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Decorating & Furniture/open living room with 2 walls of windows

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QUESTION: I have a 21'x19' living room.  the east wall is all floor to ceiling windows as is the south wall (except for a 3' piece toward the west wall).  The west wall in empty.  The north side of the room is taken up by the entryway into the room (about 3') and an open kitchen (about 8') and a solid wall (about 8').  I need to fit a dining table, sofa/loveseat/recliner and a 50" plasma into this room while try to keep the 2 walls of windows clear because of the breathtaking views.  I also want the couches situated such that television viewing is easy while allowing those who sit to have the view from the windows.  Any ideas?

ANSWER: Hi Alex,

Thank you for writing.  It sounds like you have a beautiful home.  I would love to be able to help you, but have some questions.  Is there a fireplace in the room?  What is the situation with the sun?  ie:  do you have a way to keep the glare from the sun from interfering with the viewing of the television?  This can be a HUGE issue and can also determine the orientation of the furniture.  

Without having an answer to the above questions, I can only give you some generalized suggestions.  With such a lovely room (good size and such huge windows with breathtaking view) you want to follow your instinct and KEEP THE GLASS OPEN (read: don't block the view.)  Floating furniture (when the furniture is not up against the walls) is a good way to go.  You may want to position the television in the 'corner' of the two windowed walls.  I am assuming your 50" plasma TV is not in an entertainment center.  You want to maximize the beauty in the room and your enjoyment thereof.  Keep the line moving out...you can put your TV in the southeast corner.  Float your sofa and loveseat like a boomerang in front of the TV (the corner that is formed will be directly across from the TV.)  Your dining room table can/should also be floating.  The angle depends on many things, but the idea is to have it near the kitchen, but placed in such a way as to share the view of the windows with the living room.

The recliner can be a 'reading area' unto itself, or, off to the side of the sofas.  If the recliner is for you, and you are the one usually home watching it by yourself, you may want to place the recliner directly across from the TV (keep a fair distance,) and place the sofas in the same boomerang configuration, but starting from the 'corner' that the recliner creates.

You may want to consult with a local interior decorator/designer to help you with this.  This room sounds like it has the possibility to be totally amazing.  Take the steps to achieve that!!  

Thank you for writing.  Best of luck to you.

Julie Henry
Julie's Interior Designs
Hackettstown, NJ
908-684-3900
www.juliesinteriordesigns.com


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the advice.  There is no fireplace.  And I was considering the problem with glare, and had the idea of placing the television in the corner -- but there's something I forgot to mention.  There is a 2-foot diameter structural column set about 3 feet in from the southeast corner.  If I place a television in front of the column, I'm worried I'll be cutting off a large piece of the room and blocking some of the view with the television.  Otherwise, I was thinking of getting some good window treatments to deal with glare and the sun during hot days, but keeping the windows open during other times.  

With respect to interior decorator/designers, how does the pay structure typically work?

Thanks again,
Alex

Answer
Hi Alex,

Glad you wrote back!  I had a feeling there was no fireplace.  And... in reality.... the structural column in the southeast corner, where I suggest you put the TV, can actually work FOR you as opposed to against you.  Remember, the column will is already cutting part of the view, and it is also hiding/protecting the back of the TV.  As far as window treatments are concerned... again... more questions.  Are you a bachelor?  Into contemporary or modern decor?  Are you somewhat of a minimalist?  IF you are (it kind of sounded like you might be) then... there are a few GREAT things you can do.  One... there are these sunscreens (Castec makes a terrific product,) that practically disappears when it is rolled up.  They have a continuous cord pull system so they take up practically no space when up.  If you go to http://www.castec.com/ you can find a dealer near you.  If you are not into a more modern design style, you may want to go for 2 5/8 inch wood blinds {Hunter Douglas makes an awesome product, almost looks like a shutter} when they are open; pulled down with the blinds rotated open, your view is almost completely un-obstructed.

As far as interior decorator/designers go... there are as many different programs that designers offer as there are designers!!  You may want to call a few local designers and questions them as to their policies.  You can also go to our website (www.juliesinteriordesigns.com then go to the services section) for an idea of how one designer works.  Our website has been in the process of being completely redone.  If the services page isn't fully up and running, write me back and I will send you the page.  

You can also call a window treatment specialist if you have a hard time finding a designer. Thanks for writing back.

Best of luck to you,
Julie Henry
Julie's Interior Designs
Hackettstown, NJ
908-684-3900
www.juliesinteriordesigns.com

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Julie Henry

Expertise

In the past 22 years, I have assisted countless residential (and some commercial) clients in the design and decorating of their homes. Within reason, I can assist on ANY question for the interior of your home. From design of a new home or addition, to layout, color, truly custom window treatments or just accessorizing... as our brochure says... from ceiling to floor, windows to walls and EVERYTHING in between... if it is for the Interior of your home, call Julie's Interior Designs. Well... you don't have to call, just write and ask!

Experience

With twenty two years of experience, 18 of them self employed with a large showroom/retail store and great staff on my team, there is little I/we haven't encountered. For several years I enjoyed being the on air "Home Editor" of the local cable station and have written a column in several local newspapers for years. Taught Interior Design at the college level. My work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. This is the greatest job on earth, and not nearly as easy at it looks...

Education/Credentials
William Paterson College, NJ, Ramapo College NJ, Continuing Education with trade periodicals, etc.

Awards and Honors
Multiple for custom window treatments, best local business in our county (located in northwestern NJ,) best home furnishing store in our county, etc.

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