Furniture placement in large (35' 4" x 18' 10") tudor style living roo

March 31, 2015
The living room in my house is 35' 4" x 18' 10" as you can see on the plans and has a lovely 100 year old 32'x 14' rug and not much else. I have two nice normal sized leather old hickory tannery couches, a number of chairs and tables from large leather wingback chairs to carved antiques I can fill it with and am open to purchasing additional items as needed. What I am struggling with is furniture placement. I can put one couch against the wall opposite the fireplace with some tables but after that I am completely lost! Please help before I turn it into a home theater or just sit in my porch rocker in the center of the room.

Comments (115)

  • Ramona

    well, kristen, I was sort of thinking the same thing in less harsh terms.

    This house is a jewel and deserves the ultimate in respect, but its owner doesn't seem to want to respond to many of our suggestions.

    come on evil, give your home the respect it deserves. Anyone who can buy this mansion can afford to get a decorator and do the project correctly. I think the tv on the tapestry wall would be more than fine. Since I watch tv lying down as much as possible, watching from a reclining position on a long leather sofa sounds wonderful and lighting a fire behind the ultimate in luxury.

  • Susan Davis

    So often we revere what is old, when in reality what worked one hundred years ago before TV and electronics, on which we depend so much, is no longer practical. A house this large to maintain as it once was needs an army of servants which is no longer a practical device in our fast paced democratic society. I think this house can be better than it was by serving its owners at the end of the day in a very relaxing way. This is one room which will be great for entertaining while watching all the televised reality of the entire world from one room. And you can place your furniture with the fireplace on one wall the TV opposite and the sofas facing each other and still recline and watch the TV or the fire. I say go for it, but yes, find a designer that will fulfill your wishes. They don't say 'Form follows function' for nothing. I do love the house and the space and yes your vision for this room. Enjoy!

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    The key in such a large space is adding some interest that pulls the various elements together. The style of the fireplace, as well as its tile and decorative insets are unique details that really should be called out. The introduction of wallcovering in a transitional style (i.e. not contemporary but not traditional) will really help add some interest to this space and pull the details together. Look for wallcovering with a large-scale pattern and warmth of color to balance the warmth of the foyer. Then yes, we agree you should have rugs. They should coordinate in style and color with your wallcovering. Not sure of the dimensions of the room, but it seems like you should have at least two seating areas: one around the fireplace and one that allows you to watch TV. Swivel chairs will be your friend in joining together these seating areas. Sofa tables can also aid in the transition from one seating space to another. For example, you may want to consider having a couple of arm chairs and a sofa on one end for the TV watching, then have a grouping of four chairs around a coffee table closer to the fireplace. You have a beautiful home! Good luck, and let us know if we can be of more assistance!
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  • evilfij
    I am restoring the house 100% original. If you go through my updates you can see that. I am putting the kitchen, the only room that was ever modified other than paint, back to its 1929 glory, including spending four days chipping off the tile and wood floor and scraping the mastic and glue off the original tile hearth. I ditched the 11ft copper hood, island and soffit and can lights by myself too. Next I am ripping out the red oak floor to get down to the original pine floors and have them refinished. If I can find an original 6ft stainless sink to match the one in the butler's pantry, I will even ditch the cabinets. I have my eye out for a period correct range, but the fivestar works fine for now.

    I am keeping the bathrooms original, refinishing all the wood and keeping that original, all of the light fixtures, even the door locks. I am even using period correct colors in most of the rooms. In short, it will be what it was in 1929, no more no less.

    That being said, it is a just a TV!!!! Four holes in the wall for the mount which can be patched in 5 minutes and touched up in 5 more. Compared to the 100 plus picture hangers I have pulled out and patched to match the original textured walls it is a non-issue. There is even an existing hole in the floor to run the cable.

    Note I asked about furniture placement, not decorator services. I appreciate the advice on the decorator front, but I have a certain look in mind which most decorators really don't like (I have dated a few). Sort of English gentleman's club. I just need to know the best way to orient the pieces. I will add a drawing of my plan shortly for additional comments.
  • cparfc438
    The clean, unused fireplace could then be used cleverly for atmosphere. Perhaps a painted, wooden fire screen; fresh flowers, for a special occasion; or smaller TV monitor inside for showing an aquarium or a cozy, faux fire.
  • evilfij
    Here is the tentative plan. I have everything other than the double sided couch, which, if I am honest, is making it much harder to place the furniture but this is probably the only room where one makes any sense.
  • cparfc438
    Got it! Do enjoy your home. It's lovely.
  • bungalowmo

    evilfij....While I haven't gone through everyones suggestions, I do want to say that I commend you for doing an actual restoration, rather than a "remodel".

    I have a 1916 Craftsman Bungalow & I know what this entails.

    Beyond any design ideas, if you have any old house resto questions, I highly recommend a website I use. https://www.wavyglass.org/ (I always get the security cert page & continue anyway) The folks there have houses from the mid 1600's up through a handful of Mid Century Modern homes.

    They have seen & fixed it all. Several members here are also on there.

    Many contributing members are true professionals in old house wiring, plumbing, woodworking, window restoration & plaster work. Those folks were a godsend when I got my place!!

    Go on over to the forums & read up, make a profile & introduce yourself. They are all very welcoming & eager to help!!

  • Susan Davis

    Nice work and it will be work, but I find the process is way more interesting than the finished product. Next time will keep my decorating ideas to myself and read the intro question much more carefully, but I tend to go on!

  • evilfij
    Soosun2 your ideas were very helpful. Thank you. The TV haters and hire a decorator types finally got to me though.
  • Susan Davis

    And the reality begins to sink in when you tape out all your furniture dimensions and get a visual on what will and will not work. It is going to look gorgeous and smell great with all that leather.....haha.

  • stevepsca

    This is a lovely room, however I agree with the rest re: TV over the fireplace.

    Put that TV in the "black hole" at the far end of the room, and a gas log in the fireplace, only wood burning will leave smoke marks again. I would place that CL sofa in the middle of the room, facing the TV, add the rest of your furniture as you like. Definitely consult a few more designers....just don't date em!

  • redtartan

    Wowzers, I can't believe people are getting so testy about a house they aren't even living in. I think if you want the tv up there, it's your house. You will have to consider that you need something comfortable to watch it at that height. How high would that be? I think from your previous posts that would put the bottom of the tv somewhere around 6 feet. Unless you are a giant you may have to get a recliner for comfortable viewing. I would not do the two sofas across from one another with a tv at the end. You could not watch tv comfortably doing that. You would have to always be laying down or have your neck turned. It's just not practical. I also would not do the sofa against the wall as you have in your plan. If you are watching tv, do you want people to have to walk infront of you to get to the other side of the room? However, I think with that size tv any closer may be uncomfortable for tv view. I would put something in that room and test it out looking at where the middle of the tv will go. Make sure it's ok before putting a hole in the wall for mounting. How many people are going to use the room on a regular basis? If it's just you, I would have two super comfy chairs that are good for tv viewing facing the tv and then you can still have the two couches perpendicular to the fireplace and facing one another. If you want to lay down on the couch to watch tv you can, but you have the option of sitting up on the chairs. What other purpose will the room serve? I'd ask myself that before I decided on what other furniture goes in the room.

  • evilfij
    It is just me, the lady of the house, and the cat. We do not have kids. The room would only be for TV and when we had guests (which is almost never). She are I are not giants, but we are close as we are both over 6'. The idea is to have a velvet rope formal type room that no one is allowed to go in and mess up.

    The bottom of the fireplace is about 5'6" so the TV would be slightly higher.

    I think walking in front of the TV is inevitable but thankfully no one is ever here.

    When you say black hole at the end of the room, which one do you mean? Both narrow ends have little wall space. The back of the house has a window and French doors and the front has a huge window.
  • redtartan

    Over 6' tends to be giant in my world. You probably have almost a foot on me and that does make a difference for tv placement and comfort. I would definitely recommend trying it out though. That would put the middle of your tv at minimum 7 ft 3 inches. We have low ceilings, little under 8ft in the room I am sitting in and even looking 20 feet ahead it's definitely not comfortable for me. Though I am short, only 5'3". If it's just the two of you for the most part, I woudn't see a need for a double sofa. What would the other side be a seating area for? If it's two of you and the cat of course, then a sofa probably is best on the wall across since you will want to possibly snuggle up while watching tv. I don't think that's the best placement visually, but I do think it's more important to be comfortable, especially if nobody is ever going to be in there except when you take their admission when they stand behind the velvet ropes for a look. LOL If you ever sell, furniture can be move and holes in walls can be patched.
    At a previous house we had a tv in the living room. It was an awkward room and tv never looked good in there, but it was functional for us. When I put the house up for sale we put the tv in storage and just had one in our rec room.
    Get the furniture in there, move it around and take some pictures.

  • partim

    You might find this TV swivel mount useful. fireplace TV mount

    And this for calculating recommended TV distances TV distance

  • sheilaskb

    First of all, I would put the TV and its cabinet on one of the end walls of the room. Then I would place one sofa facing the fireplace and put the other sofa at a right angle to the other sofa, but have the second sofa facing the TV on the end wall. The rocking chairs could be angled near the corners, which you could make into reading corners. However, the rocking chairs could be pulled toward the center of the room as needed.

  • bungalowmo

    Just saw your mention of your audio system...very sweet!!!
    Mine isn't as nice, but I'm another old-school-analog lover.

    There really is a richer sound & tone to the older analog components!

    Audio/Visual design engineer by trade. Below is my '70's Sony

  • PRO
    Al Fortunato Furnituremaker

    @bungalomo, McIntosh is built here (Binghamton, NY). They are going to be adding on to their plant.

  • AP

    circulation behind the sofa in a room this large is a MUST. Please.
    when you have guests over do you want them to walk through the seating area (and in front of the tv) to get to the other side? Probably not. I like your idea of the two seating areas... but i think if you gave the second area a different function it would be even better. If you are trying to create "gentleman's room" i would do a game table. I would make this table bistro height and then the taller chairs are good for secondary tier of seating that above the sofas. I would also add some sort of serving area when you first come in the room. Bar? or Buffet to serve food?

    ... & please don't bash designers. The right one will find the proper solution for you AND your house and there is a lot of value in the knowledge and experience they have.

  • evilfij
    Eating and drinking is not permitted in the living room (the rug is worth a fortune so I have to keep it nice) so the bar and buffet are out. I have a bar in the library and the dining room is enormous too so no real harm there. I have a credenza that can fit in that corner but I may just leave it open as the radiator cover is there, or put a small corner table.

    I have played with the location of the sofa by using a chair to see what angle works and anything more than a couple feet off the wall makes it too close to the TV to be comfortable to watch. Also, the sofa at the right angle makes the space toward the fireplace narrower than I would like the further forward you move the sofa on the tapestry wall. I think I will just move it off the wall a little to let the tapestry breathe.

    The mantle mount is interesting, but I don't see myself using it and moving it up and down and also I want to frame the TV to make it look a little better.

    Nothing personal, but designers are all about trendy (like the couches and table linked in the post above) and it is completely not my style. I had one designer tell me I had horrible taste because I like heavy dark carved wood and dark heavy leather couches and chairs. I told her, I have no taste, all I do is recreate the past as accurately as possible whether with actual antiques or reproductions. My chesterfield sofas are finally back in style. I am sure they will go out again, and then back, but they will always be period correct.
  • redtartan

    I agree, nothing on the wall with the french door.

  • AP

    So why exactly are you asking this forum for advice? You know what you want. Just do it.

  • evilfij
    The idea behind the double sofa is to have a seating area on the other side where those sitting on the sofa can look out the giant window at the front of the house.
  • AP

    perfect! .... just do it.

  • stevepsca

    I have to agree with Anna Pensgen...you already have you mind made up...apparently you are just looking for someone to agree with your plan...just do it!

  • evilfij
    I need help on furniture placement per the original post. I don't need design help, just placement. I have gotten some great ideas from the thread.
  • AP

    We have given you placement ideas. I don't think you have listened to any of it.
    You are still placing your tv on the mantle (even though you claim to be a purist). You are still placing your sofa against the wall (again, not historically accurate) to see the large tv above your mantle. And you know you want to place a double sided sofa so that one side looks at the tv and the other side looks out the window. I guess I still don't understand what help you want from us? I feel like the only open ended item here is where to buy a double sided sofa. You have made your mind up on everything else.

  • evilfij

    If you look back, the thread gave me the idea to use two seating areas and the second couch (maybe even a two sided one if I can close the craigslist deal for the OHT one) at a right angle to the one on the wall. That was very helpful.

    Purist or not, I need a TV. ;-)
  • redtartan

    I'll be honest, I find the idea of the double couch a little odd. Given that the couch will almost be in the center of the room (assuming that the fireplace is the center) than can you even really see out the front window that well? It seems like it would be set back quite a bit, about 12 feet or so.

  • Susan Davis

    Looking at some more pics that might be considered?


  • Susan Davis

    other pics? to consider for placement.


    This is a zillion pics but the two I thought might inspire you is the very first one on left top.

    Other for furniture placement is down 8 rows, second pic from left. Black silver and red living room. They show a mirror over the fireplace, but tv can work, and note the chrairs by the fireplace. I think you might have room to do an arrangement like that in front of the fireplace for conversation and warmth while reading, and you still have the sofa at the back on the wall for tv viewing. Study all the pics for some intereting room layouts?

  • carolyngarland
    Totally understand the TV thing. I wish I had one in the bathroom, but now that I can watch on the iPad ........... Rooms just don't get used with no tv. Determine your sofa placement by how you watch TV, reclining, sitting, feet up, all of the above. Three sofas, use two you already have and buy what you need. Console, shallow, under tapestry, one sofa, leftover fireplace perpendicular to the pf. Second, squared off facing TV. Gives watching options. Substantial coffee table, I like my life around me when I watch and I multitask so meet your needs. Drawers, spread out space, etc. table with lamp at each end of couch two. Couch three back to back with church one, facing windows, doors(?). Depending on space wood side chairs or club chairs. One chair on other side of the fireplace. Other end of the room depends on how you want to use it or just how you want it to look. Group of club chairs, game table, cat hotel or just leave it for a while till inspiration strikes. Ok, breaking the rules. Stick with your brown ,tans, caramels and creams, but add black,brass and hunter green for variation. Sorry!
  • carolyngarland
    Edit! Left OF fireplace. Couch not church. Tiny keys.
  • gnujko
    Jeez, even the Crawleys get to drink in the library!
  • patrinkac
    Because your house is not a "castle" with furniture lined up against the walls when dancing begins I think some of your indicated ideas are about two centuries too late. Will you and your s/o be able to conversate and opine in that lay-out? Oh right, You don't plan to live/eat/drink in this room! A fricking museum.
    You might enjoy, if you haven't already, the Tippecanoe House in South Bend Indiana built by the founder of Studebaker Motor cars. Lovely with much original furniture and decor. Open for antiques buffs and it has a wonderful venue with a very popular dining room......not a private home but an indication of how many people are interest in the way the well-off lived in the golden age.
    Best of luck. Florida Girl. Home of Notre Dame sports.
  • kathleen MK
    I am just another traditionalist who dislikes tv over fireplaces but I have an untraditional arrangement idea.
    Have sofas facing each other in front of the fireplace. On the opposite wall in front of tapestry have TV in one of those pop up cases. It could be Hidden behind a antique looking console. Sofa tables or low book cases could back sofas and have lamps for more illumination and style. We have some torchieres to bounce light on the ceiling in our dark panelled living room. A game table set or billiards table could fit at one end of the room and some tufted leather wing backs could be a good addition.
  • The big house
    I have to laugh at this thread. I'm having a hard time envisioning an antique, roped off room, with a monster TV where no one can eat or drink? Did anyone tell the cat no midnight mousy snacks?
    I appreciate your preservation of that lovely 100 year old oriental rug, but orientals are very forgiving, certainly a lot easier to care for than 20 year old "modern" carpeting, that's how they get to be 100 years old! (Hopefully the kitty is respectful of the rug as well.)
    Love leather Chesterfield sofas, the more the merrier in that huge space. Leather and felt topped tables, lots of polished dark wood, mirrors with candles in front of them for reflected light.
    I would like to be a fly on the wall to see how this room will actually be used. Enjoy your home.
  • Anita Nazar

    I have read through the comments and cannot believe that not many are agreeing with you about the TV! I absolutely LOVE the idea of a large TV over the fireplace. Especially knowing that you are going to fit it nicely between the trim and make it as seamless as possible. It will warm the space up and make it more usable.

    As far as furniture placement, I like your sketch and the idea of back-to-back sofas (I've always wanted to do that but lack of space in my home has stopped me!).

    Your best bet is Restoration Hardware furniture and accessories. I think that is the perfect style for the room and fits well with the space and period of home. Good luck!!

  • Susan Davis

    The sofas are probably three and one half to four feet deep. If you put them back to back perpendicular to the fireplace then you have abou 26 feet to split up in the room...one end for tv viewing and one end for conversation areas and they both could be happening at the same time. Great idea!

  • ravensmom13

    Evilfij....I refuse to read back thru over 99 previous comments...LOL...so if this is a duplicate of what someone else said, I apologize in advance! I saw a really unique idea used to "hide" that modern TV in an otherwise "period correct" home, over a fireplace.......the individuals had a framed piece of artwork put on "sliders" and controlled with a remote....want to watch TV? push a button and the artwork slides up to reveal the TV underneath !! done watching? push a button and the artwork slides back down and the room looks "correct to style and period"....all at the touch of a button!! What they don't think of these days!! LOL

  • er612

    I would divide the room into 3 spaces:

  • soccerates
    Did you ever find a double sided sofa?
  • evilfij
    No. Went with the ballroom look and everything is against the wall. ;-)
  • soccerates
    One will find you eventually...
  • soccerates
    FYI Old Hickory Tannery has 5 styles of leather double chesterfields. No prices that I could find though.
  • evilfij
    $10k and up. I am happy without it. I rarely have guests.
  • carolyngarland
    Do you have pictures?
  • tw123456

    Evilfij, obviously you have a beautiful home and good taste to go with it. It is your home and no one else's, you need to enjoy it the way you see fit, and not please those who don't agree with you.
    I think maybe if you were to make some suggestions in the homes of those who are rude in their posts to you, and all your suggestions were perfect, they too would not change their minds.
    There is no need for being rude, and all contributors' ideas are not always good either just because they can type, it does not mean they KNOW design. I personally would say "no thank you" to those insensitive and rude people, because these people are like spoiled children who, when they don't get their way, they throw a tantrum/be rude!

  • evilfij
    There are a couple pics in my ideabook. I refinished two windowsills and touched up some putty marks on the pillars but the ceiling wood and paint will take forever. Working with floor guy as to whether we can screen and recoat with waterlox to keep the patina but that project is pretty far down the to do list. Kitchen is priority now.

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