Reader Poll Answers, and Another Question..... Family Room Drama Continued

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hi everyone! I'm sorry, I was overwhelmed yesterday and published without comment. I knew I had a lot to say and needed time to think and digest your amazing advice from Thursday (about my family room).  You guys honestly are the most creative and helpful group of people, and I am so lucky to have you. I was so grateful for the words of encouragement and how supportive you all were. I absolutely know that I will figure this out. Honestly I haven't had a lot of time to focus on it, and I only think about it for two or three minutes at a time, and then I move on only to later get frustrated with myself that I have not addressed it yet.

Of all of the advice that you guys gave me, here is what a few of you said that really hit home. You said "Your daughter said she wants beds to lay down and watch tv. That's not useless advice. She is telling you the room isn't comfortable." BAM. You nailed it, and point taken. I'm kind of embarrassed that I laughed at her comment and disregarded it, and didn't see this (now) very obvious point. Thank you SO MUCH for showing me I was being blind to her point. You are right - it is about making a "family room," not a fancy room. So my goals have changed, and I'll tell you what I'm thinking.

But first, your poll results:

No surprise there, right? You guys are ALWAYS split right down the middle. I think it shows how there really is more than one good way to do most projects, and people with great taste and talent can disagree. I told you that my husband and I also disagreed, but I didn't tell you our choices. It turns out that he wants the neutral, and I want the colorful. You're surprised, by that, right? I even surprised myself a bit with that. I never go in that direction, but it's still appealing to me for this room.

Anyway, yesterday we borrowed a rug from a local rug store to see if we should order it in a larger size. If they had had a colorful one we liked, we would have borrowed that, too, but they didn't (more later). So here is the neutral:

Do those of you who said neutral still like it? Does anyone change their vote? It is SO thick and soft and the dog absolutely loves it. The kids want a rug, but don't care about the style.  I know they would lay down on this one though - it is practically begging for it.

I also looked at 8 million colorful rugs online. There are lots of problems, maybe deal breakers:
-I need an absolutely huge rug. The sofa is 11 feet, so the rug width should be at least 12 feet. But the room is very long, so a 9 or ten foot length in a 9x12 rug isn't enough - I need at least 14 feet. And 10x14 doesn't work because the 10' isn't enough for the width of the sofa. So I have to go up to 12x15.   
-Rugs that are 12'x15' are very, very expensive. 
-The selection is not great for this size, either.
So after all that, I literally only found one rug that we could afford and also like. I really, really wanted to try a dark pink, and found some, but they were all $10,000. Deal breaker. But here is the one we like and can also afford:

 So now I am down to two options:


If we buy one of these, I would add some floor pillows and throws to the corner where you first walk in.

A lot of you commented on things like the mantle, the magazines, the pillows. I should have said it, but none of those are where they will stay. The pillows were on hand and the magazines just got there somehow. And I never did a thing to style the tulip table. I am not straightening up this room or styling it or deciding on accessories until the major elements are in place. So I really appreciate your advice, and I agree - those things will change :)

Ok, don't get mad, but here is one more option that I'm thinking about. What if I sold the tulip table and chairs and bought another sofa? For opposite the one above? In addition to adding more seating, I could spend a lot less on a rug - it would only have to be 8x11 or so (just to go under the table and between the furniture), and there is a much better selection for both neutrals and colorful rugs. And the sale price of the table and chairs woulds cover a big chunk of the sofa cost.

Do you want to vote again? I love you guys for helping me!!!!

Question 1

Add another sofa across from the one already there?

Yes - more seating is better and it solves the balance problem.
No - floor pillows are better because there is more room for the kid to spread out and play.
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Question 2:

I asked this last, time, but now that you can see that actual rug available, I thought I'd ask again:

Do you have a rug preference?

The white shag
The blue and white rug
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Artist Karen said...

I love your bravery in sharing your process with us! I think your initial instinct to add more color to the space was on target. People respond to color and warm colors help create an ambiance that can comfort. You might consider adding more color to the room through art and/or adding color to the walls. And I agree, one's own stuff is always the toughest. Bon chance!

Sharon said...

People who vote for the neutral rug have neither kids nor spouses. Sure I like it better right now, but in a year when it looks like it's been picked up on the side of the road, not so much. Who needs one more thing to gripe at your kids about? Have you thought about binding two smaller rugs together?

The sofa is perfection but for a liveable family room, buying another one just exacerbates the problem of neck strain when watching tv. Is this room for your family or your readers? Cozy is what you're after and if it's a little sophisticated, all the better.

I love the idea of ditching the tulip table and chairs. They look dinky next to the sofa and are too fussy to serve a purpose. I adore your coffee table, too but I have to agree with whoever said a big ottoman would be more family friendly. I have one and it just works, especially with a beautiful tray on top. I have a natural coffee table in my more formal room. Gorgeous but not comfy.

janet said...

Can you go with two large scale swivel chairs instead of another sofa? If you got two chairs the tulip table could go between, then you'd just have to find another home for the ghost chairs. I love the sofa, but it's very formal and if you have a formal living room, it should live there. If you do go with a smaller sofa, your rug choices would be so much easier (and cheaper) and you wouldn't have to worry so much about the balance. You could keep your neutral chair and just add another. Unless you go with theater style seating, not everyone is going to be able to face the tv. Turning your head isn't that hard, it's why we have necks! ;)

I still think going with a more vibrant rug is going to warm your space better than either of the two you have selected. Of the two, the blue is my preference, but it seems to only have shades of blues and biege which are cool colors. I'd love to see some reds, corals, magenta or other inviting colors added.

You're a good sport. It's not easy to get critiqued, even when it's invited and constructive. :)

elizabeth seidel said...

I did not respond previously but I was for the colorful rug. But my thoughts were to also add 2 leather lazy boy type (but not!!) chairs facing the tv in order to make the room more comfortable and add earth to the color.
I am also in favor of 2 couches facing one another however in this room I think your couch is too big for 2 of them. Could you sell the tulip table and chairs and downsize the couch size? I still feel like you need the 2 comfy chairs FACING the tv. Then 2 people can lay on the couches and comfortably watch tv with the chair people.
That's my 2 cents. Whatever it's worth!

Anonymous said...

Janet's right. You are such a good sport.
About the rug, tactile trumps visual particularly in a family room, no? And as long as the shag is somewhat mottled that could ameliorate the appearance issue in years to come. Is it better than the blue in that regard ? Absolutely not. Where will you be in 5 years decorating wise? Might you grow tired of a color specific rug such as that blue before the timeline of pristineness for the shag runs out?
We've got neutral wall to wall and to disclose, the areas in front of the couches where we eat and near the table have just a couple spots of darkening/stain that drive me nuts. As plan B I am keeping an eye out for an antique oriental to put in place over it for that area of the room. But with shag you wouldn't have that option.

About floor pillows, although they're oversized, which is the good news and the bad news, we have "fat boy" brand (ten years old don't know if they are still made) 6' floor pillow that is so comfortable. We stand it in the corner when not needed and plop it in the room when somebody wants to crash. We have one that's a koi design and two Union jacks. Not sophisticated at all but a back up short term option. Frankly it's always what guests grab - kids that is - and you can sit in them if stood up or lie when extended. They are big though so tough to conceal when not in use.

Anonymous said...

I went with the neutral rug and floor pillows - in the minority on both! I'm sure it will turn out beautiful either way though.

tish said...

Stacy, is the couch definitely staying?? It the length of the couch the actual problem or its that workable? I love floor pillows but at the end of the day they just look messy and not stable enough. We have the sectional with chaise lounge in front of the TV with a leather ottoman on wheels where blankets go and we play games on. its awesome. Besides that, 2 small chairs that the kids constantly sit on.. to watch tv, to read, anything. I'm shocked at the use they get. In a separate spot, a nice wingback chair with table and lamp as a reading nook. If i were to swap out my chairs, i would add a lounge chaise or 2 put together.. and i really think thats why your room is missing. Hope you dont mind my suggestion! :)

Karen T. said...

My first choice still is for the sofa to be opposite the TV. Not everyone prefers to look at TV with their neck continually turned in the same direction for an extended period of time. If you have a living room, could your current beautiful sofa go there and you turn that room into your French salon? Then I would get another smaller sofa for the family room. That way, you'll have wider rug options. If you and your family don't mind turning your heads to watch TV, then I would have two smaller sodas facing each other (one on each side of the fireplace). If some of you like to look straight on at the TV and some of you don't mind turning your heads, then I would do a smaller sofa (in a solid fabric) on one side and two large scale (not big, bulky, and comfortable; but tailored, sophisticated and comfortable) swivel chairs (in a patterned fabric) opposite the smaller sofa. This way, everyone is pleased. Remember, this room needs to work for your whole family and you want them to gravitate to this room & actually use it. If you opt for the two chairs across from the sofa, I like what someone suggested about perhaps using the tulip table between the chairs. Last, I usually like colorful rugs. However whatever pattern you end up with in your upholstery, a neutral rug (like an Oushak) would be nice. Whatever you choose though, don't forget that due to the intended use of this romm that you want easy maintenance and for your family to feel comfortable. By the way, if you feel you can make the blue sofa work then biding two rugs together (like another commenter suggested) could be a perfect solution.

Karen T. said...

Oops! Sorry for the spell check typos. I meant "" and "...binding...".

Anonymous said...

Stacy, go with your gut. You have great taste, and just need to step back and give it time. At first I liked the blue rug, but thought if you go with some great colorful pillows on the sofa, would the pattern in the rug come into play in a negative way? I had a feeling you wanted color from what you've posted. I love the picture you posted of a green sofa with beautiful, colorful pillows. I can see you doing that here picking up the blue with pink and/or yellow print pillows. Put some colorful artwork, flowers, accessories... Then see which rug works.
Make a mock up drawing on paper of your room, along with the size of the couch. Move it around to see where it fits. It looks long for the room. I like the idea of the couch or two chairs across from the current sofa for balance, but I'm a symmetry girl. I also like putting sofas in an L shape, and adding 1-2 chairs to make a u. I love your old family room designs, from a prior house I think. You had a nice cozy balance.
It all takes time and living with it for a while. As you said, hardest is your own! PS... My husband would never allow our tv to go above the fireplace. Too hard to watch. Looking at your old family room, you're used to that though. Good luck. It will be fabulous. Have faith :)