finding furniture for an odd shaped living room

Finding Furniture For An Odd Shaped Living Room

I recently posted a picture on Facebook of one side of our living room.

Facebook screenshot of picture

It got a bunch of likes and I had a few people ask me some different things about the picture: “I want to see more!”

“Is that a formal living room?”

“Where’s the TV?” This one was my favorite.

I had kind of a hard time explaining that no, it’s not a formal living room, it’s just the formal part of our living room and we didn’t really know what to do with and that’s just kind of how it turned out! So I figured I’d do a post that would give some updates on our living room progress and talk about how we ended up with a formal section of our living room.

So our house is basically a big square. The stairs are in the back, and there is a half bath in the middle of the downstairs that separates all of the rooms (living room, dining room, foyer, laundry/mudroom, kitchen and sunroom. Our living room is the largest room and is essentially the whole right side of the bottom floor. So it’s really long and narrow. Here’s a rough blueprint of the downstairs for reference – definitely not to scale as it was create by yours truly. 🙂

Downstairs Blueprint
Downstairs Blueprint (not exact)

 

We also had to decide what type of couch to buy. We both wanted a sectional, but most that we wanted would have been too wide for the space. After some careful measuring and several trips to different furniture stores we found something versatile enough at Ashley Furniture – it was a combination of a couch with a chaise and a love-seat that essentially create the same feel as a sectional would. Below is the layout that we ended up going with which includes some future improvements (like the built-ins around the fireplace and the french doors to the sunroom).

Living Room Layout
Living Room Layout

And here are some actual pictures of the living room right now, to give you an idea of what the layout looks like in real life!

Living Room Layout
The view from the sunroom.

 

Home Made Coffee Table
The coffee table that Goodman’s dad MADE us from heart pine.

 

Living Room View from Dining Room
View from the dining room

The thing I’m most excited about are the built-ins around the fireplace. Right now we have a little temporary bookshelf that houses all of the tech stuff – playstation, tv box, wifi box, movies, etc. But, we plan to bump the fireplace out into the room a little bit (and into this century) and put some shallow built-ins on both sides.

But here’s how it looks right now. I think it’s the most sad little fireplace and floating mantle you ever did see:

Unfinished Fireplace
The hot mess that is currently our fireplace and entertainment center.

The update we are currently working on is adding french doors between the living room and the sunroom. If you follow me on instagram (@anaspiringabode) you might have seen that I scored I very old pair of french doors on Craigslist a few weeks ago from one of Richmond’s historic districts, Bellevue. I’m so excited about the charm they are going to add, and about being able to keep the dogs in the sunroom when we have company over! I think it will really change the way the whole space feels.

Unfinished Doors
French doors will be behind this love seat leading into the sunroom soon!

 

And, one of my favorite little nooks in our living room is the space we designated for our doggies. I hung three 8×10″ pictures from our engagement shoot into large matted frames and underneath lay their living room beds.

Doggie Area
Little Doggie Nook to the left of the “formal” part of our living room.

The smaller blue one is SUPPOSED to be for June (our little GSP) but Wyatt (our chocolate lab) likes to squeeze himself in there. It’s really funny! He just wants to be cuddled.

Wyatt in the bed
Wyatt in June’s little bed.

 

SO!  That’s how we decided to handle the challenge that was our odd shaped living room! I think that it works pretty well! Every inch of space is being used for something, and the furniture is all pretty functional. I can’t wait to put the final touches on! I’ll be sure to update once we get the french doors and built-ins finished!

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How to Pay Less and Get the Appliances You Really Want

For some reason, all the blogs I’ve read never really talk about the appliances. Some renovators ignore them and then have pretty countertops and backsplashes but unattractive and outdated appliances. Some show these beautiful kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances but fail to mention that the gorgeous range you’re looking at cost them $5,500.
The point I’m trying to make is that appliances are a big deal and they shouldn’t be forgotten during a kitchen renovation. They are the reason you have a kitchen. You use them everyday. They should be functional but they can also be really pretty.
OUR goal was to get some pretty stainless steel appliances on a pretty little budget.

 

What do you really need?

Lay out some of the things you need out of your appliances. The most important thing to determine up-front is the size. You can’t get that big, wide, french door fridge if you don’t have room for it in the kitchen.
Don’t forget to measure the height, width between cabinets, width between the shoe moulding on the floor (if your fridge will be incased), and the depth. When we started, I had no idea that some refrigerators are much deeper than others.
Once you have the measurements down, think about what is most important to you – the range? DO you have to have gas? Do you have to have the knobs on the front? MUST you have a double door fridge, or could you settle for the freezer on the bottom/top?
For us, the fridge was the most important appliance and it having double doors with an ice/water dispenser on the front was really essential for how we wanted to use it. The only other important things were that we wanted stainless and we needed a gas range because that’s what the hookup was in the house.

 

Do your research

We started with consumer reports. Functionality and durability were our main focuses on this hunt because we didn’t want to have to buy these babies again anytime soon. After getting some good research in, we decided that the best bang for our buck would be to go with Kenmore appliances – which are only sold through Sears.

 

In looking up the nearest Sears location, I realized that there is this cool place called the Sears Outlet. Essentially, it’s this place that misfit Sears appliances go and are sold for way less than retail. Some are returned because the buyers didn’t like them when they were delivered, some are there because the delivery guys dinged them up a little, some have replacement parts, etc. It’s essentially like going into the sale bin at the semi-annual sale at VS. There are a lot of duds – like that bright purple cheetah print bra (what in the hell can you actually wear that under?!) but then there are some gems like that super comfy t-shirt bra that is perfectly new and half off. You have to have a good eye and ask a ton of questions, but if you find one, take the sticker off of that sucker or someone else could steal it!

 

So, we went to the Sears Outlet and found a two-door refrigerator that was stainless, had an ice and water dispenser on the front (Goodman was really adamant on that one) and that had a teeeeeennyy tiny little mark on the right side. (Seriously, it was like 2 inches max.) We knew that the scratch would be covered by the cabinets the fridge would be up against so YAY! We got the fridge for HALF OFF retail and absolutely nothing else was wrong with it.

 

fridge.jpg

 

Match it up

After that we knew that we wanted the matching range and dishwasher so that they all had the same handles and such. It just-so-happens that Black Friday was upon us, so we went to the nearest Sears and picked out which ones we wanted, and then waited to purchase them online on Black Friday. This also saved us about a grand (appliances are expensive y’all).
oven

 

Schedule the delivery

Don’t try to deliver and install yourself. It’s cheaper, yes, but not worth it. If you were to mess it up (which is very likely – these things are huge and very fragile) it’s on you. If THEY mess it up, you get a new one fo’ free. And if they install it… it will be done correctly. You don’t want to mess with water, gas, and electric lines at the same time. Not a good idea.

 

Admire those huge chunks of metal

I could go on and on about how great I feel with our good deals and how grateful I am to finally have a dishwasher. Gone are the days of hand washing!!! (Well almost) But I’ll leave this one here! After you’ve got them, don’t regret anything. Be happy about the choice you made!

 

A final word

Do whatever research you can online before you go into a store and deal with a salesman. Those guys are put on earth to up-sell you, so don’t be fooled.
Don’t forget to have fun with it! Goodman and I had fun debating over which functions were more important to us and drooling over high-end quadruple-door refrigerators.  G would stand with the doors open, admiring all the space that potential food could fill and say “In our retirement house babe – this one is going in there.” 😃