Cameron's tips for an awkward layout.
Q. I love your suggestions and hope you can help me. My living-dining room is an L shape. How should I arrange the furniture? I'm confused as to whether the focal point in the living area should be the big window or the fireplace — right now the space in front of the fireplace is empty. Should I move the fireplace (it's electric)? I'm open to suggestions for paint colours and fabrics.
— R.E., Richmond Hill, Ont. (To submit your own question, see our Ask A Designer™ page.)
A. Determine a key focal point.
You can have multiple focal points in a space. Currently, the fireplace is in an awkward position. Move it to the wall where your sofa is now, and place your sofa under the window. With this arrangement, the fireplace will be the focal point when entering the room from the foyer, and the window will be another focal point.
Introduce light tones.
To give the room a brighter look (as in the inspiration photo), paint your fireplace white, and flank it with a pair of solid oak bookcases from Muti (shown). These bookcases are a great alternative to more expensive built-in cabinets, and bring in some lighter wood tones. Place a console table where the fireplace is currently located. The Dutch Industrial console table from Restoration Hardware (shown) has a metal frame and aged wood top and shelf for display.
Update the seating.
Replace the larger chair with a pair of woven chairs, like the one from Bacon Basketware (shown). Choose simple cotton twill or matelassé seat cushions in cream. The Rockport ottoman in Stepping Stone fabric in Spice from Company C (shown) will anchor the seating area, and bring in colour and pattern.
Accessorize the space.
Try some new lamps, like the Glass Balustrade lamp from Global Views (shown). The clear glass lamp bases will contrast well with the room's other shapes and textures. Place a pair of the lamps on the new console table.