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From the Design Files of Heather B – Furniture for Living Room with lots of Doors

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Design Question

Our living room is 18′ x 22′ with a vaulted ceiling about 12′ at the peak (which runs East/west). The rear (south end) 3′ are taken up by a staircase descending to the basement and is separated from the rest of the room by a 4′ partition wall. This leaves about 18′ of useable floor space, making the floor area nearly square. The opposite side (north side) has an entry door about 4′ from the West Wall. The West wall has two doorway openings, with about 6′ between them, One next to the partition wall over the stairs, and the other about 4′ from the North wall. The East wall has a garden door somewhat south of center.

My question is this. What is the best furniture arrangement for this space to allow people to watch TV and entertain? We have a front projection system that displays on the North wall. We are shelf mounting above the partition wall by the stairwell, to avoid conflict with the ceiling fan. I have attached a few Computer renderings to show door positions. We are planning to purchase newer living room furniture over the next while as our children are now older.

Design Answer

Yes, I agree; you will have to arrange the furniture in relation to all of the doors in the room.

I would start with the couch and place it parallel to the stair (south) wall, leaving a path to the kitchen and stairwell. I would see how it looks, but position the couch so that it lines up with the kitchen door frame closest to the north wall. A path that is a little wider than the door should be enough room to ensure easy traffic flow to and from the kitchen door to the basement stairs. You’ll have to take measurements, to see if it will work for you.
Also take measurements of wall that has the kitchen door. You might be able to fit in a recliner, club chair or even loveseat.

You could also put a chair in the left-hand corner of the north wall and of course, you would want to keep the French doors wall free.

Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. Come back next Monday when I will be tackling another design dilemma.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Home Decorating

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Design Question

I need your help. I have a coffee coloured settee and cream coloured walls. The ceiling is white. What colour of curtains will suit the living room to give it a beautiful vibe? Thanks

Design Answer

I would match the color of the curtains with the sofa. But choose a patterned fabric that will include cream and white, as well as another color like red, blue or green. When selecting additional colors for the patterned fabric, tie them in whatever other predominate color is in the room. The predominate color doesn’t have to be a substantial piece of furniture such as a club chair or a recliner; you could also pick up on a particularly bold shade in a painting or piece of wall art, throw cushions, a vase, etc. that is already in the room. Choose a patterned fabric for your window treatments, especially if it’s geometric or striped, as this will also add both texture and visual interest to the living room’s décor.

I hope this helps. Thanks for writing in. Don’t forget to come back next week when we’ll tackle another design question.\

From the Design Files of Heather B – Looking for Design Ideas

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Design Question

 Hi there, I am wondering what some better ways to set up my living room are? Also do you have any ideas about how to make the space more dramatic? I have put up some red sheers and am hoping to finish my window treatment soon. Thank you.

Design Answer

Many times you can improve the look of a room by simply rearranging the furniture. There are some simple things you can do to increase the aesthetic appeal of the room and to make the space more dramatic. 

  • It looks like there is just a plant in the left-hand corner of the living room on the other side of the entertainment center. If it’s possible, I would trade places; put the desk on the other side of the television. This will give the work area a sense of privacy, simply because it won’t be the first thing someone sees when they enter the room.
  • Once the entertainment and floor lamp have shifted down the wall toward the “entrance” of the living space, move the armchair in the far right corner to the left side of the room by the lamp. Then center the sofa and coffee table on the right-hand wall and position the dark-colored armchair accordingly. By placing the armchairs opposite each other, it creates another conversational group.
  • If the bookcase on which the aquarium is sitting has a finished back, perhaps you can turn it sideways; not only would it act as a focal point but it would function as a “divider,” defining the living room from the other areas of your home.
  • Adding red sheers is certainly a good start to making the living room more dramatic. If painting is not an option, you could give the walls some color with bright or bold colored prints or artwork. Try replacing the two smaller pictures on the sofa wall with one big colorful framed print. See how the two smaller pictures look on either side of the entertainment center. You might also consider placing an area rug that will work with the red sheers underneath the coffee table.

 Don’t forget to take measurements, both of the furniture piece you would like to move and the space to which you like to move it to. Assuming that you can shift a chair or table from one place in the living room to the opposite wall and have it fit is not always a good thing (and I speak from personal experience).

Thanks for writing in. Don’t forget to come back next week when we’ll tackle another design question.

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