Friday, March 30, 2012

First Design Plan

Our living room is large.  It has three entry points, and therefore is forced to carry traffic.  When we bought our home, we were attracted to this open, spacious concept.  Little did we know then, that we would miss feeling close to each other when seated in the living room, and would seek an arrangement that did not hinder traffic, but also defined our living space as it's own intimate conversation center without requiring people to walk through those enjoying each other's company.

When we first moved in, we pushed the garage sale couch against the wall, and threw the hand me down coffee table in front, of course.  My keyboard went in front of the pass through, and my pregnancy rocker recliner gift from the in-laws (quite likely the nicest gift we've ever received!) in the corner.  On the opposite wall in a niche area where the "entertainment center" (think practical and handed down, not fancy) went. Sorry, but, we have no photos.  It was not photo worthy.  The layout was spacious for sure, but walking through meant cutting in front of the television.  And sitting together meant sitting in a line, all talking to the television (which, also, was certainly too small to be across such a large room).

We quickly realized that we wanted to see the people we were talking to, and feel like we were in the same room together.  So, the rocker moved forward to create an L with the garage sale couch.  In spite of the still hideous appearance of the decor, we were generally pleased with feeling like the room was no longer swallowing our conversations and us whole.  Enter new bookshelves and toy shelves for crawling baby.  Not sure why, but the occasional house picture of nothing begins showing up.  Here:

Enter, new furniture.  Yes! Yes! Yes!  A real living room set, all matching.  Couch, loveseat, two end tables, and coffee table.  Exit big brown chair to master bedroom.  So exciting, I'm not sure why I didn't take pictures.  It's this one, however, from Roomstore.  Somewhere along the way we also picked a rug to soften some of all that tile.

Lots of new arrangements.  L shape creating hallways, so that furniture faces kitchen.  L shape open, facing garage and niche.  L shape facing kitchen, blocking foyer but open to niche.  Lots of arranging and rearranging.

Exit television.  Enter television.  Exit television permanently, when new sleeper sofa makes its way into office turned media room.

L shape facing away from kitchen. Furniture stays in same arrangement, finally.  Big open space, but it works.  (I know, television in picture - on it's way out.  It was replaced.)

Meet Monkey and Old Lady Skits

Mr. Medic announces he doesn't like it.  WHAT?!?!

Ok, honestly, it wasn't my favorite arrangement either, but it was working, and I was content.  I was mostly tired of figuring out how to arrange everything so that we had a reading corner, we could see each other talking, it accommodated traffic flow and we could see the television.

And then, at 2am, one night, it hit me.  There's no television in the living room anymore.  And so I reveal, my favorite (as in, wanted for a long time) arrangement.

And so you can understand where this design is headed, here's my plan for the room.  (Monkey wanted to me to paint with her, so enjoy my limited watercolor abilities.)  The plan is to eventually turn the pass-thru into a bar, as it is already at bar height.  The easel will simply have to find a new home.  Monkey's reading corner is the little shelf in the corner.  What you can't see is an oversized teddy bear.  Once her little rocking chair is fixed, it too will make it into the reading corner.

There are many things left to be completed in this room.  The bar space is by far the largest (and priciest) project coming up, but there are additional odds and ends on my list to finish it out.  Artwork above the couch, curtains, etc.  I'll track it as things are done.  In the past, we have made isolated design choices, as you can see in the room's history.  This is the first all encompassing plan, and I am thrilled.  It means we will probably move more slowly in our progress, as we will no longer be seeking the cheap, quick option, but instead trying to design a cohesive space.  I'm very excited to have a plan now, and can't wait to see it through.

What projects do you have pending?  Have you thought out a thorough plan for your project?

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