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So with any luck, we're moving at the end of the month to a lovely, older home. It's a good bit bigger than our current house. We'll be going from 1000sq ft to almost 1600 sq ft. We've made it through the inspection process on both the house we're selling and the one we're buying and as long as the sellers can get a radon mitigation system installed in the new house in time, we're good to close.

I'm tentatively starting to think about furniture placement and what to do with all of the extra space. The living room has me slightly confused. It's huge, compared to what we have now. It's 11'x25'. What do I do with a room that long? It was set up with a sitting room in front of the fireplace and a TV side, but I don't know that we need two full living room set ups for 3 people. 

I would also love to update the fireplace sooner rather than later. It's very, um, fake gold and the mantle is plastic right now.

Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 7.16.40 PM.png

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Could you put a cute little sitting area on the end of the room by the windows? I’m not talking about big furniture like a sofa, but maybe two small chairs with a little table between them, or a small game table, or a little desk.

Where will you be putting the TV?

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Turn one end into something else:

  • Book nook with chairs and small table (or a game nook)
  • Nook for crafts or other activities that you can do in a living room setting
  • Library
  • Music room within a room (either for playing instruments or listening to music)
  • Showcase for a hobby or collection
  • If the light is good, fill it with nice, large houseplants
  • Showcase some elaborate antique piece

Depending on the layout of the rest of house, maybe make it something other than a living room--dining room, etc.

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Beautiful floors and I love the far windows!

Agree about updating the fireplace.  I’d look for a massive old Craftsman style mahogany mantel.  And lose the mirror in favor of a painting or tapestry, or a mirror in a massive Craftsman or Mission style frame.

I think the current owners were smart to have a chair that swivels between facing the fireplace and facing the TV.  I’d go with two of those, and two loveseats—one facing the fireplace where the current sofa is (but shorter) and one at right angles to it, defining that area as a ‘room’.  So, where the current loveseat is, the new second loveseat would be a few feet further from the door.  

Then I would put a low, long bookshelf behind that second loveseat, with an end table lamp on it, and coasters.  That would be a behind the couch table and give you some bookshelves in the room, which it badly needs.  

Since the chandelier is in one end of the room, I’m thinking that that is intended to be the formal dining area.  I’d replace the chandelier with a flat stained glass one, the kind that are fairly simple and look sort of Art Deco in style.  I’d discard the white curtains—the window frames are really attractive and it’s a shame to hide them.  I think I would use fabric shades over them, the kind that are inside the frames but look decorative rather than utilitarian.   

Then I’d have a game table, the kind where you flip over the top and get a felt compartment for card games, but with just two comfortable wooden chairs put to it, and two chinz wing chairs back by the windows.  That way you would define a living room, a breakfast nook/game/craft table, and a comfortable reading area with natural light that has two chairs that could be pulled over to the game table if needed.  I like the location of the bookshelf, but I’d replace it with a much bigger one, built in, custom, floor to ceiling, or with those lawyer bookshelves, the antique ones with the glass doors, the kind that stack, as tall as possible so you have plenty of room.  You might find one section with a flip down desk—those are rarer than the shelves themselves, but very handy at times.  I like the tea cart a lot.  And the buffet.  Although I’m not sure that they would fit with the game table.  

If anyone in your household plays chess and you have a nice looking chess set, you could leave it set up on the game table most of the time.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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You guys are amazing - does anyone want to come out to VT and help me decorate? We'll have a spare bedroom now! 😂 

We love games and I like the idea of keeping one end as a game area! We'll probably have the TV in this room somewhere. There is a formal dining room (with another chandelier) across the hall from the living room. There are two chandeliers on opposite ends of the living room. I found the picture of the other side of the living room. 

Yes to bookcases too. We have lots of built in bookcases here, so we'll have to buy some and figure it out at the new place. 

Picture of other side of room:

 

1402344120_ScreenShot2020-10-05at7_46_40PM.thumb.png.1a7108be2b2f45116b593d5a92c4563a.png

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I'd make a reading/game/puzzle nook as well. You could put bookcases, but also a smallish table big enough for games or puzzles. We also have a long living room, which only works for the TV to go in one spot. That means that the main furniture can't also face the fireplace. Currently, we have two rockers and a small rug in front of the fireplace (which is on one end of the room facing the long part), and a piano to the side. When we have a large number of guests, we move the chairs and put a folding table there for more dining. I have played a bit with the idea of moving the rockers altogether, and putting a permanent small-sized table there.

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We have a living room around that size, but ours has a wide doorway in the middle that can be closed to make it two rooms (Though we have it set up currently so that isn’t possible without moving furniture, and if we stay here in our old age we will use one room as a first floor bedroom.)  We also have two fireplaces, so it isn’t quite like yours.  

Anyway, we have two couches and two armchairs plus side tables in one half, and the other has the piano, a bookcase, a desk with glass-front bookcase on top, a table that acts as a desk and a couple of small pieces of furniture (like the trunk that belonged to my great great grandmother.  

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We have a long living room and I really didn't do a good job with it at first.  The impression you had was that the bowling balls were missing.  

It's not the same as your long living room, so what worked for us (and it really did!) isn't the same exact recommendation but it starts in about the same place, and that is that you have to think outside the box--the long box.  

If I had your long living room, I would make it one room but with different ways of being in it.  I'd make a cozy conversation space in front of the fireplace with the walkway behind it, and then at the window end, a games/puzzle/sewing/craft area.  People can be together but doing different things.  

In my old house, we had an enormous rec room.  half of it was the TV/lego area, and the other half my sewing area.  It was actually 2/3 - 1/3 split.  But I made so many quilts there--while the guys would be playing games or watching a show or building a lego creation.  Then we had a big flood in the basement and when it was done, things had been rearranged.  I had my own sewing room/craft room at the end of the hall and the rec room was repurposed.  It was "better"--but it really wasn't.  I was lonely, set off by myself, and I never did sew as much.  I did enjoy that room for reading and painting though.  

This weekend, we looked at a house that is under construction.  It's got more square feet than we have now, but fewer rooms...they are bigger rooms, though.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that we will have to think outside the box if we get this house.  But it can work.  The dining room (if...) will be my office.  The "office" will be dh's office.  The guest room will be a Murphy-bed/sewing room.  The master (which is way too big) will also have our library bookshelves.  Living room will be TV room and family/kitchen/nook will be the public area.  

Soooo what is it that can be "outside the box" but wonderful for this long living room?  

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My childhood home had a long living room so half of it became the formal dining room. The actual dining room became food prep and messy eating area. 
My piano teacher had the same floor plan. So she put in a room divider and make half of it into a piano studio so that she could teach at home. 
Another neighbor put a room divider to make half the area into a guest bedroom.

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Just agreeing with everyone that it's an excellent room. The fireplace does need an update (I'd do a new mirror or picture and replace that mantle and the cruddy fittings stat and then ponder painting it). But otherwise, it's gorgeous. All that light. The wood trim. It's great.

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Fireplace:  If you can’t budget to get face replacements for the “gold” right away, they do make high heat safe spray paint.   I have itty bitty little strips of “gold” that are on my list to cover; I’ve just been procrastinating.  I’ve seen it done online, and it makes a huge difference.

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16 hours ago, AmandaVT said:

You guys are amazing - does anyone want to come out to VT and help me decorate? We'll have a spare bedroom now! 😂 

We love games and I like the idea of keeping one end as a game area! We'll probably have the TV in this room somewhere. There is a formal dining room (with another chandelier) across the hall from the living room. There are two chandeliers on opposite ends of the living room. I found the picture of the other side of the living room. 

Yes to bookcases too. We have lots of built in bookcases here, so we'll have to buy some and figure it out at the new place. 

Picture of other side of room:

 

1402344120_ScreenShot2020-10-05at7_46_40PM.thumb.png.1a7108be2b2f45116b593d5a92c4563a.png

Oh geez! Great windows on each side! We actually just changed our dining room to our living room and vice versa so we would have a long living room!

We did what was suggested - bookshelves and a sitting area at one end, tv and "normal" living room furniture at the opposing side.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I hate the sound of the tv.  On the other hand, I like being "with" the family while they veg without having to watch tv.  Previously the living room was really just the "tv room." Now it's multi-purpose so we can all be together, but doing different things.

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Pretty room, but wow they have a lot going on in there. LOL 

We have a long room. At one end, we have a piano against a wall (where the scalloped shaped hutch is near the loveseat is your pix).

In the middle we have a couch. We have 2  side chairs on each arm, that are on an angle. The TV is across from the couch and chairs (where the fire place is in your room).

At the far end, we have a   dining room table and chairs (the part of the room with the rocking chair).  I keep the table scaled down most of the time, and just extend it with leaves when we have company. 

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Just now, Tap said:

Pretty room, but wow they have a lot going on in there. LOL 

We have a long room. At one end, we have a piano against a wall (where the scalloped shaped hutch is near the loveseat is your pix).

In the middle we have a couch. We have side chairs, one on each arm at  at an angle.  Like this \ _____ /.  The TV is across from the couch and chairs (where the fire place is in your room).

At the far end, we have a   dining room table and chairs (the part of the room with the rocking chair).  I keep the table scaled down most of the time, and just extend it with leaves when we have company. 

 

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20 hours ago, BlsdMama said:

And, as a sidenote, you could embrace the gold and paint the brick.  Gold is making a hardcore comeback. 😉

 

I would remove the mirror and install a thicker mantle, possible one with a live edge.  I would live with that for at least a year before replacing or painting over the gold. It might grow on you.  I would not paint the brick, I think the nature tones of the brick look good in that room.

I would be tempted to mount the tv over the fireplace.  If I couldn't convince dh to do that, I would mount the tv on a swivel arm next to the fireplace.  It could then be pulled out over the mantle edge when someone wanted to watch it and pushed back against the wall to be less obtrusive when not in use.  It would also allow you to make the fireplace the focal point of your primary seating area.

What to do at the ends of the room really depend on what functions you need the room to serve.  Do you need an office space, an exercise area, a quiet contemplative space?   I like the idea of a cosy reading nook near the window.  Possibly with a bird feeder outside the window.  

One thing I would address are the curtains over just the center windows. That looks odd.  If you like the look of curtains, simple sheers would fit the style of the room as would layered curtains, but all windows should have the same treatment.  If you don't like curtains, the room would also look good without them.

 

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23 hours ago, Sherry in OH said:

I would remove the mirror and install a thicker mantle, possible one with a live edge.  I would live with that for at least a year before replacing or painting over the gold. It might grow on you.  I would not paint the brick, I think the nature tones of the brick look good in that room.

I would be tempted to mount the tv over the fireplace.  If I couldn't convince dh to do that, I would mount the tv on a swivel arm next to the fireplace.  It could then be pulled out over the mantle edge when someone wanted to watch it and pushed back against the wall to be less obtrusive when not in use.  It would also allow you to make the fireplace the focal point of your primary seating area.

What to do at the ends of the room really depend on what functions you need the room to serve.  Do you need an office space, an exercise area, a quiet contemplative space?   I like the idea of a cosy reading nook near the window.  Possibly with a bird feeder outside the window.  

One thing I would address are the curtains over just the center windows. That looks odd.  If you like the look of curtains, simple sheers would fit the style of the room as would layered curtains, but all windows should have the same treatment.  If you don't like curtains, the room would also look good without them.

 

I think the suggestions here are great.  We did this exact thing (TV on swivel arm NEXT to the fireplace) and I really liked that it wasn't the center stage of my fireplace.  ❤️ 

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In our weirdly shaped living room, we have a rug/couches defining the living room, then an office area to one side with a small desk, bookshelves, cupboard, etc, plus a big comfy chair. I’m not a great decorator, but I feel like it goes okay and it’s very functional for our family right now.

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I have along LR like this.  You can pull the upholstered furniture in so that it's a tighter group around the fireplace, then make the rest of the room your library.  Add bookcases and a table for working/games/puzzles/projects, or even for eating snacks while watching TV (assuming you put a TV in this room).  I always thing it's easier to place things when the TV and fireplace are in different rooms. 

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If you do make a games area, I'd suggest an armoire rather than open shelves - our game shelves always looked untidy to me, regardless of how carefully I stack the boxes.  Replacing them with a built in with doors has been the best. Books are less 'messy' looking.

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16 hours ago, Hannah said:

If you do make a games area, I'd suggest an armoire rather than open shelves - our game shelves always looked untidy to me, regardless of how carefully I stack the boxes.  Replacing them with a built in with doors has been the best. Books are less 'messy' looking.

I have sari fabric hanging in front of our games. It is much nicer having them hidden from view.  I also have most game pieces stored in labeled plastic drawers and their boards are shelves upright like books. I can fit a LOT more games in less space this way. The boxes are stored in the basement should we ever need them, but we haven’t for years. 

Edited by KungFuPanda
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I just wanted to add that I agree with those who say this is a wonderful room! While I don't really care for the mirror over the fireplace, the room is warm and inviting, and gives off such a cozy, relaxed feeling. I have been in so many homes lately where the colors help create a cold and formal feeling. Maybe part of it is the oh so popular gray. Dh and I were talking last night about a friend's new home, and how while it was pretty, it wasn't us at all. I said yes, I prefer a little bit more "shabby" to our home, lol. Not at all saying this room is shabby, because it isn't--but it doesn't give off that formal stiff feeling like so many of the newer homes do that we've been in lately.

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On 10/7/2020 at 9:38 AM, Sherry in OH said:

I would remove the mirror and install a thicker mantle, possible one with a live edge.  I would live with that for at least a year before replacing or painting over the gold. It might grow on you.  I would not paint the brick, I think the nature tones of the brick look good in that room.

I would be tempted to mount the tv over the fireplace.  If I couldn't convince dh to do that, I would mount the tv on a swivel arm next to the fireplace.  It could then be pulled out over the mantle edge when someone wanted to watch it and pushed back against the wall to be less obtrusive when not in use.  It would also allow you to make the fireplace the focal point of your primary seating area.

What to do at the ends of the room really depend on what functions you need the room to serve.  Do you need an office space, an exercise area, a quiet contemplative space?   I like the idea of a cosy reading nook near the window.  Possibly with a bird feeder outside the window.  

One thing I would address are the curtains over just the center windows. That looks odd.  If you like the look of curtains, simple sheers would fit the style of the room as would layered curtains, but all windows should have the same treatment.  If you don't like curtains, the room would also look good without them.

 

DH wants to mount the TV over the fireplace. He was trying to figure out if it would be hot last time we talked about it. We're assuming no because so many people do it? 

The curtains are all gone now, along with all of the furniture (and doilies!). There are plain white-ish, shades in there right now that were probably installed in the 60's. New somethings for the windows will be in order. 

You guys are so great with the suggestions! I can't wait to get back in there and take more pictures as we start to settle in. 

Also, I'm finally starting to pack! 1 box done!

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10 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

DH wants to mount the TV over the fireplace. He was trying to figure out if it would be hot last time we talked about it. We're assuming no because so many people do it? 

Don't do it unless you get recliners.  Seriously, this is so bad for your neck to crick it to look up at TV.

Can you put the TV beside the fireplace?  That way you have two pretty things to look at.  We actually swapped our living room and our family room because the only place to put the TV in the family room was over the fireplace and it was miserable.  

We read a bunch of interesting stuff about what size TV to get for what distance viewing and the height of the TV for most relaxed viewing and so on...it is SO much better now that the screen is in the right place.  And there's room for a picture above the fireplace and above the TV and our house is seriously lacking in wall space, so this was a big win.  

And now I am getting out my soapbox.  We've never had the TV in the "living room."  I grew up with the TV in the living room and hated it.  Even when it is off, the TV location forces the furniture arrangement in ways that is more conducive to watching TV and less to conversation, to hospitality.  If the TV is on, it is in control of what goes on in the living room.  

When we had a 1 bedroom condo, we kept the portable TV under the sink.  When we got a 2 bedroom condo and the next 2BR, we used the second bedroom as the TV room.  When we had an enormous house with a 400sf living room, a 200sf family room and a 400 sf rec room in the basement--the TV lived downstairs, next to the fireplace.  I had a small TV in the laundry room so I could do my ironing while I watched Columbo, but other than that, we just had the one TV.  

The people who bought that house put a TV in every. single. room, wall mounted--above the fireplaces.  There were like 7 wall-mounted TVs.  Oh, the cacophony.  

Obviously, I have a soap box on this.  :0) It's everyone's choice to do what they want but for me, I didn't want our family divided by separate TVs, so we had one only, and it was not the center of the home.  No regrets...at least on that.  

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I don't love the idea of a TV in the living room. Our other option is what we're calling 'the squashy blue carpet room'. The only problem is that there are a ton of windows in it, but I guess if we get nice shades it would work. It's another long room, just on the other side of the fireplace as the living room. Half of it will be for music stuff - both DH and DS play instruments, so it's a nice place for that. But the other half could have our sectional couch and TV? Also, the carpet isn't the prettiest, but it's so soft and squashy. I may want to keep it! 

 

1868326670_ScreenShot2020-10-09at7_15_39PM.thumb.png.75bcf24fffcac58b1aca7af1dcee2dcf.png

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What a great room! As to music/TV, well, one of my frustrations in our current home is that we have one living area. So if anybody is watching TV (and though I'm not, at least two of them are TV watchers), I can't play the piano. It limits a lot when I can play. If you guys don't watch much TV (my preference, and how it was when our olders were little), that's not a problem. But if somebody wants to play their instrument and somebody else wants to watch TV, it can't really happen.

I think that blue squishy carpet could definitely grow on you. I have found through many moves that things that bother me at first, I either don't notice after some time, or begin to like them. For instance, there is a built-in bookcase in our living room that was painted a kind of forest green. I had definite plans to paint it after we moved in. As we were unpacking, I pulled out our wall-hangings for the den, and they had the exact same shade of green in them. So the bookcase is still green!

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1 hour ago, AmandaVT said:

DH wants to mount the TV over the fireplace. He was trying to figure out if it would be hot last time we talked about it. We're assuming no because so many people do it? 

The curtains are all gone now, along with all of the furniture (and doilies!). There are plain white-ish, shades in there right now that were probably installed in the 60's. New somethings for the windows will be in order. 

You guys are so great with the suggestions! I can't wait to get back in there and take more pictures as we start to settle in. 

Also, I'm finally starting to pack! 1 box done!

If you mount the TV above the fireplace you also want a drop down tv mount (like this one).  That will allow you to positionthe tv at a comfortable viewing height.  The downside is that you cannot have a fire and watch TV at the same time.  (Well, technically you could, but tending the fire without hitting your head on the bottom of the TV would be difficult.) 

The blue carpeted room is beautiful.  Two public rooms are wonderful.  Which of the two rooms do you see yourself wanting to spend the most time in?   I would claim that room as a quiet space and put both the instruments and the TV in the other room.   

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If this is the other side of the wall....I would want to rip the wall down and have one beautiful livingroom!  Both rooms are nice, but super narrow. (at least the pix make it seem that way). If I could have a room with all those windows, I would be in heaven! If you put a TV in the room with the windows, you will really need to investigate what type of screen you need and consider polarization or a UV tint for the windows.

2 hours ago, AmandaVT said:

I don't love the idea of a TV in the living room. Our other option is what we're calling 'the squashy blue carpet room'. The only problem is that there are a ton of windows in it, but I guess if we get nice shades it would work. It's another long room, just on the other side of the fireplace as the living room. Half of it will be for music stuff - both DH and DS play instruments, so it's a nice place for that. But the other half could have our sectional couch and TV? Also, the carpet isn't the prettiest, but it's so soft and squashy. I may want to keep it! 

 

1868326670_ScreenShot2020-10-09at7_15_39PM.thumb.png.75bcf24fffcac58b1aca7af1dcee2dcf.png

 

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I once arranged my room like this with the tv opposite the fireplace. The furniture flanked the fireplace and faced each other. It worked really well for even non-TV visits and the TV didn’t clutter the view of the room looking in. I just rearranged so I can see the tv from the kitchen. It’s more functional for me, but less pretty. 
 

This room looks a tad narrow for that if you’re married to right angles, but if you play with diagonal lines you can gain more width. 
 

—I just had the weirdest tech glitch. I or signed out mid-response but I still had a “submit  “ button available to me.  So if this response shows up twice, that’s what happened. 🤣-

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