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Decorating & Furniture/decorating a small living room, dining room and kitchen combo


My husband and I built a small house 6 years ago (no kids living there).  Today, we have a 3 year old.  (Mr. Surprise).  Anyway, when we built the house the living room, dining room and kitchen was all open.  Our house has no hall.  Every room goes from one room.  The living room consists of the entry door, door to 1 of the bedrooms, door to the guest bathroom, nice size corner fireplace and the entertainment center which is placed between the fireplace and the bedroom door entry (the only place that it will go).  The dining room consists of 1 window, and the kitchen consists of french doors and 1 door leading to the master bedroom.  As you can see I do not have many open walls.  I need some help in decorating these rooms.  My husband has a recliner that he has to keep. (nice recliner).  My in laws bought us a 3 piece living room suit, his aunt gave us a very ugly rocking vinyl covered rocking chair (very old) and my mother gave us a low coffee table, and 2 side tables.  All of this is great but how do I place all of this.  At the moment to walk through these 3 rooms you must go through a maze.  I am at the point that I absolutely want to throw everything out except the recliner, and sofa and tables.  PLEASE HELP ME BEFORE I HAVE A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.

Hi Sheila,

No nervous breakdowns allowed.  First, decide if you can "get rid" of anything.  I know this is touchy because it sounds as though several people close to you gave these items to you, but honestly it sounds like it's just too much.  

Try using the 3 piece living room suit and the recliner, facing the corner fireplace.  Let it float in the floor space.  Perhaps you could create a "U" shape with couch, love seat (or chair) and reliner, using the last of the 3 furniture pieces in a bedroom?  

Since your fireplace is in a corner, you need to work out from that angle, and angle your furniture accordingly.  It may feel weird at first, but try it.  Then try "anchoring" the space with an area rug underneath the front legs of the couch.  This will define the "living room" space and set it apart from the dining room and kitchen.  Do the same thing under the dining table.  

If the tables can be worked in, do so.  You may have to omit the coffee table depending on space, or position it behind the couch as you would a console table and place a nice tall plant on it as well as a stack of books or other accessories.  

I know it's easier said than done.  Why?  I have the same open concept - banks of floor to ceiling windows and no hallway - no walls.   

It may take some elbow grease and effort, but take a deep breath and try it.  Don't give up on it until you're exhausted.  Put everything in place, then survey it.  You may end up with a cozy space that's less of a maze than it is now.


PS:  I didn't include the rocking said it was ugly, and I don't think you need to deal with ugly at this point.

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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BA, Psychology

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