Thanks so much, everyone, for your terrific comments on Mary’s big beautiful secretary/bookcase. Of course, there are many solutions when a piece of furniture isn’t quite working in the space.
But, what if the furniture doesn’t fit?
This post was inspired by another reader, Sally, who also sent in photos last week. And, we will get to her dilemma in a bit. But, first, let’s go over the various ways that furniture might not fit. Then, I’ll give you ideas for how to rectify the issue.
Below are some ways that furniture might not fit
- Sometimes the furniture doesn’t even fit through the front door or the back door. There is no way to bring the furniture into the house.
- The furniture won’t fit through the door to the room it’s going in.
- Sometimes, the furniture won’t make a tight turn in a hallway or can’t make it up or down the stairs.
- Another common situation is that the furniture fits through the doorways and into the room, but once in the room, it is so crowded that movement is restricted. Plus, it looks terrible.
This is why whenever you’re purchasing larger pieces, it is a good idea to think carefully about where it’s going and how it will get there.
And, the final way that furniture doesn’t fit is what brings us to Sally’s dilemma.
When a piece that requires wall space is either too large for the wall, it needs to go on. Or, there are not enough walls to accommodate these pieces. Sometimes, the walls are there, but the windows are impeding.
Remember this post about the super-long unbroken living room wall? Well, this is the opposite situation from that.
So, let’s begin with Sally’s problem.
Here are the photos interspersed with Sally’s note:
I love both posts, and after reading them, I have decided to paint my dining room a Ralph Lauren Polo blue to make the mahogany furniture disappear.
However, now I’m considering strawberry red! Your mood board with the strawberry walls is beautiful!
My question is, is my art is too busy and detailed for blue or red walls?
The art has sentimental value, and I want to keep it. The painting of the Spanish-style house with the red tile roof is my grandmother’s house in Central California. My grandparents built this house in 1937, and this house represents stability to me since my family moved so much.
My husband and I purchased the other two pieces of art on our honeymoon in Italy.
Do I need to invest in new art that is more neutral, like ocean scenes or other landscapes, to go with blue or red walls and the very traditional dining room furniture?
By the way, I’m 52 and blonde; I live in Northern California (the SF Bay Area) with my twin daughters (age 10), our yellow lab, Daisy.
We live in a ranch house built in 1972, and our town is relatively rural, although it is only 25 miles from San Francisco.
Also, I know my decorating needs help. I’m trying! That massive hutch in the dining room was my husband’s, and I realize it might be too large for the room.
Maybe painting the walls a darker color would help the cabinet to disappear.
I also know that the sideboard, which isn’t really a sideboard, doesn’t work. And the rug probably doesn’t work either. I’m trying!
[yes, it’s not easy]
The entry, living room, and dining room all connect, so I’ve attached pictures of all these rooms as well as the art.
Thank you in advance for any direction you can provide!
Okay, I think this house has a lot of potential.
However, there is a problem that plagues a lot of people. The overall style of the home and furniture is casual and contemporary. That is, except for the dark dining room furniture.
The first thing I’m suggesting is to take the china cabinet out of the dining room and put it where the piano is. Over the years, many of my clients didn’t have room in their dining room for a china cabinet but had plenty of room for one in their adjacent living room. So, the living room went, and they always looked great there.
Sally says that the piano doesn’t have to stay there and nobody plays it anyway.
I think that the cabinet will breathe a lot easier when it’s not stuffed on that wall next to the windows.
But, now there’s a problem with the adjacent fireplace wall, which is very casual. At the very least, a more traditional mantel will help that area a lot. Plus, some better styling. I would maybe put up a good-sized mirror over the fireplace or larger art.
The next place that caught my eye is the entrance area into the living room.
I feel that the opening is too open.
That leaves two choices.
One is to close in those two walls a little bit.
I didn’t indicate this, but it might be possible to have two bookcases here.
Or, Sally could do a pony wall extension. Above is a rough representation. But, I think it gives a good idea. I love this one because it adds architectural interest and a separation between the entry and living spaces.
In addition, I think this looks much more elegant and will be great for resale. Also, I would run the crown moulding all around the room. For more pony wall ideas, go here.
The other day, I got another email from Sally, who realized that her home could benefit from window casings.
This was after reading Sunday’s post about decorating details.
She’s right, but in her case, I think if she put up floor-to-ceiling curtains, it would be fine not to do the window casings as they won’t be seen very much.
It might look great to add some heavy cotton slipcovers for the dining room chairs.
Maybe something like this
These dining room slipcovers are pretty cool too.
I would love to see a seagrass rug, or at least a darker area rug, on the floor.
As for the wall color, I think that either a beautiful soft red or a deep blue or navy would be terrific.
I couldn’t find a Polo Blue from Ralph Lauren. But, there are some beautiful navy blues in the Laurel Home Paint and Palette Collection.
I think the living room is off to a good start. I love the Pottery Barn Irving chairs! They are available in numerous leathers and fabrics.
I’m not going to go into a lot more detail here regarding the decor. Those ideas are extras.
The post’s main idea is that when the furniture doesn’t fit, sometimes it can go someplace else that you might not have thought of.
By the way, I have ordered furniture for clients that didn’t fit. Yes, indeed. I’ve talked about some of those sad occurrences in other posts. We’ve always worked it out. But working it out always costs me money. haha
It was so lovely having my son, Cale, come for a 5-day visit. Last night he made a beautiful fire in the fireplace, and here we are enjoying it. Please note the new Staffordshire dogs on the mantel!
Today was wonderfully mild for February, a reminder that spring isn’t too far off.