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Decorating & Furniture/I am stuck big time...Plse help!!!


QUESTION: We have just bought a split level home and I am trying to decorate the upper of the 2 levels and I am stumped. I don't know how to position my furniture. I have a 3 piece reclining dark brown leather sofa set and the problem is this. In one corner I have a corner fireplace and then a huge ft window and in the other corner I have a 62inch TV.
I have very big coffee and ends and alot of very big plants. I don't want the TV to be the focal point so what can I do with the furniture? What can I do to tie in everything ie accessories,paint?

ANSWER: Hi Rhonda,
        What your room seems to lack is a focal point. Unlike a lot of us you have several to choose from. The most obvious choice is the fireplace, but the window may also serve. Do you have a great view? If so, the furniture can be arranged to take advantage of this. Be careful, though, remember a great view is only visible in the daytime. If you use the room mainly in the evenings you will not have a view to look at, just a terribly large black mass :). Your third option is the television. You could make the window or fireplace the secondary viewpoint. The main focus should be the first item you see when you come into the room. I would put the plants in front of the window if you're using it as the secondary focal point, vary the heights if you can to crate a pleasing arrangement. If you need anything else after you chosen your focal point let me know :)

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QUESTION: Actually, you hit it on the nose...I want the fireplace to be the focal point but my husband wants the 62 inch TV to be the focal point. I need help in sofa positioning and accessories...if you can picture this...I have an open concept home..therefore the living room only has 3 walls but the first wall as you come up the stairs on the left is a ft wall...the fireplace is a corner style and takes up 3 1/2ft leaving 6ft workable. Joining that wall is the other 3 1/2 ft of the fireplace and then my 8 ft window begins with approx 4ft on the other side of the window. In that corner is our gigantic TV which I know is way to big for the room...then is the wall that leads to the dining rm. I have 20ft fm the tv corner to the patio door in my living room. The patio door is 5ft and then I have 5ft remaining on that the corner of that wall I have a 10ft wall with a 4 1/2ft window and approx 4ft to the corner. Then we are getting into the kitchen..Fm the corner of the 10ft wall, I have just a 4 ft wall then we are in the kitchen. Fm the 8ft window in the living rm to the kitchen cabinets is 31ft. Fm my patio door window to the cabinets on the opposite wall I have approx 23ft...My only problem is how do I position my furniture? I have a 3 piece drk brown leather reclining set but I don't want to block off my dining rm with the sofa. How can I position my furniture with the measurements I gave you and accessorize ie Pictures, plants, shadow make the place flow. I have all earth tones but my area rug is burgundy with beige which I thought would be a good idea to add color to the space....any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated! Tks again for your previous suggestions and looking forward to the next!! Patiently waiting...

Hi Rhonda,
        Well, I hope your patience has been rewarded :) The thing to remember about  conversation area is that it should be no more than 8' from one seat another, otherwise talking to the person sitting across from you becomes difficult. So, that being said, I tried numerous arrangements and have come up with this. Put the couch on the wall with the patio door, putting it at a good viewing distance from the TV. Put the second piece (chair or loveseat) on the six foot wall next to the fireplace and the third piece in front of the 8' window. Anchor the grouping with the area rug.
    Plants could go on a table next to the patio door or on the fireplace hearth. You could also put an arrangement on shelves on the wall just make sure you choose a hanger that will be strong enough to hold them as well as their weight when watered. Above the table next to the patio would be a good place to hang some art and/or shadow boxes. If the fireplace has a mantle this would also be a good place for an arrangement of plants and candles, etc. Hope this helps, and if it doesn't quite fit what you have it may spark some ideas of your own :) Good luck!

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G. Norah Baker


My areas of expertise are color selection and accessories. But I have a general knowledge of all areas of interior decorating and would be able to answer questions in any area.


I have decorated over ten houses and apartments and have consulted on five outside projects. I have had an interest in decorating since my teens.

I graduated with highest honors (96%) from Thomson Education Direct in 2002

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