Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Room - Four Ways

I am giving fair warning with this post that you may think I'm a maniac. Andy certainly does. 

I'm always restless with our living room, its the one room in the house that just will NOT come together. It refuses. It is an obstinate little asshole and I hate it. Its very long, and very narrow, with doors and windows everywhere. And while I have tried to change up the rug and the curtains and the small details, the couch is very static because Andy is opposed to getting rid of a perfectly good couch that is VERY comfortable just because I think its ugly. Level headed, schmevel headed.

Anyways, so yesterday I came home from work after a particularly frustrating day, and was running on a lot of caffeine and very little sleep, and I just busted in and told Andy "We need to rearrange. Stand up, help me move the couch." Either because he's used to me, or just because he is a gem, he asked no questions and got to it. 

I tried a few layouts, texted a few friends some options, and am still feeling a little restless, so I come to you guys for input as well! Don't be swayed by good lighting in some and better styling in others, since I didn't expect my living room to become a photoshoot yesterday, nor did I reset all little vignettes between shots.

This is where we started from. That rug is getting a new home in the guest room because white shag just isn't a good option for our highest traffic area. And this layout was okay, but I was getting bored with it and it just felt like it wasn't quite right, or wasn't utilizing the space much, and was starting to feel kind of packed-in.

1.) So on a quick Ikea trip, we picked up a new rug. Love the rug, but I don't love how its the exact same width as the couch, but the design was great, the price was right at under $70, and the low-pile can handle the traffic.  But I don't know if it was just the busyness of the pattern, but the room was starting to feel a little cramped.

2.) So I did a little Rotate-> Living Room -> Counterclockwise. Just swapped out the direction of the rug and the location of the couch and record player credenza. I like this layout, but it isn't the best use of space since the chairs no longer fit in there, and the credenza looks a little dwarfed over by the window. 

So let's keep tweaking.

3.) Again, don't mind the mess or the styling, since all of these changes happened in under 30 minutes in a very sleep deprived state. (This last rearranging actually was not a discussion with Andy, as much as something I did by myself when he was in the shower...) I like that this one creates two separate little seating areas (I swapped out the pink chairs for some gold ones I had at the head of my dining table) but can't decide if the credenza is awkward in the corner/if the room looks too hodgepodge? 

As we were doing all this rearranging, Andy asked me "Did you do this to your parent's house growing up?" and was mindboggled when I said I was constantly rearranging furniture, and that my favorite thing in the world was rearranging my bedroom, and even more mindblown when I told him this is how I like to relax. Someone please tell me they also feel that way, that rearranging heavy furniture gives you an endorphin rush, and that you've been doing it ever since you could lift more than 20 pounds??

Obviously once we settle on a layout, i'll style it up a bit more and take some real pictures! In the meantime, I like to think that one day when I'm a super famous, super stylish megablogger (because that's gonna happen) we'll look back on this pathetic little living room and laugh haughtily over really expensive booze about just how far I've come. 



  1. The second one. The credenza looks fine! Is your TV matte or do deal with a killer glare?

  2. The second one. The credenza looks fine! As long as you have space for the chairs elsewhere, I wouldn't sweat it.

    Do you have a matte television or do you deal with a killer glare?

  3. I like #3. I think the chairs work so so well in that bay window.

  4. I like number 3 because i love having a place to sit by a window.

    my mom has said she could tell when i was stressed out because she'd hear me moving furniture in my room and she knew to keep her distance haha

  5. Hope it's OK if a stranger chimes in (been reading you since the Homies). Just wanted to say that I don't know what you should do with your living room (sorry!) but yes, I used to rearrange my bedroom ALL THE TIME when I was a kid. You are not alone. Moving furniture is way less trouble than moving houses. :-)

    I will say, that's a tricky little space you've got. Love that bay window, though.

  6. I love number 3. You've got this lovely sunny spot to read with the chairs in the bay window and the couch looks like a much better spot to watch TV from where it is. I would move your TV so it sits on top of the credenza and that would make it look less hodge podgey. Also, if you keep the credenza there, I would lose the shelf. It will crowd the TV if you move it, and even if you don't the credenza would look great with some big art above it.
    --From a fellow childhood furniture re-arranger

  7. Actually, I like #1 because the room is so narrow. I think I'd only have one side chair because the room is a bit full already, but if you do keep both, snug them up to the little table so they're like a little trio. Or...credenza under the window with one chair on the right of it? If the credenza stays over by the TV, can you put the TV on it (I know sometimes it has to live near the cable outlet...) ? Make sure your pictures aren't any higher than eye level, especially in a room where people generally sit. Too-high artwork is a style squasher. I love the rug (yay IKEA)! It picks up the black/white accents in your accessories. Darn front door! That's probably the hardest thing to deal with, isn't it?

    I have a reasonably sized living room but there is only ONE way to place the furniture--I like it, but I have to limit my re-arranging to the art!

  8. Rearranged last night too! And cut the dining table down to a coffee table, which I am super happy about! LOVE #3 - was thinking that the chairs needed to go in the window while I was looking at #2 - then it happened in #3 - you are right, the credenza is totally lost in the window alone. Perhaps if you had two smaller chairs to flank it with, it might work, but I love the whole layout of #3. I hated my ugly couch too, but adore the shape, so I made a slip cover. You should buy or make one for your couch!

  9. Rearranged last night too! And cut the dining table down to a coffee table, which I am super happy about! LOVE #3 - was thinking that the chairs needed to go in the window while I was looking at #2 - then it happened in #3 - you are right, the credenza is totally lost in the window alone. Perhaps if you had two smaller chairs to flank it with, it might work, but I love the whole layout of #3. I hated my ugly couch too, but adore the shape, so I made a slip cover. You should buy or make one for your couch!

  10. Poor Andy, he doesn't get the need to move things every 3 months. At least you had help. I broke my back the other weekend doing it by myself! Alright, I like the 3rd one because I think the credenza is sooo pretty and it needs to be an oft looked at piece!

  11. I love option number 3!! The space for the chairs looks so inviting and even though the record player is a little smushed on the side with it being underneath of the shelf like that I can see lots of options for decorating, maybe adding some height?

    I used to do this all the time when I was a kid too, if i was upset or stressed I'd stay up all night cleaning and rearranging my room until it felt new and different. sometimes your space has to change to meet changing needs, or just changing times in your life.

    Also I love the fact that you put up real, in the process pictures. It's nice to not always have polished pictures :-)

  12. Hi! I just found you through an Emily Henderson Facebook page, cool! Definitely #3. The first two it looks unbalanced with everything on the left side. I am constantly rearranging furniture and accessories in my home! My living room especially as it is an awkward looooong big space with lots of windows and walkways. I don't have quite enough furniture to fill it so am always moving stuff around. But, i've been doing that for YEARS and I love it! So no, you are not alone! :-D

  13. Combine #2 and # 3!! Credenza under the window with the white chairs. I love rearranging, if its not my furniture its my books or DVDs or sewing stuff. I even go a bit rearranging crazy in my classroom. I feel like I have to constantly rearrange my rooms since I live in a former convent (nuns don't live here anymore, its housing for teachers) and have to fit ALL my stuff in two tiny former nuns' rooms. I think I need to go rearrange things now, actually.

  14. If you don't like that the rug is the same width of the sofa, why don't you try turning it slightly askew, so the angle will give more width in front of the couch. It might also help visually open the space if you introduce a different angle.

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  16. Hi, I've been lurking for awhile. I'm constantly moving furniture around, not only the room it's in but my whole house. I have one room that's been a dining room, an office, a tv room, a bedroom and now is back to being the tv room. When people come over they are always wondering what's changed this time. lol. So no you are not alone!!

  17. Hi, my name is Heather and I rearrange furniture regularly for amusement and stress (control?). I can remember doing this back in third grade, but it probably started earlier. I was at a family dinner and started rethinking the floor plan and a few of the accessories (age 8). You are not alone.

    More importantly, I like the third option, but the table between the chairs seems off scale. It needs to be bigger, and this is particularly problematic centered on the window. Do you have anything bigger or a really piece to go on the table?

    Also, have you considered a chair rail or something a little higher on the left wall? What about built-ins (or the appearance of built-ins)? Most apartments have policies that allow for shelves. I would volunteer if you needed an extra hand.


  18. Great list!
    If you're going to invest in something it should be furniture. It should last you a loooong time.

  19. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike additional blogs, I have read which are not that good. I also found your posts very interesting.


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