Suggestions for tiny living room invited.
griffsma
January 24, 2014
(Trying this for the umpteenth time. I'm nothing if not persistent.) I have a small (1100 sq ft) house with three bedrooms and one bath. One small bedroom off of this living area is used as my office. I work from home.

I guess you would call my style sort of mid-century cottage. This is a very small (11' X 12-1/2') living room divided by three doors which I hope you can more or less see. I have not arranged the shelves above the love seat since taking down the Christmas decorations. Still thinking about that. The love seat is a sleeper for my brother when he's in town. My son (who is a senior in high school and will be going away to college next year, but coming home for breaks) and I have have two cats.

Maybe you can't see the little ottoman/foot stool with the serving tray on it. I plan to re-cover that, maybe in an orange. A friend is making an orange throw for me. The dining area, which you can't see in these photos, is burnt pumpkin. I've ordered a couple of throw pillows that are chintz with the sage and orange. Do I need a rug? If so what size, color, shape? Window dressing? (Keeping two cats in mind.) New windows (to go with the new windows in the kitchen that have a nice, wide sill which work beautifully for displaying)? Should I add white beadboard to the lower walls, which I have in the kitchen, bath, laundry? The shelves were added recently because the walls were just blank and I needed more area for displaying. Should I exchange the loveseat/sleeper and chair for a sofa/chaise? Any ideas would be appreciated.
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unwantedadvice
I love your living room. It is very neat and tidy. One thing I would change is the positioning of that little ottoman w/tray. Move that to the other side of the chair and push the chair closer to the sleeper loveseat and move the table more centered between both upholstered pieces, away from the wall. I hope you are following.

Looks like there would be plenty of room between chair and front door for that piece.

As far as a rug goes, you could use one in the living room but then I would ditch the rug by the stairs, leaving that space open. Not sure what size for the rug but may involve removing entry door mat. It is a small space but you have it arranged fine.

I would keep all furniture the same, it looks nice, especially for your brother's benefit.

The shelves are also nice as well as the bookcase. I will study the pics more and re-read your comment for your other questions.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:52PM
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unwantedadvice
Moving the lamp table closer to chair is key. Right now it is a little too close to the shelving. And chair, just move it a tiny bit to the left and there should be room for that little footstool. Try that arrangement and see how that looks to you.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:56PM
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unwantedadvice
Television area looks nice and the floor lamp as well. With that nice wide armed chair, there is no need for a table of any kind.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:58PM
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unwantedadvice
I do not think beadboard would be necessary. Too much going on perhaps. And your suggestion of deeper window sills is nice, just do not overboard with "stuff".
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:01PM
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griffsma
We are a shoes free house. I was thinking of putting a nice boot tray by the door. Either next to the chair or maybe next to the TV cabinet? To give guests a hint.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:02PM
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unwantedadvice
One more post. I love the colors you have and are going to get.

On second thought the windows with deeper sills would be useless as the furniture is up against the windows. You would not be able to see any display items.

I would also suggest roman shades for those windows. A drape or curtains might overpower the room.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:08PM
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griffsma
Like this?
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:09PM
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peightell
I would consider removing the TV and shelf next to the stairs and replace that space with the white book shelf that is at the bottom of the stairs there. (could the TV fit in the bookcase?
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:13PM
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colonialgp
Have you tried moving sofa to opposite wall? Possibly reversing wall arrangement (removing those shelves above tv would be necessary) would give you more room or would front door open into sofa?

Definitely need rug to unify room. Make it large enough that sofa has two legs on it. Keep window treatments light, such as valances - no heavy curtains or anything that goes to the floor. I would ditch the end table and lamp and get another (not matching) floor lamp and much smaller table (think little round table) that could go by any chair.

Do you use stool? If so, have that between door and chair so it can be reached. No point in having two horizontal surfaces next to each other.

I'd remove shelves and just hang like pictures in a tight area. Use other wall space for more colorful art. Get some colorful pillows to add to furniture.

Love that piece at the bottom of the stairs. Really cute. You've got an adorable cottage. If you do have 3 bedrooms, have you thought about combining two of them? That would definitely give you some space to breathe.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:16PM
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unwantedadvice
Maybe by the tv cabinet if there is room. I don't think you want too much crowding that small room.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:20PM
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PRO
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:21PM
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unwantedadvice
Maybe by the tv cabinet if there is room and not too big. Maybe the little footstool could leave because there is already the table between the loveset and chair.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:21PM
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griffsma
One does not take the notion of moving that bookcase lightly - because it's anything BUT light. It is in three pieces, stacked, and packed with books and memorabilia. As it turns out the TV does fit! And my kitchen floor has to be refinished which means so does the living room floor given the direction of the floor material. So since I have to move the living room furniture out and back anyway now would be the time to try that. Assuming it works there, and dimensionally it does, would you recommend putting something else at the bottom of the stairs? What do I do with the DVDs currently stored under the TV? And the books and other memorabilia displaced by the TV?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:23PM
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unwantedadvice
I like the table much better. I think the little ottoman needs to go and the table back to the right a bit.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:24PM
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unwantedadvice
Sorry, the chair to the right.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:25PM
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griffsma
I've lived here 11 years so I've tried pretty much every furniture arrangement. There is another door way next to the TV cabinet. Can't combine two bedrooms. Need one for my office, one each for me and my son. I've thought of moving my office to my detached single car garage but it's Seattle where parking is at a premium so really need to put my car in the garage. Basement is unfinished so really just for storage (and my crafts - mosaics are messy).
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:29PM
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griffsma
That little footstool is nice to have when watching TV in the living room.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:34PM
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PRO
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peightell
A long thin table at the bottom of the stairs with a lamp would be lighter and a place to put some of your pretty things. I would also look at a punch of burgundy/wine in pillows for your sofa.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:35PM
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griffsma
The pillows I ordered have orange. As will the throw. And possibly the little stool. Sorry about the picture quality! These are fabulous ideas.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:37PM
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unwantedadvice
Why not tuck that footstool next to the bookcase and see how you like it there.

The rug would be hard to move in there as you would want it to the right of the bookcase and go straight towards the tv and over to the front door, etc. I don't think it needs to be completely under the loveseat, but just a bit. How big is that, roughly?

And really, since space IS tight, I really wonder if you need one at all. Maybe the one by the front door could be a bit larger.

I am glad you posted a pic of the front door area.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:42PM
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unwantedadvice
I like Warner Decor's last pic for a rug. Matches the orangey colors you will be bringing in.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:46PM
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colonialgp
I wouldn't move the bookcase - it looks good where it is. Guess you wouldn't like a combo office and bedroom, combining two rooms upstairs. Really you've done well with the space you have. Orange is a good color choice for Seattle.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:46PM
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unwantedadvice
I like A Crew Of Two's first and last rug pics as well.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:49PM
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griffsma
How big is what, unwanted?
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:49PM
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griffsma
My son threw his shoes by the door for your viewing pleasure.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:51PM
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tennisanyone
The couch should be under the shelves, remove the shelves and the chair should be under the mirror which I would remove too. I would put the pictures on the wall, not on the shelf. The room is off balance. Put up some drapes on the window and move the end table and lamp under the window.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:53PM
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groveraxle
Your house is beautiful.

I wouldn't put the bookcase in the living room. It will overwhelm the space and it's perfect at the bottom of the stairs. I also would skip the rug. The space doesn't need defining and it will instantly make it smaller.

I'm wondering if there is a better arrangement for your furniture. It seems to me the seating is crammed into a corner with windows while the TV luxuriates on your only full wall in the room. It also leaves you looking at a wall with only one chair with a view out the windows. I think I'd like to see the TV between the windows and the seating on the TV and stair walls.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:53PM
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inthedetails
I would try rearranging the furniture. I would like to see the sofa on the door wall and the chair directly across from the other one. I would paint the tv cabinet and the table. For the table, I would give it a fun paint job by painting the body an antiqued white and the legs in a burnt orange. I can't tell if there is a drawer on the table but if so, I would change out the hardware with a fun little knob. I think I would have someone make a slip cover for the wooden chair in a fabric that brings all your colors together. I don't think the table lamp works. I would like to see a colored glass lamp. I like the pillows but think they are too stark, again replace with color. Move the floor lamp as far into the corner as possible. Now, on the windows. You have very nice windows so I wouldn't want to cover them but instead highlight them. I would hang off-white sheers at the ceiling and gather them in the middle with natural twine or raffia. I like the shelves. I think you said they have not been put back in place since Christmas so I will reserve judgement on the accessories for now. Now lastly, the rug. This is a little difficult without seeing the room in person. I would go with a round shag in a cream color. As for the size you will need to determine that based on the room. I would guess a 4ft round but not sure. I hope you found the help you were seeking this time.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by griffsma    January 24, 2014 at 7:03PM
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griffsma
Inthedetails, I like your ideas. Which "door wall"? The outside door or office door for the sofa? So put the sofa on the wall where the TV currently is? Reverse the TV and loveseat, essentially? I'll have to share the photos when I get those colorful throw pillows. The shelves above the TV are arranged, the ones over the loveseat are not. If you look closely you'll see the frames are empty.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:11PM
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inthedetails
Sorry for not being clear. I just reviewed the pictures again and you have added since I first looked. I would put the sofa on the door wall with the mirror on it. I had not seen the mirror and the artwork you have on that wall. If the sofa looks good there, I would suggest you change out those two pieces but let's cross that bridge if we need to.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:24PM
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groveraxle
This looks like a better place for the TV, plus you have a view out the windows when you're not watching the tube.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:28PM
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groveraxle
Changed my mind about the windows; I'd rather see a relaxed Roman shade. More in keeping with the ambience of your cottage, I think.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:35PM
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unwantedadvice
grover, where will her chair with the wooden arms go?
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:35PM
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unwantedadvice
And I do like the idea of a white tv cabinet.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:37PM
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ParrotUncle
Love your home decoration. It is really beautiful. Maybe you need more light, get bright room.
    Bookmark   Thanked by griffsma    January 24, 2014 at 7:52PM
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groveraxle
Oops.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:53PM
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tennisanyone
I like the idea of a white tv cabinet but not on that wall grover. Too much white on the same wall. I would keep the couch where it is but move it in the corner, take down the shelves and hang the artwork above the couch and move the chair near the door. and hang panels. It will make the ceiling look taller too. Keep the tv where it is too. Same setup as now but move the end table and lamp under the window.
    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 6:35AM
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tennisanyone
I don't like how it drops off from a tall cabinet to a low one either. I would get an arch lamp for the corner too.
    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 6:38AM
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groveraxle
One advantage to putting the TV on the wall I suggest is that now there is space for a shoe repository by the front door.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:28AM
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tennisanyone
As we say, it doesn't hurt to try both arrangements. Costs nothing to move the furniture.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:33AM
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griffsma
Here are some of your ideas:
    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:33AM
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griffsma
Excuse the image where the love seat is facing the wall. :)
    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:37AM
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tennisanyone
I dont see my arrangement
    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:45AM
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griffsma
Here it is, more or less, tennis:
    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:51AM
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griffsma
I've always read that your arrangement should have a focal point. Maybe my room is too small and awkward to accomplish that. I hate having the television as a focal point in a living room, or even having a TV in a living room at all, but we have no other options. I would like it possible for all who are seated to be able to see the TV without straining their neck. The truth is when it's just the two of us we watch in my room.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:55AM
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tennisanyone
OK Thanks, I would put the floor arch lamp in between the couch and chair and maybe add another one on the other side behind the chair too.. Went back and looked at the pictures again. I would take down the other shelf by the TV and then you will have more space to push the wooden chair back in the corner and add to stool in front of the chair.
    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:59AM
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tennisanyone
griffsma, can you try moving the couch and chair just a bit. It won't take more then a PUSH. Think about panels to frame the windows and then the focal point will be the beautiful drapes/couch
    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:00AM
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griffsma
I am either going to paint the little side table or replace it with a white or white and orange table, maybe a round one. Love that idea. I will also get the Roman shades. I like how they look in that image, grover. I may trade out the TV cabinet for a white one, too. I wouldn't paint the one I have. It's quartersawn oak.

I think you can see there are few furniture arrangements that allow easy movement into and through the room. Guests enter through front door and head straight for the kitchen. You all have given me much to inspire!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:06AM
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unwantedadvice
Hi again. As far as a the rug by the front door goes, maybe get one that is just the next size up. Add a bit of something there between the two doors to fill the space.

And I do agree with grover and her suggestion of no large rug in living room.

Arrange the furniture each way and see which you like the best. You are the best judge since you live there. It is fun, I think, to be able to rearrange furniture. And you don't have to touch that bookcase! Have fun.
    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 1:15PM
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