lisabaney

High ceilings... high windows... high game table?

lisabaney
April 21, 2014
With 10' ceilings and 8' windows in this brick sunken family room, I need some height in the decor. Whatever window treatments we figure out will help (a dilemma in its own right) and maybe someday crown molding along walls... Question: For the corner, to left of the sidelights and french doors, a tall plant or tree has been suggested by two designers, which I am sure would look classic... (though I worry I would kill it, with dry forced air, and our frequent travel). SO.... Last night I had the idea of a "high top" version of a game table, maybe in pine or medium wood, with leather upholstered stools... What do you all think? It might make a fun element of a big room, just a bit out of ordinary...? Honestly: is a tree a better idea? Also, do you know where to buy such a high top pine or rustic game table like that? Might be fun with game pattern on top, but not a basement game-room feel for this setting. Maybe I am off on the wrong track... Ideas?

p.s. Rather avoid custom, since we had one big custom furniture mishap since buying this house in October. I think my husband would rather buy something that, if it isn't right, we could possibly return and try again! (I posted this topic earlier today, but can't find it on the site -- sorry if I'm duplicating!)

Comments (41)

  • bluenan
    I don't think you have room for a game table and stools. You have height with your shelving, by playing it up with some larger white or blue and white objects you will bring attention to it and the eye will drawn up. Now it is filled with small and dull colored things that recede rather than stand out.. A tall lamp or large porcelain jar behind the sofa instead of many low items will add height. I like you windows without any treatments, but if some light control or privacy is needed I would consider bamboo blinds.
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  • PRO
    Warner Decor
    Hi! I think I would consider a high table by the window on the left with stools for coffee or a game. Here are a few ideas:
    http://deciture.com/shop/furniture/wayfair/3-piece-pub-table-set-cherry-finish/

    Hope this helps!
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    P.S. Based on the dimensions of the space I think the maximum size would be something in the range of 30 inches. I would rather not have a builder build it for me, because we had a couple glitches with custom furniture after recently buying this house, and honesty it would be easier for me (from a marital perspective, lol), should it not look right, if I could potentially return it after a few days. In other words, I am shying away from something custom at this particular moment... Thanks for any ideas! You all have such good ideas and sources! P.P.S. Wouldn't it be fun, to distinguish it from a plain bar table, if it had a checkerboard pattern on it, or something? That said, I am not thinking something super-casual or "basement game-room" looking, for this more traditional (farm-house type?) space... (Note: still saving up for window treatments... moved in about 6 months ago!)
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  • bluenan
    Warner Decor, can you explain how anyone would be able to walk between that and the chair to access the door? Can you ever give advice that doesn't include trying to sell something?
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Hi. Great opportunity here. I would need to see more pictures of the room to make a full comment.

    Think: simple. Less is more. Edit.

    Observations:

    -you don't need anything else in the corner.

    --ideally, a window seat that would fit in the space would be perfect. But, the ottomans are fine for now.

    -the arched bookcase could be a real highlight, but it is filled with a hodgepodge of things.
    As Bluenan pointed out, it could be filled with a collection of like objects. Also, consider painting the inset of the arched bookcase.


    -would need more photos, but it seems the doorway is crumped by 2 chairs on one side. Consider placing the other on the other side.

    -the console table behind the couch is probably not necessary
  • lisabaney
    Thank you, Bluenan! I see what you mean...! In fact, you are kind of reading my mind (or my meaning for the room), when you suggest playing up the blue and white. I am attaching here a couple other pics, where you can see that, this is what I am shooting for. Note the urns on either side of the mantel that I bought this past week -- tho they seem to almost shrink away to nothingness there :) My husband doesn't like his viewing "the game" (s?) to be distracted by large objects around it on mantel, so that was as big as I ventured to go... but they are there! The blue-and-white chinese jar lamps are on a side tabl,e and it is indeed my intent to eventually get around to doing the same scheme on the shelves! Thanks for the motivation!

    If I may beg you, then, Bluenan -- since you are thinking along these lines... When I mentioned recent custom mishaps... a well-meaning designer secured for me a diamond patterned ikat wing chair and ottoman (blues, spring greens, whites) to sit on the diamond ikat blue and whte rug... (I left that out of the picture -- but its clashes with rug), and she also really encouraged me to do these chairs in this bright spring green (slipcovered, Lee, chairs). I appreciated her perspective, but I mentioned I didn't want a sun-room palette in our 4 season family room, and that I hadn't really wanted to go with a big "green" color in here. It is totally out of my blue-and-white/cream/tan scheme... but here it is! Punchline on that: I have found another Lee fabric Lee can make for the slipcovers in a more neutral soft nubby tan, and I found some leopard pattern blue and cream velvet/needlepoint pillows. Do I get rid of the big green presence? (sorry I am tapping your input a bit here! :)
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Hi. I like the blue and white direction.

    However, there is an overall issue of too may small patterns in the room. Small rug pattern, small pattern in vases. The brick is also a small pattern.

    Would you consider painting the brick?

    Finally, please turn the rug so that one edge is parallel to the fireplace, instead of a corner along the fireplace. The second green chair should be placed on the right side of the couch. The ottomans can be placed in front of the grouping near the fireplace.

    Thanks.
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
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  • Dar Eckert
    Consider taller chairs like wing chairs for the seating area. How about a tall or hanging sculpture or light.

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  • lisabaney
    Thank you all, also. CDR Designs, I really appreciate your comments... (ooo, that possible other Lee fabric for the chair looks green in this photo, not sure why, is more ivory/tan in real life?)... Well, I think it is true that the high top game table with stools probably does not fit quite right... it IS a big room, tho, CDR, especially for our old town and old feel suburb where we live (i.e. not many huge big new-feel houses here, more of a village type suburb)... By those standards the room is very large: 25' by 23', not counting the cut-off corner with the fireplace hearth... And with lots of windows and an open floor plan up 3 steps to kitchen, I felt that it just had a very empty feel until we added the sofa console table last week. Feels more grounded now. My wish is that the room feel intimate, not vacuous. That said, I see what you mean about your thought about things looked too crowded...

    We are still kind of getting ourselves settled here, about to start re-configuring the kitchen island in the adjacent space... Lots to do! (We decided not to keep working with our designer because my husband felt there was a bit of a disconnect, and then there is the budget issue. He wants to slow down, and I want to move along! I am sure you have heard that tale before!!! :) Do the additional photos help? OK, I will add one of the ikat wing chair our designer purchased for us on the rug. I know I had said I liked all this chair, but once it came, my husband said it should go in the barn... That was a sad moment!

    Thank you, Warner as well. I really appreciate the input! Been drowning in the alone-ness of these decisions... it means a lot to me!!! :)
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Need pictures of the other side of the room.

    Can you try:

    -move the 2 green chairs to where the wing chair is
    -move wing chair to corner where the ottomans are
    -please turn rug so that edge is parallel to fireplace

    Waaaay too many small patterns in the room.
  • lisabaney
    Dar: Thank you re. the lighting idea. Ditto, love it!!!!!! Love the wing chair idea too. CDR, I know -- the rug is really irritating with the point facing the fireplace... The trouble is, we can't rotate it now, because it doesn't fit the perimeters of the room when turned. It would hit the steps up the kitchen. It would have to be re-cut and re-bound. I tell you, the size and shape of the room is tricky. At the twenty-something by twenty-something size, with angle cut out... Anyway, it is what it is! Here are some more photos. If we rotate the carpet 45 degrees, the long end directly across from the fireplace would exceed the length of the room on the opposite corner (corner of where the arched built-ins meet the half-wall to kitchen)... (see photos)

    YOU GUYS (GALS) are the BEST! I want to say how deeply grateful I am to you creative and generous souls! You are truly so kind to help me figure out this space. We have a lot to do, this is an old 1880s house and we are spending more time repairing things than decorating.... Thank you SO much!!! (p.s. your posts and mine keep leapfrogging, so I will comment on the penultimate one by mistake -- please don't think I am disregarding each one prior to the other! :)
  • Dar Eckert
    The wing chair is lovely, really but it really isn't the best with the brick as there is too much small pattern. Is there any walls that aren't brick if so, that's the logical place for the wing chair.
  • lisabaney
    p.s. The room isn't really THAT sunken as it looks there -- it is just 3 steps... I got on a high stool to make more of it fit in my iPhone! Do you like my tired dog? Also, would you would go ahead and re-slipcover those big spring-green slipcover swivel chairs, as I found I could from Lee, who made them -- changing them into a cream coffee-tan color -- in order to go wholly into the blue/white/cream scheme that I had envisioned? Or do you think the spring green pop is a good thing here? I had the fabric all picked out to re-slipcover them, and now I have pause..... (I AM definitely recovering the ikat wing chair that sits on that ikat rug -- that has to change, right!?!!)
  • lisabaney
    My comment leap-frogged again! OK, so bluenan, sounds like you are recommending I proceed to re-slipcover the Lee swivel armchairs, huh? I started to feel maybe the designer was maybe indeed "onto something" that the green was needed to wake up the potential for dreariness with all that brick. Now I am completely torn. What I do with those chairs will affect what fabric I use to recover the wing chair. Dar, I agree, the brick makes all this small pattern (on the wingchair -- that pattern is outa' here, just a question of "what" fabric to do -- AND on the rug itself. The rug makes it hard to furnish the room, as you say, with the busy pattern of the brick as well!) No, there isn't anywhere in the room, really without brick :( Hubby likes it, too! I have been trying to work with it. I wanted to get rid of the wall of built-in shelving in favor of sheetrock, paint, and a pewter hutch we had to put in the barn. Dang! BTW I feel selfish taking everyone's time.
  • lisabaney
    Bluenan -- does the fact that you like blue have anything to do with your name? Also, to the designers who have been posting to my question, where are you located? I feel I should make a donation to your favorite (real) charity!! (seriously!)
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    lisabaney, happy to help. Let's take a breath. First things first. You need to get the furniture arranged first. So, would you mind forgetting about color, etc, for a minute and let's do that.

    It looks like the couch in not centered on the fireplace? I am thinking we could have more than one furniture grouping.

    Please move the couch to the right, centering in on the fireplace. If that doesn't work we, may have to un-45 it and center it in the room.

    A good place for the wing-chair might be by the rear brick arch.
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Bluenan, I think the green tile around the fp is why the green was introduced.
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Here is what I am envisioning:

    couch centered on fp, angled with fp
    2 chairs on either side of couch, creating an L
    wing-chair near back arched bookcase, angled also.
    end table on either side of couch


    If that works, you could consider eliminating the rug and get an area rug for the couch area only
  • bluenan
    It looks more like bluestone around the fireplace on my monitor.
    And yes, lisabaney, that's why I'm bluenan. Did you notice my avatar? :)
  • lisabaney
    CDR, Dar, Bluenan and Warner! Thank you so much!! Have to run out to a wake... CDR, I am going to try what you say when I get home tonight.. If what you suggest doesn't fit right, I am not sure we can eliminate the rug -- since we so recently bought it for well over $1,000 when the designer arranged to have cut to size from broadloom (tossing it out would rock that marriage boat -- making it seem like such a waste...) Having just bid quite higher than hubby wanted to, on this old 1880 house that needs SO many repairs, I have to be careful I don't make him madder! :) I can get away with re-covering, maybe, and rearranging. Like you said, one step at a time! We just need to get the room on track; one step at a time...

    I am going to attach a picture of the house, too , from when we first bought it at the end of the summer... We have to basically rebuild the porch this season (poorly supported), insulate, a big project in our kitchen, so much more!

    :) p.s yes I love your avatar, Bluenan, and the hearth is bluestone. It didn't exist when we moved in, nor the mantel. It was just a brick hearth, and fireplace opening with no mantel. It was hard to get a single piece of blue stone of 10 feet long!
  • bluenan
    Oh, I'm in love with your house!!
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    I can see why you fell in love with the house.

    I would paint your sunroom the same creamy yellow that you have in your kitchen. Maybe add some of the blue that is in there.

    You can keep the fireplace and perhaps other selected areas (bookcase wall?) the brick color. Suddenly, the 2 rooms will look cohesive and you won't have to compete so much with the very busy brick.
  • hanknliza
    Try and rearrange the sofa and chairs to facing each other in front of the fireplace. Step back and take another look and then tweek.

    I don't see anything to fix other than furniture placement.
  • PRO
    Linda Clayton Interiors
    If you like the idea of a tree, don't think real, think silk. I think it would add some softness to the room which you seem to be lacking. I would mount wood rods at ceiling height and hang light colored side panels. Classic look and will be a nice contrast against the brick. This would be minimum cost and add the fabric and take away from all the hard lines.
  • groveraxle
    I love the brick. The designer who advised you to get the ikat chair to go with the ikat rug should be sued for malpractice. Send the chair far, far away, please.

    Anyone who lets their dog sleep on the couch deserves to be grovered. I think you need MORE green, not less. So I've put some in the corner in the form of three hanging terrariums with tillandsia plants--you can't kill them--and a PLAIN blue floor vase. Please don't put sticks in it.

    A navy pillow on a green chair means you need a green pillow on the blue sofa so it doesn't get jealous. I got you a new dog bed in green as well. It will last forever since your dog doesn't use it, so we'll let it be for company.

    Finally, I started a collection of blue and green pots for your shelves (I removed one shelf so you can have bigger stuff), and I cleared the little stuff from the sofa table and replaced it with one big chartreuse platter, because nothing says intentional quite like chartreuse. You can keep some of the photos, but I suggest you make them larger...and fewer.

    This is a great big room. Little dinky stuff gets lost. Think BIG! Now, you have officially been grovered. Didn't hurt at all, did it?
  • grobby
    I would think about getting a large/tall tree for that corner. I still love the old dependable ficus (real) tree. They're inexpensive, easy to care for and you have the light and space needed for it to grow. Will soften the brick and provide privacy at the sidelight.
  • lisabaney
    Hello my friends!! This is so much fun! I am relegated to looking at all this on my iPhone right now, asi am not yet home, but I have to say, I love all your ideas and strategies here.. If this is t a funny thing to say, it feels like Christmas morning (or shall I say Easter), to check in and see all these amazing goodies of feedback. Who could be so lucky? I can't wait to assemble this in my head!! And to you who added all that cool stuff into my house, how did you do that??? Quite generous! Yet I see you did t move our dog off the couch!?!
  • PRO
    Tres McKinney Design
    I would consider white washing the brick walls. If that is too drastic then consider painting the trim more of a crem color and the built in book shelves and cabinet a smokey blue. All the blue and white elements and patterns and warm toned pine furniture are great but the dark brick walls overwhelm the space. The furniture arrangement seems too small in scale for the space. A large sectional and two club chairs might fill the space better. It is not necessary to angle the sofa towards the fireplace.
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  • groveraxle
    I would NEVER disturb a dog sleeping peacefully on the couch. Sheesh!
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  • tressa150
    I got a little lost between all the comments so forgive me if i'm repeating what's been said. Here goes...

    You already know you're going to have to sacrifice something here....the ikat wingback chair or the rug. And, you don't seem crazy about the green chairs either (more on that later) so it's really like 3 chairs get replaced or the rug.

    For my money, I'd replace the rug. It doesn't fit the space as many others have noted above. If the fireplace is your focal point, as it should be, the rug should be squared off towards it and not facing it. Plus, it's a tad busy given all the blue porcelain accents you want to add (which I love by the way). Make peace with the rug and let it go. I'd replace it with something pretty simple. Maybe a sisal or just a cream colored, low-pile rug. You might even be able to do a very washed out red oriental rug, which would pull in the brick (assuming you don't paint it).

    As for the apple green chairs, I can see why your decorator recommended them. I think you need some "pop" of color against that vast sea of blue and white. Without some contrast, it will all start to seem a little blah. I think Grover is spot on in her recommendation to tie the chairs to the couch with contrasting pillows.


    As for the furniture arrangement, I would center the couch on the fireplace and flank the fireplace with the two green apple chairs. I would totally use that blue ikat wingback chair and create a reading nook somewhere, probably near that corner where you wanted to put a game table or in front of the bookshelves (I'd paint the niche of each of the book shelves white and leave the rest of the brick alone for now so you can see how you like the look--the white will really set off your collections).

    You didn't ask for opinions about your wood tables but I'll give mine while I"m on a roll. I don't love them all together. There's too many styles going on. If you're not opposed, I'd consider painting them all white (and I'm not a big fan of painting furniture)--but at least you could pull them together via color. If painting seems too drastic, I'd just get rid of the console table behind the couch and move the buffet that is now in the window back there. I think I'd also put the vases that are now now on the fireplace on that table behind the couch. You could try putting the console table in the window with the 2 ottomans beneath it to see how it looks there--or just find it another home.

    I don't think I would add window treatments, at least not for now. i like the simple look and you may want to live with it a while before putting down the cash for expensive window treatments.

    I love, love, love your home!!
    lisabaney thanked tressa150
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Hi. Here is your room reconfigured with your goal of a cozier room, something in the window corner, keeping the existing rug and a game table.

    The room is way too large for only one function. So, now you have three different activity areas. Finally, foot traffic from the kitchen can directly access the French Doors.
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  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Because you have so many projects going on, you may want to think of your project in terms of Phase 1 and Phase 2. I think your kitchen and sunroom should look cohesive, while still defined as 2 distinctive spaces.

    My recommendations:

    Phase 1

    -reconfigure furniture
    -buy 2 ends tables for couch (you may have some now)
    -paint brick in selected areas to eliminate some of the red an business of the brick (I liked the idea of starting with the inset of the bookcases, if you don't want to paint the whole room now)
    -buy a game table and chairs
    -more blue accessories
    -lamps
    -accent pillows

    Phase 2

    -crown molding as in the kitchen
    -more painting of brick?
    -recover chairs
    -rug?
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  • groveraxle
    Please don't paint the brick. Please get rid of some (a lot) of the pattern and bring in more solid colors. I count at least four of those blue and white ginger jars; keep the lamps and put the mantel jars somewhere else (like the bedroom, not the barn). Delicate patterns get lost in a great big room, plus you've got all the pattern you need in the rug.
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    If this were my room, I would not paint the brick. I would go with solids for accents. However, I am going with your desire, Lisa, to have a cream and blue room, no greens and to keep the rug.
  • Dar Eckert
    You should try the blue print chair in the corner by the windows. The windows may be the best backdrop for the chair.
  • lisabaney
    So much great feedback, and i have been away all day. How do I thank you! Wow, it is a LOT to think about! I wonder how to take it all in! My cup runneth over with Houzzer Know-How! Hey, I like that new phrase. I should license it to Houzz, tho there could be copyright infringements... Or professionals and gifted people contributing to design solutions, could be called Know-Houzz! I am going to respond to each of you kind Know Houzzers separately!
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    I like your Houzz marketing phrases!
  • lisabaney
    Tress McKinney -- this is great input! I love your ideas! I feel I am limited in carrying some of them out... kicking myself on some of these limitations but, I am keeping an open mind...!

    On painting the brick: No go. For my husband, it is pretty much non-negotiable. I convinced him we should by the house (lol), but he really wants that brick, and not painted I might add. I did at least get the mantel (in my effort to break up the brick) and the bluestone surround and hearth-top. cajole even for that... What 'cha gonna do. I think in marriage sometimes its all a compromise, right?

    On painting the trim cream, so funny: The window and door trim in the room was all hunter green, cabinetry/shelves in the brick arches were a dark brown stain. (with no lighting in them when we moved in). The adjacent tin kitchen ceiling was a dark copper, beautiful color, but it was all so dark, with the brick, (with outdoor wraparound porches shading things too), also a red tiffany overhead light over the dark concrete counters and dark wood cabinetry, red country overly-ample roman shades covering over most of each window... AND... the trim, columns, etc. were a dark cream. So I said we needed to paint all the trim satin impervo white dove, including in the kitchen, the kitchen ceiling, the columns, the previous hunter green trim in the adjacent family room... got rid of all the dark fixtures and the red window treatments.

    Anyway, I suppose cream would have looked nice down in the family room... but now if I change the trim again in the Family Room, this time cream, we'd have to figure out how to transition it back into the kitchen -- the columns that divide the rooms, the painted tops of the half-walls between family room and kitchen, would have to be cream. Hubby would kill me there too, if I started repainting everything. I am an annoying client, huh?

    If I move the furniture as you suggest "not" facing the fireplace, that means it won't face the TV, which again, is the key feature (that and the brick) for my husband. He and my son watch sports there constantly, my daughter her discovery channel, etc. My challenge is how to make this beautiful in spite of all that. I am absorbing everything you have suggested, and thinking.... Thanks for all your input. I think this will be a work in progress (isn't that what they say about marriage too -- ah wise words!) I have to really think on all these good thoughts... Thank you so much!
  • lisabaney
    CDR I have just now twice written a comment to you, and first my Internet connection failed as I hit "submit", and then my iPad went a bit crazy, and I think -- while I got the iPad up and running, i think it is a little late, after midnight, to start again. Suffice it to say, thank you so much for the floor plan -- how awesome is that?! -- and I do have a bit off feedback -- relevant, as well, to what some of the other Houzzers have said. For now, just want to say thanks, and to Grover (with amazing photoshop props!) and Grobby, Tressa and Tres ( your names all seem to be alliterations?) and Dar, Linda, Hanknilza, and I miss Bluenan! I love you guys, hope you sleep like angels!!!)
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Hi. It sounds as if you have done a ton of work already. The original family room and sunroom must have looked really dark. The white looks great!

    Without painting the brick, the room will look great. However, you will not achieve the exact look that you have in some of your idea book photos.

    Your goal is a cream and blue room.

    Since the brick is busy and you already have many other busy patterns in the room, I would consider white and blue solid vases for the bookshelves. I know you don't want to buy all new right now, but we can gradually move away from it.

    I wonder if your husband would consider lining the bookshelves with something not permanent. Normally, I would suggest wallpaper, but I don't think that would work with the bookshelves.

    This would help show off the architectural features of your bookshelves (which are now lost) as well as serve as a backdrop to show off your blue and white vases.

    You could try paper, just to see if you liked it. Then, for something permanent, ideas would be to cut drywall, thick poster board, mdf board or plywood. It would fit snugly back.

    I have honestly never tried this and am thinking out loud.
  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    Here are a couple of examples of how painting the back of the bookcases adds to the room as well as showing off the pieces displayed in the bookcases.

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