jarav

New house, need living room decor

jarav
February 20, 2013
I would really appreciate any feedback you can give me on my living room design and arrangements, as I get a vibe from it that something is not right. Any thoughts are welcome. As you can see from the photos attached it is an open plan living room.Thank you!

Comments (71)

  • PRO
    Calzphotography
    putting some art work on the walls will help give it a more personal touch,seeing as it is mostly earth tone perhaps adding some pieces with strong color would help. I offer a wide selection of fine art. to choose from
  • anikouellet
    Wall mount your tv on top of the fireplace to create a nice focal point....u need one and one focal point only in there . Then move your recliner where the tv use to be. Install a dark curtain pole larger then your window casing and put some nice sheer natural colour curtains!!!!!
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  • Melanie Hon
    Yes, like that. :) I might put the couch closer to the loveseat so they are almost touching. Anchor it with a rug (perhaps the one from the dining area if it's large enough), a coffee table and end table, and maybe a sofa table behind the couch. It would look cozy. I think the entertainment unit you are considering is too overpowering and you should stick with a low-console. Put the plant next to the fireplace.
  • jarav
    We moved the furniture around and posted some photos. We didn't move the sofa. The space behind the sofa is 3.5 feet. We centered the love seat on the windows, which leaves an unnatural looking hole between the sofa and love seat. If we move the sofa forward so that it is even with the love seat, that leaves a carpeted space of about 6.5 feet behind the sofa, which also looks off. If we instead move the love seat toward the sofa, it leaves a large space between the love seat and fireplace. Our plant can go into this space, but will look small there anyway.
  • Melanie Hon
    Yeah I see what you're saying... the loveseat looks lonely by the window.
  • PRO
    Photo Captures by Jeffery
    Hum do you need a new console. Buy two chairs a nice round table place those in the window. Place the TV in the corner and on the wall where the TV currently is located place family photos or some nice shelves. Just my 2 cents.
  • jarav
    Another try. Now the recliner looks out of place/off kilter. The walkway seems too wide as well.
  • itsjena
    Usually designers suggest 8' to a maximum of 10' between the sofa, tv, love-seat, conversation area, etc. Therefore, can you try moving the sofa 8' from the FP, with a coffee table in front; the loveseat between the sofa and FP in front of the window; and the arm chair across from the loveseat; so you basically have a square. You have a lot of space here; but this arrangement would give you a comfortable tv and conversation area. After that , you can decide what to do with the rest of the space.
  • jarav
    We appreciate the idea itsjena, but there is no wall opposite the love seat, there is the arch to the entryway.
  • patti4520
    the chair loooks too big next to the tv. I like the idea of the wall unit, but watch the scale against the TV. You might consider 1/2 the size you are considering in height....watch placing all the furniture to one side of the room. Makes it appear too heavy. Balance it out. Since the furniture is heavy and bulky keep everthing else fairly minimal. Its a big room though so you can get away with black end tables or an ottoman as a coffee table.
  • patti4520
    Meant watch the scale of the wall unit against the fireplace....and consider 1/2 the size of the wall unit so its not competing against the fireplace.
  • rachealy
    I think you need a coffee table and two end tables, with some lamps! It just looks like too much unfilled space, also because the wall are so simular to the carpet colour it makes it look like the room is not complete, try adding a rug or changing the wall colour, or both!
  • turner5173
    First of all choose a main color or two and choose accents with your chosen colors. Add drapes, rug and pictures. Choose a light colored coffee table and end tables. Paint accent wall and center Tv on wall, put floating shelves on each side. Put sofa n loveseat in L shape with recliners facing them. Maybe add sofa table to fill space behind sofa.
  • groveraxle
    OK, clearly your room is way too big. How about dividing it into two zones. Make the fireplace zone a conversation area with the loveseat and two new chairs. Move the television to the wall between the living room and kitchen (move the dining table toward the kitchen a bit) and arrange the chair and sofa to focus on the TV.
  • groveraxle
    BTW, I wouldn't buy any new furniture until you get this arrangement to suit you. Otherwise you're likely to end up with another piece that will just make arranging even harder.
  • jarav
    I LOVE all my furniture, but I do not know how to make it work for me)
  • Carolina
    Agreed, the chair does look rather big in the corner. What is your favourite arrangement up to now?
  • rockinkaratebabe
    I think the loveseat should have some end tables, so it will look less lonely. You could steal nightstands from a bedroom to get an idea for how the loveseat would look without buying some. Your plant could go between the window and fireplace, in a more substantial pot. I think either of the last two furniture arrangments would work, but prefer the sofa under the window. Add some wall art, window treatments and an eye-catching coffee table. Right now you have a tall fireplace with nothing else in the room, that brings the eye above the tv or furniture. Window treatments and wall art would help bring some vertical balance. You could also add a tall plant or lamp, or even a floor vase with some bamboo or other organic vertical items in it.
  • nikitasmom
    I like the cabinet piece but feel that you may grow weary of so much brown. Wood, stone, and furnishings. I saw this image and it reminded me of your room.
    Northwest Hills Remodel · More Info
  • Ella at Wishack.com
    Would it be possible to rip up the carpet? One of the reasons it's hard to move furniture in this room is because the carpet acts as a visual partition. If you get it out of the way, a central throw rug would ground the room a little better and you can choose one that's more colorful, something in a red that would pop against your brown couches.
    Something like this: http://www.wishack.com/Surya_Modern_Classics_CAN_1950_Rug_p/sur-can1950-58.htm

    If you're set on not taking out the carpet, leave the current couch arrangement that you have but use a sofa table to put against the back of your couch in that empty space. You can add some plants or nice decor items for visual interest and it's really not expensive. http://www.wishack.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=pla-slths_%2854_x_16%29_%28b%29

    A nice wall color is a sage green or olive green. I myself have brown suede couches and olive green walls. They're complimentary colors and with a white rug on my wood floors, it's actually a lot brighter than I thought it would be.

    Another thing, your TV stand is a bit small for this room. You could go with a corner unit or a low-lying stand that is longer so it just helps add dimension to your living space. As for the middle of the room, consider a square coffee table, they're generally larger so they can cover more space or look at the photo I posed to show you what other options are available.

    Good luck!
  • jarav
    I gave up trying to figure out how to arrange this room a few months ago, but now I have decided to give it another try. I tried a few different arrangements and am posting the photos, looking for comments and ideas. Thanks!

    #1
  • abbyjean
    If your arms and backs can try one more, I would like to suggest this........angle the love seat toward the fireplace, starting at the left edge of the arched doorway. I know that will mean people will walk in front of it, but it still might work. Put the tv by the fireplace again and the couch perpendicular to the window, with the kitchen behind it. Place the two chairs in front of the window. Big plant in corner up by the tv.

    Do you have any side tables or a coffee table? Lamps? BIG art for the fireplace? Would you even just take the one pic on the wall down and prop it on the mantle just to see what that fireplace would look like with a big piece of art?
    jarav thanked abbyjean
  • jarav
    Thank you very much for the suggestion. It's getting late here, so we'll try that arrangement tomorrow (photos to come!)
  • abbyjean
    You are such a good sport and this room will not get the best of you!!! The holidays are coming and you want to be ready!
  • jarav
    Any thoughts are welcome.
  • Melanie Hon
    OMG I stayed away from Houzz for months and now I'm suuuucked back in with all these notifications! lol Of all your different arrangements I kind of like #1 the best. The distance from the TV to the couch is ideal, the TV is the right size for that wall and there's no big dead area in the middle of the room. There's good flow from the dining area to the TV area, you just need to tweak the fireplace seating area. I don't like the loveseat where it is, probably because you see the back of it from almost every angle in the room, and the back is not its best feature! Why don't you try facing it across from the matching chair so its back is to the wall to the left of the FP (not flat against the wall) and then take that beige recliner and bring it next to the couch, facing the TV so you have loveseat and chair by the FP and couch and recliner for TV. In no way does the TV in the corner with a chair or loveseat next to it work. If you put the TV there, than no other furniture on that wall, like you did with #5 and 6. That might end up turning out to be your best option with these pieces, which is really what you had right at the beginning of the post.
    jarav thanked Melanie Hon
  • groveraxle
    Arrangement #1 is the ONLY one that works. I agree that the back view of that love seat is not the most desirable, but it's a fair tradeoff for the functionality you gain in the room. I suggest you keep that arrangement, then work on making your decor more interesting and inviting.

    If money were no object, I would suggest selling the whole set of love seat and two chairs on Craigslist and starting over. A love seat with a solid back and two non-matching chairs would look better in that fireplace grouping. If that's not a possible consideration, some pillows and throws will help.
  • groveraxle
    A little color (or a lot), some classic linen drapes, a clear mantel with a focal piece of art above:
  • kgrad
    You've done a lot of work and I agree that the first grouping works the best and provides separate spaces - t.v. and conversation. Often times in my family, someone is watching t.v. while someone else is reading or looking at their IPad.

    In looking at all the options, there is one option I didn't see. Can you put the chairs in a grouping to the left of the fireplace and put the t.v. on the wall to the left of the archway? This may also improve the scale issues that exist with the T.V. stand. This would keep the couch and the loveseat facing the t.v. (for more seating when your family is watching their shows/sports). You could get a large area rug and a coffee table to ground the space between the seating and the T.V. and then even add low level seating - large pillows if the space seems a little too wide.
  • house4mjh
    May I suggest placing floating shelves or a built in bookshelf that would hold theTV, books, your favorite items such as pictures or bright pottery pieces. Select a lighter brown wood tone of the dark brown leather of the sofa as a stain and finish the wood shelving with a warm chocolate glaze. Stain and glaze the mantle as the shelving. Center a colorful area rug over the carpet. Colors should be bright such as turquoise, red,orange, and include brown/beige to blend the colors you build into the room. Set the front legs of the sofa in the rug and position it to face the TV. Look fora glass-top coffee table so rug colors are seen. Place the 2 chairs or love seat in front of the window with a round table between chairs or end tables at each end of the love seat. Choose simple linen drapes that will coordinate with the colors in the rug. Accessorize the lamp table/tables with lamps on pottery bases in a solid color you have selected such as red, orange, turquoise,etc. Also repeat
    The accent color on an accessory on the coffee table and blend all colors together with some throw pillows on sofa.
    this will brighten the area with welcoming warm colors. Use a very light tone of color on the walls. the accent color/colors can be carried into the kitchen area as seat covers on barstools, etc. I would paint tne kitchen and family room walls the same color to unify and brighten the spaces.
    Cam lighting would brighten the family room as well as table lamps.
  • jarav
    abbyjean Here are some photos with the arrangement you suggested (other than we didn't bring the green chair up from the basement tonight). Did we interpret your idea correctly?
  • jarav
    We brought down a nightstand from one of the bedrooms, just so we could get an idea. It doesn't look right, probably because the sofa and recliner are not perpendicular.
  • jarav
    These photos show the entryway and dining room, which lead to the living room in the other photos. Just for completeness!
  • jarav
    Comments and ideas, as always, are welcome!
  • abbyjean
    NICE! Thanks for trying that! I actually think I like it with the love seat flat on that short wall instead of angled, like I suggested. Do you need the other chair in the room for seating on a daily basis? Is there room to walk around the big pieces this way?

    The only other way I can see is to keep the couch with the back to the kitchen and maybe put the love seat in front of the window so there is an L with the couch and then the chair on the short wall??? Does that give more walking room if needed? It is almost like this in one pic, except you have the chair lined up with the love seat instead of across from the grouping.

    It does look different with a table and lamp in the room, even if they do not quite fit right. It makes it instantly warm up.
    jarav thanked abbyjean
  • decoenthusiaste
    As you're finding out, seating without casegoods doesn't work very well. Coffee table, credenza, console table, and end tables will add a lot, as will an area rug. I agree the large entertainment unit you planned for would be too much, but I can see doing a built-in for the left side of the FP to house TV, books, decor. Then pull all the seating into a more cozy arrangement at the focal end of the room. Use the additional space for a family game/snack table. Meantime, try your console table from the stairwell on the wall where you have a picture in the other room. You'll start to see how casegoods will change the "too open" feeling of your spacious room.
    jarav thanked decoenthusiaste
  • groveraxle
    I've added some tables to arrangement #1. It's the only one I think is functional.
    jarav thanked groveraxle
  • Melanie Hon
    I agree with groveraxle.
  • jarav
    Thanks for the suggestions. Do you have recommendations as to color of wood for the sofa and end tables? For paintings and other decor items?
  • decoenthusiaste
    I think finding a credenza for the TV, if you aren't going to do a built-in there, would be the first thing. No black or expresso as you are already dark here. Some metal and glass would add a bit of shine. Try that table from the foyer first and see what comments you get on that color. Major "rule" for today's decorating is not to buy a matched set of end and coffee tables. Mix it up for a custom look, just making sure that end tables are the same height - they can even be different shapes. You could use some roundness, so try one end table that is round, or one to sit beside the lounger.
  • groveraxle
    I would start with the media center. I would look for something low and long enough to fill most of the wall it's going on. I'd look at distressed or reclaimed woods, or something a bit industrial. Here are two I like for your room:
  • groveraxle
    Your furniture is bulky, so you need coffee and end tables with a bit of substance. I like the tile coffee table from West Elm. The round glass table from Room and Board has enough substance to the base to work.
  • groveraxle
    Some end tables that would look good with your seating and aren't the same old, same old are the reclaimed log from Room and Board and the metal drum from Pottery Barn.
  • groveraxle
    I am looking at arrangement #1, and if it fits, I'd like to see a very narrow sofa table to camouflage the back of the love seat and make it look a bit less plunked in the center of the room. Here are a few from Wayfair that might work:
  • groveraxle
    I have fallen in love with that Pottery Barn drum table and found a PB coffee table that better coordinates with it. I have not yet found the perfect curtains, but here is what your room looks like now:
    jarav thanked groveraxle

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