Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Decorating Advice Needed

As you know, we're bumping out the wall of our breakfast nook and family room and making it a bit bigger. We were going to put down new carpet in the family room (and continue the hardwood in the breakfast nook)...but now we're rethinking that plan. My theory is down the road, we will be very limited with our furniture placement if we have the two different floorings. That's what we have now and it is VERY clear where the family room stops and the breakfast nook starts. Plus having one flooring type would make the space look nice and big.

The downside to the all hardwood plan? Apart from cost, I need a soft place for my children to play. Plus I have no idea how to select an area rug or where to place it!! I suppose I need two of them...but I don't really have any clue about this.


One year ago we bought a big comfy brown sectional. Obviously it is staying since I spent far too much money on it (seriously, WAY too much) even though now it isn't what I would choose for the soon-to-be-expanded space.

Here is a picture from early last summer...the decorations have changed (hey, where is my black dresser/sofa table!) but you can get an idea of the size of the sectional and the small size of the room! In the back right corner you can see the corner of an armoire--that is on a diagonal and there's about four feet of room space you're not seeing.
Basically the wall with the sliding door and the big window over the couch is getting pushed back about ten feet. We're updating the fireplace (woohoo!!) and the red wall will be gone too. I loved the red wall when I did it, but I'm so done with it now.

Here is a picture of the room (decorated for Princess's birthday party!) past the armoire. The armoire will be staying in that general spot because we're not moving the cable hookups. I'm not sure if the toys will stay there or not. I'm thinking about turning our dining room into a playroom but I'm undecided.
So, the couch is BIG. (But comfy!) Currently my thinking is to slide it back four feet or so (toward where the new wall will be. That will leave a larger space between the couch and the television wall (and expose the fireplace more) but still will allow for a significant space between the back of the couch and the window. I'm not sure what we'll do with that space in the immediate future (maybe that's where the toys or train table will go?) but in the long term, I'm sure we'll move our computer there and have some office space.

So. What to do about area rugs? With a couch this huge, what size area rug do I get and how do I place it? I'm thinking 9x13, but is that big enough? How much of the rug needs to go under the couch? Then maybe a separate, smaller, one for the area behind the couch?

I'm not buying anything until the space is done, but I'm a planner and *need* to have some sort of plan in my head. HELP!

And, of course, how on earth do I choose an area rug pattern? A big rug will be pricey, so I guess I want sort of neutral so that I don't get tired of it.

I like this one from Pottery Barn...but will the pretty border be lost if it is partly under the couch?
But then I also like this one...totally different style!
So many choices and I have no clue what to do! Advice, please!


jenjen said...

Oh - your new space is going to be so great! I would go with the same flooring throughout the family and kitchen areas. It will make your space visually much bigger. I love the idea of a comfy area rug. My in-laws recently put hardwood throughout their kitchen and family room. They put a big area rug. My kids play blocks on their rug all the time.

I was going to suggest Pottery Barn. My in-laws go their from a home decor place. I'm sure you will be able to find something you like. A local place might be cheaper. I would get the biggest size that would fit to give your kids as much play room as possible.

How exciting!


Shannon said...

Definitely do the same flooring if you can. You will probably not always have that furniture like you said so you will want more options.

For the rug, I love that first choice and don't think the pattern will be lost. Very pretty. I would do the biggest possible and just make sure your front legs of the sofa are on the rug.

Another option would be to have carpet (maybe sisal or another natural material) bound into a big rectangle or square (whatever the shape of the family room is going to be). That way you could make it big enough to extend from the couch for more playing room. This would probably be cheaper than buying a rug. Then you can put a coordiating pattern like the PB one under your kitchen table.

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

Yes, I agree, make it all the same flooring! We had vinyl and carpet in our kitchen/family room and changed it all out to laminate and I love it. It makes the space feel even bigger, and it allows some options with furniture placement.

Yes, make sure your rug is as big as's going to have to be huge. I've made the mistake of a too small rug and it's a VERY common mistake. The rug should go under the furniture, at least a bit.

I love the idea of the kids toys behind the sofa. Or a sofa table would be great too.

I've gotten many rugs from and LOVE that place. The prices are great. Also, Homegoods/TJMaxx are SO much cheaper than PB. Also, consider the square carpet tiles so you can make it into a rug exactly the size you need!

And Shannon brings up a good point too -- you can go to a carpet store, pick out general carpet and have the edges bound.

Have FUN!!

Karri said...

I also agree w/ having the same flooring.

As far as a rug goes, you'll get a much better quality rug if you go get one from a 'real' rug manufacturer. You can go to HoDe or Lowes and see what they have and custom order them. And don't go for the low-end ones. The carpet people will explain the differences in them, just like how there are differences in carpet. We've learned SO much about rugs after having had 2 houses w/ HWFs and 3 kids. lol. We did the IKEA route, did the TJMaxx thing, and also BBB. All those rugs are ended up in the trash. Our current rugs cost a nice dime, but we got 2 that match - one for the foyer/sunroom, and one for the living room. Ours does not go under the couch/chairs. I was told by an interior decorator that you have 2 choices: you either have to go BIG and take it several inches under your furniture, or you leave a few inches of space between the rug and your furniture. That's what we did and it makes cleaning under the couch much easier. But it was my personal preference b/c we had a larger rug at one point and I didn't like it.

Good luck to you!

The Bertone's said...

Yes, they are hilarious doing push-ups but they surely try hard don't they?
I like the Pottery Barn rug the best.. I like the outside border. :) Hope I helped some! Decorating sure can be hard can't it?

Girly Stuff said...

You have had great advice so far.

I agree about the same flooring throughout.

All my area rugs are Shaw Rugs (they have a website) and they are from the Kathy Ireland collection. They clean up great and all her rugs have the same colors despite being different patterns so they coordinate great together. And I agree about it being big enough to have all furniture a little on it or small enough to leave space between furniture and rug.

Just make sure to float the sofa like you are saying and I think you guys would like a sofa table that maybe doubles as a desk that you or the kids could use.

And I would paint the armoire and put it flush against the wall...check out the Caromal Colours...they make painting it so easy.

I like the sofa alot...don't be so hard on did good!

Kimberly said...

I also love one flooring which would make the space look nice and big. I would like to pick a rug at pottery barn kids.