Sunday, April 06, 2008

Help me arrange my den!

I love our new home but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to best utilize the main living area. It is a main thoroughfare as well as a small sitting area. We have a bigger family TV area downstairs in the basement that is being finished by my dear husband now but we do want to keep a small TV in this sitting area. Our plan is to put built-in bookshelves/cabinets on both sides of the fireplace. 

So what kind of couch and tables would you put in here? We have a new recliner that we love and we like the color of the reclining loveseat but the loveseat, itself, has been scribbled on, etc. a few million times, so it's not the long-term piece. I have a quilt or two strategically placed on the loveseat for this reason. 

I took pictures from different angle so you could get an idea of the space better. I had the loveseat slid into the breakfast nook space for carpet cleaning. That white door you see is the door to the basement and directly across from that in the small hallway is the door to the master bedroom. You can see my new desk in these photos, too! The French doors with windows on both sides -- that's the entry to the screened porch.

Please leave comments... I need help!


Alice Gunther said...

Oh, this is so fun! What a gorgeous open den!!!! I love it.

Decorating is not my strength (without help anyway). Let me look at your pictures again. BRB.

Alice Gunther said...

The layout near the fireplace is very similar to my living room. I will try to send pictures, but for now will describe what we have. A decorator created the layout for us, and it works really well.

Nice comfy couch facing the fireplace with an oval wooden coffee table in front of it.

On one side is a pretty, comfortable chair and on the other is another totally different comfy chair with an ottoman. Between the chairs and couch or two wooden end tables in different styles (one is actually a tea table).

Beneath the whole arrangement is an area rug.

And I never could have laid it out myself!

Lynne Brons said...

Oh, I love rearranging furniture and usually have to wait until the next Navy move to do mine (since they are quite close together sometimes and one can only make so many furniture requests until the children are actually big enough to help mama :).

Two possibilities come to mind depending on how you most use the area. Can you spare the space on the future shelf for the T.V.? Otherwise, you could put it on a lazy susan in front of the left hand window (facing stairs but able to be turned toward kitchen). Then you might put a love seat/small sofa facing the door (closer to the future shelf so passage way to breakfast nook is preserved). Depending on what your children prefer to do--a coffee table or area rug would "center" the seating area in the bigger room. I'd then put the recliner in front of the right hand window angled toward the basement door or so. This arrangement would allow you to look at folks on the sofa from the breakfast area/kitchen bar (vs talking to the backs of their heads :).

The second suggestion has the T.V. & recliner as above and a wooden card table (nice looking square table for school work, family games, etc) in the area in front of the fireplace. My grandmother had a similar setup in her living room and many a puzzle was created there.

If more seating is needed in either scenario, would bar stools work against the kitchen counter (or perhaps they are already around the corner). I've seen some more comfortable ones with backs and arms if one was even watching the T.V. from there.

HTH a bit and I hope you will post after pics too! ~Lynne in VA (on FCL with you)

JoAnna said...

Thanks, y'all! I have some other pictures of this room on my blog that might help give more perspective of the room. I'll have to figure out how to imbed those links in the morning. Some were when we were building the house that show the windows way over the French doors and the other side is the bannister (or is catwalk?) upstairs where the 2 girls' bedrooms are.

I do have a couple of barstools at the bar area... I got them on LL Bean's sale page last fall. ;-) The breakfast nook is another problem area. We use it for a schoolwork area/junk area at the moment. ;-/

JoAnna said...

Alice, I can't wait to see those photos, (hint, hint). That arrangement sounds like the first lay-out I tried. But we didn't have the necessary elements then to say if that really worked or not. If we got the built-ins done, putting a flat-screen TV in it with hideaway doors, I think that would work.

Jennifer said...

Rather than looking at the room as a whole, what if you took each area that is seperated off by the traffic flow and only looked at that portion?

For instance, from the kitchen to the french doors might cut off a little nook that could become a cozy corner with a reading chair, light, footstool and basket or small table.

I made a little map of one of my rooms in our house and literally blacked out where we always walked. Cute little areas opened up then and it was way less overwhelming to me!

molly said...

What fun Joanne, I am following along with you all.


JoAnna said...

Oh Jennifer, I'm going to have to try that idea of mapping it out and blacking out the traffic flow. Thanks!

Adele said...

When we were designing our house I used to spend a lot of time watching Divine Design for ideas. I don't know if you have a TV or have access to one but Home and Garden TV have some very informative shows on interior decor.

One of my suggestions would be to break up the space into zones... if you like such an idea. E.g. have a little niche where comfy chairs face each other and not the TV for quiet reading. A little zone for the toddlers and one for those who wish to watch a good movie.

Just a suggestion.

Another suggestion for ideas, go to a bookstore and have a look at magazines about homes or home decor... Martha Stewart stuff or whatever. You can usually get some good ideas just by looking at the pics.

God bless,
Adele from Magnum Opus

Anonymous said...

Hi JoAnna, I wish I could help you, I am having the same problem with our new house. Our living room is long and skinny and there are windows on every wall including on both sides of the fireplace. The only place there are no windows is on the half wall that covers the stairs. I just don't go in there yet because it is so frustrating not knowing what to do with it! lol. I have wished several times though that our living room had wall space next to the fireplace instaed of the windows as I would really like bookshelves on both sides of the fireplace. So I think that is a great idea! Chuck is finishing our basement to, I will upload the newest photo's on Facebook soon. It looks like yopu have gotten some good ideas from others!