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Monday, April 3, 2017

This Family Room Has Me Stumped

It seems like every home has one space that is hard to figure out.  Furniture arrangement, accessories, window treatments, lighting - everything seems off kilter and not right.  This is the family room space that adjoins the kitchen in our new house.


To understand the relation of the space to the rest of the house -   you can see the kitchen through the archway from the living room.

As you enter you get a glimpse of the family room area on the right and of course the sliding doors that lead to the patio and backyard.

 It is not a large area at all.  It measures 11'9" x 14' 6".  So basically in round numbers 12' x 15'.  This is where we like to relax and enjoy our morning coffee, watch tv and in general just hang out.  Since it is next to the kitchen, of course it seems like the place where everyone always hangs out.

The wall you see here backs up to the stairs and is the first wall on the right as you enter the space.  Now we have a thousand and one projects that we would like to do, so new furniture has not been in the mix.  I have really, really wanted a pool and that costs both arms and both legs (exaggeration - sort of),  so furniture is not in the budget at all.  Everyone has their main wants, and with our hot temps here in the desert, a pool is my #1 want.

I have had our small sofa and my recliner placed on this wall for a while.


Hubby's recliner and a leather chair have been across from it with the tv on the end wall.  I first put the sofa where the tv is but then there wasn't room for both our chairs on the window wall, so that didn't work.


Having these two chairs backed up to the open walkway to the patio and backed up to the kitchen just isn't working.    This space just seems to be perfect for a sectional or sofa loveseat arrangement with the tv where I currently have our sofa.  The room would be open and we would have plenty of seating for guests.  Since that would eliminate our recliners that is not hubby's favorite idea at all.


So I have moved the furniture again and this time I like it a little better.  Our two recliners are not backed up to the kitchen so much, so that is a better fit.  I tried the leather recliner next to the sofa so there wouldn't be all white on one side of the room and all leather on the other side of the room and that didn't work at all.  The leather chair is so big it stuck way out in the walkway.  So back to the window wall it went.



 It isn't ideal to have the leather recliner sitting so far into the room, but it has to so it will recline and that is hubby's favorite chair, so it isn't leaving any time soon.  (gotta keep peace in the family even over style)


 I moved the black console table I had on the landing upstairs down here and the size works great to fit between the two leather chairs.  Not sure that is the piece I want here, but it works for now.


 I moved the sofa a little closer to the window and changed out the end table by my recliner.  This allowed my chair to fit a little closer to the wall and angle a little differently so now I can still turn my head and see the kitchen.


 This arrangement is still not ideal, but workable for now.  I think I need a drape on the big window and the sliding door next to it that leads out to the patio, something simple and hung as high as possible so the room looks taller.  This room has an 81/2 foot ceiling, so the feeling of height will also give the illusion of space.  I don't think I will put any drapes on the two smaller windows.  Some kind of gallery would be nice around the tv, just not sure what.  Oh and the ceiling fan.  People it will be 110 - 120 soon, so a fan is way more important than a pretty light.




Now I am all ears, working with what I have, what would you do to this space.  I have had the furniture on every wall in the space, this is the only way it works, so how do I make this look better?

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37 comments:

  1. Your new home is so lovely. Your kitchen is amazing! For this family room could you switch TV to the sofa wall and sofa to where the TV is? Put both leather chairs angled facing couch and place light upholstered chair in another room bringing in only when needed when you are entertaining for more seating. It would really open up room and the sofa being the first piece visible from kitchen would be pleasing. We had same trouble placing all our furniture pieces in our family room, and moving out one chair made all the difference. We just bring it in from bedroom when necessary.

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    1. We tried that. The sofa would be perfect where the tv is, however the two recliners won't fit facing the tv at any angle we can put them. Not enough room. This is a real weird space and my furniture isn't right for the area, but it has to work.

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  2. Having lived in Arizona for over 20 years prior to moving to Virginia, I completely agree with have a ceiling fan. People that have not lived in Arizona just don't get it. LOL Ceiling fans are a 'must have'. We even have them here in Virginia since they help to keep the air moving around the house in both the summertime and the winter months.

    Hmmm, yes, your room is limited as far as what you can do with the furniture arrangement. I would slide the sofa away from the window a bit, centering it more on the wall, and this would also keep it from the sunlight which all of Arizona folks know is hard on fabric. Then I would place the two dark chairs opposite the television, sitting them somewhat close together. The white chair is lovely, but it needs to find a different home within your house. Then, after you get the pool installed, make a lovely seating area on the back patio, that is if it is a covered patio. Also, if the patio does not have a ceiling fan, have one installed out there also. I'm not sure how well this seating arrangement would serve you when you have company, but if it's mostly just you and your husband around the house, then I would not worry about having so much seating in the family room. I think that guests will understand if they need to sit in another room, or on the patio if it's not too terribly hot outside.

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  3. My two cents - Get rid of the dark colors. Either cover the dark chairs with a lighter or small print fabric or get a bigger couch and eliminate one of the chairs. I (please don't hate me!) despise dark blinds. I know a lot of people that use those wooden window blinds and they make the room seem dark. I much prefer white. Some pops of color would add a lot of cheer to the room - bright orange, yellow, green or blue! I'd get a lighter color rug (or paint that one!)

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    Replies
    1. Oh I agree, I don't like the dark blinds either. They were here when we bought the house, so they are on my list of things to change. Just need more time and most of all more money. haha

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  4. Finding a space for everything in a new home can be a tough one, I feel your pain.
    since your sofa is small can you use it as a divider and float it in the room facing the TV? I did this in my other home and loved it that way. Then you can place one recliner under the window and one where the sofa is now. I think the white chair is a lovely piece but it is one too many chairs for that size of room. The leather chairs are large in silhouette so they take up a lot of visual space. Having one on each side of the room will give the room balance.I know all about priorities and working with what you have we were fortunate that everything but a couple of pieces worked in our new home, but I too have my problem child rooms, LOL. good luck and keep us posted.

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    1. Oh I tried that, but since the window wall is only 9ft. long, the sofa had to sit out in from of the sliding door and it really looked like it chopped up the room. This is just such a small space. When I can buy a section of sofa loveseat arrangement it will finally work, but for now this is the only arrangement that worked at all.

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  5. You might consider a built-in recliner (or two) in a sectional. That would please you both I'd think.
    Brenda

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  6. I was going to suggest the same as Kathysue, the sofa is small enough it wont divide the room but should anchor it well. In AZ the dark wood blinds may help make it a cozier space.Your home is beautiful and reflects your style.

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  7. In my opinion the problem is the tv location. I think if you put it on the wall to the right of where it currently is (the other wall without windows) and then shift the furniture, it'll look more like it flows from the kitchen and less like a separate room. If you want to be able to see the tv in the kitchen, perhaps a wall-mounted swivelling stand would work.

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    1. You are so right, I first had the tv where the sofa is and then because the room is so narrow, there was so place to put any other furniture. Only one chair would fit by the window wall kind of where the recliner is now. That just didn't allow for any company seating at all. That window wall is only 9 ft. wide because of the slider, so when the sofa sticks out 3 ft. from the wall, that really doesn't leave much space.

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  8. I would put the sofa facing the TV and swing everything else around.

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  9. I am agreeing with you , Marty. A sectional in a corner would help eliminate some of the problem. The other problem for hubby is that you may find a sectional with recliner(s). I do understand how the guys get attached to their recliners. My DWH really wants a recliner that is dark brown leather, over stuffed, and does not match a thing we own. I'm winning this battle so far. Will watch to see what you decide. Mostly, you are going to half to think small space and add furniture accordingly. JudyC

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  10. Some rooms can really be a challenge. I have one of those. Actually I think you have a good arrangement going. Hang some of your pretty draperies and colorful throw pillows that I know you have made. Consider Roman shades for the two small windows. It should cozy up your space.
    I'm impressed with how far you've come so quickly in this big move.

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  11. I'm thinking of two options for the furniture: (1) remove the leather extra leather chair. You will still have seating for four if necessary, two recliners and a two seat loveseat. Or (2) move the loveseat to the unwalled space directly across from the tv and your recliners on the other two walls. I know you're not fond of blocking off the area but the loveseat acts as a mini wall whereas your two relciners angled with the open space look and feel awkward. Additionally, I would definitely drape the two narrow windows with something light and full to add some softeness and width and do a matching decorative valance on the large window and over the sliding door. As for company seating, it's basically a "family" room for you and hubby and an occasional guest. Larger parties head to the living room or patio.

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  12. I'm thinking of two options for the furniture: (1) remove the leather extra leather chair. You will still have seating for four if necessary, two recliners and a two seat loveseat. Or (2) move the loveseat to the unwalled space directly across from the tv and your recliners on the other two walls. I know you're not fond of blocking off the area but the loveseat acts as a mini wall whereas your two relciners angled with the open space look and feel awkward. Additionally, I would definitely drape the two narrow windows with something light and full to add some softeness and width and do a matching decorative valance on the large window and over the sliding door. As for company seating, it's basically a "family" room for you and hubby and an occasional guest. Larger parties head to the living room or patio.

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  13. My sister recently purchased a couch and loveseat made my Southern Motion. The seats will recline, the headrest will move as well, and there are outlets(?) for charging your phone/Kindle, etc. It only has to sit a few inches from the wall, but does have to be plugged in. They were amazingly comfortable and being able to push buttons instead of pulling levers and forcing them back down with your legs, was awesome!

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  14. Marty - you're style is great! I would moved that beige chair out of the room and place it somewhere else. Then you could slide the sofa down farther on that wall opposite the leather chairs. I my opinion, there is just too much furniture in that room. Using furniture that you have is always a challenge in a new space isn't it? That's what I found too when we moved here. Our family room furniture is too big for the space and I've been "living with it" for almost three years now. It's the next project on the list and I will definitely be getting different furniture. I think you just have to keep playing with it until you find something that works for you! Can't wait to see what you work out in here!

    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG

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  15. I think we can all relate to having a difficult room to furnish and limited resources however the good news is that you have enough furniture and can make the room look real nice. The main thing that jumps out to me currently is that there's too much furniture, the scale is wrong and the blinds are too dark. The current furniture is too big. The good news is that you have a lot of furniture to pick from. So I would recommend removing everything from the room and this is how I would do it. First, I would put the sofa on the wall between the two windows. Make sure that you turn the current end table that is sitting to the right of the sofa in a north-south direction instead of east-west. This way, when you look at the sofa both end tables should be in a north-south position meaning they should look the same as your current table to the left of the sofa. Once you have the sofa on that wall with the picture above it (like you currently have), the scale of the room will look much much better. You can use your current rug however ideally I'd like to see something a little smaller like maybe a 5x7 rug in that room. The large rug with too much furniture is throwing the room off a lot. Now that you have the sofa on that wall, I would move the TV to the wall that you currently have the sofa on. I would put a narrower table beneath it. If your current table has side panels that come down, I would turn those down. I would like you to put one of those leather chairs on this side of the room and you can leave hubby's recliner on the other side of the room. Essentially, both chairs are kind of facing each other with the sofa in the middle. I would remove that sofa table near hubby's table and I would just use that gold urn; you could put a glass top on top of that so that he has a side table if you don't have any other side table that might work in that room. The current sofa table is too wide. I would remove the lighter chair entirely. It is too big and the back of the chair is too tall for that room.

    As funds become available, I would do the following: add a larger TV for scale and place it on a swivel on the TV wall so that it could be viewed from the kitchen. Remove the brown blinds since they are too dark and replace with side panels on all of the windows. Ikea has some great deals on curtains and I found some for my last apartment for only $10 and that was to cover all of the windows. Mount them close to the ceiling to elongate the room. For the two windows, you can just do side panels on the outside of the windows and the scale will look nice. Add a glass top to your current coffee table. It will make the scale of the room look better. Hope this helps.

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    1. Thanks so much, I think we are probably going to be moving furniture again soon.

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  16. I didn't see this suggestion in the quick read I made of the comments so I'll throw it out there. Could you angle the sofa in the space where the light-colored chair now is? That way it wouldn't block anything and you could even perhaps put a sofa table behind it to mask the back. Then, with the lighter chair on the wall where the sofa now is, you could easily see into the kitchen and also watch tv. It would separate you and your husband, which for me and mine would be a drawback--if I wanted to throw popcorn at him my reach isn't that long--but I think it might balance the room better. Good luck!

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  17. Relax!! Enjoy your beautiful home and the memories you will be making there no matter where the furniture sits. Nor do I see a need to buy, buy, buy. Instead, in the times we live now, I'm trying to be grateful for each moment! What you've done thus far is terrific.

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    1. Oh thank you, I am so grateful for all I have, so nothing is going to happen any time soon, but I do love to plan.

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  18. love your new house Marti but there is too much furniture in the family room!! I know you said you gravitate to that room but why not take out some of the furniture and when you have company, use the living room!!

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  19. The thing that jumped out at me is maybe not the furniture placement, but if you had some kind of large cabinet/armoire/shelving unit that would house the tv and speakers you might find it anchoring the room. Especially if you could close the doors and tuck it all away out of sight. I would also try the sofa with it's back to the kitchen as a divider, but that's just me, it's my favorite way to divide a space. It's a lovely room and I love the chairs and loveseat and colors.

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  20. I have a very similar room and here is how the guy who moved our furniture for us placed it. He happens to be in the furniture business, but this furniture was all our old stuff. Our TV is where your sofa is. The sofa is angled in front of left corner with a chair, in your case, a recliner, where your leather recliner is. You might have to adjust the angle to best accommodate the switch. Another chair would be kind of opposite your leather recliner between the angled sofa and the TV. You could leave your light colored recliner where it is or move, like mine... to a slightly less angled position so you could still see the TV. My sofa is not perfectly angled in front of the corner, but slightly more to the left.. ex. 2/3 in front of wall, with 1/3 beyond corner... does that make sense? It might not work for you but I thought his idea was so genius, we haven't adjusted it in 5 years!

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  21. I think the recliners are just fine where they are, I like them they help ground the room. I think you need to remove the white wing chair to a different room. Then center the sofa better on the wall to remove it from the corner. And try to get a bigger television stand that will fit the wall better. I actually purchased a wonderful 60" cherry wood stand for $100 off of Craig's List. Also, try turning the rug so the pattern is up and down instead of across. And I like the blinds, it helps match to the wood furniture tones, you just need window treatments to pull it together.
    And I realize cost is an issue, but you need a much larger television in that space, as it is, the one you have looks lost on that wall.

    All in all, you have a wonderful room and great taste, so I know you will figure this out, and I totally understand what it is like since I just moved myself and I am working to get my tiny postage stamp living/dining space to flow better.

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    1. The white chair is one of the recliners. It has to stay, so that is part of the problem. I guess I need to move the brown leather chair in the corner.

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  22. Maybe think about what pieces you might have you could part with and list them on Craig's List to raise money for a new tv stand and maybe towards a larger tv. I am sure your hubby would be on board with that since men love large televisions, I myself only have a 42" but would love a 52".

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  23. HI Marty
    A good friend of mine said when faced with a room challenge the best thing to do is to clear the entire room and work stuff back in. Yes it'a bit of a pain, and you don't have to completely move it out. I like the idea of the couch closest to the kitchen floating with maybe that sofa table behind it. Craig's List maybe? And, how do you feel about painting the ceiling fan blades to the color of the ceiling? I loved reading all the comments! laura (we were just in Phoenix/Scottsdale for Spring Break. Went to Oregano's for pizza! yum!

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  24. Marty, to me it seems about the height and so many blank spaces. I like the idea of an armoire or tall cabinet for the TV, and curtain panels from the ceiling. The thing throwing you off is the short TV. How about a tall faux plant in the room ?
    Remember, Rome was not built in a day.
    Myrna

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  25. How about ditching the stand that the TV is on and using the console table instead? They seem a better match. Maybe use the stand between the chairs with the sides down or consider something smaller instead, not so heavy looking. Could you put the TV on the sofa wall and the couch between the 2 windows? it would showcase your lovely horse print so much better and minimize the TV. Window glare could be a factor. It seems like you really need to lose one chair also. Small spaces are a challenge!

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  26. I'm not sure the arrangement is the problem. You have all the dark on the left and all the light on the right. It's a balance problem. Try balancing the dark and light and it might work better. The cabinet under the tv is off to me. The black console would work better under the tv size wise and would better balance that wall having the black of the tv and console together. Have fun!

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  27. Perhaps if you lightened up everything? Painting the ceiling fan might help. Are the blinds paintable? Ready-made slipcovers on the dark chairs?

    Sheila

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  28. Hi Marty! I agree with a few others here that perhaps you have one chair too many. I would move the sofa where the tv is. I would leave your brown chairs on the wall they are already on but use the small table that is between the sofa and white recliner to be between the brown chairs, pulling the one that is more in the corner up closer to the other chair but still at an angle. This should give you room for the sofa to be centered and you have got to but that gorgeous horse print as the focal point on that wall above the sofa. That rooms is just screaming for those horses to be the focal point on that wall in between the windows imop. I would then have the TV on the wall where sofa is perhaps not centered on the wall but maybe move it directly in front of the recliners for optimum viewing. And like someone else said I would use the black table that is between the recliners for your TV console as it would not stick out in the room as much and would give you more room to pull the recliners out more but angling them would help. The other idea would be to keep sofa in middle wall as I said and just have the two recliners at an angle facing the sofa on each side wall as you have them now but still loose one of the chairs. Keep TV in the room on the wall where sofa is now. Still swap that TV console up though and please put that horse print on that centerwall facing the kitchen. Good luck, it will all come to you eventually!

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  29. Goodness, I think it all looks great! A very cozy and comfortable family room. It serves you and your husband's needs well and really, that's all that matters. I even like the dark blinds. They add warmth to the room, and I also think the rug is lovely. I think the one thing that is really needed is matching long curtain panels on all the windows and the back door to give the whole room a finished look. You could continue the curtain panels into the kitchen dining area as well, tying both rooms together a bit more. Your whole house is lovely, Marty. I especially love your kitchen! What a wonderful job you did on it!

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  30. I feel your pain, Marty! Even though I bought new chairs/sofa for my living room when I bought my house, it has been still such a struggle figuring out the best layout. I think I did the best I could with the space, to maximize seating for entertaining. I think you did a great job working with what you have, the room looks warm and cozy. Perhaps when you get the drapes up you will feel better about the room.

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