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Question
Hi Cindy,
 I am currently unhappy with the furniture in my living/dining room.  The front door opens up into our rectangular shaped front room.  We have a rectangular dining table with 6 chairs on the far wall opposite of the front door.  Currently we have a full size sofa on the long wall(if you look to the right when you walk in the door) and an oversized chair on the same wall as the door (but on the same side of the room as the couch.) In otherwords, the table is at 12:00, the couch at 3:00 and the chair at 5:00 from the door. The furniture looks over crowded.  I am thinking of getting a leather loveseat to replace the couch but do not know what to do about the chair.  Would it be better to get 2 chairs to face opposite of the loveseat for conversation?  There isn't much room between the couch and the dining table.  We usually have to squeeze between the dining chair and the couch to sit at the table.  Any suggestions?

Answer
Dear An,
Getting a love seat is a great idea.  If you don't have a large space, your best option is smaller scale pieces.  Before you go out to buy any seats, measure the space that you have available first.  Make sure that when you pull out any of your dining chairs, there is always at least two feet of space between your conversation seats and your dining chairs.  Then when you go furniture shopping, have you tape measure along with the measurements of the available space with you.  Measure width, length and height of any candidates.  A conversation area is always complete with a love seat or coach and two matching or complementary upholstered chairs.  Two smallish club or slipper chairs will be easier to arrange than one oversized chair.

    Now here are a few choices in terms of placing your furniture.  If the love seat or a smaller coach fits better against the longest wall without obstructing or interfering with anything.  Leave it there.  Place the two chairs on angles facing the loveseat and sofa.  If the space is wide enough, it is perfectly fine to have a sofa or love seat centered that space, provided that the back of the seat looks good.
    Especially where the living and dining rooms are combined, this arrangement will define the boundry between the two.  But you still have to ensure that you're not disrupting the traffic pattern by creating an obstacle course,  Another idea is to take the sofa or love seat off the wall and angle it.  The two chairs should be placed at opposite angles to the coach.
     Or see what you can do with your dining room table.  Maybe you can move it a little bit or place it at an angle in the middle of the dining area.  There aren't any rules anywhere stating that the dining room table has to be right in the middle of the room in a straight line.  And if you ever decide to buy a new dining table, opt for either a round table or any table with rounded corners.

Good luck with your decorating,
Cindy

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