Asked on Oct 28, 2015

Living room design

Sarah Parker
by Sarah Parker
We have an open floor plan. I am happy with the dining room design, but totally frustrated with the living room as it needs more details.
- Fireplace is not done, not sure how to enhance it without going to bulky.
- Windows - we do not want blinds, but still need something to make it look not boring and not cover the windows as much.
- TV not sure where to put it, tv stand outdated.
- sectional Sofa does not really fit, it is to big for the space. We decided to put in an ankle. If it is along the wall, one side covers the window on the other side it comes out to the hall way.
Any tips, advice to make make this design better is appreciated :) Thank you!
q living room design, dining room ideas, home decor, home decor dilemma, living room ideas
q living room design, dining room ideas, home decor, home decor dilemma, living room ideas
q living room design, dining room ideas, home decor, home decor dilemma, living room ideas
q living room design, dining room ideas, home decor, home decor dilemma, living room ideas
q living room design, dining room ideas, home decor, home decor dilemma, living room ideas
  31 answers
  • Z Z on Oct 28, 2015
    If you don't need blinds for privacy, I'd add more panels to the front windows like i the dining room. As for the fireplace and TV, have you thought about adding a built in with a cabinet/shelves on the right for the TV and components?

    • See 1 previous
    • Z Z on Oct 28, 2015
      @Sarah, I realized that after I drew the virtual below. My brains on slow mo today.

  • Z Z on Oct 28, 2015
    Here's a virtual of basically what I meant. Because of the baseboard radiant heat I couldn't add built ins on the left side.

    • See 1 previous
    • Z Z on Oct 28, 2015
      @Sarah, you're welcome. I think the simple roman shades, as you shared a picture of above, will be a nice addition to the room. The panels I was thinking of, was just to soften the edge of the windows, but I like the roman shade idea. That adds the softness that a narrow panel would without getting in the way of a built in, if you decide to go that way.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Oct 28, 2015
    So heres my thought. First is there anyway you can take a piece of the sectional out? That is what I did last year and it totally opened up the room.Next personally since you mentioned your TV stand is outdated how about thinking of mounting it on the wall, as again it will open up your room .As for the windows I know you said you did not want blinds, however there are so many different ideas on the market today I am not so sure they should be ruled out.The window is beautiful and I feel covering with drapes of some type may close the room back up.

    • See 3 previous
    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Oct 28, 2015
      @Sarah Parker I feel that been there done that.But I was able to separate the couch. Ok regardless there are so many inspiration websites like Houzz for instance that may give you some ideas. Keep me posted.

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Oct 28, 2015
    I'd balance the bay window with panels like the dining room. since its one big space. sheers also, remove 1 section of the sofa, if you can and use as an occasional chair where the basket is. If not, angle it more -towards the window and basket, Mount the tv,,put another low cabinet where the tv is for all the gear. or else I'd reuse the outdated entertainment center as a sofa table, freshen it by adding baskets matching but different depths or sizes for misc storage, also great for little ones misc toys..I'd move 1 artwork behind the sofa, add more twigs like the dining room, for height and organic feel Bring life into every room with something living: branches, plant, fresh flowers .Love the Salmon over the fireplace. You have a good start.. love the area..

  • Margarite Margarite on Oct 29, 2015
    I would put the tv on the other side of the windows. The sectional I straighten it to face the windows, get or make a longer sofa table. Sheer curtains would look nice, you would get the softness and light. Get a couple of plant stands and plants to put in front of the window to add life, also a colorful throw for the couch. I believe this way you will be able to enjoy the fireplace, the view and tv. Hope this help.

  • Kathy Bettis Marez Kathy Bettis Marez on Oct 29, 2015
    I would love to see cabinets and bookshelves build around the fireplace, giving your electronic components a new home. Get rid of that media stand they're currently on. This would bring focus to that entire wall. The coffee table needs to go. A couple of ottoman...those round ones...placed in front of the sectional. Find a nice armchair and side table to go in front of those awesome Windows, bringing a spot to curl up in and read. Put a sofa table behind the sectional and dress it up with decorative objects. Lots of colorful throw pillows for the sofa, and a pretty throw folded and draped over the back probably on the sofa in front of the wall. More pops of color on the new built ins in the form of vases, books, things you guys like. I would replace those light fixtures when you can. Is there enough space to bring the sectional out a bit more, without interfering with the dining area? Just to center it a little more under that opening. Search for some architectural pieces that could surround that opening and bring interest to that spot, which is a diamond in the rough right now. If it was my room, I might even paint that wall with the opening a different color to make it another focal piece. It's a great room and you can bring new life to it, making it your favorite space in the house! Have fun.

  • JR JR on Oct 29, 2015
    I think I would separate the sofa and make fireplace my focal point,maybe put tv over the fireplace

  • Mary Thorne Mary Thorne on Oct 29, 2015
    I'd like to see a mantle on the fireplace; then mount the TV above it. The windows need a little treatment, maybe valances?

  • Patty S Patty S on Oct 29, 2015
    We have the same shaped living room including about the same window. I have a rounded sofa against the same wall only rounding into the window a bit and it really works. I agree with putting a mantle on your fireplace and mounting the TV above it and then you would be able to put a side chair where the TV is now.

  • Carole Bisby Carole Bisby on Oct 29, 2015
    I agree with Kathy, entertainment center around the fireplace with the Tv directly above the fireplace, that would give you more space and give that wall some eye candy with nice book, candlesticks and vases. I would put cornice boards on the window covered in the same color as the dining room (you can buy them at Joan fabric's and cover them yourself. I probably would fill in that opening going down the stairs maybe then you could put your sofa under it and a large picture above it. Good luck, please come back and let us all know what you ended up doing with this room.

  • Patricia Norman Patricia Norman on Oct 29, 2015
    I think the lady's are right. The fireplace is plain and shelves and entertainment center would be the way I would go.

  • Roshaun Lashley Roshaun Lashley on Oct 29, 2015
    I would buy a sofa table or move the cube shelving unit and place it in the bay window with a model of a ship or a nice vase with a dry arrangement in it. Also I would turn the section in front of the sofa table/storage cube facing out into the room. I am all for the TV being mounted over the fireplace to you won't have to worry about the sectional in the way of it. For the dinning room it just need a nice piece of art over the buffet/side board. Good Luck!

  • Sheri N Sheri N on Oct 29, 2015
    Plantation shutters on the windows! They would let plenty of light in and also allow a little privacy in the evening when watching tv. I also agree with the other ladies that an entertainment center surrounding the fireplace would be wonderful.

  • Barbara Barbara on Oct 29, 2015
    I have never liked sectional sofa's, often too large for some rooms and difficult to arrange. It depends on budget, but I'd look for a stand alone sofa and a nice arm chair. A mantle over the fireplace would add a 'finished' look, though I'm not sure about mounting the TV above it since that limits decorating options. The picture to the right of the fireplace is too small for the wallspace, so I'd look for a grouping of pictures, perhaps family photos enlarged and framed (pinterest has many arrangements you can review and see what you like). My style is more 'cozy' cottage, so my suggestions for window treatments might not be what you like, but I'd go for soft drapes similar to your dining room with tie backs to keep the drapery open for light. I've loved plantation shutters forever so that is another option but it seems to me the room needs more softness, with rounded edges to feel cozy and warm. Before you make any major purchases, I'd check on pinterest for decorating ideas/living room. There is a wealth of information and some might just strike the right balance you are seeking. Best of luck

  • Deborah Sale-Butler Deborah Sale-Butler on Oct 29, 2015
    I agree that you might want to invest in a living room set that has a sofa and either two larger chairs (which would tuck nicely into the bay window with a table between, or a matching love seat, put the TV over the fireplace and maybe float a more rustic, wooden mantle over the fireplace, to give it some depth. With the TV above the fireplace, I would put two, tall bookshelves on either side to frame it. We have a similar bay window, and I ran a curtain rod across, on the inside of the room, to create some softness and "frame" the window. During the day, we can enjoy the view and at night, it prevents our living room from being a fishbowl (see below).

  • Pis2225486 Pis2225486 on Oct 29, 2015
    I see what you mean! Great potential though! You definitely need a window treatment. It doesn't have to be heavy drapes... light curtains with a sheer wrap on the top going down to the floor could look nice! For the fireplace - if you don't want to add bulk, then change the tile to something with more contrast - like white and gray tile... then maybe a thin shelf on top as a mantle or just some accents (maybe a wall sconce). OR - you could have the tile go all the way to the ceiling to break up the wall space... consider another color besides the yellow one on the walls - the color is nice though a quick study on color psychology tells us yellow is not a relaxing calm color. Or, you could add an accent wall. Maybe the one with the fireplace? On the couch - My friend has a similar size and shape living room and couch though not a sectional. However, she makes the couch fit more comfortably to the eye with the long table she has along the back of the one. Try matching the one side up with the open window to the hallway in the middle for balance and on the back of the other, a long thin table. If you don't like the couch color, you could recover the cushions. Your entertainment center is very short for the height of the wall space you have. Maybe a taller one would be more suited or some art above? I hope this helps! Your space is great!

  • Willie Simpson Willie Simpson on Oct 29, 2015
    Floating decision details can drive you pretty crazy.. If good reviews and approval of circle circles is needed. ( Parade of homes) it is even more complicated. That aside, if you can visualize the large picture, it helps a lot .. In the long long run.. Do you want to end with a super modern look .( glass, chrome.. Curvy furniture.. Or a Victorian warmth and decor. Also, cost often has influence... Unless mitigated by a long timeframe...

  • LD LD on Oct 29, 2015
    First, I would create an entertainment center on the wall that the fireplace is located. If you have a "Reclaim Store or Builder Supply" located by you, it's a great place for obtaining materials without a huge cost factor. Second you could install crown molding with would add architectural design to the room. Thirdly, there is two days to address the Window treatments, either a ceiling mount drapery rod or one that is close to the ceiling, or a rod that is installed inside of the bay window. Since you don't want the window coverings to have much of an impact on the windows, then the best option would be to go with the ceiling or wall mount of the drapery rod, with it extending it beyond the window opening which not only allows more view, but enlarges the size of the window. Finally, in regards to the sectional sofa, there really isn't a need to angle it, for when you create the media center you can mount the tv on a mount that you can remotely control as to the angle and return it back inside the media center when not being used. Here is a link to just one place I found in my search.

  • Dale Dale on Oct 29, 2015
    I agree with those suggesting a softening look with curtains; there is such a thing as 'Top-Down-Bottom-Up' curtains which allows the curtains to be positioned just about anywhere within the window space, for easy & frequent adjustments for temporary or more permanent privacy. Then at each side of the window edges could be non-moving curtain panels. With the 'top-down' positioning you'd have privacy while sitting but could see out when standing with perhaps only your heads showing. Your sectional is positioned correctly if you're going to retain them. A sofa table in the back of the one sofa would really look nice. The fireplace would look good with a mantle.

  • Paula McCarthy Paula McCarthy on Oct 29, 2015
    Definitely use panels to flank the windows in the bay, either the same color as those in the dining area or with a similar color background and a small pattern. I would install shades in those windows also, using a bottom up install. It looks as though the sectional can be separated, I would leave the two armed section up against the open , what looks like a stairway, wall and move the one armed section into the bay, not snuggled into it but a bit in front of it to allow your heat to circulate - also if you have a narrow sofa table that you could put between it and the bay window it would allow you to add a lamp, family photos, floral arrangements, etc. By placing the sofa this way you would open the living area up to the dining area and not create a closed off look, the way it is pictured. Also, I would add a mantel over the fireplace, center the TV over the fireplace and take down the 3 banners, the triptych and the koi. You can either center the koi with flanking red banners in the alcove above the credenza in the dining area or put the triptych there. Unless there is another plate on the opposite wall in the dining area, I cannot see a photo of that area, I would take the plate down and either use it in the center of the alcove (instead of the koi) or find another place for it - perhaps, displayed on the table behind the newly positioned one arm chaise. Now that the TV is no longer on the side, but sharing the focal point with the fireplace, the black entertainment center can be positioned next to the fireplace up against the wall, use the black cabinet you currently have up against the back of the sofa facing the dining area on the opposite side of the fireplace to balance out the blackness of both units. I would put your pillows on the one armed section of the sofa all on the one side with the arm, reinforcing your chaise look. The coffee table can be positioned comfortably close to one or both of the separated units depending on how far away they are from it. If you can't get it close enough for both sofas to use, then choose one and put the table close to that one, I would go with the chaise, and leave the most floor space open, but you have to really play with the arrangement a bit. That's pretty much using what you have except for the wicker basket which I would place next to one of the sofa units, like an end table. I can't tell where you would have the room, but don't be afraid to put it sideways so it will fit. If you can afford to buy new pieces you can add a chair or perhaps two between the dining area and your newly opened up room. Don't over crowd it though. If you use the triptych in the alcove, you can hang the red banners on either side of the opening in the stairway wall. Just remember in both these areas you need to balance what you put up on your walls, either with a real item or a color. If you put a black banner on one side of the open wall, you need to add something dark of equal size to the other side.

  • Z Z on Oct 29, 2015
    Looking at your layout again, I'd move the sectional about a foot back toward the dining room with its right side (when sitting on it) to the open wall and its left side a few inches away from the end of the open wall. By what I can see that will not crowd the walk way. If you have to, move the cube holder further to the far end of the sofa or somewhere else.

  • Kru2590488 Kru2590488 on Oct 29, 2015
    What I would do is add crown molding, bamboo roll down blinds held with attractive ribbons or belt straps for a more deaigner look, and mouny the tv above a large rustic fireplace mantle. For some more designer ideas visit new home models!

  • DEBRA DEBRA on Oct 29, 2015
    I would follow the advice of the comments made. In additio, I would repaint it beige and do all the trim in black making your accent color a rich rust color

  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Oct 29, 2015
    I would definitely bring some warm color to the walls, it can just be accent wall, starting with that little alcove in the dining room and then maybe the fireplace wall. I think I like the fireplace but add a mantle for some texture. Move the couch back to the corner of that wall. Does the sectional come apart, if so I would separate it. Could use a more substantial TV stand of wood like the dining room cabinet.

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Oct 30, 2015
    I do like matchstick wood roll up blinds, and if you can't build window seating a beautiful fabric covered bench that's as high as the window,maybe a couple of matching pots on either side with a great plant, or cool roundish baskets to put magazines, throws...maybe a cool stained glass piece to hang from at least the center window. Time to hang the t.v. Over the fireplace after adding a great wooden mantle. The components I'd open the walls on either side of mantle and make shelves for them and some nice knick knacks. Check out wall paint maybe a soft sage.

  • Jamie Jamie on Oct 30, 2015
    Hang a floating shelf across the fireplace , hang the tv over the fireplace. Straighten the sectional and move the storage cubbie against the fireplace wall. Add a chair with a geometric print or a rich color in the place of the old entertainment stand. Hang sheers at the window ceiling to floor on rings so they can be opened freely.

  • Sharon Roselli Sharon Roselli on Oct 30, 2015
    I love all the suggestions, but I would put in plantation shutters instead of blinds. Then I would add a sheer fabric from ceiling to floor and tie backs: you can actually mount the fabric on a piece of wood and screw the wood to the ceiling. Eventually, I would add a bench seat in the window area with cushions and pillows, but make it so that you could store things in it.

  • Carolyn V Carolyn V on Oct 30, 2015
    that sofa was too long to put against the wall; to open up the space more? if the couch has to be there; it could go back a few inches and put a nice narrow sofa table with soft lighting versus the small shelving unit.

  • Chris Chris on Oct 31, 2015
    Square up the sofa and move it closer to the fireplace. Put a sofa table or two, the length of the sofa behind. Add a lamp at each end of the table, or two identical floor lamps. Curtain panels on the walls either side of the bay window in a strong pattern to balance all the neutrals. Woven blinds in the bay. All window coverings should be hung close to the ceiling. A darker color on the fire place wall and the dining cove, plus some larger square art rather than all long skinny pieces. A larger rug in the living room will ground the space. If possible, remove the lights and replace with a more sophisticated ceiling light as pictured....better matches your dining light. The fireplace needs more work - either brick/tile to the ceiling with a large art piece of the tv above the opening, or some decorative trim work to give it a full height appearance. The trim work could also carry across this feature wall to add architectural interest.

  • Sarah Parker Sarah Parker on Oct 31, 2015
    Thank you for all the replies. I got a lot of ideas from the comments :) We will be moving furniture this weekend !

    • Margarite Margarite on Nov 01, 2015
      Please post pictures. I would love to see what you decided to do.

  • Jean Jean on Nov 13, 2015
    Yes! Please post how it comes out!!