03 December 2012

Family Room Updates!

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Whenever I show pictures of my family room, I always get the same two comments. The first is – why is that chair blocking the fireplace? You should move it!!

Yeah, I know…it just doesn’t really fit. So, whenever I took pictures of the room, I would try to hide to hide the fact that it was in front of the fireplace.

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I would take pictures of the room from a different angle so it didn’t look quite so bad. Also, I would try to push the sofa back a little and the chair too, but, the truth is, the chair is just really too bulky and there is no hiding that fact.

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The second comment I always gets it that the room isn’t balanced. The right side of the room feels too light when balanced against the left.

It’s not like I don’t KNOW all this!!! I do, believe me! But what to do? Ben didn’t want his TV blocked by furniture.

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You see, there has been some deception here. Whenever I take pictures of this side of the room, I leave out the flatscreen. I mean, who wants to see that ugly thing, especially since it only plays either football or Fox News. Yeah. I know.

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See? Football. There was so way I could move the furniture around without blocking the TV. It was really starting to drive me crazy, because I am decorator. I need to be able to solve issues like this!

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When I remodeled this family room for a client a few months ago, I bought their dining room chairs from Hien Lam. I’ve used those chairs a few times before in dining rooms, and also in family rooms. I liked the height of the chairs and the width – tall and skinny. And they come in many styles, including mouton bone legs which match my sofa and chairs.

Lightbulb moment!

If I bought two of those chairs, then I could move my wing chairs across the room and solve both issues of the blocked fireplace AND the uneven balance of the furniture.

First, though, there was the issue of the flatscreen being blocked. When Raul made the screen doors for my shelves, I had him raise the TV up about a foot. I don’t like high TVs, but even raising it a foot still left it at eye level.

Next I chose two dining room chairs from Hien Lam. I went for the ones that were tall and slim (just like me!!) and one that had the curved arch on the back – just like my sofa and chairs. Matchy-matchy!

Here are some of their dining room arm chairs:

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While I liked the mouton bone chair the best, I went for the Country Scroll because of its measurements. The chairs come unstained and Hong will stain them as dark or as light as you want. I asked for the dark brown stain. Then I asked Ben for a loan!

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And here is the change! I added the two tall French dining room armchairs on each side of the sofa. Then, I moved the two wing chairs across from the sofa. I put the wine table between them. And look – you can even see the fireplace!! And you can see my nephew-dog Tucker on the sofa watching me.

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Here you can see how the wine table fits under the tv but doesn’t block the view at all. Of course I can’t put much on it! But I did put some books and a tea caddy and a candle. See how much of the fireplace is now exposed by the new chair. It’s so much more in proportion.

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Here’s how it looks from the sofa. See, the TV is still eye level, but it’s high enough that I can put a few things on the table. Not sure why I didn’t fluff those cushions, but…

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Now, I can just hear you!!! You are thinking - how can we see the TV from those chairs. Well, you really can’t BUT if you turn in the chairs a little you can see it good enough. I know it’s not ideal. BUT, one day, when Ben recovers from the new chairs, I can send these chairs to Hong and she can put them on swivels. Of course, then I would have to have slipcovers that go to the floor to cover the swivel and then I would lose the pretty legs on the chairs. It’s never easy.

If I had a large family, the chairs would HAVE to be put on swivels asap. But for us – my little family of three – it’s not an issue right now. In fact, Elisabeth sat in that wing chair with the ottoman the entire Thanksgiving break. If she wanted to watch something on TV, she would angle the chair a little. Otherwise, she sat on the sofa or the new chairs. I tended to always sit on the small chairs by the wine table, so now I just use the new chairs – and it’s all good.

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Here’s a close of the chair – you can see the pretty curve on the arms. Your arm actually fits right on the curve at the elbow and it’s quite comfortable. The chairs are also very light – so I can turn it closer to the fire if I want to with no effort at all. And notice the arch on the top – it matches the arches on the sofa and chairs – I love that detail.

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Here, you can see how the back is tied all the way down and then there are ballerina ties on the legs. Hien Lam makes the prettiest slipcovers.

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So that’s that. You spoke and I listened. In fact when I was telling Ben about the changes that were coming, I used you for the excuse. “Every time I show our family room, everyone comments on that chair blocking the fireplace – and how unbalanced our room looks!” I’m sure he wasn’t even listening to me – all he cared about was that I was going to block his TV.

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And here is Elisabeth and her puppy Lucy all snuggly on Thanksgiving break!!

Next up, more winners from Aidan Gray and a look at the finished, finally, library!