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which size sofa and how many accent chairs?

February 10, 2019

My husband and I have been living in our condo for 3 years with this tiny apartment sized 72" sofa in our super long living room. It looks funny and we need to update it. We need to do lots of things to our living room (new bookcases, art, etcetcetc), but we're starting with the sofa and accent chairs and maybe a rug. and maybe an ottoman. haha. Please see more below :).

I'm attaching a few pictures of our space - the measurements start from the right edge (when you're looking at it) of the fireplace to the wall with the bookcases, and that same wall with the fireplace back to where the closets are behind the existing sofa. We have 11' ceilings, and the living room space is essentially 22' x 16'. The existing sofa back ends with about 5' between it and the closet doors. Pardon the mess.

Just to give you an idea of the actual space, from the right edge of the fireplace to the window is 8'x11'. For now, we're not dealing with that space and just planning on leaving it for the cats :).

Here's the sofa we love from R&B, which we are debating getting in 90w x 35h x 29d vs 100w x 35h x 29d. The price difference is negligible so it's more of an issue of scale. We want the left side of the room to feel more connected to the right. It currently feels like no mans land over there. So that's question #1: which size sofa?

On to question #2a and b: We are also thinking of getting 1 or 2 of these chairs, but if we got two of them, they are probably too wide to sit side by side next to the sofa? Any thoughts on placement in the room?

Question #3 is that we really wanted to get a chaise, but ultimately felt like it really limited our space/options and choice of sofa, which is why we nixed it. So instead, we're thinking of doing a leather ottoman in a contrasting leather to the sofa, like so ( 56"w 24"d 16"h): Thoughts on this an option? Any other ideas? If you got this far, I really appreciate it! Thanks! Bonus question #4 that just occurred to me is that we may be able to squeeze a sofa/console table behind the new sofa. Y/N? Thanks again!

Comments (16)

  • tartanmeup

    I would put a regular sized sofa in front of the TV with two comfortable chairs on either side. An ottoman that offers additional seating can be a good idea. It really depends on how you use the space. There is such a thing as too long a sofa when you're using the room for conversation. Four people lined up on a sofa might make sense for TV watching but less so when conversing. Your living room might be long enough to warrant two conversation areas. Figure out the functions in the room and tape out different furniture layouts on the floor (with painter's tape) to see what makes sense. Don't forget to take into account traffic flow. Alternatively and this might be easier, use graph paper and use cutouts to try different layouts.

    This blog post might help as Laurel Bern offers different layouts and includes measurements for traffic flow and the like.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I would actually like to see a to scale drawing of the space with the fireplace , window and front door clearly marked and to scale. It is hard to get a real feel for the space without actual measurements everywhere.

  • PRO
    Barcelona Designs

    Hello AN! We are really loving your modern space here at Barcelona Designs! Have you considered getting a lounge chair as well? Our Eames Lounge Chair replica with ottoman has been voted #1 right here on Houzz!

  • AN

    Tartanmeup - what is a regular size sofa? Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

    Patricia - I'll try and post a picture with actual measurements later today. Thanks.

  • tartanmeup

    Just meant standard size (around 84 inches), not necessarily extra long or apartment sized.

  • AN

    Ah, ok. The sofa we like comes in 3 sizes, 80, 90, and 100.

  • decoenthusiaste

    We're missing some information. How many people do you need to seat in the space every day and when you entertain? Sitting side by side is not conducive to conversation, and most people will leave an empty space between them and their neighbor on the sofa so they can turn and face each other to talk. Do you envision gathering around the fireplace, or is TV always the focus when you're home? I think you might enjoy a chesterfield style chaise sofa and some chairs. The Jane below can switch the chaise from right to left when you want. I'm not a fan of ladder shelves (they remind me of college dorm living) but yours seem to be doing a good job of storing your stuff. I'd actually prefer the TV there with the sofa facing, placed just perpendicular to the space between the fireplace and the window. Then make a second seating area around the fireplace with four chairs placed out in front of it. A sofa table could help tie the two areas together. Another option is to focus everything around the fireplace and cat's end of the room where the light is so nice, putting their play things in front of the window left of the fireplace.

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  • PRO
    Glo European Windows & Doors

    That sofa is gorgeous!

    I second the need for a floor plan with dimensions in order to speak to the best proportions for the new couch.

    Based off your photos, my first thought is to place the two arm chairs with a mini table between them in front of the window. That space feels undefined and needs some love. I would also add a rug to that space, again to help define it. I don't think I'd flank the couch with two chairs. It seems like that may add to the division of the space. I would flank the couch with one chair (depending on couch scale) on the end closest to the bookshelves. However, if you can get away with a longer couch I'm not sure the extra seating is needed.

    Hope this helps!

  • hollybar

    How wide is the "new" chair? You need to consider the chair proportion as well as the sofa. For myself, I'd keep the sofa at 90" max. but really, something shorter would be fine. I would definitely add a table behind the sofa, one with a depth of less than 10" and lower than the back rail. (assuming that the new sofa is the same depth as the old one?) Where the dining chairs are, you might consider placing one of your molded chairs to create a reading nook. Personally,I would not have a leather sofa and a long leather ottoman in the same space. Always strikes me as a bit matchy-matchy. Of course,in situ,you can work against the match factor with your accessories. As mentioned above, a simple sketch with dimensions will get you more specific advice.

  • AN

    Here's a sketch of my LR with measurements. Thanks all for your help!

  • AN

    Thanks for your comments, I'll address them individually below:

    decoenthusiaste: Every day it's just me and my husband. TBH, we don't use the LR a lot on weekdays because we're really busy. I use the side part by the bookcases or catlandia for yoga at night. Sometimes we watch a little TV at night. We entertain a little, but usually no more than than 6-8 people total. Most often when we entertain it's another couple over with us. The fireplace is wood burning, and requires work and tending, and you really can't get super close to it because it gets very hot. We love it though, but only use it about 6 months per year. I suppose the tv is more of the focus than the fireplace in some ways. I don't love the bookcases either, and we plan to replace them at some point. We set the room up the way we did because I feel like having a sofa that's parallel to the closets creates a hallway of sorts, and sets the room up better than this big space that needs more anchoring. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but the previous owners had it set up the way you described and I really hated the way it looked and felt. it made that left side of the room feel scrunched up against like that 1/3 of the room and made the rest of the space feel weird. because of where the fireplace is, almost in front of the front door, it makes it an awkward space to gather in front of. but I could be completely wrong here and I want to keep an open mind before we purchase anything, which is why I'm here!

    Also, side note, my husband is extremely particular about leather and only wants a leather sofa, and very specific kinds of leather, but is willing to compromise on side chairs with fabric.

  • AN

    Glo European: Thanks so much! I know the front window area needs some love. It's definitely on the to do list! The whole living room needs some love :). I uploaded a sketch with measurements, thanks for your comments!

  • AN

    Hollybar: The new chair is about 29" wide. The proportion of the furniture is really what I'm most concerned about. I don't want the chairs to seem out of proportion to the sofa, although I did see the 100" sofa on the show room floor next to the chair and they looked nice together. Thanks for the advice on the sofa table. Yes, the new sofa is the same depth as the old sofa. We were thinking of moving our molded chairs to either the front window area with a table and a rug, or the back dining area as you suggested. Also, I think if we do the ottoman in leather, we were thinking of doing in a contrasting color so it's a little more interesting and less matchy-matchy (hence the gray-blue sofa and the cream ottoman in leather). I added the sketch in the comments above - thanks again for your comment and suggestions!!

  • decoenthusiaste

    Have you considered zoning the areas? Catlandia, including the fireplace and a few feet past it might become the library. Install or add free standing shelves on the FP side of the two windows opposite each other, and build-in a comfy bench all across under the windows. Soften it with a custom cushion and pillows. Place a pair of chairs and a game table in front of the fireplace, and then use the other end of the room for the media area. The spot in front of the closets would become the foyer.

  • AN

    I hadn't thought of moving the books up to "catlandia" - that's a really good idea! We have tossed around the idea of ditching our existing entertainment center (and btw, we are not tied to any of our existing furniture in any way) and getting built-ins, and re-doing the fireplace surround and tie it into these new built ins, and then turning the existing bookcase wall into more of a show place for art and a bar or something like that. However, I really like your idea and that is probably a lot less expensive than mine ;).

    ETA: We have thought about taking the doors off the first set of closets and turning that into a foyer of sorts. We don't even really use that closet so it might be nice to throw a bench, lamp, table, coat rack, etc in there and open it up. But It would require some drywall and paint.

    Also, because we've been living with all of this furniture from old apartments for so many years, our priority right now is replacing the big item (sofa) first, and going from there. Maybe that's backward thinking...

  • AN

    Hey all - to make life easier, I'm going to delete this post and re-post with the new sketch/measurements and everything else with a new title. I'll include the extra details and hopefully that will help. Thanks everyone!!

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