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A Tricky Room Layout Solved....

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

Ah, the room that stumps us all. We all know it, have one or have seen one. It’s the room that has doors and windows all around, a fireplace AND opens to adjacent rooms. It’s the room that even us interior designers and decorators scratch our heads over! Today I have a room for you guys that is just that! .

One of the greatest perks from my business is keeping in contact with past clients. Yes, I check in on them every once in a while just to say hi and make sure they are still loving their homes. We talk about life and kids and family, I honestly love the relationships that are formed with each client. Which brings me to the topic of this post which came from a client from 3 years ago! When I originally was there to create an office space out of a room that was not being used, my client showed me her family room and said it was something on their list for a later date. Well here we are! Her family room is a step down room off of the kitchen and just as described above has a fireplace in the center of windows with double doors on another side that leads to a porch. Here is a view of the room:

She is asking for help with possible furniture layout, mantel decor and styling. I have to be honest this room definitely had me stumped. My initial thought was that the television should be moved. Ideally, the best place for the television in this room would be over the fireplace, however, the with the mantel being where it is (it’s also too high in my opinion) and sun glare effecting the other corner, unless my client wants to rip out this mantel and replace it with a lower one, the TV will have to stay where it is. My next suggestion is to move the chaise sofa out of the left corner that it's currently sitting in and moving it more center to the fireplace. Yes, I know it looks like it would block the flow of traffic but there should be plenty of room from the step to move about.


Here’s the floor layout I came up with:

Please note, this is not drawn to scale. Don’t you just love my drawing ability?! I’m so glad I can provide my clients with actual 3D Designs to show my vision other than this chicken scratch 😆! The top image is a birds eye view of the layout. You can see by moving the chaise sofa closer to the loveseat, it creates more of a conversation area. This would be great for when my client is entertaining. Where the chaise sofa is currently placed is a nice sized wall so I am suggesting for 1-2 open tall shelving units to go there. These shelves will be ideal to put pictures, possibly a small lamp, different decor and baskets to hold the kids toys! On the half wall, there will be a console table with an open bottom to house small ottomans (for extra seating) or more baskets for the kids toys (because we KNOW they can never have enough toys everywhere 😉). Also on the console table, a lamp will provide some nice lighting along with more pictures if desired. For the seating area, I would layer a nice area rug over the carpet that brings in some color and pattern. I added in their small end table in the corner of both sofas and a circular coffee table to give them added space to hold food, drinks and play games. Their current floor lamp will go on the other side of the loveseat by the window. If my client wants to add drapes, for arched windows it’s best to place the drapes over the arch. If the drapes are placed under the arch it shortens the window and makes them seem smaller than they are. Here I would have her place them at the top of the larger window as far up as she could and match that height with the windows around the fireplace.

As for the mantel, styling 2 story fireplaces can be intimidating for some. What can you do with ALL that space? Luckily, the problem has an easy fix. The items just need to be the correct size. The whole purpose of these vast fireplaces is to draw your eye up. If everything was placed at eye level, we would miss seeing other dramatic elements of the room. With her mantel, we can go two ways. The first way can be to layer a taller piece of art with 1 or 2 smaller, corresponding pictures to create a collage. The second would be to put a larger sized mirror there. Both options would also have decor on either side to fill out the mantel. Remember, there‘s the rule of 3s when decorating. It’s all about creating balance.


Here are the design boards!

The color of her room is BM Straw Hat, which is the color square all the way to the left. As you can see it has a golden yellow base to it that plays well with other earth toned colors, which is the color palette I came up with. Browns, greens, of course my favorite blue, and even rust will go great in this room! The wood of the coffee table and shelves add that much needed texture and the abstract art can be hung by the sliding door to provide more pattern.

Here’s a view of the fireplace with some of the details from the other board. See how just having the right sized items can fill the mantel without making it look overcrowded? You want to add items that create interest and here with the mirror it will reflect more natural light and bright up the brick. With a two story room a beautiful chandelier never disappoints!


So what do you think? Would you do anything different? Do you have any rooms like this where you just can't figure it out? Reach out and let me know!

Stay safe and healthy!


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