairs along window wall.

Paneling is sort of out now, but as a compromise you could leave it and paint it the color of the wall.

I would definitely paint the room (should be same color as kitchen) and we can talk about art and accessories, once you get room arranged.
November 2, 2013 at 5:36AM     
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Dytecture
Here is one idea with a darker color to 'ground' the room visually.


November 2, 2013 at 5:36AM     
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CDR Design
I love that rug, dytechture!

Edna, if you move the furniture and repost pics, we can help you tweak.
November 2, 2013 at 5:48AM     
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edna1980
I don't know why I hadn't thought about doing this before! Definitely makes the living room and kitchen/dining area flow better. Hubby's complaining about the glare on the tv from the windows, but oh well... ha, ha! Haven't connected the cables yet, so that's why they're all jumbled behind the subwolfer. Should I move the tall black shelving unit to one side of the tv? I was thinking about buying another one like it so there would be one on each side of the tv and then they'd be symmetrical. Are the couches too far from the walls and the fireplace?
November 2, 2013 at 6:43AM   
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denellwilson
Much improved flow and use of space. Though I do completely understand wanting to be able to watch TV while doing dishes and the like.
November 2, 2013 at 7:05AM   
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dclostboy
So much better...an anti-glare film on the windows will eliminate glare and not impede view. Size your rug to fit inside the couches, while still being at a good viewing distance from the tv.
November 2, 2013 at 7:17AM     
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jpp221
As an aside, before investing in a bookcase to house the TV, think of replacing the TV. Seems like a waste, but to invest a few grand in a bookcase to house a TV that, for $800 can be replaces by a leaner model, is like throwing money into a hole. 10 years from now, you'll be wondering "what were we thinking to make this custom wall unit so excessively deep".
November 2, 2013 at 7:18AM     
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CDR Design
Edna......huge improvement!!!

Can you close or partially close plantation shutters while watching tv during daylight hours?

Even though you took 3 photos, I cannot tell if furniture is placed correctly.
I would say you would want the tv centered on that wall, but then you don't want to get too close to the fireplace.

For sure, move the tv to the left so that it is centered on the second panel from the right. Can you take a photo after doing this? Take the photo head on so that we can see the whole tv wall.

For now, you can move the etagere shelf to beside the tv. It will help you get a visual. Ultimately, you want 2 matching units with closed backs.
November 2, 2013 at 7:26AM   
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edna1980
Good points. I didn't know about the anti-glare film. We've definitely been thinking about getting a flat screen tv that takes up less space. Just haven't pulled the trigger yet because of the kiddies. If this one gets damaged, we won't be too upset since it's outdated.
November 2, 2013 at 7:28AM     
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CDR Design
jpp221......really good point about the tv! It looks like a model from the 90's?

You can buy a sleeker-looking unit for a flat-screen.
November 2, 2013 at 7:29AM     
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CDR Design
Understand about tv. So, what you don't want to do then is to spend money on shelving units that go with your existing tv. Never waste $ trying to match something that will soon no longer be with you.

Do you have any matching shelving units you could use for the time being?

As an aside, I have 2 very active boys (grown now) who never once damaged a tv. What do you think they could do to it?
November 2, 2013 at 7:33AM   
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Ann
Yeah, when the TV gives out, maybe just hang a new one on the wall. I think the TV is fine as is for now.
November 2, 2013 at 7:34AM   
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CDR Design
You need something to house the components for now.
November 2, 2013 at 7:36AM   
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denellwilson
Saw a great idea for flat TV installations. Build wall out to house TV instead of just hanging it on the wall. Can also plan for various size niches of good depth if wallboard/sheet rock is taken down to the studs before new wall is built out. TV's up on the wall are out of the way of most children unless they're throwing stuff at the TV.
November 2, 2013 at 7:36AM   
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edna1980
Well, my oldest is going is in the thick of the terrible 2's and sometimes the tv ends up being a punching bag. Good times. I'm afraid some day a remote control or heavy toy will end up going through the screen, at which point we'll have no choice to buy a new one. The former owners actually did have a flat screen mounted above the fireplace mantle. There are surround sound connections as well as plugs to the right of the fireplace, which you can now see since I moved the shelving unit. We removed the frame, and that's why the portion of the fireplace has 2 tones of paint. My husband is thinking about putting a flat screen up there, but I think it's too high for a tv. Thoughts?
November 2, 2013 at 9:30AM     
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edna1980
There are 4 panels behind the tv and the closer I move everything to the fireplace, the further away from the empty wall on the far side everything gets. I took pictures from different vantage points so you could see. The loveseat is centered based on the fireplace and the couch is centered based on the tv. There's this weird space behind the long couch that we just use as a play area/dog's sleeping area and the couch sticks out past that wall, toward the kitchen bar. Does that look strange? The couch is about 3 feet away from the wall of windows and the love seat is about 5 feet from the empty wall. So there's a huge empty space on the far corner by the windows and one caddy corner from that where the tall shelving unit used to be. Should I fill those with something?
November 2, 2013 at 9:35AM   
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edna1980
Forgot to attach pictures
November 2, 2013 at 9:38AM   
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jpp221
I personally dislike TV's over fireplaces. They are usually WAY too high (only time when not is when the room is huge and the furniture is far away). And regardless of that, I find when the TV's on, it competes for attention with the fire; and when it's off, there's this big black sink-hole in the middle of the room, screaming for attention.

When mounted on the wall, even if there's no doors in front of it, it usually recedes. As an aside, for ways to make it recede even more: put it on a dark bookshelf--if the bookshelf has an open back, paint the wall behind it dark; that way it all blends in. Another way: Build it into a niche in the wall (as I see someone has suggested already), or at least build a frame around it--makes the whole thing much tidier, especially in rooms where you enter from the side--you aren't staring at the edge of the TV with all of its clutter and cords.

Third idea, which is best if you're only occasional TV watchers, is to conceal it in a console cabinet. There is hardware that let's the TV rise up (like toast out of a toaster) when in use. (This doesn't work if the TV is going to be out all the time anyway, though--depends on your lifestyle.)

(And then there are the usual solutions, of hanging art or panels in front of it...there's one poster on here always hawking his wares along those lines, he'll be here any moment I'm sure.)
November 2, 2013 at 9:43AM   
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edna1980
Pictures attached this time hopefully.
November 2, 2013 at 9:43AM   
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dclostboy
Another leaning bookcase to flank the tv would look good. Now you have room on the other wall for a low bookcase, a console table or a buffet cabinet :)
November 2, 2013 at 9:49AM   
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dclostboy
Coffee table should be closer to couch...should be in easy reach for your Cosmo or Corona :)
November 2, 2013 at 9:51AM   
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dclostboy
Trying to find something with structure and simple color for rug...don't think this from pottery barn is right, but initial thought
November 2, 2013 at 9:58AM   
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denellwilson
simple useful fix for the hulk tv, good ideas dclostboy
November 2, 2013 at 9:59AM   
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groveraxle
No more leaning bookcases. (I wish those had never been invented, they're flimsy-looking and just encourage clutter.) Put the one you have back in the niche by the fireplace. Don't worry about centering the TV on that wall. Put it where it's comfortable and works with the furniture arrangement.

Yes to paint. The white is too in-your-face. I would probably paint the same color as the walls, perhaps in a bit higher sheen.

You will at some point be replacing the behemoth, so might as well start planning for it now. Some kind of wall unit, or a long low console and some art would fill that wall perfectly. You could start collecting the art right now.
November 2, 2013 at 10:06AM     
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dclostboy
It's not that I like leaning bookcases, but trying to be most economical for busy mom with two kids.
November 2, 2013 at 10:11AM   
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edna1980
I like that rug a lot, dclostboy. Although I was thinking of a pattern like that if I add drapes. Are drapes overkill because of the plantation shutters? I thought that may be a good way to add some color.

I would love to get espresso/walnut colored wood floors, would this red make the room too dark? Also, do you see how there is tile along the wall by the fireplace? When we get the flooring replaced, would you replace that area with wood or leave it as tile? I think the reason tile was installed was for symmetry and to avoid damage to flooring from spilled food and drinks or people coming in with wet bathing suits and sitting at the bar....yes, I really do have guests that do that and drives me insane.
November 2, 2013 at 10:15AM   
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dclostboy
If you're going with darker floors, think lighter rug...but really nothing wrong with floors you have. Right now, curtains are something for two year old hands to grab onto :)
November 2, 2013 at 10:29AM   
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CDR Design
You have made great progress!!

-not a fan of tv's over fp-too high and you are looking at tv light and fp light at same time

But, if you want to go that direction, up to you.

With current situation of keeping this tv:

Large space behind love seat is fine, but you will want something on that wall and that could be large piece of art, a console table with art above, or even a large unit that you could use for storage, etc.

Space to right of fireplace you could simply put a buffet table there or you could add some art ledges to house your photos or combo of both.

TV: you need to balance the etagere with another or find 2 pieces or buy 2 pieces that balance each other, not spending a lot of money.

Coffee Table. A large, square coffee table or ottoman would look great and you need a rug to anchor.

Art above fireplace.

[houzz=Domicile id]

[houzz=Living and Family Rooms]
November 2, 2013 at 10:53AM     
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groveraxle
In the meantime, find some art you love and hang it to the left of the TV. Then when you get a flat screen, you can hang it on the wall, put a console under it, rehang the art to balance, add a vase of flowers or a beautiful bowl. Pretend like the paneling isn't even there. Or remove it altogether since it doesn't really fit with the vibe of the room.
November 2, 2013 at 11:14AM   
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edna1980
Thanks so much great advice, everyone! You guys are awesome. I love the idea of an ottoman as I'm constantly worried when my little ones start playing around the glass tables. Now if I can just find the perfect rug, ottoman, tables, and art work, I'd be all set.
November 2, 2013 at 11:21AM   
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CDR Design
It looks like from ideabook you like neutrals. Are you painting the room the same as kitchen. I too would remove molding.

Let us know on colors in the room and we can help
November 2, 2013 at 11:25AM   
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groveraxle
Why you need to put the shelves back in the niche:
November 2, 2013 at 11:35AM     
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CDR Design
Good work, Groveraxle. Room will never look ideal with that large silver box looming.
November 2, 2013 at 11:46AM     
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beesknees07
I love your paneling! It looks rich, and will be easy to clean when little ones put their grubby hands on it. I have two boys, 4 and 6, and they have put three holes in my drywall. Patching is no fun, trying to match the existing texture.

If you get a flat screen TV, they sell plexiglass screen protectors which attach with Velcro straps. My son (1 1/2 yo then) threw a Hot Wheels car and broke our new flat screen.

I love how bright and airy the room is with all the windows...nice home!
November 2, 2013 at 11:59AM     
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edna1980
Yes, I do love neutrals. The kitchen has this kind of Tuscan faux finish with a cream color paint and travertine tiles on the backsplash. One of my friends painted her kitchen a dark brownish/gray, which looks beautiful, but her cabinets are more of a white color. I would eventually like to refinish my cabinets to make them a little more white.

I like a lot of these lighter gray colors I've seen lately for the living room and maybe something a little darker for the entry way, but that may clash with the kitchen. I'm not a fan of the red paint on the entryway and would like to make the walls a smooth texture as well. In order to get smooth walls would I need to sand down the walls or add more of whatever the material is called and make it smooth?
November 2, 2013 at 12:09PM   
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CDR Design
I would recommend painting your kitchen, front hall and family room one color. Your front hall has textured walls? To change them, they need to be sanded.

I think it would look find leaving them textured and painting them the same color as the other 2 rooms.
November 2, 2013 at 12:19PM   
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Ann
I love what grover came up with for your living room with your future TV - I'd copy his rendering:) I think your floors are fine as is - I was curious why you mentioned replacing them. I think your kitchen would look fantastic with a fairly dark charcoal colored wall paint or maybe the dark brownish gray your friend has. It would look like a whole new kitchen. For now, I think I like the leaning bookcase better next to the fireplace than next to the TV. I also rather like the PB rug dclostboy pictured. Fun discussion!
November 2, 2013 at 12:28PM   
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Ann
I see what cdr is saying about one color, but I think I'd prefer a much darker color in the kitchen than the family room. Maybe on the same color strip, but lighter in the family room.
November 2, 2013 at 12:31PM   
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CDR Design
Ann, I think that would work also.......a little darker in the kitchen. Anything would be better than 3 rooms all connected, all with different surfaces, all different colors.


I think you realize that, Edna, from what you have said.

Your cabinets are fine.
November 2, 2013 at 1:23PM   
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edna1980
Grover, I love what you posted with the flat screen, console, and art work. Looks much more modern.

That's a great idea to keep the wall colors in the same color palate. I definitely do not like the beige in the kitchen/play area/stairwell, red in entry way, and white in the living room. It doesn't pull everything together. Yes, I think it's bizarre that the walls have different textures. The kitchen you can tell was professionally done, then we have the big paneling in the living room, which is original to the home, a different kind of paneling in the play area behind the couch, and then the entry way and stairwell areas have "crow's feet" texture, I think is what it's called. I think it needs to all be the same.

What do you think about these colors?
They're all Sherwin Williams.
Down Home SW6081
Cobble Brown SW6082
Realist beige SW6078
Diverse beige SW6079
November 2, 2013 at 3:20PM   
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Ann
I like all of those colors except the top left. The top right is much nicer for a darker shade.
November 2, 2013 at 5:02PM   
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CDR Design
Edna, good start to your thought process. Keep in mind that paint is one of the easiest choices to make. That is, there are endless paint choices (including custom match) and not endless choices for other items, such as rugs.

So, I would highly recommend you make your other choices first.

You want your floors redone. (I see nothing wrong with your floors, by the way). You want a rug. (maybe tv and entertainment center). By those first and then make your paint choice.

During the process, keep in mind your general choice of darker in the kitchen and lighter in the other 2 rooms.

Those darker colors will be very dark when applied to a whole room. Just keep that in mind.
November 3, 2013 at 3:27AM   
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chookchook2
Can you afford to replace your lounge suite? Tell hubby it is pink and he might agree. Get a more neutral colour.
November 3, 2013 at 4:05AM   
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edna1980
cdrdesign, I think you're right. I may end up changing my paint color depending on the color of rug.

The floor is this sort of orangy pergo and the main reason we want to change it, other than we're not fans of the color, is that you hear the dog's constant clickity-clack all over the house. That may have to do more with the pad that was placed underneath the pergo, but I'm also thinking that if we get a really good pad that buffers sound and solid wood it will resolve the problem. I also think that because we're looking at some type of handscraped wood, it will hide scratches from toys, claws marks, etc. This pergo floor is already fairly scratched up and dented in a few spots.

I've determined that I need a 12x14 rug for the living room, which may make my search a bit more difficult. We don't really care for the traditional Persian style or florals. I found a few patterns on Rugs USA I liked (of course they don't come in the size I need), but do you think something like this might be too much pattern? I also love the red Pottery Barn rug that dclostboypreviously posted, but the largest size it comes in is a 9x12.
November 3, 2013 at 4:44AM     
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dclostboy
What's the area you're trying to cover with the rug, as that seems awfully large. All the furniture doesn't need to sit on it.
November 3, 2013 at 5:01AM   
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CDR Design
I had the same thought as dclostboy. You only need to cover the inside area of the couch/loveseat, keeping in mind you want the front legs to sit on it.

So, I am guessing your loveseat length is about 5 feet long and your couch maybe 7 feet. So, maybe a 5 x7 or 8x10.

You can also buy a rug where the back legs sit on the rug. But, you want the back legs on the edge of the rug (rug not sticking out the back of couches). But, you aren't really gaining much by doing this.

So, can you take measurements and get back to us?
November 3, 2013 at 5:28AM   
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saratogaswizzlestick
Your room currently has no pattern except for the fireplace tiles. Looking at the pattern Groveraxel posted in his rendering (love this) your room will look great with a patterned rug.
November 3, 2013 at 5:30AM   
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CDR Design
Floor: makes total sense to change it, based on what you said.

Make sure you give some thought to a few odd things I noticed (maybe more):
threshold from front hall to fam room: eliminate, why does tile in front of fp extend to wall?, do you want that room (living room) done?
November 3, 2013 at 5:31AM   
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edna1980
I was thinking that the rug needed to go all the way to the back legs of each seat, so that's why I thought I needed a huge rug. So, I re-measured and need a 8x10,. The big couch is 7 ft long and the love seat is a bit over 5 ft long, they're both a little over 2.5 ft wide.

I really have no idea why there is tile over by the fireplace instead of wood flooring. It's a gas fireplace, so it's not like they put tile in case of sparks of fire come out. So I think when we re-do the flooring, we'll put wood throughout. Also, not sure why the entry way has planks of pergo in a different direction than the living room. When we replace the floor we'll just install the wood planks the length of the room and extend that through the entryway and down the hallway, so they're all the same, and eliminate unnecessary transitions on the floors.
November 4, 2013 at 7:07PM     
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edna1980
I'd also like to replace the tile on the fireplace with a veneer stone like one of these Coronado veneer stones from Lowe's.
November 4, 2013 at 7:23PM     
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CDR Design
Yes, 8 x 1 rug makes sense.
November 5, 2013 at 3:29AM   
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