NY Good Questions: Furniture Layout Ideas for our Condo?

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Dear AT,

I have a question about furniture layout.

My boyfriend and I moved into a new condo recently and, besides trying to meld our ugly furniture (the table, couch and chair in picture to the left have already gone), I am STRUGGLING with the open floor plan and am having a hard time planning for future furniture buys.

So I have two questions: how can I arrange what's there so that I don't go nuts now, and what kind of layout might look really great in the space in future?...

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I would like to make three areas in this space (dining, reading nook in front of patio door, then living room/TV area), but can't see how to pull it off.

I fear room dividers would make the space feel small.

I'd also like the area to feel a bit more retro and grown-up: right now it screams...frathouse.

And the TV is the first thing you see as you look down the hall!

We do a lot of casual entertaining and have company a few times a week, so seating is a priority.

I am totally spatially inept and can't seem to figure this out myself, so thanks in advance for any advice you can give!

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.