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Windows and doors galore! Where to put the TV, and more...

Isabel Hamilton
June 25, 2017
last modified: June 25, 2017

Hopefully my rhyming title will attract some helpful comments :)

I have been racking my brain trying to find a solution to this problem for some time now. I have a room on the top floor of my home that I would like to make into a family room / hang out room. There are a lot of windows and doors to work around.

please disregard the current position of the TV in front of the fireplace. It was originally in front of the windows but it blocked a lot of light so I just moved it - definitely not a permanent solution.

Is my only option to mount it over the fireplace? I know there's a very split crowd over that...

i guess another option would be to put it on one of the two available walls, but that would mean I would lose seating.

I'm buying all new furniture (don't make any comments trying to work around those ugly things), am obviously going to declutter - we foster kittens so some of the supplies from the adjacent room that we use have migrated over to this one - and my general contractor will paint the walls (any suggestions for BM neutral paint colors that would look good?)

The furniture pieces I was thinking of are:

  • a sleeper sofa because we have 3 guest bedrooms that aren't enough for when family that lives far away comes to visit
  • another matching sofa
  • a pair of accent chairs

The sofas would be positioned against the walls and the chairs would probably be on the side with the windows.

I'm going to need the furnishings to be durable as the kittens can come in to this room under supervision.

Also, what's a good source for affordable, comfortable furniture? My budget for the two sofas is around $3500, but I would prefer to keep the price <1500 each.

This is my inspiration pic if that helps with any suggestions:

Here are some photos of the space:

And a crude, unprofessional floor plan:

Comments (137)

  • Isabel Hamilton

    @Claire Larece that was my favorite too! Do you think it will work with the other elements of the room?

  • katinparadise

    You didn't wait for my vote :( Just kidding! I like the echo ash first and the acton ash second. You'll love the sunbrella. I have two light aqua chairs in it and it's so easy to clean up. We have a basset hound and a grand basset (my daughter's) who love to scratch their chins on the cushions. Water and a washcloth and it's good as new! The weave is so tight my cat won't touch it. I think everything is going to look fantastic! I get what you're saying now about the sofa-very clever! I would do right arm chair, left arm chair and center armless. That way when you're looking at the sofa straight on, you'll see two breaks in between the cushions instead of one break and one long section without a break. Make sense?

    Never thought when I went from a 1949 house up north to a 2003 house in Florida that I would do as much updating here as I did there. My son and his new fiancee are coming from Japan for a visit and I just want everything done before they get here!

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
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  • claire_larece

    Yes I do. It's light but sturdy and has different shades in the pattern.

    Isabel Hamilton thanked claire_larece
  • Isabel Hamilton

    Almost done painting! It looks close to the old color in the photo, but in person it looks much better + brighter.

    Now I'm considering perhaps getting a sofa with only one continuous cushion instead of the 2-seater that would probably be my only option and would leave someone sitting in the crack...

    or I can just do the left and right arm chairs with an armless chair. I would probably need some creative options for extra beds - do you have any recommendations for comfortable inflatable mattresses or something we can keep in the nearby attic?

    The rug should be in by the end of the weekend, but I won't have any furniture! Although perhaps I can move the chairs up...

    The windowseat cushions should be arriving soon...

  • katinparadise

    The color is wonderful and I can see that it's much brighter. If you want to be sure the furniture will fit, I would go with the left and right arm chairs and the armless in the center.

    This raised airbed certainly has some good reviews. http://www.frontgate.com/essential-ez-bed-inflatable-guest-bed/25449?SourceCode=ZZ51120&cm_mmc=Comparison+Shopping--Google+Product+Listings--NA-_-NA&intlShippingCtx=US%7CUSD&CATARGETID=120245420002228157&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKCAjw5PDLBRB0EiwAh-27Mg-bLjDanZ-lSHqNqnABWQ1dJXgqzIhT0pvVNk5GoiPZMrJx4NqXShoCO6kQAvD_BwE

    I'm anxious to see the rug in place and of course you'll have to move the chairs up!

    Things are really moving along! How exciting! Your room is going to be fabulous.

    I'm sitting in my living room staring at all the furniture from my bedroom because the new floors are halfway down and the paint was just done yesterday. I'm working on window treatments. Ordered curtains and got them but trying to decide between white wood blinds and bamboo roman shades. Sounds like we're both in the same position. Tomorrow I'm painting baseboards and starting to refinish two mid century dressers that belonged to my husband's grandparents to add to the room.


    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • Isabel Hamilton

    I was (semi) staging the room earlier, downstairs, and the chairs looked so perfect in my living room that I decided to keep them there. So I'm looking in to other options for chairs, keeping with the layout that has the TV across from the fireplace.

    Maybe some leather butterfly chairs would be a cute option? cb2 has some really cute ones: https://www.cb2.com/1938-tobacco-leather-butterfly-chair/s185649.

    This will mainly be a teen hangout space... I don't know if these chairs will be that comfortable, but they probably won't be for long-term lounging and would maybe be nice to fit the space. They could also add in the same leather accent from my inspiration pic.

    i ordered the Serena & Lily hanging rattan chair for the sunroom (very exciting!) but it's backordered so will ship next month.

    The windowseat cushions should be arriving soon.

    Sorry I haven't posted updates in a while - pretty hectic work week...

  • Isabel Hamilton

    Also, I visited a West Elm store and for some reason the person I talked to said that the right arm chair, armless chair, and left arm chair layout wouldn't work...

    What options would you suggest other than purchasing something in pieces to get it up a narrow stairwell? Has anyone encountered a similar issue in the past? I don't want to hire a crane - that would cost more to rent than the furniture itself - to get it in through a window. Any proposed solutions to this (pretty major) problem?

  • claire_larece
    Were you looking for an armless corner piece? That sounds like you're opting for a sectional is that what you want. To have the tv across the fireplace one side of the chair would be blocking the fireplace. How does the downstairs living room looks and if you're looking for armless piece to be in the center your only choice is to have the tv above the fireplace.
  • katinparadise

    I love the butterfly chairs and as soon as I saw the leather, I thought the same thing you did regarding the leather sofa from your inspiration piece! How funny that the chairs work so well in your living room. Just goes to show that a good piece will fit almost anywhere.

    Too bad the hanging chair is on back order. Have you looked anywhere else to see if you can find something similar or does the time frame not bother you?

    Not sure I understand why the proposed pieces won't work. I presume they all hook together so that doesn't make sense. Maybe you could try calling West Elm's customer service directly and see if they have any thoughts on that. My other suggestion was to purchase something that was put together but I understand your hesitance to do that based on possible quality issues. You said you've had a sofa up there before so I'm wondering what the issue is this time. Maybe another company?

    No worries on posting. I was just thinking about you the other day so I was glad to hear you're still making progress. Slow and steady will definitely win the race on this one!

  • Isabel Hamilton

    To clarify - I'm not really a fan of sectionals, how they construct layout options and have a tendency to close off a room, so I was only looking into the "build your own sectional" option in order to build a sofa that could be delivered in pieces.

    I'm okay with waiting for the Serena & Lily chair, I think it's worth it.

    After being on hold for a long time with West Elm customer service, I got a conflicting answer from what the representative at the store told me: it would be possible to go with the left arm chair, armless, and right arm chair. That leaves it as a possibility to consider.

    As I was waiting for a response, I was looking at other options, and found two relatively similar ones that I liked - and would potentially incorporate the wood accent that the chairs were going to add.

    This first one - the Barton sofa from Serena & Lily - is out of my price range, but I thought it was nice. It's also helpful because one of my friend's who's a designer can get me a discount on their products (that's what I did with the hanging chair.)

    Then, as I was browsing through a catalog, I encountered this beauty from Ballard Designs (the Hartwell sofa)

    I still have to figure out a way to get anything that I order up the stairs, though, although it's nice that the I will have the WE option.

  • katinparadise

    They're both beautiful sofas but I agree that getting them up the stairs will still be an issue. Good to know the WE option is still available though. I think it's your safest bet. It's good to have choices!

  • Isabel Hamilton

    I have been focusing recently on the TV part of this room re-do. A friend of mine gave me a mount she purchased but never ended up using, and my contractor - who is currently here installing our kitchen floors - agreed to set it up, so that is taken care of. For reference, here's a picture of the TV wall as it is now (the piece of furniture that the TV is sitting on is temporary). The thing leaning on the makeshift tv stand is a yardstick, for scale.

    I found this chart for optimal TV viewing height - the TV is 55", so it should theoretically be 49" above the ground, which is 63" to the center. That seems a little high though and might not work with the sconces, although I guess they can be moved or replaced somehow... Are these the standard distances/measurements or would you suggest another height?

    I also looked into some options that would mean I wouldn't need a cable box (specifically the xfinity stream TV app on Roku) which, with the mount, would mean I wouldn't need a TV console. I also need to bring in an electrician anyway to add an outlet on that wall as a power source, so I could potentially have that behind the area where the TV will be, allowing Then perhaps I could have some seating underneath (e.g. a backless settee or a couple of chairs and a side table). If I went with the chairs option I could potentially have two (sleeper?) sofas facing each other on both sides of the fireplace, or just keep the layout with a pair of chairs on the window side.

    Maybe it would look odd to not have a console to ground the TV though... just thought I could cram some more seating into that small space, and it wouldn't really affect the walkways and flow.

    I can continue to research options for the sofa conundrum.

  • katinparadise

    Since the TV is so close in width to the sconces, I'd not raise it more than a few inches. If you're going wireless, you could certainly put a bench under there. That would help ground the TV. Something in a distressed leather maybe.

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • claire_larece
    I would place a nice wall art between the sconces....with a bench there it would lower the height of the tv, which from my perspective it doesn't look pleasing you definitely need a wider media center to give it asymmetrical feel
  • katinparadise

    Hi Isabel. I'm sure you got the same email that I did but the Henry sectional is on sale at WE.

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • Isabel Hamilton

    Update: the custom window seat cushions have arrived!

    I have been working on clearing out + decluttering the sunroom, and now I have a pretty blank slate to work on there (can't provide pic at this time though - out of town for a short while)

    I was thinking of potentially adding a cowhide rug - faux of course - under the hanging chair in the part of the sunroom that will be visible through the opening with the french doors. I couldn't find a good inspiration pic for this, so just mentally combine these two images: the chair from the first and the setting and the rug in the second. Would that work or would you suggest a different rug?

    I know I'm sort of all over the place with the details of these rooms, thanks for humoring me and helping me design this space!

  • katinparadise

    The cushions are a perfect fit! Nice place to hang out and read a book. All you need is a great pillow. Maybe something with some texture. I love the idea of the cowhide under the hanging chair. I think both those items are perfect for the look you're trying to achieve. No need for thanks-I'm having a blast!

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • Isabel Hamilton

    Next up...window treatments! I was contemplating either woven or Roman shades - cordless so that the cats don't play with them or strangle themselves (we had to keep the old plantation shutters' cords tied up to prevent that from happening). I thought that the former would add some more texture and repeat the woven element that would include the hanging chair and rug. The latter could coordinate with the window-seat cushions/sofa - what do you think, between the two, and are there any alternatives you would suggest?

    i would like the window treatments to:

    - have the ability to reduce glare when watching TV

    - add texture of some sort to the room

    Privacy isn't really a concern.

  • katinparadise

    I like both but prefer the idea of woven shades to add more texture as you mentioned. Any further thoughts on the sofa?

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • Isabel Hamilton

    I was leaning more toward the woven option as well.

    I have been researching more sofa alternatives - I might end up going with the Henry after all, and take advantage of the WE sale, but I have been looking at other options such as a simple, washable, track arm slip covered sofa. While I do like the tailored look of upholstered pieces, I was looking through my 100s of inspiration pics and several of them featured white slip covered sofas. But I may still encounter the same issue if it's not possible to have it assembled on site... I really liked the single bench cushion as well.

    Here are some example pics

  • jbtanyderi
    Put Saint Television in another room.
  • Isabel Hamilton

    @jbtanyderi funny! And that would otherwise be a good suggestion, but this is already an informal living space and we don't have a TV in our main living area on the first floor, so TV watching is one of the main purposes of this room. My family likes having a dedicated space for sports games, movie watching, etc. so I need to work around that.

  • Isabel Hamilton


    Here is yet another question for you guys - you have been so helpful at quelling my indecisive tendencies in the past...

    Which layout do you all prefer? The only nonnegotiable thing at this point is the TV placement, so these are obviously not the only choices in layout (I'm open to suggestions on more options!)

    Here are some examples of what differentiates #1 from the rest of the layout choices; the chairs in front of the TV

    And #2 with the daybed:

    #3 was the original layout that I was going to go with, but I was wondering if I could squeeze in some more seating.

    Side note: here is my secondary inspiration pic I came across. I love the neutral elements of this space and the various textures. I will probably go with a daybed like this if I pick #2.

  • Isabel Hamilton

    And another update: my general contractor just texted me that the electrician was able to put in an outlet for the TV on that wall when he was here earlier today resolving an issue with the dishwasher. Now just need to mount it...

  • katinparadise

    Hi Isabel. I like the easy care of the slipcovered sofas and those have nice clean lines. I have one on my sofa in my living room. The single bench seats have such a nice modern look.

    As far as layouts, I prefer #3, only for the fact that a daybed in front of the TV is only good if you're in the room for conversation. If you're watching TV, it's going to get in the way and no one will be able to sit there anyway. Maybe a couple of smaller chairs that could be pulled in from the sunroom for extra seating if you need it? Don't forget that the window seats act as seating as well. I would use a smaller coffee table just to serve the sofa and add a nice size diameter table between the two chairs for setting a drink, etc.

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • Isabel Hamilton

    I like your idea of having some pieces in the sunroom that can be moved for additional seating when needed.

    Can you recommend a good source for a faux cowhide rug? I know they're pretty much available everywhere, but it's pretty overwhelming and a personal suggestion would be very helpful. The visible area of the sunroom is approximately 8' x 8' so the rug must fit within that space.

  • katinparadise

    I really don't have a source for a faux cowhide. I really like the quality of the rugs I get from Rugs USA. I just peeked and they have one that comes in brown or black. Sorry-I'm not much help this time!

  • claire_larece

    I too wouldn't recommend chairs with backing to be placed in front of the television unless they're swivel chairs also if you plan choosing that layout you can place ottomans underneath your coffee table whenever needed.

  • Susan N
    Following
  • Isabel Hamilton

    Okay, new idea: two ottomans under a console table under the TV...

    What do you think? I don't need storage for technology relating to the TV, so I thought I would eschew the traditional TV console in favor of a console table.

    I am planning on measuring the problem area at the top of the stairs so that I can purchase the largest sofa that will be able to fit - I think it will have to be approx. 75" but need to confirm.

    I will post an update with the measurements.

  • katinparadise

    Perfect idea! Extra seating when you need it but out of the way when you don't. Ottomans are nice because you can use them to put your feet up as well.

    I'll be waiting on measurements!

  • Isabella Hochschild
    Also following - excited to see how this room turns out!
  • claire_larece
    Have you decided on the butterfly chairs Isabel....How about these chairs Isabela

    Lumisource Vintage Mod Chair, Walnut and Cream · More Info
    Isabel Hamilton thanked claire_larece
  • Isabel Hamilton

    No, I haven't decided on chairs yet, and while I do like that option, I think that chair leans a little too MCM than the look I am going for.

  • katinparadise

    I think it's a pretty chair as well but you mentioned this is a teen hangout space sometimes and I'm not sure it's comfy enough to flop down in and have a movie or Netflix marathon!

  • Isabel Hamilton

    @katinparadise That's a good point!

  • Isabel Hamilton

    I'm still looking at sofas for this space. I'm not that good at making decisions and I can't really decide between all the options at the moment (i.e. upholstered vs slipcovered, fabric color, type etc.).

    I was so set on the Henry sofa before it arrived, but now I'm not so sure, since I have the opportunity to purchase a different one.

  • claire_larece

    teens watch movies have popcorn eat pizza drink sweet beverages and also end up sleeping in the same spot so if you're worried about any drop of food do a stain test. What are the repeats on your samples

  • katinparadise

    Did you like the sofa when it arrived or do you think you may just be put off by the fact that it didn't fit? Have you looked at anything that might be available in the outdoor fabrics such as Sunbrella? They make some beautiful fabrics. I have the Digby sofa by Flexsteel and love the size and how light and easy it is to move around. It has a tight back and lifetime warranty. I've had it for over 10 years and just had a slipcover made for it because I can't bear to give it up. I have the 72" two seater but it also comes in a larger 3 seater and I believe it may be available in some performance fabrics. You may want to take a look and see if you like it for your space.

  • katinparadise

    Hi Isabel! Just wondering how things are going. Haven't heard from you in a bit. Hope all is well.

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • Isabel Hamilton

    Thanks @katinparadise ! That's nice of you to want to check in. I haven't made that much progress - the room is very much a blank slate at the moment (disregard the artwork currently on the mantel.) The TV was mounted, and the hanging chair has arrived, but I'm still waiting on my contractor to come install it when she's here putting some finishing touches on my kitchen. I'm still exploring options for furniture (it would be nice to have some seating in the space!) but it's so difficult to commit to something.


  • shwshw

    following...

  • katinparadise

    Good to hear from you! Boy, I love that wall color-it's perfect in the room! Love the rug in the space. It looks a lot like mine. Have you possibly considered 4 chairs in the space instead of a sofa? They would probably be easier to get up the stairs and would keep things nice and open. Can't wait to see the hanging chair-it's going to look fantastic!

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • katinparadise

    Hi Isabel. I saw a sofa today that reminded me of your inspiration photo so I thought I'd check in and see how things are going.

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • Isabel Hamilton

    Update: my contractor is coming tomorrow and will hang the chair, so I need to decide things like what direction it should face (i.e. facing the main room or the windows), how far away I want it from the walls, etc. I would really like your input on this!

    Here are the specs for the chair.

  • katinparadise

    How exciting! It's going into the sunroom right? I don't have a picture of the total sunroom but I would think it would work pulled just away from a corner a bit and looking out the windows. If it's being hung by a rope like the pictures, or even from a chain, you'll be able to move it around easily anyway. I'd pull it out about 18-24" from the corner so you don't have to worry about bumping into the walls with it.

    I saw this sofa on the IKEA website the other day and it immediately made me think of your inspiration pic. It's full leather and requires assembly so I was thinking it might be able to go up your stairs with no problem.

    Isabel Hamilton thanked katinparadise
  • claire_larece

    Hi Isabella

    How wide is your sunroom? I would have it placed in the corner of the room caddied

    Isabel Hamilton thanked claire_larece
  • Isabel Hamilton

    I will have to go back up and measure, but I am pretty sure it is 8' wide. Hanging the chair from the rafters would have made it off-center, so my contractor's solution was to add a beam to hang it off of, which will happen when she comes next time, within the next couple of weeks.

  • katinparadise

    I can't wait to see it up-it's such a great piece!

  • claire_larece

    Can’t wait to see it as well

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