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darchersd

10 yrs and I still can’t get our living room right - HELP PLS

darchersd
January 24, 2019
last modified: 5 days ago

Hi Houzz! I am making my family of six crazy with this living room - dining room and the changes that inevitably happen every four months :) I desperately need some expert opinion on layout - even to give me a plan to fulfill over the next year...be forewarned - this is no easy feat!!!
A bit of history:
Last year, the grandish piano found itself in the dining room 1) because I was sick of everyone dumping their stuff on the table when they got home and 2) to create a music room and 3) to keep food off the couch during weekends. With four kids 17 - 10yrs and only one living space the living space is our family room, game room, Wii room, work out room, homework/ computer rm, and now dining room. Challenges/Questions: 1)
where to put the tv?? This is probably the root of our problem - I don’t like to see the tv but it just seems most practical over the fireplace and I keep avoiding that option - we watch occasionally
2) I love art and books and have some great pieces but few walls without windows
3) no storage in this house!!
4) no freakin entry - seriously ??? That would be a deal breaker in my new wisdomed self!
5) we use the couch for family nights it it is down (constant fluff work) and is just big
6) I would like to move the piano back in and originally had it under the elk as that space is eaten!! But I love it most in the corner on the left side surrounded with windows and enjoying the view while playing
7) the Elk!! Truth be told - I cried when that beautiful beast took an entire corner of our main room as we unfortunately do not have tall enough walls to mount over the fireplace!!! Ugh - I did ask about raising the roof I married a hunter - enough said. We do eat healthy meat.
I tried a bookshelves on the main wall rt of the entry but it was dark and made the room feel small. (My bedroom became the library as it is quite large)The room is heavy on the elk side and especially with the piano under it and could not find a balance except to put something dark on the indent side of the fireplace which also balanced the entry door - the windowed corner always feels unbalanced.
A friend just gave me the new beige leather couch, marble coffee table, side table and shelf that she did not need. With all that being said - pls help me with layout ideas - I can get rid of everything but the elk (but it can move) the walls are hand oiled (outlawed now) and turned out too caramel but it looks nice - can work on color change as well. I like the chocolate in the dining room. Travertine is in the kitchen, and baths. Light beige window moulding also runs throughout the house.





Comments (6.8K)

  • justwantapool

    “I can do a lot with 12” ”

    Bahaha that’s what she said! ;-)

  • darchersd
    Flo, I understand your opinion about coffee table before pillow because the black leans it darker and we may want lighter and brighter on the couch, gold brings gold around, then maybe less on couch, brown wood also brings the golden and adds the earthy nature of the house around...and I actually like all those options but have to avoid the everyday glam or it gets offbalance to the feel of the house like Allanaspree keeps warning us about ;) I love the glass nesting rounds with more hammered or old look rustic look and equally love the curved Ming tables (always have, especially the really rolled sides). The wooden tables are better suited for family needs as the aging actually makes them cooler ;) but it does close the space more. The glass would probably look better with dark art wall. If we can find a good deal, then I can jump. ;) i think width needs to be in the 30’s - I had a 40’s” wood and it was just overpowering. I do like Kim’s and my artist friend would help guide me on specialty painting it...if your connection doesn’t have anything lower priced. That’s all the opinion I have ;)
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  • Pam K

    I absolutely agree with allana that the “rustic” nature of the fireplace side of room needs to be taken into account, as well as your ethnic decor items. I couldnt put my finger on why I wasn’t liking the more glam glass and (non antiqued) gold coffee tables, but that’s why.


    We all totally understand if you want to stick with current coffee table for now for $$ reasons, but Flo is correct that coffee table does somewhat influence other choices like pillow.


    black and gold with bamboo style legs, Craigslist coffee table and side table. dont know size




    Travertine from Craigslist. When you mentioned travertine, I remembered about this table. Also because it’s simple it wouldn’t become too busy with rug and pillow patterns



  • greenfish1234

    Hahaha!! JWAP our bawdy carpentress :D


    jeez who was the genius who assumed Dar had a million pillowcases???? I'm dying over here. I think the turquoise circles maybe and definitely the black and the green city scene have promise!! what's in the packages? Let's see them out as if from a wider angle. Anything you don't use goes to the ROBITS (room of banished items to sell?) ASAP ;)


    back to to the shelving. Just trying to hone in on needs so you get the best look that works for what you need. So this will be primarily for books? So you are thinking two rows of open bookshelves, like many of Kim's mock ups (I like)-What do you plan to have drawers for? mostly to "separate the busy?" I think unless you have a lot of the kind of stuff that goes in drawers and you really really need them, that this is a mistake. It complicates the build and makes them look more like kitchen cabinets (so does a toe kick-unnecessary since you won't be cooking there) and their function will be limited by the piano. And there is no reason books aestheticly need a solid break from art.

    Things to think about:

    -with this plan you will gain book storage but lose display space. Talk to Flo about how many of the items in the cabinets will reasonably go on top of the shelves.

    -you will gain art wall. Lovely. Checking in to be sure you have done a 180 on the gallery wall idea?



  • greenfish1234

    Some long lows. The simpler the better.






  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    I think we can find used Asian table with glass top that might be perfect blend. We can always paint and add gold touches if needed. I will do some checking.
  • lisalane
    Dar, the street scene pillow is a must! So unique and fun! It could maybe take the place of a chinoiserie pillow. Maybe GF?
  • lisalane
    Using things you own will give the room a ‘collected’ look ( because that’s what it is). That street scene pillow shows some personality and most likely has a great story behind it.
  • lisalane
    Agree with GF that the black pillow is also good.
  • greenfish1234

    Sing it, lislane!!

  • happyleg

    That will be fun with multi colors of pillows that match the poofs. Love the glass/brass or gold table.

  • Seajaygerns
    OMG. Can’t start without acknowledging “our bawdy carpentress” LMAO. Personally, i like Darcher first description of the bookcases she was designing with MrH and the recessed kickplate is fine. In fact, may make them look less bulky. Not really liking any of Darcher pillow stash but really like Allanaspree vignette of pillows. If it was my choice, I would do something like that, primarily because she included our (mine and GF) beloved antelope. Maybe not as over the top as some chinoiserie examples but the rug is the the star and stands on its own. Nothing in my opinion should compete with that.

    Darcher. I love the Zipfizz . Berry flavor is delicious and it doesn’t get me jazzed up. I’m jazzy enough already. Haha!
  • Seajaygerns
    Oh, and I still think the travertine two piece nester is understated enough to go with rustic side of LR.
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    I've been thinking about the low bookcases and wondering about wall mounted ones. I don't like the kickplate concept, too kitchen-like. You could do 3 units in different configurations possibly. Noodling with some ideas. There is a "vision" issue with height I want to consider. I like it low, but it has to be high enough for displaying objects of art. Might want two or three different heights. "Under construction in my mind" right now! lol

  • Seajaygerns
    Jumping off Flo’s observation about kickplate, if it was recessed enough, it might make the cases look like they’re suspended on the wall.

    Going in a completely different direction, I saw these. May be too long or wide, but throwing them out there.
  • happyleg

    #1 has a nook shelf. :)

  • darchersd
    I’ve missed so much - be back late!!! Gotta kid and a play to see :0
  • greenfish1234

    Glad Flo is on the cases!! Go Flo!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Here is first rough cut. ;)
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Not to scale, just for concept. I put shallow shelfs on left for laying sheet music flat on over to highest point on right side. Wall mounted in sections for weight management. Section width of woman art. Floating shelf to layer two pieces if art. Gold deco bowl on highest point at right. Books and artifacts in shelves. Whole unit elevated about 9” off floor.
  • darchersd
    Seajaygerns, I think those look good with this house and I think Kim also posted that second one ;) hmmm
  • darchersd
    Flo, your drawing is really interesting and certainly a turn from what we have been mocking up. I’ll have to tape it out somehow to get a feel for measurements. I kinda like the step up and the suspension. Will have to run it by the Mr. because the plaster and old bones = very difficult to find studs. If this side is suspended would you then also suspend the fireplace media center cabinets?
  • darchersd
    About my pillows ;) I am not loving the circles with the rug but a few do go. The one you think is black is actually a dark green. The green pillow is actually from Bolivia ;) I do love it. I could have that made into a lumbar to eliminate some of the green and to bring more attention to the scene ;) thanx for liking it!! I also have some wine and maybe a brown from one kings lane that I use at Christmas. I did a picture of all my colors waaaaay upthread to help direct color choices for rugs - hahaha - lots of good that did ;D here it is again. Found it around the time you all discovered I was a colorphobe so I gathered all my color onto the couch - hehe
  • darchersd
    The black Ming coffee table sold! I had messaged him for the size and he said he had a possible buyer today and I was just notified it sold. 30 x 48 x 18
  • Pam K

    That’s too bad about the coffee table :(


    Dar can you take another pic of the green city scene pillow, dark green pillow we thought was black, and the wine pillow, on the couch now that the eggplant rug is in place?

  • greenfish1234

    Just for giggles Dar, try the black green in the middle, the Bolivian scene in front of it like a lumbar, , the teal circles in the other corners, wine in front of one? Do you have a big wine and a lumbar wine? Maybe the big wine behind one circle pillow and the lumbar in front of the other. Wrap them around pillows for a 3-d effect. Take pic from FP. It will at least show how the colors work for you with the rug and better yet may feel like a fun for now solution. The llamas can probably work too.


    Flo you are so talented and thoughtful and generous with your time. I see many of Dar's treasures worked in to your design. the staggering is an adjustment after loving the very clean and simple look she has now as well as the mock ups from Kim, but it looks pretty!

  • greenfish1234

    ****WARNING**** this looks hideous

    but it is a map for what I think you should try. next try would be replacing teal circles with orange and replacing center green with big wine. This is for color trials only: what works and doesn't



    Also it looks like you have 2 charcoal cases by the green one here? Could try a more monochromatic look next also maybe charcoal instead of wine with the teal (already know I hate the wine next to the teal. My bad)


  • Pam K

    Rustic wood


    ________________

    Brass/gold






    ______________

    Spindle turned legs could have exotic collected appearance




    __________________

    with storage




    ________________

    bamboo, would obviously need some diy painting skills and/or glass cut for top




  • Seajaygerns
    Flo, the cases look great. I second GF to thank you for your for your generous spirit and great sense of style. I was just pondering your idea and wondered how it would look to flip the tall cases with the short ones. Placing the two smaller Tarkays over the high side and the lady over the shorter side. I’m prompted to say this cause I remember Dar saying she liked the shorter ones nearer the entrance so she had more visual space when entering the room. I believe that’s why the taller cases wound up behind the piano. But, as always, I will defer to you and your wisdom. I really like the suspended look. . . it looks modern and clean.

    Pam. I’m sure some of your choices were with painting them in mind. Haha. but I think they should be wider than 27” because that’s what’s there now ( white marble) and Darcher thinks it’s too narrow. Some of mine are marginal in that measurement too I think. Although I do think we can cheat on the 18” measurement from the couch to the table if we find the perfect table.
  • Pam K

    Seajay, yes absolutely some would need painting without a doubt!


    thanks for the reminder about sizing, I couldn’t remember what was said about the dimensions and Houzz isn’t letting me scroll back to previous pages ;)

  • Molly
    Bummer about the table!
  • mrichter54

    If Flo’s shelf system is liked but Mr Hunter feels hanging on plaster is not good, what about some legs under it similar to this table Pam showed:



  • Pam K

    Just wanted to point out that since the current coffee Table is an oval the 27” width is only at the 1 singular deepest part of the coffee table, so the overall coffee table reads as (and truly is)substantially less than 27”. Perhaps if the entire thing were approx 27” wide rectangle, it would be big enough. There’s a lot of wasted surface space and a lot less visual space taken up by an oval shape

  • greenfish1234

    I also love the idea of wall mount, or legs. I'm still liking simple lines over staggered I think. Also don't forget that behind the lady is a light switch and below the console is an air return vent

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    My haven’t we been busy. Darch. Yes you could do a metal leg base for the cabinets. To “wall mount” you have to hit studs. With a good stud finder this is easy. Given you have the vent, i figured hanging would not only look great but would solve that issue. Spatially, if the shelving goes low all across the wall, you won’t have good “lines of sight” for art or displayed treasures. With the step up concept you can design it specifically to highlight the art and objects. I also played with coloring the unit last night. I will finish that and post that concept along with iron base idea. If I get some time, I will also do the low bookcase concept. Bbl
  • darchersd
    I have numbers in my head, and haven’t read too many comments so let me get them down and then I’ll catch up ;) vent is 5” from floor up to 12.5”. Light switch is 23.5” from edge of wall. Mr said he can do whatever we want ;) except a no to moving light switch. If the floating unit sits lower we could give an open shelf for vent. Vents sits in 36.5”
  • niccidhg
    Having come here fairly late after the beginning of the dilemma, (when Houzz had already deleted much of the beginning comments) I have to sheepishly admit that I thought your white bookcases were new and WERE what you had chosen to do, not just temporarily - especially as you were styling the shelves. I really like them and how they are a taller, lighter backdrop behind the piano. — I was just thinking that keeping those and then adding in a white credenza to the right of the fireplace could be a nice balance in the room. It would provide closed storage for books, games ,etc. You could then lower the TV, also. Would there then be more visual room for art to be displayed either in that nook or on the wall to the right of it by the dining entrance ? Also, haven’t seen your dining room, but could you do a gallery art wall in there if there is a blank wall across from the built ins ? - Don’t know where the white bookcases came from, haha, but I have been thinking all along that your room is looking so nice as is, with those and the lighter, brighter wall color, curtains and contrast with the wood floors. I love wall hung consoles , however most of them in white are very contemporary . I know you like rustic and that theme runs throughout, so something like this credenza in white would be more transitional.
  • darchersd
    Mr laughed about finding studs! Even a good one doesn’t work in this house :/ made us crazy for 10 yrs! It’s hide and seek, but no matter, we find them and then patch - hahaha
  • darchersd
    Good point on the oval Pam! I would still prefer in the 30’s width ;)
  • darchersd
    All good points Nicci! Mr. built the shelves for our last home, will build whatever concept we settle upon and also the media nook ;) he just needs the design! He is actually happy about doing them so I’ll let him at it! Love your media console look, good find!
  • darchersd
    Pam, I was also eyeing the spindle. ;) Have a table in my MB with them and agree it looks good in here ;) prefer spindles in a beautiful wood. Painted ones lean more coastal, beachy, casual IMO. Also love rattan - the tommy Bahama look always steals my heart! It may be too busy front and center. Maybe entry could take a thin drawer one... or incorporate that look into the dining
  • greenfish1234

    I am with nicci, of course. I don't think so few rows of bookshelves are worth the trouble given how beautiful everything looks now. but I am in game for the best final results whichever direction this goes. I know for me I would want husbands labor and money on more pressing problems for sure.

  • Molly
    I ran across this one at All Modern with some orange for Mr H.
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Options. Colors don’t work well on these but just imagine a little bit. I put a metal base on these and made an exception in the back of long low on right for register. Of course, once we land on concept elements, then detailed scale drawings come next. Enjoy! Got to make hubby some dinner!
  • darchersd
    Sooo, I just got lost in my fabric hoard. Yes, I will admit to hoarding fabric. I looove fabric and buy it or take handmedowns and no, I don’t sew well, but it’s on my bucket list because I come from great seamstresses ;) aaannnyway, I’ll take pictures of fabrics and some needlework to see if there is a treasure we could turn into a pillow, piano seat cover, ottoman cover, curtains. Consider, DR and kitchen while perusing the darcher store - hahaha. When my kids move out, I have PLENTY to do between fabric and mosaics and paint ;) just need that cabin on a river in the woods - with a very high fireplace for Roy - ;D pictures to follow!
  • darchersd
    Flo, those are beautiful!! Will have to dwell on them... love your artistry and concepts ;) xoxo!!
  • darchersd
    Fabrics
  • darchersd
    More fabrics
  • Seajaygerns
    Ooooh, I love the fabric with the butterflies. The needle point is classic on piano stool cushion if there is enough for the top of the cushion and a velvet for rest of the cushion.
  • darchersd
    More fabrics

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