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Oksana needs your help

We received a request for help recently from Oksana: "I'm struggling in decorating living area in my townhouse. Basically, my living room is a loft type/open space with the kitchen area at the end. I have a sofa (contemporary) and would like to buy a chair (or chairs) or something else that will provide more seating space, look interesting, and feel comfortable. I'd appreciate any ideas and suggestions." Photos of Oksana's space are below, and my suggestions are after the jump.

I would suggest something low and not too big to keep the open feel of the room. Here are a few I love from Ikea and DWR (click the photo to find out more):

Consider checking eBay or thrift shops like Jo and I love to do because you can find some great stuff for CHEAP! Here are 2 chairs Jo found recently on eBay (I think) that I think would be perfect:


If anyone has any suggestions for Oksana please leave a comment!

Reader Comments (18)

more colour in the cushion department to break up all that beige. lovely windows, btw!

6 Oct 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpolish chick

I agree that something with some color would be great. Also, maybe turn the sofa around to face those gorgeous windows, and create some separation between the dining and living areas.

6 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAustin chic

I would suggest something from Bolia, they have a very nice selection of armchairs and affordable as well :)
I also like the superb quality of materials.

Is the sofa going to be placed like on the photo?

6 Oct 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdesign traveller

You have a great space to work with. First I would get a nice Area rug - preferably light/cream coloured to offset the dark sofa. The sofa should have its back to the wall. Onthe side where the balcony is, you could have two chairs with a small table in between.
A CRUSH chaise from EQ3 could also work. Nice big painting/artwork on the wall above the sofa would help completing the look.

You also need to bring in some accent colour. Perhaps pick a colour from the artwork and accessorize with it. Include more toss cushions of the accent colour. The nice corner you have with the small window (2nd pic) would be perfect for a small dining table w/two chairs. Hang up a small pendant lamp above..and you're good to go :).

6 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterO-towner

I can see red colour on the sofa cushions. I think that it could be a good idea to find chairs or armchair of the same colour.

6 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCATH

Oksana's space could use a little warming up. I'd add two non-matching chairs. One would be warm and rustic like Jo's ebay leather chair in the last pic. I think a Peruvian tooled leather rocker would be perfect and cheap too (check ebay and craigslist). They have modern lines , but are warm and rustic at the same time. And they and "open" enough not to cut off the space. The other chair would be something like a Wassily chair. It also wouldn't cut off the space. They're surprisngly comfortable. Especially, if you throw a sheepskin on it. That chair should be black the other brown. The place is nice now but, in danger of being too matchy- matchy, catalogy and "staged for sale" looking (too decluttered and lacking personality). The different style chairs will add an artistic, "collected over time" look. But, that's just my two cents worth!
Good luck Oksana! I LOVE Desire to Inspire!! I hope my two dogs will be included in Pets on Furniture Monday sometime soon.

6 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterD of dogland

I drafted a quick Polyvore visual for the redesigned space using CB2 & Blik. I'm seeing a splash of color - low profile on the window side of the room and the sofa turned to face the stair wall (more view).

Oksana's Contempory Living Room by karaml on Polyvore.com


6 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKara

I appreciate Kim and Jo's willingness to help me with my dilemma! Also, thank you everyone for the great suggestions!

@polish chick - thanks
@design traveller - I placed the sofa as in the photo because I wanted it to face the kitchen area - when I have guests who hang around the kitchen they don't feel separated from the rest of the crowd in the living area. I wanted more emphasis on the people instead of the objects like TV, for example
@D of dogland - I look forward to seeing the pictures here
@Kara - thanks for putting it together

6 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOksana

Such a great, inspiring blog. I think I'm in love with it.


6 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaroline Kalvø

Great seating ideas! Love the non-matching suggestion from D of dogland. @vickisimon

7 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterV

What a nice space, it's a good "problem" that you have. Will you send pics after you get it finished? Please?!
(When you see so many great pics on this site, you think it would be easy, right? Ha.)
Good luck, and have FUN.

7 Oct 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpriscilla

Wow. Such a large space and good bones. Spontaneously, I would change direction of the sofa and put it perpendicular to the large window with space behind for a taller narrow sofa table (can't remember the exact english name - French is my language). I would put a carpet to delimitate the sofa space. And add good individual chairs. As for the corner with the smaller window this calls me for a cosy punchy nook. I would inspire from the photo no. 4 in the previous post (house in Italia). Instead of the bench, it would be a super comfortable or original chair, good lighting, books or collection. This corner could have a life of its own with a splash of color or wallpaper. The color chosen for this corner could repeat in dashes of same color in the rest of living room. In front of the large window, I am thinking of a small table with two chairs to play cards, scrabble, whatever. I would put the dining table parallel to the counter, not perpendicular. Oh la la, I enjoyed doing this! Hope to see in the future what you have done.

7 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLoulou Ste-Adele

Great space you just need to tie it together and find your own look. I remember this article from Domino Magazine about an apartment 'makeover' similar to yours, http://www.brides.com/home-wedding-registry/home-decor/2010/06/Domino_Dorm_Room#slide=6 (now it's at Brides Mag. as Domino is gone). You need an area rug, some funky chairs (don't go conservative), some wall art, (one big one or several well placed small) and a bit of colour and something that makes you smile.

7 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTania

Don't stress over it, whatever you choose to do. Just look at those windows! Half your work is done. Have fun with it. :)

I see a lot of places where bookshelves would look fantastic, like a table-sized one in that last photo, against the low wall that flanks that staircase going downstairs. But additional large ones in the more important, featured areas would also be classic.

I would scour Craigslist or eBay for affordability. I used to believe in looking for free stuff other people were getting rid of on the curbside, but with the bedbug epidemic, I can't say that's a good idea anymore....

I don't know what your personal style preferences are, but because you mentioned you liked entertaining, perhaps one or more eccentric conversational pieces could be highlighted in the living room. Be on the lookout for something weird, one-of-a-kind, and beautiful, of course. Maybe ETSY could help there.

Because you want the guests to mesh well between the kitchen and living room, I'd definitely replace the chairs with backless bar stools so it's easier for people sitting there to swing around to face anyone, anywhere.

I would like to put bold, contrasting graphic prints in, too. I see a lot of good places for them in that kitchen photo--like one could go on that small wall near the bar stools. And complementary ones could go in the kitchen.

This is my favorite idea, but it might not be for you:

Depending on how artsy you are, I would personally do something unexpected with the white area below the kitchen counter in front of the bar stools: more graphic design, mosaic tiles, tiles reminiscent of the NYC subway (the art, but also the way the tiles spell out the street), etc. Hell, even neon pink and green urban-looking graffiti would look awesome! Sure, people's feet will be there all the time and the stools will somewhat obscure it, but it would look fantastic, be different, and it's another conversation piece as well.

8 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim in Jersey

Oksana, the reason I asked about the sofa position is quite crucial - I can see you have beautiful french windows/balcony in the living-room! The sofa seems to block a lot of light. Maybe try to place it by the wall and test how it works, and how if affects interaction with the kitchen area.
Have you decided about the style of the armchairs?

8 Oct 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdesign traveller

One more advice: try to find a furniture piece you absolutely love - it can be a coffee table or an armchair - and try to build the colour scheme and style around it. But remember to choose something that you really like so it expresses YOU!
A lot of accessories can be changed, pillows and rugs, but it can be worth to invest in something very expressive - it will become interiors "point of interest"

8 Oct 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdesign traveller

My 10 cents - I'd move the sofa too. If it was facing the stairs your guests would be able to enjoy the view out the window and still be engaged with the kitchen happenings be it culinary masterpiece or cocktail :) Love the ombre rug that Kara suggested.

8 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSammy

I think she should use a lot of white in this space to brighten it up a little bit; I suggest two large white armchairs as well as proper lighting, a tall lamp for the corner would do;
replacing the Ottoman for a heavy and old-looking wooden coffee table base with glass top; Definitely using a rug, some bright color flowery pillows on the armchairs, then install a shelf and put a huge abstract painting on it ..

11 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMandana

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