Did I mention that Mr. Q and I were adding an exercise room to our house?
Just kidding, because of course we aren’t. Obviously if I really had that much extra square footage it would be devoted to a furniture painting studio not exercise. But we had the living room mostly empty in anticipation of our furniture delivery on Saturday, all that remained was the TV. Seeing so much space in the room, I said to Mr. Q ‘hey, this would make a perfect exercise room now!’ Plenty of room to stretch out while doing my favorite Leslie Sansone Burn to the Beat video.
One of the downsides of an older home, the rooms are all fairly small and there isn’t a lot of space to spread out.
Before we bring in the new sofa, I thought this would be a good opportunity to show you what we’re working with. Our living room is about 11′ x 14′. Those three windows above face north (and onto the front enclosed porch) and the single window faces east. The west wall is mostly open to the front hall, and the south wall where I’m standing taking the photo is mostly open to the piano room. The cable for the TV is in the southwest corner, so the TV is pretty much stuck there. Not that I can think of a better location for it.
That pretty much leaves me with the space shown above for furniture placement. During the first decade of living in this house I was determined to re-arrange our furniture on a regular basis (I just love the feeling you get from a freshly arranged room, don’t you?). There are only two possibilities for a traditional sofa, in front of the radiator or in front of the single window. As much as I wanted it to work, putting the sofa in front of the radiator just made the room feel long and narrow, like a bowling alley. That left just the one spot that really worked for the sofa, on that wall to the right. Adding a chair that faced the sofa meant that the chair had to be rotated for watching the TV.
Factoring all of that in, we decided it was time to consider a sectional. It seemed like the most functional way to use our limited space and layout.
We can comfortably fit four people on this piece, and now that my sister and niece live in Minnesota we need to have seating for 4 much more often. And when it’s just the two of us, we can both stretch out comfortably and watch TV.
This sectional came in umpteen bazillion different configurations. In fact, I think “Popular Configurations: 217” means you can use the available pieces in 217 different ways.
We went with the smallest version, a right angle with a 87″ section on either side of a square corner. We could have used a ‘wedge’ section to connect them but that added another 13″ in length to each side. In other words, it would have left only about 2″ to spare on the east wall. So, while it would have added a spot for a fifth person to sit, I think it would have overwhelmed our space.
For a visual, here is a picture of a configuration using the wedge in the store …
You can really see just how big that wedge is. I have to admit, it was super comfy and I would have loved it for that reason. But not only did I think it was too big this way, but I thought that wedge made it look kind of ’90’s sectional’ if you know what I mean.
Here is the store example with the square corner.
It felt a little more tailored looking to me, and it was still plenty roomy for two, and even four people.
We paid an extra $100 to get the white glove delivery service from Macy’s. But then we got $100 off for opening a new Macy’s charge card (even though we already have one, which seems odd to me but my sister tells me that you can have up to three different Home Depot cards too, so go figure). Anyway, that made the extra delivery charge a bit of a wash.
The white glove delivery was pretty much amazing.
These guys obviously knew what they were doing and were in and out of my house in less than 30 minutes. And you should have seen them backing their giant truck down my narrow driveway with 3′ snowbanks on either side. They took their shoes off, which I totally appreciated. Then they unwrapped everything, set it all up and took the packaging away with them. They even offered to wipe up the bit of wet floor by the door, but I sent them on their way. I could handle that part myself!
For now we are going to try going without a coffee table or ottoman in front of the sectional. I like how open it makes the room feel. Plus, although I was joking about the exercise room, I really do exercise in this space so it will be nice to not have to move a piece of furniture every time I want to do that.
One side of the sectional has the entire shelf above the radiator behind it, and I stacked some vintage suitcases on the other end so we have somewhere to set drinks.
I also replaced two of the matching throw pillows that were included with my favorite Restoration Hardware pillows.
The sectional itself is very neutral and has very traditional lines. I’m adding my own personality to the room with things like throw pillows, the items on the shelves and the stack of suitcases. This way when I get tired of my Black Locust walls and want to lighten up or just completely change colors I can do that without having to change out the largest and most expensive item in the room.
I also added a couple of new lamps from Target to the room. We mounted this one to the bookcase and it will allow me to read while sitting in the corner of the sectional.
I’m a little on the fence about the other lamp. It looks good, but it’s another lamp that just works for task lighting. It doesn’t light up the room. I’m probably going to swap it out for something else.
As a reminder, here was my ‘magic wand decorating‘ plan.
- repaint the insides of the bookshelves in the living room
- repaint the living room walls
- replace the living room furniture
- paint the baby grand piano
- replace the ceiling fan over the piano
- repaint the piano room walls
I’m officially halfway through!
I still have a little tweaking to do in this room. I need to find something for the wall behind the TV, I will probably switch out that lamp, and I need to draw something on the chalkboard hanging over the sofa. But for now we’re going to sit back on our new sectional, binge watch season 3 of The Tunnel, and enjoy the feeling of making progress on the list.