I know we don’t approach the design of our home like professional interior designers. The way they can pull a room and look together has always amazed me. Their vision, plus years of experience, make it look like ice skating. So effortless, it’s often mistaken for easy.
My background is in design, but not interior design. I’m pretty keyed up to space relationships and scale. And I especially want to know how things look in a photograph because I can tell if the scale is wrong in two seconds when I put a camera on it! I’m going to share our process for picking out furniture – which might be a bit unconventional – but it’s honestly how my brain works. Picking out furniture for a room is wayyyyy different than curating a style round-up or even finding items I like on Pinterest. Let me tell you why: functionality. We need our room to function – everyone does! This is about a beautiful room, but it’s also about a room that works for us. I’m going to pack a lot of information in this post: first, the room layouts, and second, the foundation pieces.
At this moment in time, the conversations about the design of this room have been between just Will and myself. That’s it. We discuss what we need, and why it’s important to us individually. Will is focused on the bar and record area, I’m focused on seating and traffic flow. We haven’t had many discussions about the more aesthetic parts of the room. We’re a little stumped about the layout of the room. We’ve asked West Elm if we can work with a designer to answer some of our burning questions. We’ve not met the designer yet, so it will be fun to see her point of view on our space – we’ve been looking at the living room and thinking about it for years – a fresh set of eyes is always appreciated. If you are working on the design of a room in your home and are struggling, consider doing exactly the steps we are taking here. Working on it yourself, then reaching out to a professional.
The Room Layout
A huge pro/con for this particular room is the size. It’s really big. Almost to the point of us not know what to do with it. Let’s walk through where we are today, plus our take on the new design.
- What works:
– The TV is ‘hidden’ and is not a focal point of the room.
– The couch floating in the middle of the room is really dramatic.
– We like the idea of a breakfast table. Our dining table is quite big and dramatic, so we use the little table in the nook quite often. (We debated about turning this into an atrium style area.)
What doesn’t work:
– Not enough seating.
– No one sits on the blue corner chaise. I’m not sure why, maybe because it’s isolated from the rest of the room?
– Record player area is a serious mess and disorganized.
– TV cabinet is not right for that space, plus we’d like to condense the record cabinet into that space.
– Columns are a challenge to work around. Visually and logistically.
– Not sure on rug size for main area. We have a 9 x 12, but wondering if it should be 10 x 13?
– Need more lighting overall.
– No area for a bar, which Will uses nightly.
The New Layout
- – Keep TV in same area and consolidate record player.
– Get rid of blue corner chaise and replace with giant bar cabinet.
– Make several seating areas and add lots of chairs in main area.
– Create a ‘behind the sofa’ seating area.
– Create a breakfast nook with table and comfortable chairs. Get rug for this area, we have major insulation issues in the winter.
– Consider storage for dog toys and blankets.
– Get lots of stools for people to kick their feet up.
– Get new sheep skins for the dogs and some kind of ottoman for Nero. Let’s be honest: if I don’t he will be All. Over. The. Furniture. He’s a boxer and is terrible for not wanting to lay on the floor. Sugar could care less.
The Foundation Furniture Pieces
When choosing furniture, we focus on key anchor pieces that set the tone for the room. We will add vintage and art to give the space a customized look. In this post, let’s focus on the foundation pieces.
Main Conversation Area
1. Bruno Double Arm Floor Lamp, Rejuvenation, 2. Breda Leather Sofa, west elm collection, 3. Chelsea Display Cabinet, west elm collection, 4. Origami Leather Lounge Chair,west elm collection, 5. Printed Jacobean Tulip Pillow Cover, west elm collection, 6. Embroidered Jacobean Pillow Cover, west elm collection, 7. Edam Swivel Chair, west elm collection
Occasional Table Obsession
1. Hex Side Table, west elm 2. Brass Hairpin Side Table, west elm collection 3. Agate Side Table, west elm 4. Gilded Brass Side Table, west elm collection 5. Disc Side Table, west elm 6. Shadow Box Side Table, west elm 7. Concrete Pedestal Side Table, wst elm 8. Hayes C-Shaped Side Table, west elm collection
Breakfast Table Area a.k.a. the Nook
Behind the Sofa Area
Next Steps: Consult with a pro
Looks like the room is coming together? We want to take one more step before finalizing furniture. West Elm offers design services and since we have been struggling with the room layout, we thought it best to see what a designer would do with this space. Last week Johanna from West Elm came to Stony Ford for a visit. She was able to look at the room in person and take measurements, plus we discussed our must have items and where we were struggling. We’ll share what Johanna sends! Then the room starts coming together.