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Living Room Corner Space and Making the Most of It
Wednesday, March 27
When Danny and I moved into our new house, I was confronted with a problem: we had two "main" rooms, something I wasn't used to. The front door opens up into a living room while the backside houses the family room with the TV. The rooms are both very distinct and very separate. I knew what to do with our family room - couches, TV, a little coffee table and some side tables with decorating touches and bam! Room done. But our living room? What was I supposed to do with that? Should I put couches in there? Maybe just a chair or two? Or should I put something big in it, like a piano? I honestly wondered if we were even going to use that room. Both the living room and the family room seemed to be two different spaces that were similar in use and function. I felt like one room might become nothing but wasted space.
This is what the living room in our house looked like before we moved in:
The people living here before us had a small couch with some ottomans in the living room corner. Looks ok, but it leaves a huge gap open between the couch and the front door. I hate decorating corner spaces like this - it seems like no matter what you do, you get dead space. When Danny and I moved in, we actually ended up shoving a couch and love seat in this area. We'd bought a leather couch and big chair from the previous renters - which resided in the family room - so we put our old couch set into the living room until we could figure out what to do with it.
This is the only picture I could find of our old couch set in the new house. It's from Danny's first day of Medical school (isn't he cute?).
The couches we had were old, ugly, and flowery. But by golly they were the most comfortable things you've ever sat on in your life. They were gifted to us by a friend of ours when we were first married. His parents were getting new couches and needed to get rid of their old ones. Seeing as how we were sitting on nothing but camping chairs and paint buckets at the time, he brought them over for us free of charge. It was pretty exciting hauling those babies into our apartment. We felt fancy and married - what with real furniture and all in our first place together.
As much as we loved those big ol' things, once we moved to Arizona, it was time to let them go. Their comfortableness made up for their ugliness, but now that we could afford new ones, I really wanted something different, especially for this living room. Pushed together, they formed an awkward dead space right smack dab in the corner. The whole set up was just so ill-fitting. After deciding that we wanted the living room to hold extra sitting space for when we had people over, we opted to buy a sectional. After some perusing around, I found this white whale of a beast on Craigslist:
It's huge. This baby seats at least 10 people. And it looks prettier in the picture than it does in person. Not that it's bad in real life, it just has a very weird pattern to it... kinda makes it look a bit old school. But we drove 40 miles out of our way to see it and I was so convinced that we were going to take it home that we bought it even though I knew it wasn't what I was looking for. Danny kept telling me over and over that I shouldn't buy it if I wasn't sure, but I just couldn't let myself walk away. I learned my lesson that day. Now, I always give myself a day or two to think about big purchases. And if I'm still unsure by day two or three, I walk away. This day, however, I didn't do that. I had to fight down a rising sense of panic when we got it all the way back to our house and started unloading it. I knew I didn't like it. I knew that before we bought it. And we couldn't take it back. And I'd saved up money for my dream couch and now that money was gone. I couldn't look at the thing for days after that. My only consolation was that it was comfortable. Insanely comfortable, just like our old flowery couches.
It didn't help, either, that when we had parties over at our place, everyone gravitated to our family room. We never even used the big sucker! Within a month or two of buying it, I asked Danny if I could put it up on Craigslist. He didn't want to - he loved the couch. Again, it was insanely comfortable, but he especially loved how big it was. I could lay down on one side, he could lay down on the other and our feet wouldn't even touch. But I still wanted to put it up, and so he agreed.
After months of having it up, we've had a ton of interest but no bites. People will come and look at it and then decide to pass. So I finally decided that we should keep it. It was really comfortable. And I figured if I could get over the flowery ugliness of our old couches, I could get over this not-so-bad sectional. But that didn't stop me from trying to make the space prettier. So after pulling in the rug from our family room, spreading out the pillows, and snagging a free coffee table a friend-of-a-friend was giving away, here's what the space looks like now:
Um, I almost feel bad for admitting it, but I kind of like it. The couch still has an ugly fabric to it, but I pretend to not see it anymore. I wish the rug was bigger, but I think it works. And the coffee table just ties it all together. Here's a before-we-moved-in and after shot so you can see how having a sectional fills up the space:
I'm glad I was able to work with what I had. The past few nights I've actually spent some time down on the couch before I go to bed, either reading or catching up on some blogs. And it's worked great when we have people drop by for just a few minutes - even though our parties always gravitate towards the family room, unexpected company usually ends up sitting in this area. So it's worked out well for us.
Eventually I hope to get some artwork on the walls and an end table on one side. And instead of the lamp we have sitting behind it right now, I was thinking of one these three floor lamps from Ikea (this one, this one, or this one). We're kind-of close to finishing the downstairs; it'll be nice when it's all wrapped up and decorated.
What about you guys? Ever had a space that you just didn't know what to do with? Or finally find a way to make what you had work? Danny's certainly glad that we didn't get rid of this couch - he really loves it (and he's usually not vocal about furniture). And it is kind-of fun having this thing when the nieces and nephews come over. Turns out, this sectional is kinda perfect for some pretty awesome fort building.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 27 and is filed under couches,decorating,home,living room,sectional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.