Oksana needs your help

Posted on Wed, 6 Oct 2010 by KiM

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!

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


V says:

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

priscilla says:

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.

Loulou Ste-Adele says:

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.

Tania says:

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.

Kim in Jersey says:

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.

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?

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"

Sammy says:

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.

Mandana says:

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 ..

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