I have been trying to figure out how to lay out our new living room for weeks, so maybe you wonderful readers can help me out. The issue is the shape of the room and the difficulty of having dueling focal points.
The room has a working fireplace flanked by lovely built-in bookcases and storage. The plan is to highlight the backs of the two sides of shelving by painting them an accent color. We might also paint the brick, but that has yet to be decided.
The fireplace would make a splendid focal point on its own, if we were to leave the room as a formal living room. I really want it to be a space that gets used though, and I know it won’t unless there is a TV in there. Sad, but true. (There is no way to run cords around or behind the fireplace, so mounting the TV above the mantel is right out.)
The living room is long and narrow with a large bank of windows that provide the room’s only natural light.
So, how do I make this long space cozy AND accommodate two focal points? And, to sweeten the issue, how do we feel about putting an area rug ONTO wall to wall carpet?
Same as D, but with an area rug
So, what do you think? Which of these layouts do you think would work best in The Mad House living room? Vote in the poll below!
EDIT (9/2013): Thank you to all of you who have weighed in via the comment section. I have enjoyed reading each comment and considering your ideas. I am STILL working on finishing the living room — I know, I know — and will post pics as soon as we get it all sorted out. The layout we are currently using is closest to Choice C with some chairs switched around, and it works very well for us.
To answer a few of your questions:
- We couldn’t mount the TV above the fireplace because it was just too darn big. We have since downsized to a smaller TV, but it is not the wall-mountable variety. Plus, I like being able to decorate the mantel and have a mirror above the fireplace. You can see more about our fireplace and built-ins here.
- We have hit a snag with the plans for lightening up the fireplace brick. I was in talks with a company to replace the brick with faux stone, but that fell through. Still working on a Plan B.
- We are a limited budget family, so replacing furniture or hiring electricians isn’t a top priority. I am thankful for all your ideas though, because when we do get around to those projects I will want the advice!
- When the living room is done, I will be sure to update this post so you can check it all out!
UPDATE: I still haven’t done a full reveal of the layout, but you can get a good sense of what it looks like in this post.