Your Decorating Hotline receives requests from readers seeking help for their decorating dilemmas through paid personal consultations. Today’s post offers an overview on a full room consult I did for a reader this past spring. It encompasses an “L” shaped space that she was struggling with due to the shape, the traffic patterns and the family’s many functional needs. This is not the full consult, rather an overview of Your Decorating Hotline’s solution presentation.
This space is used by a family of five – the three children are 5, 10 and 13 years old. It serves a multitude of uses including watching T.V., practicing piano and other instruments, an office (needing 2 computers) and hobbies. The photo shows the living portion of the “L” and the office area is to the left of the door.
The owner, Kelly, is drawn to simple, farmhouse-style homes and relaxed, sophisticated rooms such as Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs depict. She would like their living area to feel organized, uncluttered and easy to maintain. The space needs to accommodate the relaxed lifestyle of the family and all the “stuff” five people bring to a living space.
The Floor Plan Solution
The main living area is an “L” shaped space that includes three primary traffic paths: Kitchen and front door through the long leg of the “L”, stairway access through the width of the long left, and access in and out of sliding glass doors through the middle of the short leg of the “L” and then continuing on then via the kitchen/front door path.
In addition to these traffic requirements, the furniture arrangement also had to consider the cast iron baseboard heaters in both rooms. In the long leg of the “L” they ran on both of the living rooms’ outside walls, meeting in the corner. In the short leg of the “L” they started 234″ from the door moulding and ran approximately 10 feet. In both rooms the heaters stick out from the walls approximately 3″.
The Design Solution
Color: Since the living and office space was an open floor plan, the colors in the two areas needed to be the same – as it essentially appeared as a single space. Kelly asked me to keep the walls their current color – Benjamin Moore “Lady Finder” #1045 (from the Classic Color line). She also described her color preference as “neutral, possibly pastel” so I recommended a monochromatic color scheme.
Sectional: The current sofa and loveseat fight one another for space in the small seating area (the arms overlap) so I suggested a more streamlined sectional. Pottery Barn offers this piece in several color selections that could fit the room’s color scheme and it suited the family’s casual lifestyle. The measurements were critical – considering floor space and distance needed from the wall due to the baseboard heaters. The sofa actually provides more seating than the previous loveseat/sofa combo flows better in the space.
Hanging lights: The limited wall space in the living room didn’t allow for side tables or sofa tables so I suggested a set of hanging lights over the corner of the sectional so the family could relax on the sofa and easily read, stitch, play games, etc. without light in this area the corner would feel dark and not cozy and inviting. The organic texture of these pendants works with the color scheme, can be extended to other spots in the room through baskets, and they do not require hard wiring.
Coffee table: Wise use of space is important so I selected a coffee table that offers a shelf for holding books, magazines, TV remotes, etc. Even with the additional shelf surface on the table, the sofa is airy enough that people can look through it to the floor and furniture.
T.V. stand: The table holding the T.V. was proportionately too small for the screen. I suggested a unit that suits the size of the screen and has space for companion equipment. Additionally, its casters allow Kelly to push the T.V. up against the wall when not in use but also easily move it away from the wall and angle it toward the sofa for better viewing. It also matches the color of the bookcases recommended for the office.
Bookcases: The tall bookcases take advantage of vertical space for storage and the doors help easily store/hide office supplies while leaving the upper shelves open for easy book access or display space for collectibles and accessories that will pretty up the utilitarian space and help blend it into the living room.
Work table: Instead of a standard desk I recommended a table because it could serve the family is many ways a desk could not. Space was needed for two computers and work space for a hobby was also required – the table allows that. The table extends with 2 extra leaves that store under the table top when not in use, making it easy for multiple several people to work at the same time. PLUS! For mammoth projects, or if Kelly ever decided to host a dinner party, she could simply move the office ottomans into the living room and pull the table out into the center of the office space and extend it to its full length – yet still have room to move about. To top it off – whether projects or dinner messes, the surface simply wipes clean thanks to its clear lacquer finish.
Ottomans/stools: Two storage ottomans placed under the window in the office can be used in that room or pulled into the living room for extra seating when needed.
Your Decorating Hotline offers three levels of personal consultations. A complete room design consultation (Kelly’s selection), a “Choose Your Dilemma” consultation (focuses on a single issue of your choice), and a color consultation (development of a color palette for a room).
For more information and pricing on the three consultations visit our website here and also here. After you select the personal consultation that best suits your needs, we’ll send you a targeted questionnaire targeted to complete. The input you provide on the questionnaire will be used to design a personal solution you can implement in your space.
We’re here to help – partner with Your Decorating Hotline and stop struggling with your decorating dilemma!