Each week we share one of the many communications between Your Decorating Hotline and our readers. Most often we receive requests for help, as is the case today, but we would be happy to share a project, a decorating success or a decorating ”oopsie!”. Why not write to tell us about yours?
Today we spotlight a Reader who is moving into a brand new space that is an unusual shape and, as a medical student, he needs the space to be multi-functional.
I love your website. I’m moving to Denver, Colorado soon and I have a great place with spectacular views of the city and mountains. Total living space is about 660sq. ft. My personal style is definitely transitional. I’m going to be a medical resident and so I would like a living area and a space for a desk to study that feels separate. I’m familiar with techniques of how to separate a large space into smaller ones, but I’m having trouble envisioning how this place would lay out. I’ve attached a floor plan (with dimensions) and some pictures of what the interior currently looks like.
Y’all are the greatest! Thanks” - Arpit
How exciting for you – a move, a new place and starting med school! No doubt you need a study space but also a place to kick back and unwind from all the stress med school will bring into your life.
As you know, you have a unique floor plan that is a bit tricky and since I don’t know what furniture you have or don’t have, I’m going to provide several general options for you to consider regarding your space:
To start: Consider the big long wall that flows off the kitchen as your “entertainment” and library wall. This wall has no windows so it’s a great place to build up and take advantage of vertical space. Fill the length of the wall with shelves for books, a place for your TV and/or music system and accessories to add color to your room and baskets or boxes to add storage for things you need access to but don’t have space to store. Place a sofa directly across from this wall, intersecting the room so it is more of a square shape – leaving the triangular area of the room behind it open. Place an ottoman in front of the sofa so it can be used as a coffee table or moved to the side and used for additional seating when you have company.
Work space: Create your study space behind the sofa. Then you can literally turn your back on your studies by plopping down on the sofa and watching TV when you need a break! Again, depending on your budget or furniture you currently have, consider:
1. Putting an office armoire on the wall between the living room and the bedroom. This again takes advantage of vertical space rather than filling the floor space with a big desk area. Office armoires are available to accommodate computers, provide file drawers, white boards or cork boards inside the doors and lots of storage in a small vertical space. Plus, you just shut the doors when you want to shut down for the day.
2. If you have a desk or large table you plan to study at, place it behind and up against the sofa (like a sofa table on steroids) and slide a desk chair in so it faces the entertainment wall.
3. If you have an “L” shaped desk place it in the corner of the triangle area where the window wall and bedroom/living wall intersect.
I hope you find this information helpful and can use it as a springboard to fit your needs, furniture and budget. Also, hope you still have time to read Your Decorating Hotline when you’re a busy med student! Enjoy.
Oh my goodness, thank you for your help! I was thinking along these lines, but I can actually see in my head how your description will lay out. I actually have a blank slate and I don’t have ANY furniture. Your suggestion about “an “L” shaped desk place it in the corner of the triangle area where the window wall and bedroom/living wall intersect” is genius! I was thinking of the following major pieces:
I figured that the space was too small for a loveseat but I’m looking for an accent chair or something to complement the room. Any suggestions? Also, if I use a corner desk, would a tall bookshelf (like the 5×5 ikea expedit) be a good choice for behind the sofa? Or is something shorter better but with a ceiling-hung large piece of art/curtains to create the physical separation?
I’ll do you one better than continuing to visit YDH while I’m refining my living space over the next few years. I’d like to link to you on my blog (www.arpitdave.com). Do you have a preferred graphic, or should I use one from your website (http://yourdecoratinghotline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/1-color-dots-150×150.jpg – love this! – don’t worry I’ll host it, not hotlink, unless you want me to)?
Thanks again, you’re great! I’ll send you pictures when I’m done.” -Arpit
I’m so glad my suggestions were helpful.
I think you’ll find an accent chair will be more flexible in your space than a loveseat would be. Look for one that suits the style of the sofa you purchase. For example, if you get the sofa pictured in the photo you sent, you can use either a leather or a fabric chair – but make sure its style is similar (look at the arm shape, the feet and the scale).
You could use a piece like Ikea’s Expedit unit behind your sofa – but if you do, just make sure it is not longer than your sofa. Consider also that you will want to fill it with items that look good from both sides since it is floating and serves two areas. This piece works as a divider because it still allows light into both areas from the wall windows and it allows for visual connection to the entire room – but with just a bit of a “mental barrier.” Stay away from anything solid that prevents light and window visuals as it will make your space seem smaller.
Thanks for the link on your site! I’ll look forward to seeing photos after you get settled in Denver. Take “before” and “in progress” and “after” photos – you’ll enjoy being able to look back at your decorating project and see how it evolves.