Strange shaped living room - help!
Debbie
November 14, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My son just purchased a home with a very strange shaped living room. We haven't a clue how to lay out furniture in this room. He has chosen a wall where he'd really like his TV. And on another wall there is a huge mirror which we'd rather not remove. He doesn't own any furniture yet so all options are on the table. The floor is a lovely spanish tile that is mostly an earthtone with a tiny hint of reddish pink. His girlfriend really wants to paint the walls something brown - or dark tan. i.e. not a light color. His only absolute requirement is a really comfy chair (recliner) for watching TV. But he'd also like additional seating for friends. We've made a 3D model of the room so we could rearrange furniture. But we're still rather baffled. So ideas are definitely welcome. I've included 3 pictures from the 3D model and one actual photo taken with the previous owners furniture in it (which shows the tile floor).
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Debbie
I've added a couple more pictures for perspective. The living room has cathedral ceilings. The photo(s) with furniture are from the previous owner - we do not have any of that furniture. Note: in the 3D model, the "picture" from Avatar is the TV (or the location where my son wants the TV). The very large mirror (in the attached photo) is above/behind the couch in the 3D model. I hope that makes sense.
0 Likes   November 14, 2013 at 6:33PM
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happyasaclam
Your second 3D model puts your son and his tv and his chair in the logical place for his comfortable tv viewing with seating for guests. In that model he has three chairs and two bar stools available. The other two models allow for more seating but less than optimum tv viewing for your son. Is he willing to choose his furniture as dictated by the wall color or find his furniture first and then make a decision on the wall color?
0 Likes   November 14, 2013 at 6:52PM
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Dytecture
Very awkward space indeed, I'm leaning towards the 1st option on the left.
0 Likes   November 14, 2013 at 6:52PM
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happyasaclam
You may already have experience in this area so ignore this if you do, but do not allow yourself to get caught in the crossfire between your son and his girlfriend. They will ask your advice and then shoot you down for it! Been there.... Done that....... Just sayin'.
1 Like   November 14, 2013 at 6:56PM
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happyasaclam
Love those sectionals, cynamonc.
2 Likes   November 14, 2013 at 6:58PM
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Debbie
i like the sectionals too. but the room isn't very large so i'm not sure it can support too much furniture. Also, with the walls "broken up" into small pieces with multiple traffic patterns I don't see how you could fit a sectional in there without breaking it up too.
@happyasaclam - I hear you. I have no intent of getting into the middle. Just trying to find ideas to toss over the wall to my son since he (and I) are pretty clueless when it comes to decorating. He may end up decorating with cardboard boxes and milk crates. Your point about finding the furniture first and then doing the walls is excellent. Thanks!
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 8:08AM
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groveraxle
I'd consider flipping the living and dining rooms and if I were going to stay long, I'd take down the walls between them.
3 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 10:37AM
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groveraxle
And if neither of those is viable, I'd definitely put the TV on the wall to the right of the pass-thru instead of the left. It will make better viewing for everyone.
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Debbie
groveraxle - unfortunately taking down the walls between living and dining rooms isn't an option. The dining room was actually a room added to the home after it was built and those remaining wall pieces are load bearing. (I totally agree it would make the whole job easier if we could)
When you say "right of the pass-thru..." are you referring to the kitchen pass-thru window as opposed to the dining room entrance?
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 12:40PM
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sunnydrew
Debbie-Can you please tell me what design software you used for those floor plans. I would like to try it. thank you.
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 12:47PM
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Debbie
Google Sketchup (the free version). It's great stuff. Lots of video tutorials for learning to use it and tons of 3D models of stuff people have already done available for download in the 3D warehouse. Other than the learning curve (which is a little steep if you don't already know other CAD software), it's an amazing tool - especially since it's free! (you can purchase the pro version but you may not need to for basic personal use)
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 1:12PM
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incubus_of_habit
I think groveraxle is on the right track. The issue is that it's not a living room. It's a really wide hallway. It's lacking in wall space to put furniture against and it's a major thoroughfare in the house. I'd consider not using that room for the TV and lounge furniture.
1 Like   November 15, 2013 at 1:23PM
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incubus_of_habit
also, note that 4 Eames lounge chairs may cost more than the house did. :)
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 1:25PM
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happyasaclam
Load bearing walls can be taken out. You just have to add some support columns in the room. You can also go into the attic and beef up the trusses, If I'm using the correct terminology.
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Adedamola Balami
Like those sectional sienna, please tell the name of the design software you used. Thank you
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 1:54PM
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jeff1185
I love the first 3D model as is. I think it'd be tough to make a large sectional work with the large opening to the dining room.
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 2:11PM
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groveraxle
Yes, Debbie, I'd put the TV to the right of the kitchen pass-thru.
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 3:56PM
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fos5
To be honest I have never seen any floor plan like this. I would have to tear down some walls and adjust the floor plan to make it function.
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 4:04PM
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Debbie
fos5-i've never seen a floor plan like this either. but believe it or not, this was the nicest house in his price range. and now that he's completely broke, tearing out walls isn't going to be a short term option. maybe in 10+ years when he's saved some money.

What really sold the house were the master bedroom and kitchen which are really nice and were recently renovated. But the living room / dining room is a very interesting challenge, hence the reason I posted. I love getting all the different comments and viewpoints. Thanks to everyone for the ideas.
1 Like   November 15, 2013 at 6:55PM
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JudyG Designs
What if you ignore the walls/angles. Find the center of the room; place an ottoman or round coffee table there; surround that with swivel chairs.
Della Brook Model Home
Houston Estate
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 7:01PM
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fos5
Difficult to make a functional TV room out of this space, 4 doorways and odd angles. Can you put a TV in each bedroom and turn this room into a library.? Where is the kitchen? Maybe this room would be more serviceable as the dining room and DR the TV room. Just thinking???
0 Likes   November 16, 2013 at 5:06AM
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dbellisario
I agree, make the odd the shape room the dining room and move the tv and seating into the dinning room. that puts the table nearest the kitchen and you could line it up at the same angle as the wall and have plenty of space to pass around.
1 Like   November 16, 2013 at 5:48AM
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Debbie
I thought about that but that probably won't work either. I've attached the entire floor plan which might help with the perspective. Note: the 3D model isn't complete (i.e. it really doesn't show the sinks/toilets and kitchen appliance locations. But I don't think that matters for this purpose. The bedroom/office actually has built-in office furniture (shelving, desk, cabinets). As shown, the dining room only has 1 wall which could have a TV. If we put the TV there, I haven't a clue what we'd do with that room in the middle (the one currently called the living room).
@iamjudy - really interesting photos. the della brook is very nice. I like that one.
0 Likes   November 16, 2013 at 6:53PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I agree with iamjudy and cynamonc: whether you go with 4 swivel chairs or a sectional, the furniture definitely needs to be floated in the middle of the room. Even if you were to go with a long couch with a swivel chair on each side - whatever the actual choice of furniture - this will make the most sense of the traffic patterns through this room: the crossroads of the entire house!

I think that either a curved sectional, like the Joel or Sienna (which cynamonc posted) or one with a center angle (like the Kitchen Lab) would be most successful. Floating the furniture in front of the angled wall will alleviate any walk-through traffic between the seating and the TV. Most of the traffic will be from the kitchen into this room, from the front door into this room, and from both of these into the dining room and screened porch. Traffic to and from the bedrooms is more secondary. It just means that the path from the Master Bedroom would be a little longer because it would go behind furniture rather than through the middle. You would probably end up with some space in that upper left hand corner (next to M.Bdrm) - that could become a small reading area with an additional chair or any kind of cabinet or shelf unit (possibly even with the chair).

Having said all of this, I agree that switching the dining room and living room could work well, especially since the screened porch would become an extension of the LR. The new dining room would be directly off of the kitchen, and I think that there would still be room for a sitting area along with the table and chairs, if you want a casual seating area with more direct communication with the kitchen.
1 Like   November 16, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
One more thought: by switching the LR and DR, you are also moving the noisier area away from the bedrooms. That may not be a big issue right now, but it could in the future.
0 Likes   November 16, 2013 at 7:18PM
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decoenthusiaste
How do you enter this house - through the screened porch or via that tiny space between the bedroom/office and the kitchen? I was going to suggest using the bed/office as the dining room since it adjoins the kitchen, but I see that is already eliminated. TV wouldn't be very viewable in the dining room due to all the glare from openings. I think it is convenient that the walls on either side of the kitchen pass through are backed by closets. That can make TV installation with all the gear easy for the pros to do. Perhaps your son doesn't entertain dinner guests that often, but I would hate to get to the dining room from the kitchen, via the entry, with dinner for six (or even two!) If there is a possibility of removing all or part of the wall by the dining space, I'd advise your son to pick up matching floor tiles now and stash them for when he can have that done. Electrical will be involved too. It will make a larger living room where the dining area can be closer to the kitchen, and with the screened porch he might be able to build in the entertainment over the window once the wall opens. Should be an energy efficient house with so few windows. For now I like the arrangement with a sofa for guests. Couples can't snuggle in four chairs!!! lol
0 Likes   November 16, 2013 at 7:43PM
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PirateFoxy
The big question is - does he want a room for people to gather where he can also watch TV, or does he want a TV watching room? That is - does he imagine having people over to chat, or people over to watch a game/a movie? I can't see how the odd shaped room is going to work well as a TV watching room for multiple people - almost all of the seating arrangement options have most of the seats at strange angles relative to the TV. That's not going to be comfortable for people.

For a TV watching room, I'd definitely swap the dining room and the living room. The window issue can be dealt with in terms of glare, and there are a few seating options that would work in that space without all the awkward sight lines to the TV. Then the odd-shaped room could have a dining table near the kitchen opening, and also a small seating area, and that would also probably lend a better flow in terms of foot traffic going through the space because you'd feel less like you were walking through the middle of a room to get anywhere - the dining area and seating area would be more independent spaces. (Or not even a seating area, just a little reading nook with a nice shelf and a comfy chair for one. Whatever he'd actually use.)
0 Likes   November 16, 2013 at 10:39PM
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happyasaclam
I hope that in just a few years your son will be able to start a couple of remodeling projects in his new home. I imagine he's very proud of it, warts and all! I hope you are able to make some of the suggestions here work.
0 Likes   November 17, 2013 at 7:51AM
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