I write to you from Singapore. I chanced upon your blog recently and have been obsessively going through your blog archive and taking in all your wonderful advice. Love your writing!
I need some help with the furniture layout for the living/dining area in our new apartment. (I have attached the floor plan - measurements are in millimeters. We combined the Main Bedroom and Bedroom 2 into one large master bedroom by knocking down the wall separating them, and sealed off the old Main Bedroom door, so now it's just one long wall from the kitchen entrance to the Bedroom 2 entrance.)
The very open floor plan has us stumped - from the (tiny) entryway, you can see right through the entire space to the bedroom entrance! There is also an awkward structural pillar between the 2 banks of windows that juts out into the space. A beam (fairly low - only slightly taller than average door height) also runs from the pillar across the space to the opposite wall.
In this space we need to incorporate a dining area and a sitting/TV area. The hardest part for us so far is where we should position the TV — it feels like if we can just get that figured out, the furniture layout will flow naturally from there. Our existing furniture (which we would like to keep if possible as they are new) are a 3-seater sofa (about 90"), and a 4 foot round dining table with 4 dining chairs. We are also open to the idea of built-ins if they make sense.
Would love to hear your advice on how we can make this space work!
Let me go over with you why I layed it out the way I did in the floorplan below. We'll start with your living room/dining room.
1. I put the sofa where the column came out from the wall. This gives you a bit of a larger living area than trying to squeeze it in-between the columns. Of course we want the table to be close to the kitchen. I would line it all up. Center the table with the sofa, with the sofa table, with the entertainment console. I would move your hanging light above the table to ground it and make it all feel like it belongs there a bit more. Your current light is not in the best location. I would get a drum shade pendant and hang it where I have it in the floorplan drawing. You could even drape a chain if you are just renting, it would be better than having it off center like it is now.
(photo from country home)
2. The sofa makes a natural room divider. The area rug will help to solidify that area. It will feel more intentional and less floating with the rug. Absolutely do not put the sofa against the wall. That would be a super bad idea. Add a chair. One with a swivel will allow you to go back and forth between TV viewing and conversation area. The sofa table/console table to the back of the sofa makes the whole thing look better from the entry and dining area. It also gives you more lighting options as you add a couple of lamps. Consider a sofa table doubling as a desk to really use your space well. Scale is super important. Make sure your furnishings are not too small, or too large. Use the floorplan I drew as a guide.
3. I did maintain a walkway from the entry to the bedrooms. Personally, I don't see this as bad. Once you decorate the area, the eye will be drawn to your decor, and not straight back to the bedroom doors. I also feel like this is a much higher functioning design than if you were to interrupt your traffic path with furniture along that wall. I added three wall lights and art work, turning it into a gallery.
(photo from focal point styling)
4. Plants soften awkward corners. Don't just ignore those little things I drew in there, add plants. They are really crucial to making it look amazing. Remember that every plant gets an uplight on a timer. Now you have not only added life, and softened corners, but you have added ambiance.
(photo from BHG blog)
5. In your bedroom, instead of night stands, I gave you full on dressers to use as night stands. Measure the height of your bed and try to meet it in height with your dressers. They will maximize your space with storage, be a perfect scale, and also serve every purpose of a night stand. I added a bench to the end of the bed, again a plant in a corner that we wish wasn't even there.
(photo from Little green noteblook)
6. I then made you a sitting room in the adjoining area with an ottoman. I did not notice a closet, so I gave you an armoire. You have limited wall space. Select some nice wall decor for the space you have, and light it up. Remember that the headboard wall is your focal point. Add a fun wallpaper, and make it look sensational.
If you think that my arrangement is just like what the photos are already showing, let me tell you the crucial differences.
1. Scale. Yours is too small.
2. You put a console table half in the dining area and half in the living area. It doesn't line up with the dining area, like it wants too, but it also doesn't fit nicely in the living area. It is little things like this that end up making a space feeling "off".
3. Visual weight. I really like your dining set. The tulip table is a classic, and I love the clear chairs. However, your dining area feels empty. The light scale of the furniture, perhaps even more than their actual size, is making it feel insufficient, and yet your architecture really doesn't allow you to add more furniture. Move it, like I said, but if it still feels too light, you can add a rug, and if that doen't do the trick, replace the furniture with visually heavier furniture.