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Topic: Family room layout HELP ME I suck at this  (Read 1337 times)
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sugarbeth
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« on: May 21, 2008 11:27:02 AM »

We are totally gutting our downstairs living room. The walls are wood panelling and it's all being ripped out with new drywall put in, and we'll be running a couple more circuits down there for all the electronic stuff. The stone around the fireplace will be ripped out too. So basically we can put stuff wherever we want, I just need to know ahead of time so that I know where to put the outlets and wires.

It's a decently-sized space. I'm just not sure if it's big enough for what I'd really like down there, which is a comfy sectional. This is our family spot, we'll be getting a big tv, and I want us all to be able to huddle on the sofa and watch movies there. It's also where our computers are. I also need to add storage/bookshelves, and need a spot for a parrot tree.

Anyhoo, here are the Sketchup sketches.

The first is the room empty:


The blue thing down the center is the venting in the ceiling which makes the ceiling drop a bit right there. You enter the room from the bottom.

Right now we have a tv on the left wall, with two couches around it - one facing and one on the bottom left wall. On the right wall are two desks with computers.

Downstairs now:


I put a sectional in this sketch, but that won't really work because we'd have to walk all the way around it to get in there. Plus, the seating would be way too close for a big tv.


I think a sectional might work like in this sketch, but I'm not sure? It's a good distance from the tv, but then there is this sorta this dead space behind the sectional. But I could hang a parrot gym back there.


Anyone have a layout like this? Or have any thoughts/ideas? Am I pushing it trying to get a sectional in there? The room looks so big as I'm in it, but when I start drawing things in there I run out of room really fast! lol!

Thanks for any insight you can give me! Smiley
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Beth
crafty momma to Lilu and Toby
Martin Handmade Tile
Inna
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008 12:40:14 PM »

That's a really hard room to furnish!!! Are you getting rid of the fireplace entirely?
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TinfoilHalo
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008 01:17:25 PM »

My first instinct is to encourage you to get a flat screen HDMI TV, and hang it from above the fireplace.  This way, you have 1 main focus in the room (fireplaces and TVs usually fight for center of attention).  Then I would "divide" the room via seating groups.

You could put your sectional in an L shape (long side against the left wall, short side against the bottom wall).  You could put a coffee table in the center area (maybe a large square throw rug in the middle too).  There would also be room for a love seat, or 2 comfy chairs (bonus- make them swivel so people in the chairs can watch others on the computers if you are into PC gaming, or watching stuff on the internet at all) in the center-ish of the room, facing towards the left wall,  further defining your TV room space.

On the right side of the room, birdy tree goes right in front of the window (I had parrots, so I know they love this!) on the top wall. The computer area stays where you have it, but I would put the 2 computer stations touching each other right in the center of the right wall, and then put 2 bookcases, one on either side
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sugarbeth
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008 02:50:46 PM »

Inna~ the fireplace will stay, just the stone around it will go.

TinfoilHalo~ I've also considered putting the tv above the fireplace, but my concern with that is that the tv will be too high. If the fireplace was at floor level, it would be a no-brainer, but because of the raised hearth, the top of the fireplace is at about midway up the wall. I should probably look around and see if I can find any pics of this arrangement, though.

Thanks for your input! You've given me some stuff to think about! Smiley Anyone else, feel free to chime in!
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Beth
crafty momma to Lilu and Toby
Martin Handmade Tile
ScotSkipper402
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008 02:52:13 PM »

If you can't get a big fancy wall TV yet...

I'd put the sectional sofa at TinFoilHalo suggests, under the window and against the wall.

Then move the TV cabinet more or less in the middlish of the room, but closer to the computer desks. That could make a kind of room divider to separate the TV/hang out space from the computer desks/work space. You could craft a pretty hanging for the back of the TV cabinet to finish it off.
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sugarbeth
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2008 02:56:04 PM »

Okay, TinfoilHalo, I went and googled some pics of tvs above fireplaces, and they all look high and it's not weird. Cheesy So I think you might be absolutely right about that option - thanks! I guess one just tilts the tv down a little and then it works.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008 02:56:37 PM by sugarbeth » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Beth
crafty momma to Lilu and Toby
Martin Handmade Tile
sugarbeth
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2008 04:00:02 PM »

Okay, here's my quickie mock-up of the fireplace tv scenario. It totally will work, I don't know why I was so resistant to doing it this way. Everything fits so easy now. So thanks for the kick in the butt. Smiley

(These aren't the actual furniture pieces, I just picked models to see the fit.)



Now I just need to figure out where I want the computers. I actually want to make a built in office workspace and chuck the desks. So half the right side of the room will be for computers, the rest for kids' crap storage. hmmm...at least I finally have a starting point - ripping out the fireplace surround! Smiley
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Beth
crafty momma to Lilu and Toby
Martin Handmade Tile
TinfoilHalo
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2008 09:01:35 AM »

woohoo glad I could help!

My mom actually has her TV high (not above a fireplace, but at about that height) and they have it tilted downwards a bit come to think of it.  I've only watched TV there a few times, but the height/tilt doesn't take away from comfort at all Smiley
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Wildflowers
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2008 10:07:24 AM »

Interesting room for sure.  I DL the google sketch program, thanks for mentioning it, but I need to practice with it...sigh!

You have a nice size room, and a sectional will work in it! 

The fire place and band of windows on one wall appear to be the focal points of the room.  I don't know how high these windows are from the floor, but as a general rule, a TV placed in front of a view window is cumbersome at best unless the window are very high.

Another problem with sectionals, is locking the access, ie placing an arm side up against a wall.  They are BIG items with more than one person using it.  It is always best to have access to the sofa from both sides, this prevents people from walking in front of others while watching TV.  Also, people will use the sofa more evenly (keeping the wear seating more even). Double access to the sofa will be more inviting, since people feel comfortable slipping onto a seat.

After looking over you ideas (which are good!) let me suggest a couple of things to think about.
-The size of your sectional is serious business.  The RED one you have with a chaise on one end I like, but the little sofa on the left side I feel would better fit the room if it was a one pillow extension, not a two.  The other sofa you might consider is the crescent shape sofa.

-Try playing with the room thinking on angles and floating the sofa.  I would like to see the TV on an diangle to the left of the fire place, with the sofa at an angle to the TV.  I would want the chaise closest to the fire place for cozy viewing in the winter months.

If you float the sofa, a nice sofa table behind the sofa, maybe with a storage chest that could roll under the table would be a nice extra storage (toy box) and keep kids from wanting to "go over the back of the sofa".  (If you can wire a floor elect box it would be ideal for a lamp too).  This would also leave you a back wall for something interesting, a table, lamps, maybe even a little chair or something interesting, etc.

-Think ceiling lighting and directional lighting.

-Your idea of TV over the fireplace is very good, but the sofa is a wee bit too far away and locked by a wall!  Think the width of a TV x 3 = distance to sit from the TV.

The area near the large window on the same wall as the fire place would be a great kids play area.  Remember they won't stay small very long, so I would also consider how you will use it when they get bigger.  A table for games and home work??

If you build in a desk area for computers (which we all need today) do it library style, nice shelves, good lighting, and maybe consider shelving in the kids area to match.  Great to store toys and games now, later for books and grown up kids things.  Remember they will be into computer games and using computers too.

To keep a room looking large, consider a sofa on legs.  They stay cleaner and the eye catches more light passing under the sofa.

To get a real feel for the furniture in the room, take masking tape and tape out on the floor where you want furniture, walk around with the tape in place, and see how you like it.

NUMBER ONE RULE when selecting any furniture.  Remember the furniture looks much smaller in a LARGE show room that it will in your house.  Measure Measure Measure  LOL Smiley




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sugarbeth
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2008 01:23:33 PM »

Thank you, Wildflowers! You've given me a lot to think about!

I've thought about putting the tv in that corner as well - but the hearth on the fireplace limits what we can put there. But I'll play with it and see if I can get something to work. We want a BIG tv.  Grin

I'll have to go look at sectionals and get a better feel for their sizes and layouts. I see what you mean about having access from both sides...hmmm....
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Beth
crafty momma to Lilu and Toby
Martin Handmade Tile
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