Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A New Year Brings New… Furniture Layouts?

I’ve never been one to place my furniture and just leave it there until I move or get more. Even as a kid, I liked to re-arrange my bedroom every few months just for something new without actually buying anything new. One of the reasons I fell in love with my apartment was its loft-style layout which gave me a giant room and endless furniture possibilities.

As I was renewing my lease last week, it hit me that I’ve lived in my apartment for nearly a year already! I hadn’t done much re-arranging during that time -- a few tables here and there, switching out nightstands, changing around the sewing nook, etc. -- because I was still, and still am, acquiring new pieces. I had some money saved up for furniture when I moved, but even budget shopping didn’t get me everything I “needed”.

Besides my need to switch things up every now and then, I also like to be very organized and have a set plan in place before getting started on any project. For example, before I moved, I had NO living room furniture. I was excited because it meant I got to do tons of shopping, but overwhelmed because it left me with every option possible to pick from -- do I get two sofas, one large sectional, a sofa and love seat, a sofa and two chairs, a sofa with a chaise attached, etc??  How do you choose and feel like you made the best decision?

Well, with all the options out there and no idea what would fit best, my interior designer wanna-be personality decided to make a model of my living area complete with some of my favorite furniture options. Now, I would have loved to do this 3-deminisionally -- college roommate architect Jill style -- but I also have this mathematical, non-creative, linear side of me that works in excel 75% of the day, and decided to use those mad skills instead. After some measurements and a little math, I ended up with a model floor plan.
When I found a couch or furniture piece I was considering, I’d measure, do some simple math and add it to the layout. It was extremely useful because I was able to instantly rule out pieces that didn’t look right or fill the space the way I wanted.  Another important thing for me to consider was what pieces would most likely fit in a future place. This wide open floor plan allowed me to do pretty much anything that came to mind, but it’d be wasteful if I had to buy new pieces when I moved -- although fun for me, it wouldn’t be fun on my savings account! As I played around with different options, I discovered I would have more arrangement possibilities with the most seating if I purchased a sofa and love seat. These pieces are also more ‘traditional’ and would fit well in any future home.

Anyway, with this new lease and new year, I’m itching for something new in the apartment and have been playing around with some different ideas.  I decided not to mess with a good thing that’s proven successful in the past, and got out my trusty old floor plan. I added any new pieces that had been acquired, and started playing around with arrangements. I also made the floor color more true to life and easier on the eyes and took away the bedroom -- not much I can change in there! I have come up with 4 favorite options for the new arrangement and have been polling around to see what everyone thinks.

For comparison purposes, here is my current arrangement:

I have only one chair due to an awful, month-long chair fiasco -- more on that later. My intention is to have a second matching one, so you’ll see two chairs in all the furniture arrangements coming. I also got two new nightstands for Christmas so the previous one can be found floating all around the apartment just looking for a new job. For the time being, it is additional sewing storage and has found a temporary home in my sewing 'nook'.  In most other layouts, it has a job as a side table or sofa table. He is totally flexible and happy to help in any way he can :)

Option 1
Option one is fairly simple to carry out and focuses on moving the TV from the only blank wall in the living room to sit in front of the side window. My hope is to cut back on the glare by having the windows on the side of the TV rather than directly in front of it. If any of you know this to make the glare worse, please let me know as most floor plans include this move! This option also incorporates the two chairs in the living room, rotates the bar so you can eat and watch TV -- hopefully encouraging me to eat at the bar and not the coffee table -- and keeps the sewing ‘nook’ as its own space, the closest thing I’ll have to a craft room for a while!

Option 2
This option is the same as the first; however, it turns the solarium into a whole separate seating area and brings the sewing ‘nook’ into the living room. I like this mainly because I like the idea of having a separate place to sit without having a focus on the TV. I imagine myself opening the windows on weekend mornings and curling up in one of the chairs with a book and cup of coffee -- oh, I wish it were Saturday!

Option 3
The third option turns the solarium into an eating space which would give me a defined ‘dining room’ as opposed to a floating bar height table with stools. I also like this because the sewing ‘nook’ is a part of the living room and the added chairs would be extra seating when having people over. BTW, I should probably mention the area at the bottom of the floor plan, next to the chairs is an entrance from the hallway to the living area and is about 6 feet wide. So if you're wondering why there is never anything in that general area, it would completely block people from entering and enjoying the space!

Option 4
The last option is a little less traditional than the others I’m considering. I think this arrangement takes advantage of the loft feel and gives me an opportunity to do something that wouldn’t typically fit in another space. The couch and the chairs could be switched and any other suggestion for the desk is welcome! I’m a little less certain about where to go with this one, but think it has definite potential and uniqueness!

Any favorites? Or combo of two to create a favorite? Any tweeks to one that would make it a favorite? I’d love to start re-arranging this weekend or during the next week, so let me know what you think! Once it’s finalized, I promise to put up real life pictures!


  1. I like options 1 and 2. I originally had 3 in there too (which wouldnt have been much help) but after thinking about it, I dont think you are going to want the sewing machine behind your couch separating the kitchen area from the tv, might just look out of place there. Option 4 I think looks good, but when you angle furniture (like my bed used to be) it takes up more room than you realize it will. Might make the apartment look smaller.

    Option 1: good because the chairs are by all the others, good for all the entertaining you do
    Option 2: chairs by the window, nice for you to sit in
    so do you want to be selfish and rearrange by what you will like/use, or rearrange for better entertaining