Monday, January 17, 2011

Room Within A Room Madness

My living room is a tricky little bugger. Its long, and a tad oddly shaped. And it's sort of wide. When we bought the house, there was a wall separating it and the first decision we made was to tear it down to create an open, airy feeling in the house. By tearing down this wall, we created a great room.

The living room starts out narrow because of the step-up dining area and then opens up a bit. Because of this, I knew the only thing to do was to create two separate spaces that would flow together and make sense. When you walk through the door, there is a long, semi-narrow entry-way. It's claustrophobically narrow but it's definitely not wide and comfortable. It's sort of in-between and because of this, it's a real pain in my arse to decorate. I'm going to post the floor-plan here so that you can refer to it and get an idea of what I am talking about.

I haven't had time to take pictures, but I will soon. Until then, we'll break it down like this:

Sitting Room

1. This is where I put the couch. The couch is a straight back in the Victorian style. It's not very big width wise and it seemed to "fit" here and helped keep the room open and light. 
2. This a tall bookcase. It's easy for anyone to curl up on the couch and pull a book from the bookcase to read. 
3 & 4. The rug I purchased to hide the trap door and anchor the couch is here. On top I placed a white coffee table which finishes the sitting area off nicely. Not drawn are the two floor pillows I purchased (for $8 each!) that I keep tucked away on the shelf under the coffee table top. 

Living Room

1. The comfy chair is angled just slightly towards  the TV for better viewing.
2. I just recently pulled the couch away from the wall because it left a huge void in the middle of the room. It also caused problems for me because I couldn't see the TV clearly. That is a dealbreaker, ladies! (30 Rock obsessed? Maybe a little!) I had been looking for inspiration online and I forgot where I saw it, but I read that pulling the sofa from the wall would help to float the room and make a small space feel better. So viola! I like it. My hubs is a little weirded out. He doesn't understand furniture that doesn't back up against a wall. 
3. This is a little sofa table that I put against the wall and under a window. I put some candles and decor on it, as well as a lamp. 
4. This is a small bookcase and I'm thinking I might get another one for the opposite side of that wall to anchor things a bit. Since it's small, it doesn't have that heavy-on-the-furniture feel and I keep the bookcases light with having stacks of books and a few knick-knacks. 
5. Right now, the TV is on a stand, but soon it will be hung against the wall with a custom made entertainment center that is nothing like an entertainment center at all. Excited? You should be! :)

As you can see? read? whatever, I tried very hard to decorate and have furniture without it being overbearing or stuffy. You'll get a better feel for it once I post pictures. I'm okay with this layout for now because I am working with what I have. But ever the planner, I'm already trying to think of ideas on ways to make this space really cozy and homey. Enter: The Internet. 

Here are a few photos that I saw that have a few things I am going for. 

All images in this post taken from IKEA Ideas and Inspiration.

Okay, here are the things I love about this room. I love that there is a media area that is cozy and close together but it doesn't look packed to the brim with furniture. I like that it seats 5 comfortably or 6 if there are four people snuggled on the couch. I don't like that the chairs by the TV are wood. I want something more comfortable than that. 

I like that there is a separate area with chaise lounges that you can doze, read, or even watch TV on. I like the IDEA of this set up. I, however, don't think it'll work in my space. 

The photo above is the middle in a three part series. As you can see, they have a more horizontal set up and they chose to create two rooms by placing two of the same couch back to back. They also used two different colors but made sure that there complemented each other, and then they tied the entire room together by using pops of blue. Using the patriotic red accents for one room, white accents for the other and a color that coordinates with both really gives this room a great vibe. I love it. 

When you are looking towards the white side of the room, you see that its the media center. 

 There are two cozy arm-chairs facing the couch for ease of conversation, an ottoman and a media center with a rug that anchors the room down. I like this area, but am not thrilled with having chairs that you can't see the TV at all. We are big movie-watching people and so are most of our friends. That is a must! 

To the right of the room is the following lounge/office area:

I really dig that they didn't use red in an overbearing way. I also love that the stager put games on the second shelf of the coffee table and flanked the table with two ottomans that look like they could seat one or two people to create a fun, easy going vibe. Just in that area alone you can have 6 to 8 people gathered and even more if you turned those awesome red chairs around from the desks. I've honestly never seen a space where there are two desks put together to create a craft/computer area for the adults or the kids. It is so functional! 

As much as I love this space, I'm not sure how it would work in my house and with my family. The area I have to work with does not have the luxury of width that this room does. It's narrow and difficult. Plus, the idea of talking hubby in to spending $1198 on just the two sofa's (without tax) ALONE does not sound fun. Eek! 

And, as a side note, I'm so frustrated with trying to find photo's on the internet that have a room within a room, or great rooms. I'm not having a whole lot of luck. Hopefully I can find a few more ideas to help me out!


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