Living Room Layout Challenge, Revisited:
A Before & After Based On Your Advice

One of the best things about Apartment Therapy is the community of real voices weighing in on real-life design dilemmas and challenges. No matter how (relatively) easy it is for me to dish out advice to others about interior decorating and layout, I find I can get stuck in a decorating rut when it comes to some of my own spaces.

Sometimes, all it takes is getting fresh, new perspectives on a room to overcome design challenges, especially when it comes to layout and furniture placement dilemmas. For me, the living room was a real challenge. Between the radiators, the decorative fireplace, windows, the huge pocket doors (into the dining room), and glass doors (into the foyer), options for placing furniture were limited and quite challenging. I wrote about my living room layout challenge hoping for commiseration, advice and solutions. And I got just what I asked for!

Comments from the Apartment Therapy community were terrific and full of great ideas. Ideas I actually put into action! As many commenters pointed out, the biggest issue in my living room was I simply had too much stuff in there. This was because I kept collecting pieces I absolutely loved. I didn't want to relegate any of them to a supporting role. As a result, there were simply too many stars on stage! As advised by many commenters, I took everything out of the room and started from scratch. This was a brilliant move because suddenly I could see the room more clearly and get out of the rut of the existing layout. I started to reconsider each and every piece of furniture. My main objective was to create a cozy conversational setting that also looked elegant, uncluttered and stylish.

• By moving my new Petrie chairs in front of the windows and floating the sofa across from the chairs, I was able to keep the fireplace exposed. And neither the pocket doors or the glass doors are obstructed.

• I decided to move my antique French bergeres into the dining room (image 6), freeing up more space.

• I removed the two small bookshelves that had been placed in front of the windows. These pieces were not really serving any critical purpose, and they managed to clutter the room visually.

• I also moved one of the side tables out.

• I kept my two favorite tables in the living room; a round antique sofa table (image 5) in Australian Cedar and an antique Spanish side table with sinewy curvy legs in the corners of the room behind the couch. It isn't clear from photos, but there is a decent pathway through the living room into the dining room.

• As noted by many readers, I still need a bigger rug and I need to rearrange the art and mirrors.

But I am so happy with the changes. And guests have commented on how cozy it feels. Even more important, my husband and I find ourselves actually hanging out in the living room (which, sadly, had not been the case previously).

What do you think?

(Images: Catrin Morris)

Re-edited from a post published 8.15.12 - JL

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