I need some direction on furniture selection please

November 8, 2009

OK, here's the scenario. I got this new entertainment center that I really like. but with the new placement of it on a wall by itself, the other pieces of furniture dont work. (too big, older stuff, nothing special not enough wall space remaining etc)

So we have decided to replace most of it (maybe all of it). I think this new furniture will be what we use for a longer time and as such, I want to get something that I wont tire of and/or that will look dated after a few years.

We have pets, big dog and 5 cats, I'm looking into soft claws for the cats (yes we have scratching posts all over the house) Currently the dog likes to sleep on a covered patterned couch. I'll do my best to break him of this by providing a big comfy floor pillow/dog bed somewhere in the room.

The questions/options:

Regardless of the best option below, what would be a good style/color to compliment the ET center? and also what would be a good combo of pieces. We dont have kids, we dont entertain, so it's really just the 2 of us most of teh time, but we do like to have some space and often our own couch/chair, not always together on one couch.

Oh ya one more thing, my DH seems to think he's the expert on furniture selection and continues to state he wants something "modern" I am aware of what truly modern furniture is like and it is not something I desire, nor will it be something I buy. I think what he's thinking of is something with more clean lines, (he is an engineer afterall) something not frilly or old aka: traditional looking (hence the routine comments "that looks like something in my mom's house)

A. replace it all?

B. try to use the oversized chair (pic attached) and buy a sofa love seat to go with it?

C. keep the oversized chair, maybe get a sectional with a chase to compliment it?

D. Get a new sofa and love seat and a new recliner

This chair has rarely been sat on, so it's like new condition. (I guess I need to know if it is already dated, go ahead, I can take it)

Still working on adding (and taking away) items on the ET, so ignore it's contents please ;)

Comments (28)

  • lukkiirish

    Well I like that chair, it's fun and whimsical, which I think is something every room can use, but I'm not sure if it works with the entertainment center which reads more traditional to me. I'm in sort of the same boat, looking to replace what we have so I really can't help with that. But, have you tried looking through different furniture sites online? That's what I'm doing to try to find direction for our livingroom and it seems to be a great way to sort of get a feel for the looks you like and the looks you don't.

  • rjinga

    yes, luk I have been looking tirelessly, endlessly, on CL (dealers) and every online site I can find, and have visited many stores locally and I'm seeing a lot of the same stuff. Nice enough, but nothing that really grabs me, you know what I mean?

    What I'm also concerned about (forgot to list this) is that my newly painted room (NOT REPAINTING, in case anyone would suggest it) is a beige color, most of the sets I'm drawn too are also neutrals, I dont want them to be lost in a sea of beige, of course coordinating pillows, throws ect can solve that partly. And the adjoining DR is a very bold red color, so red furniture in my opinion would not work? or would it? I have found some really great patterned red sets, and as well I am tempted by leather, but I'm not sure that it would be "homey" enough for my taste.

    perhaps my challenge is truly understanding what a particular style consists of and how to tell the difference. Because if you quizzed me, I would not consider that ET "traditional" so pretty much I"m clueless. UGH.

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  • nanny2a

    Actually, I think red patterned upholstered furniture would look GREAT with the entertainment center. So if that's your concern, count me in as a positive vote for more red!

  • parma42

    The scrolls of iron, the curves on the door panels and the legs, all make your entertainment center lean traditional.

    Contemporary furniture has simple lines. They can be rounded or straight, but they're always simple. Well...Art Deco, which can be used in more modern spaces, breaks some of those rules.

    I think red would look great.

  • rjinga

    so maybe my initial post was too long and people were bored reading it.

    The readers digest version: (additional pics at the end for the full room effect)

    Keep the green chair? add 2 more pieces (couch/recliner)

    Replace it all?

    If replacing it all, which combo: couch/loveseat/recliner?
    Couch/2 recliners?


    This is before paint/moving furniture, but from the vantage point of how the 2 rooms connect.

  • megpie77

    Have you thought about an L shaped sectional?

  • rjinga

    Ok, DH and I went looking tonight (first time together) and I think we may have found a combo that will work. I had briefly looked at these online, but not in person. I'll say also this is not something that I would normally even be drawn too or consider, but I think it really might be the ticket.

    A reclining Sofa!! And then found a wonderful chair and ottoman. So IF we keep the green chair these 2 other pieces will coordinate well. (we can choose any fabric we want for the couch and the chair is a red/gold's/green/brown blend/ patterned (sorta but not exactly) a paisely pattern. very pretty.

    The chair is made by BEST? and the reclining sofa by Bassett. any opinions/experience with these brands?

  • tomorrowisanotherday

    I'd be inclined to replace all three pieces and here's why:

    I think that the chair is kinda big/overpowering in your space. The high and bulky arms of that sofa crowd the space. The pattern on the love seat is overwhelming, the back flares and the arms are high. From experience I know that you can try to *work* with problem pieces, but in the end, it's just good money after bad.

    Find your style. Make a notebook using magazine ads/photos that you choose and slip them in sheet protectors. Find a *modern* style you BOTH can appreciate and then don't deviate from the plan :) I would also look for CLASSIC neutrals. The spice can be added with pillows, throws, etc. What do you think about this kind of look?

    I love that it had very clean lines w/o looking like something the Jetsons would have, LOL.

    As for pieces, I'd look for a regular sofa, and two chairs. (A loveseat can lock you into particular arrangements.) I'd not choose matching upholstery, rather classic basics that coordinate with each other. Who knows, one day one of the chairs might wind up in another room. I found one that has the style I'm thinking of, but not necessarily the fabric (although there should always be some degree of whimsy in a room, I think.)

    What do you think about this style for a reciner??

    Again, I'd suggest staying away from anything overstuffed or overscaled. Your room isn't teeny tiny, but it's not gynormous either. You want pieces that will let the room function as well as *breathe.* I'm thinking tailored, clean lines, contemporary, and neutral.

  • pat_tea

    Sounds like you have found your solution. Aren't you the one that just found a coffee table and end table on CL? I agree that the green chair is too big for your space but once you get your new furniture you'll be able to decide. Please post again when you get the new furniture. I think the colors and pattern sound lovely. Best part is you and hubby agreed on it.

  • rjinga

    FWIW: the green chair is 48 inches wide

    tomorrowisanotherday: yes to the recliner, that's exactly what I was wanting, something NOT too poofy, but not to the couch, that couch might be too plain for my taste, although I do like the color of it.

    And Yes, I'm going to look and/or pick up the tables tonight. The good thing about this soon to be acquired furniture and the ET that I have is that I can (if need be) gel stain them to better coordinate and/or match closer.

    I think the advantage with the reclining couch and chair (with the idea at the moment of keeping the green chair) is that IF once it's all in place IRL doesn't fit, I can still get a second chair and ditch the green chair. And IF the store we are considering offers a better price with the more pieces we get, that would/could weigh into the decision too.

  • deeinohio

    Hi rjinga:
    I felt your frustration from the other thread (pal's) and thought I would bump up your thread. For my feedback, I think your green chair looks like a wonderful one to curl up in, but a bit too modern for your wall unit. (I LOVE the purple sofa!) But, I wanted to ask you, are you now unhappy with your room because of your craigslist find not matching your other furniture? Because I thought you were happy overall with your room. Maybe I'm remembering wrong. :) But if you're buying furniture, I would go with a sofa in a neutral color and two recliners. I love the one tomorrowisanotherday showed above.

  • rjinga

    Dee, I guess it's due to a couple of things, not so much "the" CL ET center itself, but more the placement of it and where it looks best (the wall it's on now by itself is where I think it looks best, also recommended by others in earlier posts) Now when you come into the house, you can now SEE it and before when it was on the opposite wall, all you saw was the side of it. But because the purple couch is so much deeper than the other couch and now they are not in an L formation, the green chair and the purple couch are too big together (they were not together before, the ET was on the wall with the green couch.

    Personally, I dont have any major issues with the furniture I have, but it's ok with me to replace it as well.

    The problem is that now the furniture doesn't work scale wise.

    we will get a neutral couch and at least one chair or recliner. Just was thinking that it would save a good bit if we could make use of the green chair.

  • thomaswilliams

    select unique design for your furniture and most important is choose best color.It's looking different.

  • tomorrowisanotherday

    Sooooo...did you get the CL stuff last night??

  • parma42

    "C. keep the oversized chair, maybe get a sectional with a chase to compliment it?"

    I'll try to wade back in here for a bit. :)

    Didn't you say on Pal's post that someone gave you unsolicited advice about a sectional?

    I used to love watching "Designing for the Sexes" on HGTV. The host, Michael Payne, would try to help a husband and wife, who had conflicting styles, come up with a new room design.

    When you were at Bassett, did they have this sectional (linked) on display? To me, it would be so much easier to marry the traditional entertainment center and your DH's desire for contemporary, with a sectional in black leather.

    The black would tie into the iron of your EC and your CL side tables. It would all appear to fit . Your accessorizing would bring in the homey look that you desire.

    Sometimes, just having one larger seating piece is easier on the eye than chopping up a room with many different styles.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Bassett

  • rjinga

    parma, you are right, my bad, I didnt realize that I had considered a sectional in the OP. I wasn't being negative about "unsolicited" advice I was using the example that even though I didnt ask for it, that new ideas were welcome (since I didnt think I had mentioned I was considering a sectional and someone else did).

    And YES, I got the tables, they are solid and all wood!! and the iron parts are also very substantial, not the skinny little flimsy looking decorative stuff you see alot of. and although have a few cosmetic issues on the surface of the coffee table (scratches) I am confident that it can be asily fixed, possibly just with a light sanding and since I may recolor them anyway if I have to strip them then I can sand them good and they will be great! I'll post some pics they are still in my SUV :) went and got them in the rain last night!!! But overall, they were well worth the 30 bucks!!

  • sherwoodva

    Rjinga, I LOVE the purple sofa! Can I have it? Wish I had room for it.

    If you don't entertain much, why don't you try taking out the loveseat (doesn't go) and putting the green chair there? If I am "reading" you correctly, you are concerned about the height of the entertainment center compared to the other pieces in the room. I think a very large picture/painting over the purple sofa, or a set of four prints with mats and good sized frames would help "balance" the room.

    Thought I'd throw out that suggestion before you buy more furniture. With all those cats, I wouldn't be spending a lot on upholstered furniture. BTW, if you are keeping that wonderful green chair, I would stain or paint the legs dark.

  • leahcate

    I agree with all here who've stated the room is too small for large pieces. I love the streamlined sofa 'tomorrow' posted, and the sectional from Parma, though it may be too large for your room. I would highly recommend a sleekly lined sectional, which can be traditional, and one(only) matching club chair of moderate proportions. Leather would be great if it's okay with the critters.
    Okay rjinga, I am going to ask your forgiveness as I use your post to test my theory re. unsolicited advice. You asked to not address the entertainment center as it's a work in progress....but I'm gonna :>O:>O I do so 'cuz your DH prefers the cleaner look of contemporary, and for this piece I do, too. For the bottom shelves fat, matching(or similar) pots, urns, boxes, etc to fill up the space and add color. On the upper shelves remove almost all the personal items, photos, vases etc. and replace with good-looking books; books you might both actually look at, but with nice enough spines for display. This un-cluttering will add warmth and, at the same time, a more contemporary feel.
    Here I go with more unasked for advice: Think about replacing the curtains with wood shutters to visually free up space.
    Now! I just spent some time visualizing your room. I gave it my best effort to help you achieve the look I believe you desire. Should I have not?

  • rjinga

    LEAH, you misunderstood, all I meant re: the ET, was that it was a work in progress, that I had not really gotten down to brass tacks to decorate it, and YES, I've been looking for some more solid pieces ie: books, urns, pottery, etc) so far I have just been playing around with things I already had and that it was not done. I'm COMPLETELY OK with your suggestions on how to decorate it, I just didn't want my post to be too cumbersome with too many requests for advice, I figured when I got furniture etc. selections narrowed down that I'd come back and get specific display advice for that and the mantle etc.

    I do have some nice art to put above the couch (the new couch) The are quite tall, I'll space them about 4 inches apart.

    I can definitely look into wood shutters or maybe a roman shade? that window is pretty narrow, (99% sure it's not a standard size window) would it be a challenge to find something to fit it?

    here are more pics of the CL tables, I think they have great potential and when it's all said and done if they dont work, I'll just resell them!!


    NOTICE the scratches on the CT, this is what I'll have to work on, it looks a bit deeper than it feels IRL.


  • leahcate

    No, I didn't misunderstand. I knew you meant 'I'm not ready to address the entertainment center just yet'. I knew I might not see your next post, if and when you DO want advice on it, so figured I'd chime in here, though unsolicited, while I was "working" on your space:>). Ditto re. shutters( woven wood shades, too...yes!)
    I worry about a reclining a sofa as I've yet to see one that was not over-sized. I'm in line with 'tomorrow's' view:

    "Again, I'd suggest staying away from anything overstuffed or overscaled. Your room isn't teeny tiny, but it's not gynormous either. You want pieces that will let the room function as well as *breathe.* I'm thinking tailored, clean lines, contemporary, and neutral."
    The CL tables seem a good match for the ETC. Good luck with it all.

  • sharon_midtn

    rjinga, I have a couch that has a recliner which is never used simply because the coffee table is in the way of it opening out and the coffee table takes two people to move it. Just something to keep in mind, the extra space for the recliner to open without anything else being in the way or at least light enough to easily move around.

  • SheeshareeII

    I really like your new end tables and coffee table. I like how the iron will tie in with your entertainment stand. Get them in your room and take a pic! :)

    I agree smaller scale furniture. I think I would do a sofa and two recliners. I really like the lines Tomorrow posted. I also like the idea of one of the recliners being black leather. I'm not sure how leather works with all the cats though. You could get a darker brown couch so it would still be neutral yet darker than your walls. I would then, like you said, add some pillows and throws and I would do red or something with red in it. Just make sure you measure first so you don't end up with stuff too big. I always have a hard time judging in a store so now I walk around like a weirdy with a camera and tape measure .:)

  • RoseAbbey

    I would get rid of all three pieces and get 3 smaller pieces. One fabric couch, l leather recliner and 1 fabric recliner. I think burgandy would be a great color in your room. I love your pictures. Your new CL tables will work well, I really like the wrought iron legs. If the DR is that bold, you need to bring some of that boldness into this room so it flows.

  • rjinga

    sheesharee, so glad I'M not the ONLY one :) I had my camera with me for the first outting with DH (and forgot to use it, kicked myself in the car after we left) because of course NOW I cannot remember the important details I need to for determining if it will work.

    We went out again last night and was very frustrated, DIDNT bring the camera or the measuring tape, went home telling DH that we are just going to keep the furniture we have and deal with it. (that was the frustration speaking) Nothing I liked was something he liked.

    Considered just removing the patterned couch, moving the green chair over in it's place, replacing the green chair with a round table/table lamp etc in that corner by the fp pulling down an ottoman from the attic that is 1/2 way redone and finishing it and just moving on.

    Oh well, we will see....I'm going to start working on those tables and see what I can do with them. I'm thinking about a darker stain. something along the lines of the colors in the frames on the pics I have in there now, would that be too dark? Eventually *much bigger, more involved project* would be to redo the ET center.

    I'll redo the legs on the chair and purple couch at the same time.

  • rjinga

    I measured all the walls in the LR, and it is 17 x 14 x 14, 17 ft long (the wall where the entertainment center is) from the back door to the doorway to the kitchen

    14 feet across the room

    14 feet is the length of the opposite wall where the purple couch is to the doorway to the other rooms on that side of the house.

  • tomorrowisanotherday

    Awwww, so sorry to hear that your shopping trip was not so hot :( Are you just not finding styles you like, or is DH not liking what you like? I still recommend that you make a notebook. I know that my DH tends to make purchases difficult because he says he does not like something, but he can't tell me WHY. I find that pinning him down (while we are at home, not shopping) help both him and me FOCUS on the kind of furniture will really work best for the space. Magazines and the internet are fab sources for inspiration.

    I'm sorry last night was a bust, but tomorrow is another day, ya know! I know it is frustrating, but it is out there. You just have to determine WHAT it is, and then shop at appropriate places, LOL.

    As a temporary fix, I think your idea to ditch the patterned loveseat and keep the sofa and chair, adding the table, etc. might just do the trick until you are clearer on what you want. Staining those new pieces sounds great too. I for one can't wait to see them in your room :)

  • nicole__

    I relate to this. My DH wants modern and I want traditional. Anything with wrought iron seems to look mediteranean, not modern, not grandma, just not modern. The set of 3 pictures you show look Italian/mediteranean. So your headed in "that" direction. Is that the direction your planning on going now?

    The flowered rug and flowered couch you currently have may be adding to the non-modern feel. I agree with a previous poster that black leather may look really modern/good in that room.

  • gopack

    Just to echo what nicole said. Your new ET looks French Country//Mediterranean/Tuscan. I love it! I think your CL tables will look perfect with it. I also really like your wall art. Very Tuscan/Provence/Mediterranean. Looks like you are on your way to a really pretty room.

    I think your idea of taking a break is probably a good idea at this point. Rather than rush into purchasing something. Good luck with it all.

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