Design Dilemma

These photos are terrible, but I wanted to illustrate one of my most befuddling design dilemmas.  Our main floor consists of this one long room, and I love the openness of it, especially now that our kitchen has become part of the room.  However, that big long wall has me stumped.  How do I differentiate between the living room and the dining room?  Or do I even bother?  Do I fill up that empty space, or leave it? How do I make one room flow into the next without making it just one big rumpus room (which let's face it, it is!).
Behind the sofa I currently have the kids little craft/snack table, and that teak side board is stuffed with craft supplies.  The back area by the door of course gets a lot of traffic, especially during the summer.  I did have a rug under the table but with the two messiest eaters in Canada living under our roof, I moved it down to the basement.
My latest idea is to put six matching white frames there - I was thinking I could perhaps use my own photography, either of the kids or of the more artsy flower-type shots.  I am hoping that they would make kind of a 'focal point' for the dining room to balance the mirror/fireplace combo in the living room.
I put up the paper to get an idea of where I would put them and what size they are - there was no measuring or science to this mess (only the top 3 are the actual size of the frames)!  I think they would go a little lower, and slightly closer together.  But what should I centre them on?  I guess the table, but we move that from time to time... And is six enough or should I do eight?  Or is this a truly dumb idea?  Help?


  1. GOLLY!


    can you take a photo looking back from the dining room at the chairs?

    my first hunch is to get area rug for living room to anchor the living room space...then switch the couch and the chairs...the couch is a block, but you need some flow. Is there a window? Would that put the couch in front of a picture window?

    then turn the table the other way, so the two chairs are against the wall, and two on this side, and special seat at the end. (table should be directly across from kitchen)...maybe you need a skinny long table, versus a oval?

    then get that sideboard right along the wall on other side of chairs....hopefully sideboard is not tooo deep...and too short...the sideboard should balance the kitchen counter....

    then take down picture of your little man (its awesome) and the blue painting (also awesome) and just have 6 frames above the could try one of these two above the rad? If there is space?

    this could be kooky but...don't put anything permanent in the space between your now 'dining room space' and 'living room space'...of course let kid stuff do its thing, but let this area breathe.

    Good luck! I want to come over and help you move the furniture!


  2. Argh - I had a whole reply and lost it - boo. The gist was that I may indeed take you up on that offer Shannon! :) I have had the furniture so many different ways that I can't keep track. I did have the sofa over by the window but there is a recess there where we have a sideboard full of the kids toys, and they never used it much when the couch was there. Plus I have the white bookcase there now... Maybe I should send you photos - or have you over for coffee!! :) Anyway, I am attaching an old photo of the couch by the window, and here's an old post with a few variations of furniture placement... Thanks for caring!!

  3. I LOVE your window area!!! You have such lovey stuff!!!! So many hutches and things! I have one sideboard in my entire house!!!

    I think the couch works in front of the window...I would take out the sideboard from the window and put it beside the table (it fits the niche so perfectly, i know, but i feel like your dining room needs a large piece, and you have such a perfect one and I dont want to hide it behind your couch!) could put some toy boxes behind the couch where the window niche is...something like these: The toys will be everywhere, but once or twice a week you can do a quick clean up!

    I would make the chairs square to each other, not on an angle, and take out the round table with fern

    The coffee table needs to be centered on the fire place, with the couch about 18 inches away, and the chairs too...I wouldn't worry too much about having unused space around the living know? It might feel like the seating is tight...but resist the urge to spread furniture out too far!

    I would love to drop by - the boys could all go nuts together! I don't drive though...and at 34 weeks, I am not able to help with the heavy lifting!!! :)

  4. You know what I would love to do in that window nook is a built-in storage bench/window-seat...

    What about the subway - and no heavy lifting required! :)


Thank you so much for your comment - they always make my day!