Here's what happens when you move into a new house. Or at least what happens in our experience (and considering we're on house numero cinco in just ten years, we've had quite a bit of experience). Before you move in, you draw up a plan of where your stuff will go. Then on move-in day you move your stuff in according to your plan. After you've lived in the place for awhile, you get a better feel of exactly how you're going to use your new space. Then you make any necessary changes. Kind of like how to create more space and make the dining room less-formal-so-we'd-use-it-more-often we ditched the china cabinet and switched the kitchen table for the dining room table.
Well, after almost 9 months in our fifth house a new game plan in the family room was born. I showed you the family room before but it never felt "finished". Truthfully when does it? Well, what we really wanted for this room was a better layout as far as furniture placement goes. We've finally (we think) come up with a floor plan that really works for how we use this space. Thanks to the addition of my Christmas presents we've done some furniture rearranging. Here are some recent before pics to help you get better acquainted.
View from the entry foyer.
View from the kitchen
View from the hallway that leads to the guest bathroom and master suite.
With no solid walls (there's an opening leading to another room on each wall) we had to put the seating area in the middle of the room to allow for easy passage ways around the entire room. With the addition of the banana arm chairs we created a television watching/conversation area. We moved the Arhaus chair (that we saved our pennies for and bought back in the summer) to the back right corner of the room and brought in the reading floor lamp from the hubs office to create a nice little reading corner where you also have a good view of the t.v.
At first we weren't sure about placing the couch in front of the fireplace (check here for the deets on the whitewashing I gave the brick). While there are a lot of different ways to "create a floor plan" from the old pencil and graph paper system to free online floor planning sites, we I like the old method of just moving things 'till you like the set up. This is not the hubs or his back's preferred method :) What can I say I'm more of a hands on kinda gal.
Anywhoo, we tried leaving the couch perpendicular (wow, never thought I'd use that word outside of geometry class) to the right of the fireplace with the chairs across on the left; but there wasn't enough room to walk around to the kitchen, and one of the chairs blocked the view of the t.v. We do a lot more t.v. watching in this room than we thought we would (we thought we'd mainly use the basement for tube time). We find ourselves in here more often, and in the basement for movie/sports watching (because the "big" t.v. is down there). The goal for the seating area here was for every seat in the room to have a good view of the t.v. while also being great for conversation.
This set up was the best fit for all of our wants/needs for this room. Even though the couch is in front of the fireplace because of the raised hearth you can still enjoy the fire (which is also helped by the fact that our couch has a relatively low back). To be honest this room would look better (aesthetically) if we eliminated the t.v. all together and just used this room as a living room, but that really isn't practical for how we live as a family. It's nice to be able to watch (say The Nate Show) in here while the kids are playing the Wii downstairs. It's also nice for the hubs to be able to have a guys night in the basement while the kids and I are snuggled upstairs on the couch watching a movie.
I also love having a little reading nook in the corner of the room.
We brought this ladder shelf up (bought from Pier 1 years ago) from the basement. I dressed it up with old books and a few old family photos. My favorites are the pic of my dad in Vietnam and the one of the hubs dancing with my grandma at our wedding.
I used an old antique glass hand (that I bought at a thrift shop years ago) to display my dad's dog tag. LOVE.
Back to the game plan now (sorry I get sidetracked). Anyhow, in order to have enough space to walk around the room we moved the sideboard (from Zgallerie bought years ago) to the hubs office. Which really made more sense in this room and in his office which I'll show you again soon. This gave him lots of storage that he really needed in there. Here's the before.
Here's after we moved the sideboard (where the white lamps sit) to the hubs office.
By moving the sideboard out we were able to move the wine bar from the back left to the back right of the room. We also decided to actually use it to store our wine glasses rather than just use it for display. Now we're always ready to entertain! This also created another zone in here allowing this room to really be multi-functional. I also brought up this black side table from the basement which is a nice spot to decorate set a drink. For more deets on the art wall I created where the sideboard used to be check here.
The t.v. is still in the corner of the room housed in the left-behind-by-the-previous-owners-armoir that I painted. We would like to someday replace this with something that actually fits in the corner, but for now we're making this one work (because it was free and we love free stuff).
The black console table (where the white lamps now sit) was another piece that we brought up from the basement (and is also something we bought at Pier 1 years ago). Bringing in these black finish pieces (the ladder shelf, side table, and console table) works well in here and plays really nicely with the black dining chairs and barstools in the open-to-the-family-room-kitchen. Plus it's always nice to shop your home before buying something!
Anyhow, this is the game plan in the family room (for now). The hubs and his back are really hoping this plan sticks :) This works out so much better for us and for our family and friends that visit! There's more seating and this new set up is much more inviting (in my opinion anyway).
So, once again here's a before and after (because I live for before and afters).
We still have a few tweeks to make in here before it's "done" (ha-ha-ha - as if) but the floor plan will hopefully stay the same :)
Have you created any new game plans in your home lately? Any furniture rearranging or games of musical furniture happening in your home this holiday season? We wish you a Merry Christmas from our fifth house to yours (whatever number you may be on).