northpoint2January 12, 2012
This room has come a long way, but it's still not coming together for me. I know the mantel is too high: any suggestions for what I could hang beneath it? Painting the brick, mantel, and built-ins is unfortunately not an option at this time. Furniture is dark, TV is awkwardly placed: any ideas around these issues? Ideas about drapes? Thanks a MILLION for any help!
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Seems you could solve most of the problems by lowering the mantle and mounting the tv above the fireplace. Alternatively, move the sofa that is currently on the long wall in front of the window with a console table behind. Mount the tv on the long wall with a long media cabinet under to hold the equipment. Use lined drapes to cut the glare from the window. Maybe a fun pattern or a colour pulled from the rug?
    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 6:24PM
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Hi northpoint2, I actually think the natural wood built-ins and everything you've got on the fireplace wall is perfect ! except for the TV, which I would think it might be better to be hung on the wall beside it, and you can place the sofa in front of the window.

As for drapes, you might want to try light shears withe more heavy ends to anchor it.

Orchard Family Room A · More Info
    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 6:37PM
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The room looks a little out of balance with 1 large screen TV on right. Buy another flat screen TV (could be a bit smaller) for left side. Some people have 6 TVs in their family rooms! Have only photos in the shelving, place all of your photos on shelves, and no other decorations on shelves. On mantel have only mirror and silhouettes. Paint mirror frame black & re-mat the silhouettes with a colorful mat. For the silhouette mat choose one of the colors that is in the pillows (the pretty blue stripe). See if a blue item (glass? pottery?) looks nice on the coffee table & / or side table, that will repeat the blue in the room again. I like windows without drapes, but a bamboo shade would be nice if you want.

6 TVs in family room
Bliss Home Theaters & Automation, Inc. - · More Info

All photos on shelves
CrystalTech - [ Roger Hirsch Architect ] · More Info

Bamboo shade
Sitting Room · More Info
    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 7:53AM
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Jonathan Graham
Quite a few challenges for this room.

I suggest 50% sheer shades for the large window ( Alternately, Lutron offers battery operated cellular shades that are wireless and silent. ( ).

The large framed art on the left should have the glass replaced with non-reflective or museum glass to dramatically cut down on the reflections.

The mantle pictures should be relocated. If possible, lower the mantle about 6".

The ideal place for the TV is above the mantle. Because of the depth of the mantle beams and side beams, you can surface mount the old TV there and conceal it with Moving Art ( It is best that the TV be a shallow 1.2" lcd such as Samsung. The total height of the TV should be about 11" lower than the distance between the top of the mantle and the bottom of the ceiling trim.

The frame for the Media Decor Moving Art should probably be black to match the fireplace and help reduce the apparent 'tunnel effect' of the room.

Good luck, you have many decisions to make!
    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 8:40AM
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Spacify Inc,
loved the sofas
    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 10:49AM
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I think you should leave mantel and built-ins as is and do the following: Remove the silhouettes from the mantel. They are out of balance and too busy for that space. Use just the mirror with a candle holder & candles on either side of mirror and leave it simple so it reflects the light from the windows. Also, take your couch and put it under the window and mount your tv on the wall that is currently behind the couch. There is no reason to close off any of your built-ins with that tv!!! And, don't be afraid to put your couch under the window. Take your silhouettes and put one on either side of the tv once you mount it! And this will cost you nothing!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 11:22AM
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I'm not sure what you started with but the room as it is now has good bones. I agree w/ everything Otium said, regarding moving the tv etiher above the fireplace (if the mantel could be lowered) or to the wall where the sofa is now. My biggest problem is the dark void created on the far end of the room by the fireplace/bookcases. One solution would be to "lighten" the back wall of the bookshelves using fabric,wallpaper, paint (that seems to be a nono?) or I've even seen it done w/great success using "art" paper cut to fit.

To me, with the exception of the tv issue, your room is nearly perfect. What it sorely misses is color. Some new throw pillows, an accent chair, or bold patterned curtains would do the trick. Otherwise, I think you're on the right track.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 11:50AM
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I agree with everyone else, except would like to add that the coffee table looks small (and boring!) compared to the size of the sofa and loveseat. How about changing it out to something of a different material (glass, wrought iron, reclaimed wood, etc.) It needs something chunkier! Also, I'm not crazy about the pillows on the sofa. I'd change them out to somet that add a pop of color to the room----and maybe some with more texture. A soft afghan thrown over the back of either the sofa or loveseat and some textured pillows would add energy/warmth to the room.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 12:57PM
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I was thinking the same thing about the coffee table. There seems to be some sort of chunky black trunk lurking awkwardly down from the sofa along the wall, have you tried that?
    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 1:03PM
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Would you consider replacing some of the furniture. For me, all that brown along with the brick wall just seems to weigh the room down. I also think more lamps would enliven the space as well as a really lovely chandelier (if you are going to leave the tele where it is). For the windows maybe sheers or even plantation shutters in white, if you were going to keep the brown leather sofas. Also a long table against the back of the sofa that faces in to the kitchen would be nice and you could get some large coffee table sized books or a dramatic piece of art. I would also lose the chair rail up on the yellow wall. It makes the room seem shorter somehow. Also I would suggest more consistent artwork on the mantel. You have the shadow outlines and too tiny mirror over the mantel which lack ooomph. The two pictures on the yellow wall are stunning so maybe make a more substantial picture wall adding some more photos of various sizes might help. Good luck. I can't wait to see what you end up doing with it.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Hi northpoint2 - Now that you have had several comments and I see no one else had said it - there is too much going on with the fireplace - too many things . I don't have a problem with the furniture arrangment - just the decor items . First the wall color could be a richer gold and take the color right up to the ceiling - that white part at the top lowers the ceiling. Then take the silhouettes and all the family photos and make a family picture wall behind the sofa. Ok now that frees up some space on the fireplace wall . I don't like putting TV's on the mantel so see if you can mount it on the wall at either side with an artickulating swingarm TV bracket. Put the sailboat and the remaining pictures somewhere else in the house . I think some lined drapes on a wood rod that is about the same color as your sofa.Find a fabric you love and also make some pillow covers with the same fabric and add some other colored pillows - maybe with some ethnic style colors - like some killams. Beef up the lamps - the coffee table is fine - round or oval is good . Check out Hunter Douglas Silhouettes - you might like those for the window. Just have the mirror on the mantel ( change the frame to match the drape rod) and just add three candle sticks or only a few items there. Well I think i covered it.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 3:37PM
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Carrie Lucke
I am okay with the FP actually. It's not the greatest, but you have decorated it nicely and I would leave it. the TV is a place for improvement I think. Can you place it on the long wall across from the windows? Perhaps you can run the long sofa by the windows. the short sofa is the same location with a sofa table and pair of lamps behind it. A longer coffee table- perhaps an ottoman for putting up feet. I would keep the curtains simple panels - they will really warm it up.
So maybe it won't work. Not sure if you go in and out of those doors/windows. just some thoughts.
good luck
    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 5:34PM
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The paintimg and accessorizing you've done is nice - but no amount of that will solve the major problem of your awkward furniture arrangement.

Again: Move the TV to a long, low credenza on the wall opposite the windows place one sofa beneath the window and replace the other sofa with a pair of chairs. If funds are low, shop vintage rather than retail - your space will be more interesting and your pocketbook will be better off as well.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 8:35AM
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Thank you SO MUCH for all the great suggestions! Some I can--and will--definitely use! 1) I totally agree that the mirror above the mantel is too small and the silhouettes are too busy. 2) Too much stuff on the built-ins: YES! You're totally right! 3) The coffee table isn't as small as it looks in the picture, but it is just another brown piece. Maybe an upholstered ottoman? 4) The pillows are just "eh."

I wish there was something I could do about the height of the mantel, but that sucker cannot be moved. Also, moving the TV is sadly not an option.

What types of lamps and/or drapes do folks recommend? Again, THANK YOU for all the advice.

And when I say the room has come a long way, this is what the room looked like before.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 6:44PM
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...and the second picture is the adjoining kitchen, if that helps!
    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 6:46PM
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If she placed the sofa behind the window, wouldn't they be sitting outside
    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 4:47PM
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How wide is the space on the wall just to the right of the t.v? Would it accommodate the television? What I'm thinking, if the wall is wide enough, mount the television on an arm on that wall. Then run a wall of panels, something opaque but with an interesting and lively pattern, from the fire place to the dining table. So it would cover the t.v, the window, and the french doors. If you use panels, you can open any section at any time, so, you can leave the french doors uncovered most of the time, when watching t.v. you could open the end covering the television and then "pop" the t.v. out into very much the same position it's in now. I know it sounds like a lot of curtain, but we did it in our place - to cover a window, a french door and another window - and it gives the room a lot of character. I don't know, it's a bit of a bold move, but if the tv can't move from it's current spot you have a problem. It's definitely the rooms biggest sin.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 6:24AM
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Thanks Karen! Do you have a picture of your room? That would be SO helpful.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 7:01AM
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I'll have to take a picture of the space now for you, this is the "before shot". Our main room, a living room, dining room, kitchen combo faces south and east with windows on both walls. We live in TX, so this room would be a sauna if we didn't cover the windows. I used heavy, double sided cotton panels from Ikea backed with thermal panels I got on Sears' website. The panels run just about from corner to corner on the east wall. I think, in your case, if you just went from the fireplace to the end of the window and didn't cover up the french doors too it would look unbalanced.

I meant to say before, you really did a lovely job transforming the room, I disagreed with quite a few comments, it doesn't need drastic modification, just a solution for the t.v. issue and a pop of color. I was thinking too, have you tried putting the trunk behind the sofa and making display there for pillows or books. You could also drape a colorful throw over the bench under the window, it blends into the floor other wise and completely gets lost.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 7:25AM
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The following are images of the wall in the previous post. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Thanks Karen! I like the fabric choice and the way you hung the drapes. Maybe I can take some more pictures of the entire wall with the TV, large window, french doors and kitchen...I wasn't planning on putting any treatments on the french doors, but now that you mention it I think I need to put something on the set of windows in the kitchen that are on the other side. RE: the bench, I'm either slipcovering it or painting it white. :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 4:07AM
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Hey I just the b4 and after photos of the space. I had suggested the plantation shutters in my earlier post and I see that you already have them in the kitchen. so it might be a great way to tie the two spaces together by also putting them on the window and door in the family room. Also regarding the items on the mantle. I had also suggested placing a table behind the sofa that is facing the fireplace and putting a statement piece on it. The sailboat that rest on the fireplace would be a good feature piece for that table. And the throw cushions of the sofa could use an update. The Ikat prints are in vogue now and if you get like 2 oversized Ikat printed throw pillows and then maybe 1 lumbar pillow in a color that picks up your rug that may be nice as well. If you can move that television to another room and ten buy one that suits above the mantle then you are on your way.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 7:01AM
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