Furnishing the living room

Even before we embarked on this crazy adventure I was re-arranging the living room furniture. Since moving to this house in September of 2007 I have reconfigured this room with a variety of sofas, chairs, tables, area rugs, and shelving that came with us from our previous house. As much as the house looks like a total gut, the configuration of the living room space isn’t changing at all, so even though this drawing shows new windows, patio door, kitchen, and beam the parameters of the space are original.

This drawing shows the whole of the main living area, which is in the rear of the upper floor of the house. Below, we have a floor plan of just the living room, aimed to start helping get a sense of furniture proportions.

Shawn whipped this up based on some furnishings I’ve had my eye on for a good long while now.

The rug is 8′ round. We used to have rectangular rugs in here but always felt like they delineated the space too much. And now that this is a totally open floor plan, we wanted to see if a round rug would anchor the LR furniture without adding a false border. So far, so good! And when you’re actually standing in the room it probably won’t look like a happy clown face, which was Josh’s first reaction to this.

For the rug itself, I just ordered this from Overstock.com (my first Overstock purchase – boy, do they have a TON of rugs).

I had to take a leap of faith as clearly this is a photo of a rectangular rug and the one I bought is 7’9″ round. No photos of the round version, so we’ll see how the design is laid out when it arrives. Heck, if it’s no good, I can always send it back. But I do so love what I see in the photo: deep gray background, some lovely ivory and then the three pops of color mixed in for some visual interest. I wanted SOME color on the rug, but not too much. I also didn’t want a big crazy pattern, as we have some art going on the walls and I feared a busy rug would distract too much. I think the rusty orange could work very nicely with the “marigold” kitchen accent color.

The sofa in the scheme is the Room and Board Reese sectional. I’ve had my eye on this beauty for over a year. I love the curve and that there’s an arm and armless option. As you can see in the floor plan, this fits rather nicely in the corner of the room; from this sofa you’ll be able to look at the view as well as chat with people in the kitchen and dining room. We have already picked out our favorite fabric – Davon Smoke.

It’s a poly-velvet, gray with a faint black pin stripe. It’s very handsome and we hope that because it’s a smooth non-loop poly fabric it will stand up well to the cats. Fingers crossed! At the very least it will be a stunning choice with all those tufts.

The two chairs are a set of 1970s Milo Baughman club chairs we purchased from Estate sale dealers in Sacramento a few weeks ago. I took only a couple of photos with my phone as we drove them in the van to our storage unit – and as you can tell the focus of this snapshot is most definitely NOT the chairs.

This was just so cute I had to take even a lousy photo. We were on the freeway! Topher figured this would be a nice place to chill for the ride down highway 80. These chairs are really comfy, but need to be reupholstered. I haven’t yet decided what fabric to use: solid? Floral? Stripe? Color? Neutral? Oy, so many options.

Prior to the renovation, we hung two of our favorite art pieces on the rear wall and think we’ll put them right back up there when we move back in. We call them the “dot art” and think they’re pretty fantastic.

Not the best photo in the world… Most of the color in the piece on the left is shades of orange; the one on the right is degrees of olive green. Orange. I sense a little bit of a theme emerging here, do you?

So these are the bits we are most certain about at this point. Now, for the unknowns. 1. Cocktail table. The round one in the scheme is a place-holder and not quite the right shape. Being the type A interior design fanatic I am, I have put together a collection of options:

Room and Board Gibson

Room and Board Stafford

Design Within Reach Eclipse Nesting Tables

Heywood-Wakefield lazy-Susan cocktail table

This last one we already own. I may just start with this and see how it goes; if we determine it’s too small or the shape isn’t optimal, I think any of the other three could be a great alternative.

2. The last consideration (for now) is wall color. I am thinking about painting that corner a color so it feels like a separate destination with its own special personality. Because the rug and sofa are on the dark side, I am thinking of a light color on the walls to warm things up. I haven’t spent any real time on this yet, but one idea is to start with the lighter colors on the Marigold paint chip and see if any of those would work. If not, at least maybe I’ll have some direction to head? Yellow and gray are pretty amazing together – perhaps something in the orange/yellow range. I don’t want it to look tangerine or peach or anything too “Miami Vice” so I need to tread very carefully here. I remember “The Yellow Wallpaper” all too well – yellow walls can evoke some pretty powerful emotions.

House Beautiful always has a color feature in the magazine; maybe they have a “yellow” guide? Well, yes they do! This could be a big help. Clicking around the web site reminds me I already own House Beautiful Colors for Your Home and I’m sure I’ll find some good direction there, too.

If we stay on schedule, drywall goes up in two weeks. Not that it’ll be time to paint right after that, but maybe I’ll be able to at least put up some samples? We’ll see…

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One Response to Furnishing the living room

  1. Pingback: Life gets in the way « Foghill Adventures

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