May 28, 2011

Issues & Answers

I should have taken pictures of the floors after their second coat of polyurathane today, but just plumb forgot. It was another 10+ hour day of cleaning, dealing with the plumbers, polyurathaning the floors and running errands, and them coming home to pack up the house.

The suggestions I received were all great. There are a few issues with the room that I want to address:

  • There’s no real focal point in the room, and I think the space could benefit by having one, and that’s the issue.
  • There is a bump-out that was the original fireplace and is now the HVAC for the up-stairs. It measures about 4’ 8” across and sticks out about 12 inches. There’s not really much I can do with it now. My friends at Housewerks are giving me a fireplace mantel, but we’ve yet to find one small enough to fit the space – most are five feet! Totally crap artistic shot, but you can see how the bump-out looks. floors 002
  • The house is a ‘shotgun’ style layout, meaning you could shoot straight through from the front door to the back. I’d like to preserve that line of sight. I am also averse to putting any furniture along that wall because you’d have to walk around it to get through the space. 4405 011
  • While I think the space is large – 14 x 24 feet, I realize that it’s pretty small to most people!  I am most likely to use it primarily as a living room, and sometimes, as a dining space. I have the gate-leg table and six dining room chairs, including the four folding lyre-back chairs.

The pieces I have for the space are:

  • slipcovered sofa
  • two ottomans
  • two slipper chairs, a la Billy Baldwin, also in white
  • serpentine-front chest, with mirror
  • four panel Chinese silk painting
  • one tall and two short white book-cases
  • gate-leg table
  • several table lamps

I don’t think the 30-drawer shoe file is going to make the cut for the front room. It might be relegated to the mud room, or my work space. This is a partial floorplan suggested by I Love Limegreen who said to make a little entryway using some of the book cases. I gotta figure out what to do with the rest of the space though!newer floorplan

The bedroom situation is thus: The front room has a westerly orientation, two big windows and a huge closet. NONE of my previous houses have ever had this much closet space. Since it’s the room where I will probably spend the least amount of time, if current habits prevail, I think it’s the best choice.

Nutbird mentioned the street noise, but since the street only has three houses on it, I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. The proximity to the bathroom was also brought up, and since it’s a total of 20 feet along the hallway, I think I am fine! A few houses ago, my only bathroom was on the ground floor, behind the kitchen! Now that was a pain – especially after a few cocktails!

I want the largest of the three rooms as a workroom, since I will be spending a lot of time there. And the guest room, which is not frequently used, is the smallest. It also faces the east and south, so gets a lot of morning sun.

The program I am using for the layouts is Floorplanner. It’s pretty simple to use and you can lock things like windows and doors in place, which is helpful.

Play around with it and see what you come up with for me!


  1. Thanks for more info......rethinking my suggestions

  2. Hi Meg

    I am de-lurking to comment on your furniture placement! Seeing your bump-out in the LR, would it be possible to flank it with the bookcases, therefore disguising it somewhat, rather than adding a mantel to it to make it the focal point? You could hang a large bit of art on that wall between the bookcases and make it seem all of a piece, and the art would be your focal point.

    Line the coffee table up with the bump-out - as in your original plan but with all shifted back more toward the stairs, with the table by the window, as another commenter suggested.

    Can one of the smaller bookcases from the guest room become an entry divider? If the back is not finished, you could cover it with fabric stapled on. OR: find a cheap-o small console (or bench?)at your local thrift to divide the space and use for keys, etc.

    Best to you in your move! I'll bet you're sore tonight! I'll be watching your progress here in Crofton...

  3. I too, live in a narrow house where the living and dining room is all one space.

    One thing that I think is important is to keep the couch facing the "hallway" and to not have anything large blocking the path. This encourages you to actually sit down in your living room. Otherwise the shotgun nature of the house will have walking straight to the back.

    I like what I Love Limegreen suggested, but I'd get rid of the bookcases. Put a small table(or msybe one of the bookcases) next to the door so you have somewhere to drop your keys, but keep the space open.

    Next, I'd push the couch right up against the bump-out and put a small table in front. Maybe a low bookcase? But then you'd have room for a more substantial chair in front of the window. Get one that has a high enough seat so you can also use it as a dining table.

    Then on the other side of the room, create a reading nook. Either with your two dining chairs (though not so comfy) or maybe with the twin of the future chair-by-window, your bookcases and a slightly larger and taller than normal end table. When you have a dinner party, you use the twin accent chairs at the ends of your table and the new end table can be for the bar. And then it won't seem awkward if you do have to put it in an awkward place for the party.

  4. Meg! You need to check out the bump out at the shop that we turned into a fireplace. It would look great in your house! We bought all the supplies at Lowe's and everyone cannot believe it was just a duct bump out.

  5. If the long shotgun "hallway" is an absolute, maybe you should emphasize it with a series of hanging... somethings. Ideally, some kind of pendant light fixture, repeated thrice. But more cheaply, some other decor that dangles -- a creative concoction from your sewing machine perhaps, a 3D version of your pennants?

  6. Hi Meg, I am wondering what you intend to put against the staircase? A great piece of modern or abstract art with console below would add a super focal point and draw the eye inward. I see that you are a fan of balanced pairs--maybe something not paired would add a bit of interest, Love this conversation. Happy packing. Mary

  7. I would upholster that entire wall and then big a mirror/art on the bump. By using fabric you would disguise the large vent which is making its own statement. The fabric merely acts as a "filter" but does not impair air flow!

  8. Hi Meg, This is Caron from down in North Carolina. This is my suggestion for your new living room. First center the rug in front of the fireplace. Next place the sofa opposite the fireplace leaving approximately a four foot "hall" behind it in line with the front door. Place the two BB slipper chair at a 45 degree angle on either side of the fireplace with one ottoman between them in front of the fireplace. Place the chest either behind the sofa or under the front window. Put the two matching book cases to the left and right of the fireplace. Take the gate leg table and put it against the stair case wall centered I think with chairs on either side. I feel that you must have the fireplace at the focal point and create that "hall" feeling from the front door to the staircase. Remember to paint the ceiling the same color or slightly lighter shade of the same color in the rooms that do not have crown moldings. Trust me this will make a huge difference! Good luck!


    I keep trying to leave a comment but am finding that blogger does NOT like too much lag time [thinking time] going on with an open comment form. Just want to pop in long enough to say you are going to have the best time pushing furniture around [with those little stick-on furniture feet pads that help your back AND the floors].

    The best laid plans andsoforth teach us there's no substitute for the constant rearranging of things, round and round and round. I'm usually most inspired at dusk; after a drink(-s) and a few Triscuits and the phone turned OFF, my right brain kicks in and frees me from the constraints of well-meaning left brained floorplan programs.

    You're a shotgun pro by now, I can't wait for the unveiling. That HVAC "bumpout" is most provocative, though. I'll be back, that bumpout is speaking to me....more later.

  10. Hi Meg, Caron again. Now I understand that the bump out is the former fireplace. I would still make it the focal point with a mantle, faux painted fireplace and a mirror or painting above. It will be great!
    Also, I would put the silk panels on the "hall" wall between the windows.


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