Good Questions: Ideas on the Layout of my Living/Dining Room?

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Hello AT,

I'm having a tough time with the layout of my living/dining room.

I'm moving to an apartment soon in a foreign country, and have no furniture with me.

So I'm starting with a clean slate.

I have a tight budget, but I do have access to Ikea.

On one wall there is a fireplace with built-in bookshelves.

The adjacent walls each have a door (one leads to the kitchen, the other to a balcony).

Along the 4th wall is a large window...

(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first.)

I was thinking of a couch in the center of the room facing the window, with a sofa table/tall table along the back of it that I could use as a dining room table.

I could eat, overlooking the sofa and out the window. I am trying to use 'good technique' and keep the furniture away from the walls... but with this arrangement my back is to the bookshelves/fireplace, and the doors...

Other, better suggestions?!

Thanks! Sarah

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.