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Please fix my living room!

Michelle
January 21, 2014
Hi everyone!

I just recently moved into a rental apt and would love your help with the living room... It's tiny, coming in at a whopping 9'10" by 10" :) I have attached a rough blue print I made up with the approximate measurements, along with some photos...

The chair and sofa took me forever to settle on--after taking careful measurements, etc... Now that they're here, they seem to take up much MUCH more space than they seemed to on paper...

The ivory sofa is 76"W x 36"D x 34"H.
The seafoam chair is 31"W x 36"D x 34"H.
The coffee table is oval, 45"W x 27"D x 16"H.

(and the dog bed can go absolutely anywhere!!)

I am open to purchasing some more furniture (ie- an actual media console), and I plan to purchase a rug, but I feel like I'm a bit stuck right now.

Please help!! I am open to any and all suggestions!!

Comments (130)

  • karemore55
    Hmmm.....hate to make you go,out and buy new stuff when you already have something that almost works! Your 24X30 mirror is a cutie, but probably too small for over the sofa. It strikes me as being a hallway mirror that you might have near your front door, for that last check in the mirror before you head out. I'm wondering if it could go to the right of your TV, with one of your art pieces (the one closest in size to the mirror) hanging on the left of the TV. I can't remember if your TV is centred on the wall - Because this would only work if it is. And the mirror, in this situation, would look best hanging vertically.

    My general rule of thumb is to hang small things on small walls and big things on big walls. I also love the idea of hanging a large mirror or piece of art in a small room to make a grand statement.

    Is there another spot for this mirror? Because I really hate to see it go to waste!
  • karemore55
    Also, I love your RH throw! That will definitely add a luxurious feeling to your room, as well as being practical and comfy. Don't let Macy get snags in it!

    I don't know of a way to make comments under pics you post on Houzz, but if you are on Pinterest, you could bring pics directly onto the Comment box, rather than provide links, which is what I usually do. Alternatively, if you are using an iPad, you can take a screen shot of anything and bring it directly from your Camera Roll onto the Comment box. For desktops, lap tops and iPhones, though, I am clueless!
  • Michelle
    Can either find another spot or relocate it temporarily to storage (which is just the second bedroom!). Was never a big fan of this mirror--kind of cheap looking although substantial in its weight. Will try to go to Pier 1 this week or next to check those mirrors-- I happen to have a gift card!! Marshall's or Home Goods might be a good place to find something too. You're thinking big and horizontal over the sofa?

    Also, just bought a new coffee table! I'll keep it a surprise until it comes, but it's exactly what I've been looking for :)
  • Michelle
    Oops--and the curtains are 84 inches. They're about an inch off the floor. My dad -- who is full of design ideas, apparently!! - thought it would be best for me to install the curtain rod hardware into the window frame because that's the only place we know is definitely solid wood. Hopefully this wasn't a horrible plan...
  • PRO
    karen paul interiors
    ...and we didn't encourage the love seat vs the sofa because...of a restocking fee? How much would the re-stocking fee have been vs the cost of love seat rather than sofa? Everything you are specifying for the room works beautifully and would look great were it not for a too large sofa rather than having a love seat that fits comfortably into this tiny room.
  • karemore55
    Hi Michelle, I have a feeling the curtains won't look right, if you are describing what I think you are. A good way to hang curtains that won't fall down is to first use a stud sensor, and get the screws into a stud wherever possible. If you are hanging curtains that have either grommets or clip rings, it's easy to get the curtains to look balanced, even if the brackets aren't equidistant from the window. You just extend the rod so that it - and the curtains - are equidistant from the window on each side.

    If you just can't get a stud close enough by, you can buy drywall screws, which are these little plastic thingys that kind of expand once they get inside the drywall, and this anchors them in place.

    Maybe you could post a pic of the curtains?
  • karemore55
    And can hardly wait to see the coffee table - I'm guessing brass and glass? Nope, I didn't peak!
  • karemore55
    @Karen Paul Interiors - the OP chose to stick with the sofa so she can recline on it.
  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    Not sure about hanging the curtains from the window frame - sometimes men get a little crazy with things being "sturdy". I've never had curtains fall off the wall. You can use anchors as Karemore suggested. I would mount them above and slightly to the outside. If your curtains are too short then, you can add a border to the bottom. I customize store-bought curtains a lot. It's a way to add a little detail or color at a great price. Looking forward to seeing the curtains hung and the coffee table though!
  • mefor
    This is a really good thread, karemore, great work
    I love the suggestions. :)
  • decoenthusiaste
    After scanning this thread, I have a few tips for you gals. When placing media components in drawers, you can use a 'paddle' bit on your drill and drill holes in the bottom and back of the drawer to provide air circulation and an escape for heat buildup. If you find a better chair for this space, lay the current chair on a towel on its side and it may fit through the doorways so you can move it elsewhere.
  • karemore55
    Great work on Madden's part too - especially that initial layout!
  • Michelle
    Lots to respond to! Just letting you know I'm still here-- will post tonight!!
  • Michelle
    Finally some pictures!! Some changes you'll see:
    1) widened the curtain rod (although I don't think I've posted any pictures of the curtains yet!)
    2) changed up the throw pillows--returned the colored patterned and bright yellow ones and instead got some lighter yellow and a blue pattern on silvery background (blue matches the blue pillows almost perfectly)
    3) pulled the blue/green Monet in the room (it's on the floor in the place I think it will go)

    Things that will definitely change = coffee table (hopefully the new one will come soon!!) and eventually, the media stand (no picture included, but it's the same as it has been)
  • karemore55
    Hi Michelle, Looking good! I see Macy did a photo bomb again! What is it about dogs and cameras lol?

    I think your Monet is going to look wonderful on that wall. Remember to not hang it too high -'it should be at eye level WHEN SEATED.

    If there is a way to have the curtains pulled out a little further so that pretty much all of the window is showing, that would be good. And the further out from the window they are, the larger your window will appear, so see if you can play around with that a bit.

    The pillows look great. To that mix, I would add a pillow that contains,both the blue and the yellow in order to really integrate the color scheme. Also, one pillow,that is highly textured will add lots of interest. The little Mongolian lambs wool pillow from West Elm would look cute,in your arm chair. The little bird pillow from etsy could go in the middle of the sofa. It is a lumbar pillow, so it feels good behind the back - I actually can't sit on a sofa without a lumbar pillow behind me!

    Watching for the coffee table - and more pics of Macy!
  • Michelle
    I picked the yellow because, well, I like yellow... but you're right, it's really not integrated very well into the room at this point!! Will look into some more options like the one you posted. I'm not big on birds or actually any prints that aren't geometric or floral (this is not the proper wording-- basically I'm not big on pillows with words, symbols such as anchors or hearts, or other 'things' like birds or butterflies). BUT like most of the other things I've not liked style-wise, perhaps this too will change!!
  • karemore55
    Well go figure! I had you pegged as a bird and butterfly gal - but what do I know lol?

    I am sure you will find something you just love. You are working with very popular colors. Happy weekend shopping!
  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    Looks like you are moving along. I like your color combinations. Just a couple of other pillows that might work from Pottery Barn and Pier One.
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  • Michelle
    Isn't this great?!
  • Michelle
    Oops on the double! I'm using the app!
  • Michelle
    I am probably going to put this ( http://m.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/art/50214678/) to the right of the tv, and when it's warmer will probably paint it to match the coffee table. Still may consider painting/replacing tv stand, although it works for now! The tael plastic tub has my rock salt, so will be gone soon enough (hopefully) and the winter boot tray will be replaced by a basket for non-wet non-winter shoes :) The little (not so little) blue chair was relocated to my "office". And Macy's bed has long be relocated...

    I think this works so well-- though it's only been a few minutes since I rearranged it! Unless I get a horrible response here (!!) I think it'll stay-- and I'll finally get to put some stuff on the walls!!

    So what do you guys think?
  • karemore55
    Michelle, Hi there! First of all, I love love love the coffee table! It is truly beautiful! And I love the Ikea stand!

    I can see where having the TV I. Front of the window frees up your hallway space, so won't argue that decision. But I'm wondering if the Ikea stand would work better on that hallway wall. If you put it to the right of the TV, things will start to look REALLY crowded! If you could maybe get two of those Ikea stands and,butt them up next to each other, you will get an even better effect.

    Your floor lamp might look better on the other side of the sofa, in the corner. Any chance it could move there?

    Also wondering if your curtains could come out right to the end of the rod?

    It is all coming together nicely and I'm so happy for you! Can't wait to see the pictures up!
    Michelle thanked karemore55
  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    Hi Michelle.........I really like your new coffee (or cocktail!) table. Very glam. The couch and curtains look beautiful together too. If you decide to paint or replace the TV console, I would probably go with a soft white or blue. Keep plugging away - it's an ongoing process. Thanks for the update.
    Michelle thanked Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
  • Michelle
    I purposely didn't pull the curtains out to the end of the rod was because I wanted to try and overlap the window frame just enough as to cause the window to 'appear' larger. Maybe I misunderstood that trick. Here's an update with them pulled all the way out (I made the length of the rod as far as it would allow just before starting to bend)...

    1) I think this needs a thicker/wider rod. But I can't return this one so it'll have to do for now.
    2) the curtains have the option of using either the rod pocket or the back tabs--it's currently in the tab option. Do you think using the pocket would make it look more refined? I chose the tabs so that I could put one tab on the frame-side of the hardware and could then bunch the rest of the fabric further out. Didn't work quite as planned...
  • Michelle
    Here is a 'draft' if you will of the ikea shelves next to the TV (I haven't put the glass in yet but it'll look basically like this...).

    Plan is not to use this for a ton of books -- maybe a basket or two plus a couple frames. Keep it light.

    PS-Ignore the mess...
  • karemore55
    Hi Michelle, The curtains look perfect the way you have them now! I like the back tabs, and they will look better than the rod pockets.

    Your .dad could mount a little support bracket in the middle to hold up that curtain rod. You can buy these little brackets wherever you find curtain rods. They are commonly used. Then you don't have to worry about getting a bigger rod.
  • karemore55
    The Ikea shelf is really cute but...but......are you sure you do t want it on the wall between front door and kitchen doorway? It does look a little cramped in that corner........

    Can you try it on the other wall and see what you think? Just put it right smack in the middle.
  • Michelle
    It came with a 3rd bracket actually, I just never installed it! And I hung these on my own -- dad just 'advised' me on where to place them :) I was thinking bigger rod just because this looks kind of skinny--but better now with the rod only extending as far as the curtain (the extra hanging out looked kinda wimpy...for lack of a better word)
  • karemore55
    Well there you go - if you can hang a curtain rod, you can mount a bracket!
  • karemore55
    What's next on the agenda? The rug?
  • Michelle
    So right now on that wall I have my boot tray. It unfortunately doesn't fit right over the tray because I would've hid half the tray that way... Putting it to the left looks a little funny, imo. But here are 2 pictures... (yes, the lampshade is missing... and yes the lamp can move to other side of couch-or to my new reading nook!)
  • karemore55
    Hmm.....yes, it doesn't look great. Can you try it on the opposite wall - so, not centred but closer to TV - just not right in the corner. Maybe leave about a foot between TV stand and Ikea shelf?
  • Michelle
    Will try a few more options and post-- might be too crampy right next to door, but that would be an ideal place for it as far as stashing mail and things... I didn't purchase it for this room specifically though, so it's no harm if it doesn't work!

    Next = the walls!! They are so horribly bare!
  • Michelle
    Version 1: closer to door. This makes the boot tray impractical/useless where it is. But otherwise it works I think (still haven't put the glass shelves on).
  • Michelle
    Option 2: left of couch in corner. I kind of like this, but it leaves only a few inches on other aide of couch so it might be a little too tight. This doesn't serve a purpose like it would next to the door (holding mail, dog supplies, etc).
  • Michelle
    Option 3: mid small wall. "Eh".
  • Michelle
    Option 4: about a ft away from tv stand as suggested. I'm neutral on this.
  • Michelle
    I think what I'm finding is that it doesn't really belong in here (which is ok) but if I get more furniture what I need is a small table/shelf near door. Currently mail ends up on tv stand or coffee table. Which is okay. But maybe I'd put it in a place of I had a place. Then again keys don't always end up on hook so who knows....

    Wall time!! :)
  • karemore55
    Hi Michelle, It is frustrating isn't it - trying to make a small space functional AND pretty?

    I am thinking you would be better off with a good old Billy bookcase in white - the shorter one. They are only 1' deep, so it won't jut out too far. You can place a pretty tray on the top to throw keys, mail etc. Then on top shelf place a couple of bins for gloves and scarves, dog leash - whatever will fit. On middle shelf - books! And on lower shelf, a few pairs of shoes/boots.
  • karemore55
    Btw, I actually don't mind it near the T.v, as in your last pic. But, as you say, it isn't as convenient because it is too far from the door. And it would be nice to reserve that wall for one of your pics!
  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    Just to shake things up a bit, but still trying to keep within Michelle's quest for symmetry - What if.........you put the TV stand back on the wall by the door and put the couch opposite it with a bookcase/etagere on both sides or just on one side as in these arrangements? I think we should all write a book entitled "101 Ways to Arrange a 10 x 10 Room"! Who knew?
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  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    In white though. Maybe?
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  • Michelle
    Bought some paint at True Value and started painting the tv stand (and then I realized I had to get ready for work ). The color is "Liquid Blue" in a satin finish-- the 3rd one down. Room is obviously in a disarray because of this, and hopefully you know the quality of this paint job is going to improve!! I was just so excited to see how it will look! And guess what? I love it!!
  • PRO
  • karemore55
    I second that sentiment - it is going to look fabulous!
  • Michelle
    Just need a rug (still!) and to get some stuff up on the walls... I'm wishing the tv stand was more grey (or even completely grey)-- this feels somewhat childish to me, but oh well. It works, and it's a big improvement over the dark wood. It's funny because I'm really not a huge blue person (tend to be drawn more to the warmer colors) -- I only started on the blue theme because of that blue chair!!

    PS- I got a new shade for the lamp... I loved the old one but the lining ripped and I was worried it would catch on fire. I got it custom made from fenchelshades.com... The shade + delivery was only $35!! And it was delivered here in under 2 weeks! The quality is great-- was worried about a plastic lining but you really can't even tell...
  • Michelle
    Oh and I got clear acrylic ("glass") knobs for the stand's drawers. I'm wondering if that make it look sort of childish? Maybe a brassy/gold knob would be better?
  • karemore55
    Hi Michelle, I love your new TV stand color! And the clear glass knobs - I think they suit it very nicely. They are giving it a vintage/shabby chic vibe. Try living with the color for awhile and see if it begins to grow on you, or if you start to hate it. There's no rule that says you can only paint a piece of furniture once.

    Also, maybe wait until you get that rug, and see how everything is working together.

    You are doing great. You are creating a home that is unique and personal. Keep up the good work!
    Michelle thanked karemore55
  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    Michelle.................I like the blue so much better than the wood. Your room is really starting to come together. It is definitely feminine, but I would not say childish. I agree with Karemore about living with the blue for a while - you can always glaze it too which will tone down the blue. The glass knob will give it more of a shabby chic look or you can add something like this knob that repeats the brass in the coffee table. (At least, I think it does, it's hard to tell in a picture.) I think once you start getting your artwork up, you will see where you can pull in some warmer colors as accents. That's the great thing about a neutral sofa though - if you tire of the blue, you can re-accessorize for a completely different look.
    I am going to check out that lampshade site - great price!
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  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    Some pretty cool handmade knobs on this website too.
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