And now the lounge

Tim and Nev came back yesterday; having done a great job on the kitchen, they are now here to do my lounge/diner.

They have only been here two days, but already the walls are stripped, the hideous brick fake fireplace has gone, and the awful artex ceiling is now under a layer of plasterboard, waiting to be plastered over.

I had tremendous fun (not!!!), emptying out the lounge – you don’t realise how much you have until you have to move it. As a result, my office and box room are even more filled with plastic boxes than it was before, while the furniture is in the garage. I’ve made a little home from home for myself in the conservatory, with a sofa and TV, and I’ll be living that way, until both the decoration is done, and I get someone in to fit a carpet.

Without any furniture, and with the fireplace removed, the room looks huge, and I want to work out exactly what I am going to do with it before moving any furniture back in. I still have several different ideas for how to use the space.

My original idea was to simply arrange my two sofas in an L in the lounge, where the fireplace was originally, and have the TV on a unit in the mouth of the alcove opposite (where my small sofa used to live), effectively turning the furniture round 180 degrees in the room. The main advantage of this is that the path from the door would no longer separate the two sofas, which means they could be placed more conveniently for conversation. However, although positioning the TV like that would give a comfortable view for both sofas, it will restrict the use of the alcove.

More recently, I have realised I could mount the TV on the backwall of the alcove, with a dining table underneath it. You would watch the TV across the table. The only downside of this is that I would probably have to go for a larger TV, as you would be watching it from clear the other side of the room. It is still a possibility, though.

A totally different is to make the existing dining area (which is narrower than the main lounge) my TV area. The main problem with this space has always been that it is also the main thoroughfare from the house to the conservatory and garden. So putting a dining table dead centre gets in the way, while pushing it into a corner means it simply doesn’t get used. Making this bit the TV area means I can have a sofa along one wall, the TV mounted on the wall on the other side, and leave a clear path between the two. It also means the main lounge area can be easily rearranged, depending on what I am doing – entertaining, gaming, playing music or whatever, without having to worry about having to move a heavy sofa and TV unit all the time.

Of course, if you have never seen the room, you won’t have a clue what I am talking about!

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7 Comments

  1. September 2, 2010

    Hmmm. I see what you mean. I think I’d be tempted to go for something like the third idea, with the “tv snug” next to the patio doors, but put the table under the front window so that it gets used more. I have a table by a window now, and I really enjoy eating and looking out of the window.

    But this conundrum is one we are still struggling with – I’ve no idea how we’re going to solve it in our living room!

    • chris
      September 2, 2010

      Yes, I’ve had the table in the window a number of times, usually following a board-gaming day, and it does get used more – it also gets tons more light, which is good. Now the fireplace has gone (which had an angled TV ledge in that corner that protruded out by 2-3 feet) there will more space around it.

      My other idea for the alcove is to use it as a music space – put my piano in there, with some shelving around it for books/DVDs/music. Probably not as much shelving as I had before, though, just on the back wall, leaving the side wall as a convenient place to stand the guitars. If they are out, they get played, I find.

      I have to say I am favouring the snug idea too (nice word, snug). I currently have the TV and sofa in the conservatory at the same approximate distance, and it is comfortable to watch. At that distance, I’ll probably be sticking with something around the 28-32″ size range, rather than a big beastie. I’ll also probably only have the one sofa there, as when I have people round, it is pretty rare that we watch TV. We can always pull up the other one on the rare occasions there are more than 2 of us watching a show.

      No doubt between now and when the room is finished and carpeted, I will have 10 other alternative layouts. I love coming up with ideas like this, and the blank canvas is so inviting.

  2. Jo
    September 3, 2010

    There’s another option I can see from the pics (hi, btw, and I know I owe you email – will get to it!), which is option 2 but with the dining table in a position something like option 1. I’m all for big tellies (not that I even have a small one), but option 2 leaves the whole other end of the room empty.

    Anyways, if it helps any, am in a similar state of indecision about my (unfitted) kitchen at the mo. This will soon be followed by more indecision about the living room! I’m still in a state of extreme bliss having had a chest freezer and fridge delivered on Thurs, and spending most of today shopping for foodage with which to stuff them.

    I have an slightly insane desire to make an adaptation of a French Laundry recipe now I have the stuff for it – crab salad with cucumber jelly. I’ll let you know how (and if) it goes!

    • chris
      September 4, 2010

      Jo :

      but option 2 leaves the whole other end of the room empty.

      Ah, but there are other things to go in the room too, like my piano, and a space for my guitars to stand.

      However, I have found that the sofas, table and TV seem to define how the room is laid out, and the other stuff “fills the gaps”

      I also had 5 bookshelves in the room previously (3 for books, 2 for DVDs); my current thoughts are to only have 1 small shelf unit in the new lounge, for “books I’ve not read, and films I’ve not watched”, and move the library up into my office (which will eventually become a guest bedroom).

  3. chris
    September 4, 2010

    Jo :

    Anyways, if it helps any, am in a similar state of indecision about my (unfitted) kitchen at the mo. This will soon be followed by more indecision about the living room! I’m still in a state of extreme bliss having had a chest freezer and fridge delivered on Thurs, and spending most of today shopping for foodage with which to stuff them.

    Heh. Sounds like you are in the position I was in at the start of the year. Fortunately for me, there was really only one way my kitchen could be laid out (although one of the companies I rejected managed to unnecessarily swap the positions of the cooker, washing machine and sink, which would have required redoing all of the water, drainage and gas supply. No thanks!

    Jo :

    I have an slightly insane desire to make an adaptation of a French Laundry recipe now I have the stuff for it – crab salad with cucumber jelly. I’ll let you know how (and if) it goes!

    Yum. Shame that you are no longer “just around the corner”, I’d be round like a shot.

  4. chris
    September 4, 2010

    Regarding the two sofas, one is a 2 seater, one a 3 seater. For the last few months, the 3 seater has been in the conservatory, and I love it there, and wouldn’t complain if it stayed there. So this make things easier – either I pull it back into the lounge/diner to have two matching sofas – particularly as in option 1 – and buy something to replace it in the conservatory; or I leave it out there, and replace it in the lounge with a couple of new armchairs, which will make the layout more flexible.

    Here is another example, although it can probably do with one less armchair. The brown rectangle at the back of the alcove is a storage unit/shelving or something.

    Option 4

  5. chris
    September 4, 2010

    Actually (and excuse the repeated comments, but I am kind of free-associating in front of this keyboard), I might just get a single armchair, to add to the snug; then retire my old dining chairs and replace them with something a little more comfortable, that can double up as guest chairs.



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