I am unsatisfied by how our living and dining room are set up. So, the past few days I diligently measured all the walls and furniture, and put them into an online room planner to try and figure out the best configuration. However, I’m not finding a good solution so I was hoping my loyal blog readers might have some ideas. :-)
I apologize for the many pictures in this post.
(There are a few more angles here.)
Okay, here is the to-scale layout with the basic furniture. This matches the pictures above.
Hopefully you can figure out where everything is. I colored some of the shapes to make them easier to identify. Also, all the electrical outlets are marked with a little black zig zag, and there are heating vents in front of the bay window and sliding glass door so nothing can be placed in those areas. (See how there are only two vents in the downstairs? No wonder it’s freezing!) There are light switches by both doors and also one just on the other side of the kitchen near the sliding glass door. The one by the front door controls the outlet near it. On the wall in the dining room that borders the kitchen (where there is currently nothing – we keep the cats’ food and water bowls there) is the thermostat, so nothing tall can cover that wall.
To identify some of the less obvious pieces of furniture… in the foyer area (along the bottom), there is a green bookcase filled with books and a black bookcase filled with office supplies and misc. papers. Along the top in the living room is the TV and stand, and to the left is a small black bookcase that will be used to display pictures and knick knacks. Next to the couch is a file cabinet that is currently doubling as an end table. The purple square is the cat condo. In the dining room, we have a table that is 3 ft. square when closed up, and 3ft x 6ft when fully opened. There is also a computer desk, and next to it the secretary where we keep table linens and dishes. Next to the sliding glass door close to the kitchen is a microwave cart with a microwave and toaster oven. There is no room for this in the kitchen, so this will have to stay. The tan square in the layout are the TV trays – being accessible is good, but they don’t have to be convenient.
What I dislike the most about this layout is the feeling of crowdedness. This is especially apparent in the dining room – trying to put the computer there next to the dining room table doesn’t work that well. I also feel that the organ crowds the living room, and I hate having the computer far away from my file cabinet and also far from the black bookcase that holds the office supplies.
The rules are… We do have a den where things can go. However, it still needs to be carpeted so we can’t put anything heavy down there that will have to be brought back up when we carpet it in a few months. Also, I intend to make the den a kid-proof area so I’d rather not have things down there like a bookshelf full of books. :-) The computer and the TV have to stay on this level for electrical reasons. We don’t entertain often, but we’d like to keep the living room open for when people visit. We almost never use the side door, and always come in by the front door. Oh and please note there are no electrical outlets in the foyer area.
So what potential layouts do you see? Here are three I’ve come up with:
In this plan, we’ll move the cat condo to the den downstairs. The biggest problem with this is that the outlet where the TV would go is controlled by the lightswitch. I am slightly concerned about hurting the TV when I accidentally turn off the switch. Also, this removes the ease of flipping a switch when we enter the front door at night.
In this plan, we’ll move the cat condo and one of the dining room chairs to the den downstairs. Paul thinks the table/chairs with this layout provide a chokepoint with the loveseat. It opens up the middle of the dining room, but that isn’t space that could be used. Same issues with the TV and the plug.
In this plan, we’ll move the cat condo and the loveseat to the den downstairs. (This of course assumes that it won’t be too hard to move the loveseat back up when we carpet that area down there.) I like how all the office stuff (computer desk, file cabinet, black bookcase) is together, but it’s not very conducive to entertaining. The dining room is nice and open – I like that. The same issues with the TV and plug stand.
I couldn’t figure out a good plan with the TV in a different location that is better than the current layout. Any suggestions?