Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Living Room Design Plans

I’ve bemoaned the hardness of figuring out our living room’s design potential in the past. But I think I have finally solved the puzzle. (And my third trimester nesting urge is kicking in hard, so I’m feeling some extreme pull towards at least some execution of the plans.)

For a brief overview, it’s tricky because it’s long and narrow.

(These photos are crazy, because the room has been crazy since we lived here. The goal is to reach un-crazy!)

 It has doorways on each end of the room on the south wall, and a french door going into the sunroom, taking up most of the east wall. (The doors open up into this room.)
 And a fireplace in the middle of the north wall -- which honestly is kind of an odd scale next to a lot of furniture pieces I’ve tried in the room. It’s so flat to the wall, without really being flat that it makes many a piece seem uncharacteristically bulky next to it.

 From the entryway looking in.

It currently has no over head lighting either. We improved the natural light situation by taking down the awning outside the window.
But I had been having the hardest time committing to a color choice for the walls, since it turns out I hated my first choice. (Too purpley.)

(No where near as much as the original yellow…but still.)

So I pondered in deep thought, with immense amounts of pinterest and blog researching. Getting nowhere for a LONG confused time. And Blake and I getting on and off of color agreements repeatedly.

Then, one glorious day, one picture I saw on Pinterest united us.

This is clearly an entryway. But we can see it’s essence in our living room.

What we are getting out of this picture is: the walls are white, and are detailed in pretty woodwork. And the ceiling is where the color is at.

I could get on board with this general idea because, prior to this picture, no matter what color I had tried to envision the walls, it seemed like it would look crazy from the entryway. And since this room is the first thing you see when you come in it always felt wrong. 
White admittedly feels right for the space.
And since you can’t see the ceiling until you get into the room, the entryway view wouldn’t be affected…. and a surprise color in the room would be fun.
I’m normally a white ceiling kinda girl (especially on boring 8’ ceilings), but in this case, it feels pretty meant-to-be for me to flip-flop my norms.

Also I’ve painted our french doors black, so it’s got the black door vibe already.

(It will need crown moulding to get us there.)

To be honest, I guess because I am so much a white ceiling girl -- part of me is getting a bit nervous about the ceiling and color. I don’t want it too feel too cheesy. And to me the blue in this picture is ok, but if we aren’t careful it might wind up just a bit too chipper for me. I might want just a bit more of an angsty, pale, dirty, minty-aqua. (That description is stunning! lol. But I just don’t want overly happy robin’s egg blue -- I feel like that would be too shocking for the space. ) I’m still not sure I’m gonna pull the trigger on it exactly. But overall this picture still holds our main inspiration. And I just might have to try and break free of my regular-ness for this space, since it is an irregular kind of space.

The way we want the woodwork on the walls is still very much up for debate in my mind. I’m pinning different rooms for ideas, but have to nail down just which way is right for us.

This one feels almost trendy (in a way), and not quite how I see this room. But I still like it.

This would be simple but effective. 
It could perhaps make the room feel taller (although this room IS clearly taller than ours.) 
And side note, Blake I’m sure would LOVE how dark this ceiling is. 
He’s got his vote down for dark. I just don’t know if we get enough light to support that nicely. Especially without those great tall ceilings.

This very traditional look on the walls is where I am heavily leaning. 

My goal for the room is for it to be very staunch and traditional at it’s barebones. But with our furnishings for it to go the other way, turning into a funky musicians’ play space. 

I love this space’s take on that idea. And I want to pull it off in our own way.

We plan to hang Blake’s guitars on the wall. I think he has like 7? We have our piano in there now. And a big black amp. 

So it won’t look like that picture (I’m not gonna achieve as much grandeur, due to them starting at a cooler level of architecture overall) -- but at the core, I want this sort of essence to come through.

As far as layout is concerned that was hard. 
The room really is too narrow to float much in the middle of the room. I’ve tried. And it just feels crowed and hard to walk around.
It was tight getting into the room like this. Couches closer together feels strange.
 Especially with the piano in the mix. (It’s location is really the only technically sound place for a piano in that room, for tuning purposes. Outside walls aren’t good for tuning... I know, right? I need more challenges. lol.) So that really limits how you use the center of the long room.


I kept trying to figure out how I wanted to use the space. Like figure out what we will do in there. Which is strange since we've never used the space for real yet. Seeing as how it was under construction with no floors and tools strewn about for so long. 
See what I mean? Yikes. At least I’m not nesting with that around!

And now it’s just a random whatever space. So I’m still not totally sure how we use it. But I think I just want it to be a room that’s nice for gathering in, without a TV. Reading by the window. Chilling with guitar. Having company over and a grown up place to sit.
 I debated if we needed a desk area in there -- maybe towards the back. But so far I don’t see that getting any use. It felt like an excuse to “attempt” the room design wise.

After taking it all in. What I think I’ve come to is, a streamlined section going under the front window and across the back wall towards the fireplace.
I never thought of myself as a sectional gal. But this house has taught me sectional are sometimes the only way. (We needed one in the family room too -- another long narrow room.)
I couldn’t figure out how to do a couple couches/couch-n-loveseat in the space well. I tried the thought of two settees facing each other. But it all wound up weird and underused.

So after much thought and some blog researching I feel pretty set on getting Ikea’s Karlstad corner sofa. (In the sivik dark grey.) (If it turns out we think it’s awesome and keep it forever, I might consider getting a not-from-ikea cover in a funkier color. Like royal blue -- because I’ve fallen head over heels for any royal blue furniture Emily Henderson uses -- sooo pretty! But time will tell if that crazy scheme ever comes into play for real. I mean her couch is just way cooler in general anyway.)

Why I wanna go this route?

1) This couch is streamlined and has such an easy style.

2)We have young kids.
That means I don’t wanna spend a lot on a couch right now. This is a good price for a new sectional. (I’m all about craigslist, but streamlined sections and our area’s craigslist are not acquainted.)
It also means the fact that these seat cover are machine washable is AMAZING!

In a nutshell that pretty much sells me on it. I’m not expecting it to be super comfortable. But this isn’t gonna be our cozy up space. (That’s our family room.) So a bit more stiff of seating in here will be fine for how I see us using it. But I have read a lot of bloggers talk about their Karlstad and they always say they are happy with the comfort level.

So that will go up front in the room.
We were given a cool retro round coffee table recently. (Someday I’ll refinish it.)

So that will nestle in with the sectional.

In front of the fireplace I see two chairs. 
I think I’m happy with the black ones we have now. (I haven’t liked them in there yet -- but I think that’s just because the room is crazy looking.) I kinda want them to read a little more mid-century than they do. But I think they will work. 

If not, they weren’t too pricey -- a craigslist find. So I can always resell and reshop.

And down at the french door end I think I will sort of float a chaise lounge. The head going towards the back (left) corner, the feet out into the room a bit. Maybe a desk or table next to it, against the back wall. (Closer to the fireplace, than the corner.)

I’ve had such a hard time figuring out that back part. But I think this will work.
The only other thought I had was a LARGE square ottoman, sitting in the center of that part the room -- kinda working like a couch/sit-n-play guitar spot.
But I’m not super sure about that. AND I’d likely have to DIY the thing. And you all know how much time I have on my hands for more projects. :) Plus that still leaves that back left wall bare…and I don’t know what to do there in that case.

I think a chaise is better form and function.
At first I thought I’d get the matching Karstad stand alone chaise. (Not in white)

But then I saw this cool chaise Ikea came out with.

Blake and I both like how this one would look at lot for the space.
But I have no idea how it would feel to sit in. It’s rattan. Might be good. Might be totally crazy.  I’ll need to sit on it, and think about it.

So those are the basic goals of the room.

To pull it off (or mostly off for the time being) I just need to sand the mud patch on our walls, 

and paint the room white.
(The wood work and fun ceiling can come later. I don’t mind waiting for the pizzaz, as long as we get it to look like an actual room for the time being.)
And then somehow get my motion-sickness-prone pregnant butt up to Ikea for the furniture.

And after that it would just be cutesy styling stuff. (And selling some stuff we don’t need. By the way, that round mid-century table randomly sitting around in there -- I’m not sure I can bare to part with it -- but it has no where to live in my house. The pain!)

The idea of me getting up to Ikea is terrifying. (Due to how bad my last bout of motion sickness was.) But my nesting instinct has taken over and I am powerless against it. So I’m brainstorming ways to achieve!
I can think of pretty much nothing but having this room be acceptable before this baby arrives.
My girls birthdays are right around my due date. So we will have lots of reason to celebrate and have company. It would just make my mothering hormones feel so much better to have that room (the first thing anyone sees when they come in) to be nice, and for it to be a place to spend time.


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