Thursday, September 21, 2017

One sofa or two? Help me decide!

Well things are moving along quickly at the new house and all of a sudden I need to get serious about planning the spaces! I already have a good idea of what I'll be doing with most of the rooms but I still can't decide on the family room. 

I think the last photo I shared with you was this one: 
Two story fireplace family room

SO much has happened in here since! The floors went down this week -- be sure to follow along on my Instagram account (and the stories there) to see updates! I am SO thrilled with the hardwoods!! I'm pretty sure the tile surround will go up this week too. 

I have two ideas in mind for the layout in here. This is the only room in the house that we'll be getting a few new pieces of furniture. (We don't have a dining or living room in this house so we actually sold furniture from the last house.) I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing on the sides of the fireplace but I have to decide on the furniture for the middle of the room. 

One thing I LOVE about this room is that everything will float in the middle. I think it will feel so open and airy and I'm super excited about figuring out this space. 

We'll be using this sofa from the old living room
Neutral deep sofa

And these chairs from the old family room
Long family room furniture layout

This is where I'm trying to decide on how to place them. Those of you that know me know that even though I try hard to fight it, I'm a symmetrical girl at heart. I mean, it hurts me when I can't do the same on both sides...of whatever.

So this fireplace is calling out for it, right? My immediate thought was that I wanted to try to get another one of our sofas and put them facing each other in front of the fireplace. It's just SO GOOD: 
Two sofas and two chairs in front of fireplace Muskoka Living

Four chairs in front of fireplace BHG

Two sofas on either side of fireplace Heather Bullard

two sofas facing each other rustic fireplace Country Living

I know, I know. That one photo has four chairs, but still...SYMMETRY. I love thee. 

We got the sofa for a GREAT price on sale at a local furniture store, but I'm not sure they still have it or if I could get it for that price again. 😬 I think I'm going to call to see if it's possible. 

Pros of the two sofa layout: 
  • It's aesthetically pleasing. When I see two sofas it just calms me and feels "right." 
  • Two sofas facing each other are more furniture but seem to keep the room more open. I love that the end of the room would be open to the rest of the great room.
  • TV watching will be done sitting on one end of the sofa, for the most part. We tend to lay down when watching TV so I see us doing that on each sofa. But I can also see fights for those spots. ;) 
  • It can go a little more formal -- but I think this depends on the sofa style too. 

There's another option that's a good one too -- to place the sofa directly in front of the TV and then put the two chairs facing each other on either side. I can't even find good photos of this option, buy you know what I'm saying, right? Maybe even get a couple more chairs so there would be a set on either side of the room. I got those on sale, so that wouldn't be too bad if I got them at the same price.

Pros of the one sofa layout: 
  • Guests rarely sit on sofas. Have you ever noticed that? They sit in chairs or stand. I think it would be great for when we have company. (I think it makes it feel a little more intimate for that reason.)
  • I love that we could just sit on the sofa anywhere and see the TV. 
  • I think it could start to feel a little busy with four smaller furniture pieces. 
  • Having the sofa at the "end" of the room kind of closes it off. 

Do you have either one of these family room layouts? How do you like them? I'd love to hear the good and the bad about both! I think I'll make a decision after we get in -- I'd like to see how the sofa looks in the room first, and then decide if it will feel too tight for two. 

Affiliate links included for your convenience!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Our smartest and best renovation!

Well hello, hope you're weekend was great! Great news here -- we have a move in date for the new house!! Only about month to go...I can do this! There's still so much I want to get done while we we're in the short term living, so I know I'll keep busy and I have a feeling it will fly by. We found out today most of the house will actually be finished up by the end of next week. The next couple of weeks after that will be small touch ups and cleaning. SO FREAKIN' EXCITED.

Today I'm sharing the history of another room in our old house, in pictures. This was one of my favorites in 13 years because it truly changed how we lived in the house. One big result of this reno was the kitchen that I shared a couple weeks ago. (If you missed the guest room transformation be sure to check that out too!) Be sure to check out the bottom of the post for links to decor sources and DIY projects from the family room!

If you've been reading for awhile you know that we built our last house as well -- and when we were picking out the details all those years ago I thought a corner fireplace would be SO AWESOME and SO DIFFERENT and blah blah blah. It was supposed to be placed between the two windows on the back wall. Great idea, right? Noooo...I had to mess with it. 

So we got our corner fireplace: 
Corner fireplace in family room

And I disliked it immediately. I later loathed it. It made all furniture configurations really difficult and it drove me crazy. (It didn't even start out that way -- I added the trim on the top and painted it.) 

Now don't get me wrong -- I've seen plenty of corner fireplaces I like. Many are done well and make a room feel very open and spacious. That was not the case with ours:
Working with corner fireplace

It was fine when our boy was tiny, but his toys started multiplying (he got bigger too) and it got tight in there. We wanted more room to entertain as well. 

So a long time ago we came up with a quick fix and moved the cable lines -- it changed the whole layout of the room and helped a TON. Around this time we finished paying off $125,000 in debt and purchased a sectional that fit perfectly in the room:
Corner fireplace fixes

dresser as entertainment center
But it still felt tight in there. We dreamt of opening things up. Years ago we started the process of pricing out an addition to the back of our house. We had plans to open up the back and make the family room much larger. But goodNESS the quotes were insane

And then one day a reader said...why don't you knock down that wall? And I was all...huh. Maybe we could? My office was back in the corner -- I loved that room but I was happy to give that up for more living space. 

So I knocked a wall down (with some help): 
Tearing down a wall

We designed a new layout and ended up with a much bigger family room:
Dark gray fireplace with marble surround

Knocking down that wall was probably the BEST thing we did in that whole house. It changed everything and allowed for the beautiful kitchen I shared at the beginning of the post. And even with the kitchen renovation I did, the whole cost (of both renos) didn't even come close to a fraction of what we were quoted to add on. 

Early this year we found a new sofa that fit in the room much better (just a lower profile and smaller) and I added a couple chairs and new drapes: 
Family room with board and batten walls

This room was SO cozy and one of my favorites in the house. I absolutely loved sitting here in the evenings and cuddling up on the sofa with some good TV. :) 

Here are a few more photos of how it looked right before we moved: 
Small sectional with chaise

Long family room layout

Board and batten trim on walls

Dark gray fireplace with built ins

Such a pretty room. Love it! Sometimes the simplest option is the best one!

You can find links to many of the renovation projects in this room below: 

You can find links to many of the items in this room by clicking on the photos below! (Affiliate links included for your convenience!)