Sunday, March 28, 2010

Moving furniture around (& the holidays?)

First of all, thank you SO much for your thoughts on the veggie garden! I am so excited! It sounds like the Square Foot Gardening technique works great, so that’s what I’m going to try.

Onto the purpose of this post. I blame this one on The Nester. Darn it, I love her, but her post about moving furniture around the other day caused me to push very large and heavy sofas around our family room for hours this evening. Over and over. Large. And heavy.

Her post got me thinking – I don’t move our furniture around very often. Very often meaning never. The open layout of our home doesn’t allow for it – it’s pretty much one way for most rooms. But after The Nester’s post, I got a bug to rework our guest room and I LOVE it. (I’ll show you that soon.)

I’ve mentioned before that our family room layout kind of drives me batty. The room is BIG – about 16 by 14 feet at the smallest points – but the way the fireplace, windows, and cable/surround system outlets are laid out, there’s not much working with it.

We have always had the furniture “floating” in the room, which I do like, but it makes for very cramped cozy actual living space:

before

(Excuse the poor picture, it’s the only one I could find that showed the angle. I was too busy pushing furniture around to take a before pic.)

Then I read that blasted inspiring post and thought – maybe there is hope for a fresh, open look in our family room! Maybe I too can push some large and heavy stuff around and it will happen!

Well, it didn’t. Kind of. Not really. Maybe a little. I have issues.

I moved everything out of the space, and just tried all kinds of options. I’ve tried putting a sofa in front of the window before and it has just never worked. Did I mention our sofas are LARGE? I tried it again – twice. Still didn’t work. Same house Sarah, it didn’t get bigger!

Then I tried pulling a chair from the office and considered moving the loveseat into the office. I actually liked it, but hubs pointed out only one person could lay on a couch and watch TV. My hubby doesn’t dislike my changes often, so when he mentions something like that, I respect it. The loveseat stayed.

I tried it against this wall that I just showed you last week (again) and moved the hall table behind the larger sofa. Loved the table behind the sofa, didn’t love the loveseat way across the room. It was just weird. I felt like we’d be yelling at each other to have a conversation and it just felt odd.

After about 90 minutes, I moved the furniture back to the way we had the room when we moved in years ago:

new layout

Hmmm? What’s that? It doesn’t look different? I know. It doesn’t much. But it is enough of a change to tide me over until we get new furniture someday.

All I ended up doing (after ALL THAT) was switching the large sofa and the loveseat. We’ve done that before. But this time, I also turned the rug as well. So before, it was orientated towards the TV:

old layout

Now, it is placed so wider,with the large sofa:

rug

It does make for more space where we wanted space:

There are things I still don’t love, like this expanse of “back of sofa”:

sofaWhat I do love is it feels like there is SO much more room near our kitchen table now. And wow! Our floors look CLEAN! :)

Another part I’m not nuts about is that the sofa is so close to the window treatments, it makes them look smooshed, even though it’s not smooshing them:drapes

What I do love is this drape is about an inch shorter than the other one and now no one will ever know.  :) I made them myself and they’re not perfect. The inch difference always drove me mad, but now you can’t even see it. ;)

I was trying to get rid of the fact that we have to walk around a sofa to get into this space:

But I still love how cozy it feels. And flipping the sofas puts the shorter loveseat near the walkway, which gives us more open space here:

I’m also not thrilled the printed rug isn’t perfectly centered – the loveseat covers a lot of it, but it has to.

So. many. issues.

I do like the slight change though:

new layout

What do you think? My back hurts. Be kind. I’m not moving them back. ;)

Are you a furniture mover-arounder? Sometimes it’s all for naught. (Did I just say “for naught?”) But it can make your room feel like a whole new space when it works!

In other exciting news, I’m so stinking excited to announce I’ll be contributing a project to Matthew Mead’s upcoming holiday publication. I could die. I mean, I asked if they meant to write to ME when they sent me the email. (Seriously.) I’m giddy! Giddy to be involved, and a teensy bit giddy I get to think about Christmas already.

Yeah, I said it.

Holiday with Matthew Mead is a "book-azine" celebrating and offering inspiration for the Christmas holiday season. It will be released in October of this year and it is offered via online orders only -- in limited quantities -- and will not be sold on newsstands. But, by simply following the BUY HOLIDAY MAGAZINE link below their banner, you can reserve your own copy of this beautiful magazine, with guaranteed delivery of the magazine straight to your mailbox!  Holiday with Matthew Mead will be144 pages of holiday inspiration with well-known and admired designers, bloggers and top-notch features, printed on beautiful paper and not drowning in ads! Yahoo!

Matthew is having a super fantastic giveaway that starts tomorrow. YOU TOO could be involved in this awesome project! To see more, check out Holiday with Matthew Mead to find out how you can win the opportunity to have your blog or online shop mentioned in the magazine.

Head on over for your chance to win! (Click below!):

bloggersbutton1 Giveaway starts tomorrow! Have a great Monday!

53 comments:

  1. I'm stuck with 2 options for arranging furniture in my living room, too, so I feel your pain.

    Is there a reason it wouldn't work to put your couch at a floating angle facing the fireplace and work off that?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like it to be honest, I think the little bit of change makes a huge difference. Maybe you could put a nice skinny and long table behind your large couch, that might look really nice!

    ReplyDelete
  3. WHat about putting the bookshelf from under your TV to behind the Couch? Just an idea?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have the same issues with moving my furniture around- I really just need a different room! But, I have my TV armoire right next to my fireplace too, so I put my long couch at an angle facing the corner fireplace and I really like it. I don't know if you could do that or not, though. A little change is good, and I love the feeling that something is "new" when I haven't bought anything!
    Congrats on getting asked to contribute to the Matthew Mead mag- that is sooo exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree with one of the previous posts, I would get a long skinny "sofa table" to put behind the sofa, it will add some interest back there! We have an open concept "great room" as well so I have moved things around a few times. Our couch is at an angle and we added a few chairs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ugh, I feel you pain on the living room. Ours really only works one way with the tv, window and fireplace, too. Our fireplace is in the corner, too and it would be so much simpler if it was on the one full wall.

    About you hating the back of your sofa, it would look so cute with a sofa table behind it, and you could have some drawers in it for more storage, or baskets underneath. Then you also have another surface to put cute stuffs on.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is there a way to put the tv in the niche above your fireplace? You could angle the furniture in front of the fireplace.

    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just did this with my husband yesterday. I love the way it has worked out. It feels so refreshing to move things around and have some change.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congratulations on getting asked to contribute to the Matthew Mead magazine!!
    Ok, how about keeping the same L-shape, but "turn" it or "swivel" it to face the tv more. It will open up the space! Hard to explain :) Bring the right side of the couch in towards the fireplace. But that will require more moving, sooo...maybe give it a try after your back is rested :)
    ~kristy

    ReplyDelete
  10. My living room is hard to work with so I know how you feel. I still don't feel like I have it arranged right. Congrats on the Matthew Mead project. I love his designs!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I had to laugh because said to myself (right before I read it) Wow, her floors look so clean!! I like the change. Sometimes small changes make a big difference. I don't move things often but did so last week. I scratched the crap out of my floor and not sure how it happened! :(

    ReplyDelete
  12. As much as you won't want to hear this, I think it works better the way you had it. Long skinny room needs the sofa to be on the long side. Your sofa and loveseat are "overlapping", so that when you look straight at your sofa, you can't see all of the right side, the love seat is a bit in the way. The rug also looked better the other way. I'm sorry, I see that I'm in the minority so far, based on the comments you've received! \My living room is the same, I can only have my furniture ONE way. After 5 years, I'm bored with it, but there's just no changing it, it doesn't fit any other way. I would find other ways to make changes. Would it work to switch back, then pull the table off the wall you showed last week, and put it behind the sofa instead (basically just moving it 3 or 4 feet forward)?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Linda, unfortunately, the sofas overlap both ways -- they did before, you just couldn't see it in the picture. :) They are both too deep, which is a good problem to have, but we just don't have room for both in the room if we don't overlap the arms.

    I hope to replace one with a chaise or replace both with a sectional some day. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Funny some of you are suggesting angling -- I've considered that and it's the only way I haven't tried! Hmmm...

    ReplyDelete
  15. I never move my furniture. I figure it was the best choice at the time so it stays. I do move a chair during Christmas for the tree. I was thinking a sofa table behind the couch might work for the issue you have of looking at the back of the couch. Maybe one that isn't very wide. Then you will have another table top to decorate! My sister's house is very open. I tried to move her furniture around and it didn't work. It is very limiting.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Believe me, I KNOW how you feel. I have the open floor space problem too! I like how you arranged the sofa/loveseat... As for behind the sofa- maybe a cute buffet table or console? Even without, it looks pretty darn good!
    After you beck feels better, come on over and help me... Pleeeeaaase???? :P

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi there! I'm glad I came to visit tonight, I always love your projects! I JUST posted a picture tutorial on the square foot garden, which is AWESOME! You can see it here!! http://wwwthethriftygypsy.blogspot.com/2010/03/square-foot-gardening.html

    Good luck and I know you will love it :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I THINK IT LOOKS GREAT. I LIKE THE RUG TURNED THAT WAY NOW. I THINK THE FURNITURE IS POSITIONED IN THE RIGHT PLACE. MAYBE PUT THE TV ABOVE THE FIREPLACE AS SOMEONE ELSE MENTIONED AND THEN U COULD ANGLE TOWARDS THAT?? IT LOOKS REALLY NICE ALL READY THO :) GOOD JOB!

    ReplyDelete
  19. a suggestion for your bare area behind the sofa, if it is an area that is walked through--
    I have the same area and its almost like the back of the sofa makes it a mini hallway. I saw really cool floor tiles on flor.com & decided to use multi colored tiles to make a narrow rug just wide enough to walk on (one or two tiles wide). I pulled the colors from the main rug in the room and I really love the way it looks.
    Flor tiles are pretty expensive but I live in Georgia near a lot of carpet mills so I got cheap seconds.
    My little "L" shaped pattern really fills the space and I love the multi colors.
    Love your blog,
    Vee

    ReplyDelete
  20. Cozy is always good. I push furniture often. It's a sickness, but now that we are showing our house (potential move) I've been a crazy woman just trying to keep it clean!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I always liked angles, but it drives my husband crazy! In this house, the living room is too small to angle anything and the only wall without a fireplace on it has two deep windows, so that's where the sofa has to go - I don't like walking around sofas either! We have a sofa and 2 chairs and I think that makes a difference in arranging, because I almost always split up the chairs, and you can't split a loveseat!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love moving my furniture around, we do every couple months and it really does change the way the room looks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, I wish I could figure out other ways to arrange our furniture. But we have an *old* house with lots of windows and doors, and the rooms are not big enough to float all of the furniture!
    (I have Matthew Mead's Halloween book, I love it so much!)

    ReplyDelete
  24. HEY! I love your drapes you made...want to do something like that for my living room! :)
    I like the way you arranged your furniture. I have a corner fireplace as well, and I'm pretty much stuck with one furniture layout, bugs the bejeebers out of me too! Have you thought of putting your tv on your mantel and putting your sofas at an angle on each side of your fireplace? Just a thought. I'm not crazy about tvs above mantels, but sometimes it works. :) My hubby wants to install a screen behind crown molding with a projector in the ceiling to just get rid of our tv all together....not a bad idea, but unless he's keeping some money in some swiss bank accounts somewhere, don't think that's gonna happen! LOL Hope you have a great day! OH and congrats BIG TIME on the Matthew Mead piece...wow, can I say I'm a tad bit jealous! :) hee hee hee
    TTYL
    Melissa :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. That was your work out for the day. Goodness how frustrating to do all that work and end up with about the same result. I Love your rug by the way.
    Be sure to Re-sign up at my new place www.itssoverycheri.com
    Cheri

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow! I thought my condo complex was the only one that had this arrangement of a fireplace in that weird nook, window on adjacent wall, and open floor plan! Makes me feel better you have your set up the same way I do!

    ReplyDelete
  27. You never know until you try. Sometimes it's worth it the try just so you'll KNOW. And sometimes you find a way to change things, even if it's just a small bit. So I say BRAVO to you for making this little change. And be sure not to take ibuprofen on an empty stomach. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have a tip for you. Rather than move all that heavy furniture around, I use my house design software to "move" the furniture around on the computer.Much less back breaking and I can try an infinite number of combinations.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love it. Moving furniture and accessories around saves money. You get a whole new room at NO cost.

    Also check out "A New Room for $100" www.MyDesignGuide.blogspot.com

    Just changing out pillows and accessories - a great refresher for Spring.

    ReplyDelete
  30. That post also had me wanting to move my furniture! I feel like my room doesn't have other options for a layout, but am hoping that with our small remodel, my husband will be willing to let me try and few things. We'll see! I have a plan. I think yours looks nice the way you have moved it.

    ~ Michelle @ FTSN

    ReplyDelete
  31. Loooove your blog! Did you try the sofa perpendicular (sp) to the fireplace and then the L/S in front of the window. If you keep it as is, why keep the rug squared up with the furniture. Twist it so it is in line with the fireplace.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like to use the arrange-a-room feature on bhg.com. You have to measure out your room and some of your furniture (it does have some preset standard sizes for things or you can adjust it to your exact sizes). But it sure beats moving around heavy furniture :) You can print it out and save it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Can you get rid of the little table with the lamp and move the couch back to open the room up more? Love your curtains :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Years ago, my wife & I bought a sectional group for our living room. It was a custom order set that fit our space perfectly! You can see it here:

    http://www.2dolphins.com/livingroom.html

    Well, we just moved to a fantastic new house. Oh so much to love - twice the square footage, twice as many bathrooms (well, okay, one of them is a very tiny pwder room, but still...)

    But that sectional grouping no longer works well at all! We ordered it oriented to fit our old living room, and the new living room really begs for the reverse layout. Our solution, tho far from particularly thrifty, was to splurge on some new furniture!

    We're still trying to make the old sectional work in our 2nd living room a.k.a. den at the new place and there too, it's just backwards and fits the space poorly. Even moreso, in fact, because that room is slightly narrower than the living room. So the sectional overfills the space and chops up the walking path awkwardly. I suspect we'll end up selling off our beloved old sectional altogether and do something different in the den.

    Anyway, I guess we've sorta learned a lesson - and maybe it's also just a reflection of maturing/changing tastes. We liked the clean lines and flow of the sectional, but I doubt we'll ever buy another.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The room looks great! I love all the accessories :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I always hate when my furniture doesn't work in the room! We bought a new sectional before moving and it just doesn't fit in our living room. But I LOVE the couch. Such is life!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have the "smushed" window treatment thing going on too...need to come up with a solution. It does look like you have more space now!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I seriously have 1 and only 1 option for furniture placement in my family room. Floating furniture would block walkways because the room is small and there is only one wall big enough for just a couch. The largest wall has a huge fireplace and windows on either side. and the other walls have doorways to other rooms or the sliding glass door that leads to our deck. ((sigh)) I think I need to do a post to see if anyone offers advice.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I think the room looks great! Also, just wondering.. where did you get that rug? I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  40. We have an 'open' house too. I put our couch at an angle with a sofa table behind it and I love it. I need to do a post about the great room. You might get some ideas. I think by angling the couch it opens up the room and you can see the tv & fireplace. When you walk in the front door, you see the table with the lamps and pictures on it. I am totally a furniture mover. At 13 yrs. old, I moved my bedroom furniture while my parents were gone and they didn't believe that I had done it by myself. I started early decorating:)

    ReplyDelete
  41. You need a sofa table to go behind the couch. You could put lamps on it and it would look great.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think it, like the rest of your house, looks lovely. However, I'm curious about what's by the wall opposite the window wall? Could the shorter sofa go along that wall? Then of course have the table and rug completely central! It will open out the room but still be a defined living area.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Looking again, if you put your tv above the fireplace, you could put your small sofa where the tv is now (if it fits!), the big sofa along the wall opposite the window, then get a chair to go by the window. I know that tv viewing would be impossible from the small sofa - we have the same problem here, but it would still work as a defined living area? That would also resolve the back of sofa problem.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Is there a reason why your large sofa is so close to the wall? What is behind the love seat? It feels really forced and I think it might work better if the love seat was pulled back a little bit from the sofa. I would put your table that sits on the wall by the kitchen between the sofa and drapes. I would put a table behind your sofa so your not looking at the whole back thing (you must have something in your arsenal)

    ReplyDelete
  45. LOL, First of all you can find any free 'room arranger' free on-line, measure your furniture, move it around the screen until you get the placement right. Second, you can buy a plastic padded disk so you can 'glide' your furniture, no hevy stuff and third, if you don't like looking at the back of the sofa find a long, tall narrow sofa table. Personally I would ditch the love seat and get 2 medium size wing chairs. This would visually open the space.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am always moving furniture. It's FREE! And you can really change a room a lot that way. I inherited it from my grandmother, who at 77 still moves her couches! My grandpa once told her that if the house had a basement he would go down there and nail all the furniture to the floor! I think my husband has the same wish for here!

    We have a long, skinny room with a wall of floor to ceiling windows and a fireplace... just can't get it 'right'!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I like it fine. My loveseat and sofa overlap at times too. I've moved them further apart and get the yelling across the room feeling too. My living room has an angled fireplace/wall in it and one huge window. It's a huge chopped up mess of a room with a wide opening to the kitchen and hall. So furniture just doesn't 'fit' it well at all!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I totally get your frustration, as we have one wall with two windows and the fireplace, one with the entertainment center, one with the staircase descending (at least it is a wall!) but it also has an opening for the garage entry,and the other is wide open to the kitchen!! Open is nice, but a real challenge when placing furniture. Wish you had an "arial view"...sometimes that makes things easier to see (I can get one from my overhang by the back staircase). Sorry I don't live closer...I'd help you push all the heavy stuff around!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Love the room. But its a lit bit too dark to me. Though the colors matches so good,

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm wondering if you can get rid of the television? Well, that was going to be my suggestion until a couple suggested the mantle. . .I'm not a big fan of televisions in living rooms myself. . .would much rather have them in a den or someplace where they are not seen. But if television viewing is your main purpose of that room then you need it. . .it just seems to define a lot of your space and limit what you can do there. If you use the television while you're in the kitchen could you just get a small under-mount one to view in there?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hmm... I don't know if this has been mentioned yet or not, but is there a reason why you can't put your sofa in front of the window? Then have your L/S perpendicular to it, connected with an end table? I, too, have a corner fireplace, but a rather large livingroom, so space isn't an issue (except there's just so much of it!). I also do not move furniture around as much. If you and I lined our fireplaces up, I have my TV where your window is, the sofa perpendicular to the TV, and two chairs across from the sofa. I'd rather see you put your sofa in front of the window, before considering putting the TV above the fireplace. As for the empty space, yes, a sofa table is what I use as well! Thanks for the post! I love seeing what you do with your furniture!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. One word: craigslist. Get yourself a new couch and loveseat set that fits your space. We got a new set this weekend for $500, it's GORG! And sold our old one that same day. I love my living room again. And don't go sectional, then you're really limited with the re-arranging, especially at Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Do you have room to put a sofa table behind your couch, that way you wouldn't be looking at the back of a couch?

    ReplyDelete

I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!