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Decorating & Furniture/decorating a living room



My living room is not that large (11.9 X 11.0).  

On wall 1, there is a large bay window, which takes up most of the wall

On wall 2, there is a floor to ceiling fireplace in the middle maybe about 5 feet wide

On wall 3, there is a door just right of center to a small family room

On wall 4, there is a wide opening to the hallway, maybe also about 5 feet wide.

The floors are a medium stain oak hardwood.

Arranging furniture in this room is a challenge.  I currently have the couch backing the window as any other position seems to block the door or the entrance to the hallway.  Is this the best place to put the couch?

Also, we are considering buying a new leather couch.  Is it best to buy a matching chair or loveseat?  I was thinking buying the couch and then 2 different (but matching chairs).  However, I'm not sure if that will look ok We haven't painted yet, but we already bought the paint and it is a warm taupe/tan neutral colour.

For the leather couch, we like dark colours (e.g dark brown) but don't want to make the room too dark.  Would it be better to select a couch in a lighter colour?

Hopefully, this all makes sense!
Thank you very much

Hi Jeanette,

Thanks for your questions. I sort of roughed out your room to look at it visually, and here are some thoughts.  One is that you can indeed have the couch in front of the bay window.  If I assume correctly that the 5 foot opening is opposite the fireplace, I would probably opt to put the couch there OR where you have it in front of the bay window.  If you purchase a couple of chairs (and I think that's the best seating for the room) they could face the fireplace with their backs to the doorway.  Visually, with a floor to ceiling fireplace, this will look very cozy and natural.  

You might try moving the couch further away from the window and toward the edge of the fireplace, creating an "L" shape with the two new chairs, or place the chairs in front of the bay (closer in) and the couch with it's back to the large doorway opening.  

Everyone seems to try and flank the walls with their furniture.  I always try to pull the furniture out toward the middle of the room, leaving walking room behind the furniture for traffic flow.  Try this and see how you feel about it.

You may want to purchase a large rug for the furniture to "float" on.  This will further define the seating area.

Hope this helps you.  Oh - and dark brown, burgandy etc. in the furniture is fine.  With beige/brown/taupe walls it will be a needed contrast.


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


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BA, Psychology

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