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nebster

How should I furnish this fishbowl of a room?

nebster
29 days ago

Hi all,


We moved into this home earlier this year, and we've made do with pieces carried over from our last place so far. But now we're ready to improve our main living area -- be that with furniture, lighting, just moving stuff around, or whatever.


This room is 16.5' by 60', but the "rear" 25 feet are kitchen. It's an open plan, and you're seeing our dining area (which is just past our kitchen island) and then our living area.


The entire living/dining area is glass: glass doors and windows throughout.


There is a wood stove in the center of the living area that needs about 4 feet of clearance into the room -- it gets hot!


We've "split the difference" for now, placing our too-large chaise lounger up against the north wall while floating our much lighter-feeling loveseat off the south wall.


This layout is ... okay? But I'd like to make things better. We could really use one or two small side tables for drinks or books. We definitely need better, layered lighting -- just two sets of LED cans on the ceiling are what we have to work with so far. (Wiring more ceiling lights is probably not in the cards at this time, given the amount of rework we'd have on the ceiling.)


I keep wrestling with whether to float everything into something cozier, which would work okay, except the wood stove really cuts into the available area and limits our options. And even if we did that, I'd still like your thoughts on how to bring in more lighting so I don't feel like I'm living in a warehouse at night.


Thoughts?





Comments (40)

  • nebster
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Great idea on the graph paper. I have a sketchup that's dimensionally-accurate, although in this shot it just has a couple of Poängs in it and our old table. It does make it somewhat possible to shift things around, but I think the conclusion I've reached so far is that I can't figure out way to use what I have.


    If so, that's okay -- I'm ready to acquire other stuff, and I have another family room where some of this could go if need be.


    I'm not sure I follow your suggestion on the room-dividing exactly, although I'm very interested in the idea. Especially if there's some way to do asymmetrically, because I worry otherwise it starts to look too... symmetric. :)




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  • Lisa T
    29 days ago

    I wonder if it would work to put your table on one side of the fireplace, against the bank of windows (switched the other direction from how it is in your scale picture).
    Use the back of your sectional to create a walkway between the sofa and island, then cozy up your other furniture to the sectional. I would float what I could so you can get to your sliding doors.
    And if that doesn't work, buy new furniture at a store that offers design assistance. ;)
    Good luck.

  • modpod
    29 days ago

    What Nebster said is a good idea of actually measuring everything out on graph paper and then seeing what finds correctly.  

    Her idea of getting the sliders will be helpful.  

    Also here is what it means to use the sofa as a room divider as in image 2. Maybe switching the other sofa to a chair in the corner.  

    Or you might want to switch the two sofas so that the extended part is the divider and not so close to the FP. Also, don't put the furniture directly against the wall.

  • Rachel Lee
    29 days ago

    I would try the sectional floated in front of the stove first. If you don’t like that, switch the sectional and the loveseat. Curtain panels and art will fix the warehouse vibe.

  • arcy_gw
    29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    I would HAVE TO soften that space with window panels!! It looks soooo cold and sharp edged right now. That alone would decrease the "warehouse" feel. What is the space used for. I see no TV, and the fire place is underwhelming..so just lounge/read/conversation? If you need it for heat I think that is where you drop some coin and BEEF it up. It's nothing right now and sounds like it is bossy about what you can do because of it. What are the views during the day? The gray seating and the ivory are too far away from each other to be conversing comfortably. This works well if you need milling space when entertaining a crowd but for everyday I think you need things a bit more intimate. The usual would be to orientate toward the fire but if the views are WOW then perhaps that is best used more utilitarian and put the back of the sectional to it, but sounds like you would eat all your square footage that way.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    29 days ago

    I am not sure of your measurements, but here is my concept. Biggest issue here is there is no focal point. So you have to make one. I would paint the indent wall behind the “heater pipe” either black or a deep charcoal. Possibly use a Hardi board on that wall to simulate wood to add some warmth while still keeping modern look. I find angling furnishings in large spaces like yours works really well. Hence angling sectional. Place small loveseat across to create conversational grouping. Add small scale accent chair as indicated. A carmel leather would work well with gray sectional. Then add 10’ x 14’ rug to anchor that arrangement. Add arc lamp to provide more ambient lighting and get very big arc style. It will help everything. Add tables as shown and a rectangular coffee table. Then behind love seat add small desk surface for another small task lamp and possibly a laptop. Add two nice large fiddle fig trees, one about 1.5’ taller than the other. Add woven roman shades to windows. I put table up as extension of your island and it could be pulled out or turned for parties or seating 5-6. Try the furniture arrangement first. I guessed at furniture sizes from photos. Each square in my sketch equals one square foot. I would choose a more neutral rug or get broad loom carpet cut to size and bound. See what you think.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    29 days ago

    Put this mood board together to help you visualize elements. You can select color palette you love. I just liked the feeling of blues and grays in your space.

  • freedomplace1
    29 days ago
  • valinta
    29 days ago

    I agree with Flo’s concepts and layouts. Personally, once color pallete is decided, bring in a piece or two of strong accent, like orange throw pillows or bright piece of glass decor.

  • RedRyder
    29 days ago

    Flo gave you a great layout to try. If you do t have furniture sliders to protect the floors, use thick athletic socks under the feet. Agree that you need color in addition to moving furniture off the walls. Orange, yellow, or red would be great. Or pink, but first get the layout sorted. It’s a wonderful room that needs a bit of love.
    Putting a design feature behind the stove is brilliant @Flo Mangan.

  • liasch
    28 days ago

    Agree, with Flo’s concept and I think marrying the table to the island might be a great idea to consolidate the space a bit. Angling the sectional and creating an island with the rug will also make the space more dynamic and less squared off and warehouse like. Some more organic textures or fabric in the window treatments in blinds or curtains will also help the room a great deal.

    I don’t know how you feel about switching out your woodstove but there are wood stoves that are less of an issue in terms of the amount of heat they throw out. I have a double walled wood stove and while you do have to keep soft furnishings away from the front of the stove, there’s no problem with getting near it from the standpoint of heat. The air space in a double walled stove means it’s possible to get closer to the stove. Mine is an Osburn. It’s not as modern looking as the one you have it’s more of a traditional wood stove but if the wood stove is thin walled or cast-iron and it’s too hot it’s going to make the room somewhat uncomfortable. Just another option to think about! They heat the same amount of square footage but the Thermo dynamics are different.

  • suezbell
    28 days ago

    Since you refer to your room as a "fishbowl", consider adding window treatments -- perhaps vertical vinyl blinds for both windows and patio doors. With a Wood heater, it helps that they're wipe off easy as opposed to having to launder or dry clean drapes and they give you options as to privacy and sunlight control.

  • everdebz
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    Layout idk, but I like how muted gold-orange-rust [?] rug livens it up. If you're keeping it, a complementing rug under it that is larger?

    Eclectic with small scatter rugs -

    Modern Mediterranean - Mountain View, CA · More Info


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  • everdebz
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    I read Flo's post about warmth... so I searched 'contemporary wood stove' and these resulted...

    Could tie in rug with brick, if liked... and adding emphasis though not the entire wall, is ok.


    Ogden · More Info



    Boulder Bungalow (Designer Michael Moore) · More Info


  • everdebz
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    If you found a material for interesting neutral contrast -- using large tiles seems popular... or a concrete treatment.


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  • modpod
    28 days ago

    one other thought since you mentioned it, switch your lights/lights witches to dimmable so you can control the brightness and create warmth when necessary.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    28 days ago

    I suggested woven Roman shades for your windows. You might put stationary drapery panels on the sides of the sliders to soften those walls. Vertical panels would work as well if you need privacy.

  • everdebz
    28 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    Sometimes a material used throughout house, even exterior, could guide in this room - brick... concrete, a certain tile... ?


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    28 days ago

    Here is example of vertical panels for slider doors. They are available in wide variety of materials and colors. Great solution for slider doors.

  • M 2
    28 days ago

    This layout allows person to sit at the table and talk to person sitting in chair. Quick get up from couch to the kitchen and can still watch TV. I would get TV media console that can hide tv down into cabinet when your not watching TV. I really like the window panels for flexibility and add focal interest behind wood stove.

  • nebster
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Wow, thanks so far for all the great comments! I'm going to go back through in more detail and respond to them soon, but just a couple of quick things first:


    1. No TV; we don't really watch it much anyway. Thank goodness, because there's zero room for one.


    2. The walls are a light gray, very neutral. The whole house is that way, which is fine for the other rooms where I can hang all my abstract wild-colored art (I'm a photographer), but there's very little room for that here. So it gets really monochrome.


    3. The windows all have spectacular views, which is both good and bad. I would actually have designed with less glass, because I think it's overkill. And, the views incentivize us not to do much to block them. We do have cellular shades on all of the windows and doors; it's like a greenhouse in there when the sun is coming in in the spring and summer.


    4. Color palette... hmm... we like oranges? :-) I'd like to keep the rug if we can; it's an authentic gabbeh we've had for decades and is just really comfy. We have a couple more of them in other rooms in the house, in different shades. Happy to paint walls, and normally if this paint job weren't so new (the house was built 2 years ago), that would be one of the first things I'd change. I like contrast with the ceiling and some accenting. It's tough to do in this giant room with the continuous wall runs... the lower wall in the diagram is actually nearly 80 feet long -- the house is a big, inefficient C-shape if viewed from above.


    Some of your ideas are really cool; I hadn't even considered them. I'm going to walk through a few of them and get back to you all!

  • felizlady
    28 days ago

    The orange rug is all wrong: it is much too small for the seating area and the striped effect fights with the faux wood flooring. The windows have shades for privacy and light control, but seem stark without any color. The walls need some art. The gray chaise sectional seems about the right size but the beige/cream settee is much too small in comparison. A pair of somewhat larger upholstered chairs would balance the chaise unit better.

  • freedomplace1
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    I think the orange rug is absolutely fine. I like it. It adds nice color to the space and is a statement piece. If you wanted to extend the size, you could layer a rug under it and/or add another rug adjacent, etc.

    This is a natural fiber rug that I used to show the general concept.



    Texture and lighting. I think those two elements could add more warmth to the space. With all the greys in the space, including the greyish floor, plus all the windows and bright lighting, the space takes on sort of a warehouse look and feel. So bringing in a bit of texture in an additional rug, maybe adding another pillow or two -





    and having all dimmable lighting; plus, as I mentioned (included a link in one of my comments) - you could consider bringing in a swag plug-in chandelier. They come in lots of styles.

    These are just a couple that are available on Etsy.com.

    This one comes in a bunch of sizes:



    https://www.etsy.com/listing/241893280/globe-pendant-light-modern-pendant-light?gpla=1&gao=1&variation0=1316994341&variation1=1219118313

    Another style, similar genre:



    https://www.etsy.com/listing/1060147421/arturest-orange-rattan-lampjapenese?ref=hp_opfy-1&pro=1&frs=1

    You could also consider adding a floor lamp or two, for more ambient lighting at eye level, and keep the bright recessed lights very dim.

    And maybe add one larger plant in the space.

    So I think it’s really just a couple of simple/minor tweaks.

  • Cate
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago



    What about getting rid of table and use stools at the island, move the sofa back more to sit parallel to the fireplace,, add a darker muted orange to back wall of wood stove (you could do brick etc) cushions with pattern and texture but not solid orange, stools at counter in a orangy tone or covering, coffee table needs to be charcoal and black black framed art? Excuse the iphone rendering.

  • doods
    28 days ago

    Love your orange rug in that space, draws the eye and kind of balances out all the windows

  • RedRyder
    28 days ago

    If you try Flo’s layout, she is recommending a large rug for the general seating area. But the orange rug can be part of that open space someplace else. It’s too small for this area but a great color to brighten up the room.

  • liasch
    28 days ago

    I also ended up with a rug that was too small by itself in my living room but it was a rug with the history, which I loved. The solution ended up being to bring in a second rug into the space. (At right angles to the first. ) I think if that orange rug has a history for you, keep it and see if you can marry it with something else, or find a way to work with it in the space.

    I don’t like rugs on top of rugs because they crawl and constantly need to be adjusted. I would see if you could find another rug that would complement it.

  • Cate
    28 days ago

    I dont think the orange rug is wrong, its just placed wrong. It should be placed the long side against the long side of the sofa. Sometimes when the room is large people space out things too far apart to fill out the space.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    27 days ago

    If you keep sectional in the space, the orange rug should be across front edge of sectional and about 6-8” under sectional. It doesn’t look long enough but if you use it put under sofa portion. Don’t worry about the chaise portion. I hope you will try my angled layout. I think it will work really well. Good to check out options.

  • decoenthusiaste
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    Try the orange rug under the dining table if it is 36-42" larger than the table top. Get one for the chaise sofa that it can sit entirely on. Maybe a sisal or wool sisal look would add some needed texture. Pull the orange from the table to the sofa with pillows. More texture behind the stove with corrugated steel roofing panels (see below.) Top down bottom up window treatments in a fabric you love. The fabulous ones shown here are made in Germany, but you'll find some stateside too.


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  • happyleg
    27 days ago

    There's lots of square nests in the room with the furniture furniture I would get around coffee table of some kind I would get around  Dining table or a Oval The stupid phone I can't correct it but the around supposed to be separate the a

  • everdebz
    27 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    A fan of orange, you might like this larger [they display with grey room, calm palette] and zip with color in a couple places...


    INK+IVY Nola Dining Chairs, Set of 2, Orange · More Info



    Liora Manne Marina Circles Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Saffron, 8'10"x11'9" · More Info


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  • everdebz
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    Noticed your pillow. Wool in Ocean nice with grey... and a dune / nature color... bit green.

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  • everdebz
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    A rare sunset has this softly muted color. Nice with your rug and placemats, etc.... :)


    Heidi Velvet Dining Chairs, Set of 2, Pink · More Info



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  • everdebz
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    Practical under dining table, with freedomplace's pillow type? :)
    Placemats, etc. brighten...

    Liora Manne Marina Tribal Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Black, 7'10"x9'10" · More Info


    Dynamic Rugs Tahoe Polypropylene Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug · More Info


  • liasch
    25 days ago

    I like the orange… I would work with that colour way if you have a rug that you really like. Pulling more orange into the room is a nice idea and Happys idea of having some round shapes in the room to break up the right angles is also a good one. Putting one rug under the dining room table and then getting a larger one for the sitting area is also a good idea.

  • liasch
    25 days ago

    Wayfair…10 by 14. I don’t know what size would be optimal for your space. I like the idea of something that’s a little bit more subdued and then add interest with Art and pillows.