Design Crew

Posted on Sat, 20 Oct 2012 by midcenturyjo

Got a problem? Need some help? Just standing there shaking your head? Don’t know what to do? You’re not alone. Send us a link to photos of your design quandary and let the Desire to Inspire design crew help you …. that’s you lot… the readers! This week’s email is from Lauren.

Hi, I am hoping that the Design Crew can help us with our living room.  We are currently renting and cannot change the paint, the light fixtures, or flooring.  We have two large walls that are intimidating and we are at a loss for how to fill them.  The large wall with the coat closet is particularly problematic in that we can’t put furniture here to break up the space because it is in the line of traffic from the front door to the back of the house.  The wall with the TV seems like it needs something, but we aren’t sure what.  We tend to lean towards a look that is clean and simple, yet comfortable.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  I promise to send pics when it is complete!

Michelle says:

I like the positioning of the couch as it is open and inviting. I would move the tv and console off centre, under the vent, and move the chair to the widened corner to create a conversation grouping. I agree that the entry needs a landing pad for keys/coats/display. Breaking up the space won't take away from the circulation corridor from the front to the back of the house, but will make the long empty wall managable. The wall itself is a great display area for shelving or bookcases.

I like Eugenie's idea of different space behind the couch. It could function as an office area or with airier chairs it could function as an alternate seating/reading/games area.

So lovely to see so much space, you are fortunate to have it. Enjoy! Please do post photos of what you do, it is always interesting to see a room develop.

christa says:

I think the wall color is fine, and it works with your furniture. The proportions of your furniture seem to fit in the space well.

A big statement piece of art would be amazing on that wall. I would try for something at least 3ft square and pop art/graphic, or even a large piece of fabric stretched into a frame. Center the art over a console table that is less than 15" deep (and low height). That would make the wall join the rest of the living room, but it would be small enough to stay out of the traffic flow.

For the wall with the TV, you might want to put 2 framed art pieces (white frames) on either side of the TV at eye height (around 48" from the ground). I would probably pick up a floor lamp too — you need things at varying heights over here.

I'm confused by the leather chair that is behind the sectional, and I think you might want to get rid of it, or cover it with a colorful throw. It seems like that would be a better spot for a desk and chair, but I don't know how you use the space.

acpgee says:

If you are allowed to drill into the walls, I would place a long chest height shelf along the wall. Say something similar to a couple of the "mountless" Lack shelves from Ikea. This could function as a landing strip for collecting keys, change and handbags close to the door, and be used to prop up some small art, photos, vases, reading materials further down. Personally I would need a coat stand or a row of coat hooks near the door, depending on your climate..

Blanders says:

Judging by the furniture, I don't think Lauren is really into theatrical overstatement such as giant artworks or wall graphics.

There's absolutely no reason why she can't put a long, slim credenza or shelving unit against the wall, basically between the two power points. The room is wide enough for people to walk from the front door to the kitchen without hitting it.

I'd also like to see something placed opposite the front door to screen the room – all homes need a transition from the outdoors to the living room, and this one doesn't have it.

Irena says:

You should put in a console table along the large wall close to the entrance. It is useful to drop keys and above all, can create a beautiful decorative place. You should put on a table lamp and fix on the wall few small wall art (like you already have on the kitchen wall).

You can center the TV under the vent and put the armchair on its left in the corner. To avoid 2 imposing furnitures one close to another, you can put a new floor lamp in between the armchair and the TV table. Place the base of your floor lamp behind the sofa and its lampshade above the sofa and coffee table.

You can fix few beautifully designed coat pegs in the corner behind the sofa, where is currently your armchair. Thus, the coats are less visible while comfortably seated on the sofa.

Good luck!

Anne says:

You have a good start with your room. No matter what you do with the TV wall the white vent cover just screams "Look at me". I would ask the landlord if they have any of the wall paint color left and paint the vent the same color as the wall. And yes those vent covers can be painted. I would put a long narrow console table on the large wall by the front door. Add pictures, a table lamp and some cool baskets under the table for stuff. I would make the area by the front windows an office, reading room. A floor lamp and some book shelves would add some height in the room. You could add a book shelf next to the TV, but depends on your budget I might want to move your TV stand to your office area and get a bookshelf/TV large piece of furniture to fill up the space under the vent. You have no height in your room so everything is on the same level. Good Luck…

Jane says:

I love the colour of the walls.

As we all have a budget , but if shop around there simple things makes it cosy home.

A rug on the floor, add another colour with small pieces Red, blue ? Grab some colour charts and paint on pieces paper sit them around the room for a couple of days.

Here some ideas as it is diffcult feel the room, by photos.

Tv wall find a longer unit and bring up the tv a bit higher have some canvas photos either side to blance the wall and tv.
on the corner near walk way have a plant pot around about same heigh the tv. and have another plant near door way.

Miror on the blank wall as will give light and make fell bigger, size have get correct and not too small. A hall table just under the mirroe not wide.

Love to know what your thoughts

Lauren says:

Thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions – I will be sure to report back with what we end up doing!

Cara says:

I second the console table idea, functional and it'd help fill the space. I'd also add some picture ledges and use the space to display photos and souvenirs.

E says:

A few simple additions may make a big difference. I agree with mirror on the long wall, a slim console underneath, closer to the door so you can plop your keys and mail on it. A plant next to the TV? A fig leaf on a vintage stool or ficus on the floor. On the other side a couple favorite album covers framed and stacked for the guitar player. Happy designing.

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