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Jess’ Dream Apartment Layout Nightmare- It’s A MOTO Ask The Audience Y’all


The moment I walked into this apartment my jaw dropped to the floor (full intro tour here). As I slowly picked it up I noticed that the living room was going to be a challenge to layout. But hey that was “future Jess'” problem. I ignored my future headache and ran to fill out the application and send my future landlord my firstborn. But now 1.5 months into living here and staring at these blank walls it’s time to get serious and design this sucker. This will not be another year and a half venture. I have some crazy ideas in my head that I’m both terrified and exhilarated by so I need to get to them before I overthink them to death. But first…

Welcome to my problem child. A room that needs to function as both a living room and a home office. Even Julie, after seeing the pictures of my layout options, was basically like, “good luck bud, I’m rooting for you”. She also told me to ask all of you wonderful people your opinion (which was my plan from this start) so here we are. Layout design agonies are some of our most popular posts because they are annoyingly relatable. Everyone has at least one room that they have a really hard time figuring out. This is FOR SURE mine. Let’s talk…

Below is the overhead layout so you can see what I’m working with. (P.S. I used SmartDraw to create this floor plan and it wasn’t too hard!)

She looks big but until she gets the “She’s All That” makeover, she’s real awkward. However unlike “She’s All That” it’s going to take more than simply removing her glasses for Freddie Prince Jr. to see this living room’s full potential (Also, really Freddie??).

Moving right along… I think the best way to make any decision for the world’s most indecisive person (me) we need a pros and cons list for each of the three layouts with some fun (and MESSY) pics. NOTE: My current desk in the real photos is a folding table that I will be replaced with a nice, larger desk eventually. That’s also why the desk looks bigger in all of the layouts:)

Option ONE – The “Up Against The Wall That For Some Reason Make Me Feel Less Like This An Adult’s Apartment”

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:


  • I know that title sounds real dumb but I can’t help it, it’s how I currently feel (subject to change). I guess that I had this “floating off the wall” sofa dream that felt really chic. But since there is only 2 feet of space between the wall and the left side of the fireplace (if you are looking at it) and my sofa is about 3 feet deep, it blocks too much of the fireplace. MY FIRST FIREPLACE as a grown a$$ woman. It looks wonky and it bums me out.
this overhead view makes the sofa/fireplace blocking look less intense. just remember that:)
  • Also if I wanted to add more seating across from the sofa, there would too many chairs on that side of the room since my desk chair would also be over there.

See what I mean?? Too cramped on that desk chair. I guess one could work…

This is intriguing but still not sold because of the fireplace issue.


  • So despite its “wonkiness”, I do like that I am looking at my pretty windows when sitting and that the space feels open overall.
  • Okay. Could maybe have one accent chair.
  • You don’t walk into the room and see the back of a sofa. More on that next…

Option TWO – The “Hey This Is The Back Of My Sofa But At Least It’s Centered To The Fireplace”

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:


  • Well as stated in the title I don’t love the when you walk into the space, you walk right into the back of the sofa. I don’t know much about Feng Shui (putting on my 2021 to-do list) but having the sofa here feels like I’m cutting the room off. Well… until I’m sitting on said sofa.
  • It knocks out almost any chance of extra seating.
  • I feel lukewarm about it but it’s getting warmer with time.

Here is the most likely layout because…

Adding a chair might crowd the desk area too much. Though I’m sitting with this configuration now and I think a small accent chair (smaller than in this graphic) cooould work.


  • Centers around the fireplace
  • I can sit on my sofa and not be forced to look at my desk (an attempt to turn off “work mode”) but can also easily turn and enjoy that side of the room. Wait. Idea. Should I get a little cabinet or box to easily and safely put away my monitor at night?? That way I can pretend my desk is a dining table. Hmmm I’ll look into it.
  • The sofa I desperately want has a curved back so at least that will get its time in the sun showing off its behind.
  • Plenty of room for my office area to breathe…. unless I add that chair;)

Option THREE – The “Too Much Furniture On One Side Of The Room Which Somehow Makes This Decently Sized Space Feel Cramped”

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:


  • To make the sofa not block the fireplace (the issue with it being on the wall) it really steps on the office area’s toes.
  • I would be facing the wall and not the windows when sitting on the sofa. Bummer, right?
  • I don’t love the sightline from the entrance of the living room to the windows. Too much furniture blocking happening.
  • Would require me to probably choose a small desk (side eye emoji).
  • Still doesn’t give enough space for extra seating.
  • Would need to find or build a very slender media cabinet or shelving unit. But also Bunge Bench 2.0??
this graphic makes it look like there more space than there is. ugh.


  • It doesn’t awkwardly block the fireplace.
  • You get a clear shot of the sofa when you walk into the room.

So if you can’t tell I’m leaning towards option 2 but again not in love with the idea. For fun this was Julie’s official response when I sent her all of the options:

“Man I don’t know haha, I like the original cause it gives a clear view of the windows and desk area when you walk into the space but it’s a little awkward with how much it overlaps the fireplace. The one with the sofa floating in front of the fireplace makes sense but feels like you can’t add any more seating and would you put a table behind the sofa or just walk into the back of it with nothing? And the last one functionally makes sense but completely blocks off that epic photo of a cool sculptural desk moment.”

So ya, no clear answer which is why I really would love your opinion (and I’m not planning on adding a “sofa table” because it would make the walkway too skinny). What is your vote? Am I missing something? I really want my desk in the turret because that’s where I spend most of my time and I refuse to put my desk in my bedroom. HELP. And thank you thank you.

Love you, mean it.

Fin Mark


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You spend more time in your home than entering your home so make it most practical for how you live. I think option 2 looks the best and makes the most sense, but they are all fine choices!

Teresa Kennedy

Agreed! I love this option the best!


I vote for a layout option using the rounded area for couch / seating and the fireplace as your desk /office!


Is the closet space one where you need constant easy access to? Because if not you could put your sofa in front of that wall and “float” it a little bit off the wall so you can just about reach the closet without it looking too weird hopefully (is this crazy?). Not super convenient for reaching the closet, but the main function of the room might be “chilling and working” and not “accessing closet”. You get views of the fireplace, of the beautiful windows (probably also of your desk = not so great to be looking at your workplace all of the time) and there should be space for a nice reading chair in front of the fire. So yeah, there’s an idea for you.


I had the same idea as well. Put the sofa on the right wall when entering. So you see the fire place and the window. And you have place for chair(s) and a skinny cabinet/shelf on th eleft side. The cabinet door is a pocket door, so it runs behind the sofa. And you can get in from the corner. But we dont know how much longer is your sofa than the wall. But I understood that you consider to buy a new sofa? Maybe worth to think about?


I think that door is the entrance to the kitchen?

Otherwise that would work great.

Such a tough layout. My suggestion is option 1 – it does block the fireplace but seems to leave the rest of the room so much more open – like post quarantine dance party open!

Option 2 – would work too. Gives you the best view of both the fireplace and windows but might be a tad bit cramped.


Just looking at the floor layout quickly, that was my first idea too. I would love walking into the room with a clear sightline to both the fireplace and the windows, with the sofa on the right wall tucked into that cozy corner. But that darn door – is it a closet? an entrance to another room? If it’s just a closet, maybe you can make it long term storage and just close it off. Maybe just play with the idea a bit if you can. You’re so creative, if it’s doable, and you like the layout, I know you will make it work.


I’m also pro Option 2 – and a future curved sofa-behind to stare at when you walk into the room sounds awesome!! 😀 I also really like Brendas point and have to agree that I feel Opt 2 makes the most sense for *being* in the room which I feel should be the most important thing and still gives you the nicest view from all angles – yay for option 2!! I was thinking maybe (?) you could try out shifting your sofa a leeeetle to the right in option 2 and then add some skinny accent seating to the left of the sofa (like the awesome graphic wooden stool you already have)? that way the accent seating won’t crowd into your desk area…. buuut that of course would make it potentially a. harder to walk around your sofa to actually get to the living area and de-center it from the fireplace soooo probaly not idk…. Damn this is definitely one of those moments where I’m like ‘I’m glad thats not my drama but I’m so excited to watch and see how it goes!’… Best of luck to you Jess I’m sure you’ll figure out something great!! And despite its… Read more »


I’m also an option 2 person. My mother for years had a little sitting room space included in her kitchen/casual dining area, and we all faced the little sofa as we entered (with a curved back;)) and it faced a fireplace, closely, and it was wonderful and warm and cozy. Also, she chose a patterned sofa for interest (gingham, because New England gal born in 1932), and it did not feel like anything was cut off, only that intimacy was created.

Joanna Bak

I came here to say the same thing— A curvy/sculptural sofa would be great here with option 2. Even a curvy sectional could provide more seating.

And, if there’s room I’d definitely add a cool sofa table, Jess, can’t your dad help you build one 😏?


I prefer option 1, it feels airy and functional and doesn’t block the fireplace too much in my opinion.

Have you considered using a round (dining) table, maybe a tulip table, instead of a desk, so when the monitor is put away it can be used for entertaining?


This was going to be my response. The desk is really killing me. I would love to see something that is round-ish. (Oval or round) At estate sales here in Northern California (online or in a large warehouse – everyone masked) I’ve even seen round tables with drawers – that would be awesome for you. But I think a big first solve would be replacing that rectangle desk

Colleen Clark

Agreed – maybe an oval tulip table? Something that could also do double duty for dinner parties once quarantine is over?


I totally agree. I think the sofa and desk are the wrong shapes/size for the space. A round table would be perfect, and a smaller, rounded edge sofa would probably work better.


I’m in Northern California. Is there a list to find out about local estate sales? I’m sure there is, but it’d be great to be pointed to a good resource. Thanks!

Susan then put in your location. Alot of sales in Sacramento area…


Hi Suzanne! I use generally – it’s nation-wide – and through that I discovered an awesome estate sale showroom in Marin County! Where are you?


This was my thought as well. A round table to use as a desk would fit the space so much better and would transition more easily to a dining space when needed.


I was going to say: this place is screaming for a bigger desk, one that makes a statement, with some curves involved! Oval or tulip yes, or it could be a rectangular table joined with a half-moon shaped one (to end up with a desk with one side straight, one side curved). And a rug to anchor the desk area. xx


I had my sofa like option 2 for years. Because when you enter you are standing you don’t really notice after a day or two that you are entering to the back of the sofa- feels more like a hallway. You quickly won’t notice. Had to change it because the kids needed more floor space to play. We had a sofa with a beautiful patterned back. I miss that sofa! Just train your eye to not look at the things are irritating but hard to fix 😂


Yes, this, it creates a natural hallway! And patterned back!


Seconding option 2! My living room is tough to work with too (small, focal point is windows which take a full wall, also a fireplace, and entry door is directly into this room) and ultimately I created a “hallway” with my couch too facing the fireplace.

I wasn’t sure about it at first, but from a daily use it feels so cozy and looks great when sitting there and I’ve actually come to appreciate the hallway aspect and the path it creates into other parts of the house. Even if it is slightly tighter than I would like, it is definitely the right choice for the room functionally.


I don’t know about you but personally, the psychological discomfort of having my back to the door outweighs the pleasures of a nearby window — for (computer) work at least.

You could consider placing your work area by the fireplace — using that great big empty wall as a blank canvas / mega mood board ? — and the accent chairs in the circular area. What a place to read that would be! Sofa can go in front of the closet, facing the accent chairs, windows, and fireplace. When you enter the room, your eyes are drawn right to those chairs and windows in the circular area, with the sofa to your right and the desk to your left — no blocked furniture or fireplaces necessary.


Back to the door is a BIG BAD feng shui thing!☹

Vicki Williams

Yes but there are “fixes”.

Marla Herbig

Yes, like mirrors

I like option 2!… but option 1 isn’t bad either…


Oh man these are the times I wish we could upload images, to play around with your space. A few things to consider. While I know having a fireplace is super exciting, you’ve actually got two potential focal points here – the amazing curved windows and the fireplace. Right now you’re assuming that the fireplace has to play the lead role, but you could potentially swap the couch and desk/dining space. If I’m judging the space right, you could walk out of the kitchen into the back of the couch, up against the external wall, and have a chair or two in the window bubble, with your desk/dining table over by the fireplace. Alternatively, as others have mentioned and depending on how long your couch is, it could go on the kitchen wall, which opens up the space.


I’d love to see this idea sketched out – it sounds like it could work. Otherwise, I vote for option 2 but consider turning your desk around so that the desk chair is in the window and you face the room. then you don’t get that cramped chair situation.

Vicki Williams

Great advice, one that I totally didn’t look at.


I know we’re all spending all our time working from home at the moment, but I think prioritising the placement of your desk is a mistake, because it’s stealing the best spot – not to mention that they say you shouldn’t have a monitor directly in front of a window as it’s very hard on the eyes (I have found this to be true myself). So I’m going to throw Option 4 into the ring: Ignore the fireplace as a focal point, or at least treat it as a fireplace in a TV set (where they are always behind the furniture). Put the sofa into the star of the room – the turret. You won’t be facing the view unless you recline (I’m pro reclining, as it happens) but you will be bathed in the light. It also opens up the rest of the room and gives you a lot of space for additional seating. A rug can further define this “sitting room” area. Put the desk against the wall where the sofa is in Option 1. As it’s against a wall you’ll have space for a framed inspiration board above it, which should make it look less chaotic. And… Read more »


I agree! Option 4, try putting the sofa in the turret window. Looking at the blank floor plan drawing, imagine the sofa almost forming a straight line across the start of the turret, at an angle to the fireplace. I envision the back side of the sofa/turret space with a tall beautiful plant. I don’t think it will cut off the window, but enhance it even more. Give it a shot and see what happens.


Also, with the sofa in/near the turret space, you can float your desk on the wall with the gold floor lamp. Face out and you get a view of the windows and your pretty room while you work.

Alternatively, I also agree with others to try moving the couch in option 2 further to the right (a little more into the private mess area). Place one occasional chair next to the fireplace. The other occasional chair serves as your desk chair and you move that chair in front of your desk, to the right of the fireplace, as needed for guests.


Better yet, a conversation sofa in the turret would look fabulous and complement the roundness of the area.


Yes to all of your points! The turret is the star of the room.


Yes to all of this! Could you get a curved sofa for the turret, accent chair against the wall next to the closet, and desk against wall beside fireplace? Get (or DIY) a narrow bench-style desk that can be long and shallow rather than deep so it doesn’t stick out in front of the fireplace. No way would I waste that beautiful turret on a desk space (and I agree with the poster who said that having a screen in the window will actually be hard to see).
I also agree that this seems more European to me than the two accent chairs facing or at right angles to the sofa that every US design site seems to adore.


I too think the sofa should go in front of the window with poufs in front. Maybe use a small rectangular table as a desk perpendicular to the fireplace and tuck the chairs under. Think of the space divided diagonally from the fireplace corner to the closet/kitchen corner.




Been looking forward to seeing this space! Agreed the turret is more important than the fireplace. I think the sofa should be placed as in option 2 but moved all the way to the right, creating a hallway to the kitchen behind it. Two swivel chairs and the coffee table in the turret. Desk along the lefthand wall by the fireplace. If the desk has to stay in the turret, definitely go for a round table as others have said.


This is my favorite option! Sofa as in option 2, but moved all the way to the right, creating a hallway to the kitchen. Two comfy chairs and a coffee table in the turret. Desk along the left hand wall next to the fireplace. Big rug bringing the seating area in the window together. I’d love to see this option tried out in your space!

I agree with this! I was going to suggest putting the sofa on an angle in the turret. I’d argue that the Turret is the main architectural focal point of the room – not the fireplace – and having the sofa there will help further establish that. It’s also the only spot in the room where the sofa won’t close anything off. It keeps the space open and flowing and gives you plenty of options for placement of your desk and additional seating. It’s really a beautiful room and I love how old spaces encourage us to embrace an unexpected layout.


And I was thinking put the sofa facing the turret on an angle! But given that you love working in the turret I vote for option 2. HANDS DOWN option TWO!!! I don’t think walking in to the back of the sofa is a big deal and the hallway effect is kind of nice when you lack a hallway. Also, remember that you can always rearrange if/when we are no longer stuck in quarantine mode. Get a round table to use as a desk in the turret for now and it will be versatile if you rearrange or when you move in the future. I also might not go too custom getting a curved sofa for this space given that you won’t likely live there forever :).


This could work if you float the desk so you face the windows while working. Best of both.


Yes, but put a mirror over your desk so you can see the view even when you are facing the wall!


Use kidney desk! It will flow better with the roundness of the wall.


Yes! I was just thinking this! A curved desk of some sort would fit better with the contour of that nook and allow the desk chair to be pushed in a little more. So maybe that will give just the little bit more room needed to go for #2 or #3 and not have it feel crowded on the desk area. The room is beautiful and so interesting, I’m sure whatever you choose will be fantastic! Can’t wait to watch the progress!


One more vote for curved desk. That should open the space up to make 2 or 3 more doable.


I agree! Homemade Modern has a recent plywood DIY where he added a small ledge under a desk if you need a space to stash your keyboard, etc. You could tailor the shape of the desk to the nook.


Is there any such thing as a kidney shape with an added leaf that makes it oval for dining! Or if you could make a custom piece, what a great conversation piece at dinner!


Honestly, I’m not sure I’d place the furniture in either configuration 😬 For what it’s worth, from my completely-untrained-in-interior-design-eye, I’d keep your desk at a 30% angle, or maybe even flip it about 45 degrees so it runs parallel with the fireplace (let’s call that the ‘north’ wall), and I’d probably resize the desk a touch smaller than your drawing so that it fits nicely in that space with a chair tucked in underneath when not in use. I’d float the sofa off the south/back wall (the one with the closet door), and make sure the left edge didn’t go beyond the entrance wall edge so that you have a nice line of sight on entry into the room and a clear walkway to your desk. Then I’d just pop the lounge chair to the right of the sofa, it’s a bit of a boxy configuration but then if the two ’round thingys’ are stacked accent tables then that will soften the whole look, right?! And then you can do whatever you want with the west wall/long wall that leads to the fireplace as you walk in…picture wall, narrow vignette moment…tv?! Probably an ultra basic layout but there you go!… Read more »


Hi Jess! I also have a small living room with three doorways (one is the main entrance) and have struggled with the layout. I have lived with option 2 for 5 years and just switched to option 1 over the Christmas break (sofa parallel to the entry wall). I like both BUT option 1 does feel more spacious and easier for people to lounge. I wanted to comment on the coffee table dilemma: scrap it and go for side tables. If you must have one, use an ottoman that can be pushed to the side and be used as an extra seat when people are around. Everything has to pull double or triple duty. Side table is also and entry table, might be nice to consider shoe storage at the door, too.
You’ve lived small, you can do wonders with this space!
Best of luck!


Hmm. I think the real problem is the sofa itself. It looks too long and too deep for that space. If you have the option of selling it and getting a curved sofa that is less deep, I think you would like it better in all 3 options.

What a great apartment, though. I would absolutely keep your desk in the turret area. But I would probably put a dining room table there and use it as my desk. Should we ever be able to entertain again, your desk could do double duty as a workspace and as a dining room table.

As design problems go, this one is a great one to have. 😉


I was also thinking a curved sofa would solve the problem. I know that changing investment furniture is not ideal but given the nature of your job, it probably keeps you in a community for easier sale. Doesn’t Emily swap out her couches every two months? ;).


Totally came to the same conclusion, the couch just doesn’t suit the space – and proper size furniture makes a world of difference. A curve smaller sofa or 2 seater with a comfy chair opposite would work wonderfully.

Your couch is great, perhaps you could fetch a good price and look to an affordable, even vintage option. I bet this investment would make you happiest in your space.

Thanks for sharing and good luck!

another jess :)

option 2. separation of work and leisure is really key! in my old apartment, i couldn’t escape my desk and it was really stressful after month of working from home. if you have the option to avoid looking at your desk, take it!


I agree with a lot of the comments that maybe there is an option 4. You do have two focal points but I think the turret area is where the eye goes first. I guess you have to decide what is most important to you: either making the focus an office area or a LR with a space to work. Personally, I would want an office area that blends in more but doesn’t take over the room. Not sure if you mentioned it but what about the TV? Is it also going to be in this room? If so, this room really needs to work hard but also look great…and be comfortable. I don’t like cutting off the fireplace but don’t particularly like walking around big pieces of furniture either. You’re trying to arrange the room with a sofa that really doesn’t work. A smaller scale one, maybe with a chaise, might be worth considering. I’m sure there is a great solution for this room!


Option 4! If you’re open to switching out the sofa for other kinds of seating, how about a pair of one-arm chaises flanking/perpendicular to the fireplace? I’d go with two left-arm chaises so that their corners “box” in the living area. The symmetry would visually anchor an otherwise quite asymmetrical room. Alternatively, two récamiers, upright settees, or low-back, narrow daybeds would achieve the same effect. All those options would give you ample room to seat guests plus the ability to stretch out when home alone. Also, I imagine a pair of chaises/daybeds/etc. would look less crowded (fewer legs!) than a grouping of 3 to 4 comfy chairs, which others have suggested. Best of luck!

Karen Miller

I’m in agreement that the curved window area is the star of the room. A beautiful seating area with either two comfy accent chairs with a proportionate round/oblong table to play up the space. Consider the issue of cords too. The wall to the left of the fireplace would hold your desk, lighting and bookcase or wall shelves with books and artwork, even speakers for music. Not a fan of facing natural sunlight, working on a monitor. A swivel desk chair on casters, upholstered in complimentary fabric, becomes extra seating. Then angle the sofa in the corner to take it all in. Add a reading lamp either floor or on a table behind the sofa, allowing access to the closet. Put sofa, chairs, tables on casters for maximum flexibility in entertaining.


Even though you want to focus on the fireplace, I don’t think that will be the best option. It is getting in the way. Treat it as a secondary thing in the room.
Try placing the sofa against the wall opposite the fireplace. Keep the desk in the turret if that is what you really like, although I would consider the comments about screens in front of windows. Add a low backed accent chair near the fireplace. Separate the coffee tables and put the round one in front of the couch and the oval near the chair.
I edited one of the images from the post and moved things around a bit to better show what I am describing. You can find it at this pin: What do you think?

Karen T.

I love it!. And I also love the earlier recommendation of a tulip table for a desk. 🙂

Melanie Hayes

I like option 2 but instead of a singular desk, I would like to see you make a work area out of several attractive file cabinets and live edge boards on top for work areas Would like to see Main work area to left of fireplace instead of center of windows so you don’t have to pack it away each night
You could get a folding screen to block work area when it’s time to relax for the evening
Can use work space as buffet area when entertaining too. So much more flexibility when making your own work space looking for the perfect desk


For me option 1 is the only of these I would consider as I like open floor space and it would bother me having my back to the door and to walk into the couch. This space is begging for a curved vintage desk and I think that would buy so much space that when the desk chair is tucked in you would have room for two accent chairs or at the very least one.

But overall I’m with others that I’d try the sofa in the curved space with a bunch of large statement plants behind it near the window. And I’d put the desk on the wall beside the closet. I couldn’t have my desk up against a window as the light and glare would drive me crazy. That really would open up the space and allow room for some modular furniture for guest seating and a large round coffee table


Yes, I immediately pictured the sofa in the turret. It opens up the room a lot, and it would feel so good to be on the sofa with so much light surrounding you. No matter what, nothing large/bulky should go on the sconce wall. It feels terrible to walk directly into a piece of furniture when entering a room.


What a wonderful room! But I would also be looking for an option four. I like the idea of using the windows as a focal point and floating the couch on a diagonal in front of them. You could then have a pair of occasional chairs on castors in the nook with a small TV on an occasional table stashed in the back behind them for when you want it. And a desk on the wall by the fireplace would be pretty dreamy.


Option 4! Put the sofa against the wall opposite (but not centered on) the fireplace!


Option 2 with accent chair (although something light on the eye for the chair) and consider a kidney shaped desk!


Can I just say – please don’t magically get a new sofa sent for free from a sponsor? I’d love to see how you solve the actual problem with your actual furniture, since most people reading this won’t just drop 3-5K on a new sofa because it isn’t absolutely perfect in their space.


But if the sofa is too big for the space — and it certainly looks too deep/long for the dimensions of this apartment — then part of solving the design dilemma is accepting that some of your current furniture will not work anymore and will have to be replaced.


P.S. I say this from experience. I finally got rid of a sofa that was 41 inches deep — way too deep for my narrow living room. I loved the sofa but I found a new sofa (well, “pre-owned” but new to me) that was 32 inches and very comfortable. Those 9 inches of extra space in the room made a major difference in the room.

If you can switch out furniture that is too large (or small) for a space, that’s the way to go.


I agree. And most people Jess’s age move lots of times before finding something permanent. And they can’t get all new furniture with every single move. Maybe your current sofa is slightly bigger than ideal for the space, but not so much that it can’t work and be LOVELY.

Option #2 with smaller chair to left of fireplace. Consider changing out desk to a round table to work on… it would compliment the curved wundow area and could be multifunctional.


why not place the back of your dream curved back sofa (with low profile-a must so as not to block light etc.) a bit in front of gorgeous windows, add/float 2 cozy but diminutive chairs (you’ll have to play with this) and then get a narrowish piece of furniture that can act as desk by day, bar by night/weekends and place it on the wall where you have the sofa in Option#1. If this sounds crazy, then Option#2 😉


This was my exact thought when looking at it! You’d walk in and see beautiful windows with an inviting space to sit and gather on the sofa or the floating chairs in front.

Then a narrow desk against the entrance wall with maybe great beautiful rug in front of the fire. it look like you sit and right novels by a fire as your job.

Also great place to dance in front of.


Option 2 for sure. Never option 3.


If it were me, I wouldn’t enjoy the view of the desk in the room or the monitor in front of the window. Would it be possible to save and invest in a laptop that can be put away? I would also consider a round table as a workspace in that area.


Option 2!

Option 2! I don’t have an issue with seeing the back of the couch, I think banking a really beautiful entry and then a really beautiful fireplace vibe will draw your eyes to those two areas and away from the back of the sofa!

Thanks so much for well documenting your conundrum, it’s helpful to see how other people are solving design dilemmas!


Ok, fair warning I am a maximalist & living in small spaces has taught me 1 the best use of space is vertical 2 if you want to fit all of the stuff/function then get ready to be even cozier in the space. (If you want space, go outside) That said, I like option 3 with some tweaks. A wall unit to the left of the fireplace is a great idea. Use the height & the entire wall, I am partial to pipe shelving. I have a unit that was designed for our 550 sqft apt with 12 ft ceilings that I have adapted to fit 4 different homes. If you push the sofa to the wall on the right and move the desk parallel with the fireplace, you would have room for an accent chair in front of the shelf/fireplace. Conversely, if you keep the sofa as is, you can move the desk to that right wall/corner & add a round dinning table to the window area. Personally, I would remove the desk & integrate it into the wall shelf & add the round dinning table. Your computer could function as a tv from the couch, your desk chair… Read more »

Omgggg so tough and so beautiful a space and just a note to say I feel your pain. I bought an 1810 farmhouse and the layouts are so awkward I’m dreading the future me probs of furniture placement.
So with options listed above my favorite is option 3! (I also live with a couch in the same position and it just opens the space so much).
It wasn’t clear if a TV is going in here hence the media cabinet? If not, accent chairs could go across couch like Emily had in her living room. Ya know, the most photographed epic beautiful living room?

Anyways another idea is angling the couch kitty corner to fire place from option c and putting desk chair opposite side closer to fireplace.

This is all keeping your desk where is no wiggle room end of story preference! 🙂


I realize it’s a square peg, round hole situation (unless you got a curved sofa!) but have you considered putting the sofa in the rounded nook portion of the room and then possibly floating your desk on the west wall? I know you said you want your desk in the turret but it seems like, except for option 1, you’re going to be blocking off/crowding that area anyway. I think if you put your desk facing out towards the windows, you would still have that same view, but it might provide a little more space for the “living room”*. It would also take the pressure off the fireplace being the sole focal point of the living area but still keep it visible since you could walk all the way around the desk therefore giving the fireplace some breathing room. You could then float at least 1 lounge chair if not 2 across from the sofa and have a nice little lounge nook full of light! *Full disclosure, I blocked this off using a post-it so there’s no telling how inaccurate my dimensioning is (: Anyway, it’s a very pretty space and I’m sure you’ll come up with some creative solutions… Read more »


Of those options, I like number 2… BUT… what about getting a smallish round table that can function as a desk, rather than a rectangular desk – it would mimic the shape of the window… and you could put your desk chair between the window and the table (I.e. you’re looking at the room, not out the window while you work, and you’re framed by those gorgeous windows for all of your Zoom calls). This might make it feel less crowded when you add a chair to the “living room” seating area… and I would add a console table behind the couch if you could (keeping the couch parallel to the fireplace) – though maybe that’s impossible with the rounded back you want?

Cris S.

One of my least favorite Zoom things is people who insist on taking calls in front of their windows. You can’t see the person’s face, the shadows are not flattering, and the light is way too bright behind them to be comfortable to everyone else on the call. Yuck.


I agree, facing a window for a zoom call lights you up so much better. You never want to be backlit.


I like option 2 but with a curved sofa! Like a comma shape, and angled so that most of the sofa is facing the fireplace while part of it curves around to the right. That might allow you to cheat it another couple of feet away from the door so it feels a little more open when you walk in. And the curve might play off the curved windows in a cool way. If there’s room you may be able to add a small accent chair near where the lamp is to the left of the fireplace.

Of course this isn’t practical because you already have a beautiful sofa. But if we’re just spitballing here, this feels good to me. Good luck!!


What about Option #5? I was suprised not to see this option actually. There are 2 long walls in the room, why not place the sofa on the other long wall? Because the turret is round I think you should place a round table (like a bistro or cafe table) in the turret with room for two chairs (maybe three?) so that you can use it as a work space now and a dining spot later. With those 2 (or 3) chairs you have extra seating so then I would put a buffet against that first long wall you see when you enter the room that way you get storage. With this layout you don’t fight the shape of the room. Good luck!


Also with this option you can go custom like Emily did in her dining nook in the Mountain House. You can build a bench that curves and follows the curve of the window – without spending the money on a curved sofa – and only have to buy one or two chairs for the round table. You can take your current rug and cut it so it’s round. Then in front of the couch you can use a cowhide – you’ll need an odd shape carpet to work in this room. Then you can swag the current chandelier so it hangs over the round table so it looks intentional. Then if you go the route of putting a buffet against that first long wall when you walk into the room you can flank the buffet with two chairs for extra seating and use the sconce wiring to install a picture light that can hang over your new buffet. Finish it off by placing your current coffee table situation in front of the couch on the cowhide rug. BUT I should point out you never uploaded a full layout of the apartment so I don’t know where the entrance to the… Read more »


This is exactly the layout I was going to suggest too. The round window area is begging for a round table. Small console type table against the wall perpendicular to the fireplace. Couch opposite fireplace.


I like Option 1 with 2 chairs but… I think you should get a round table to use as a desk. In theory, I like Option 2, but I don’t think I’d like it in practice. Option 3 is a no-go for me because I think it’s awkward and you’ve got your back to the windows.


Could you keep a smaller desk and change where it is? I would put it under the window that is right next to the curved bank of windows and instead put two accent chairs in the curved area. Then have your couch facing the fireplace. So you would have room for a couch, a lovely sitting area with two chairs and probably a small accent table between them and the desk could go under the window that is NOT in the curved area.


I was thinking the same thing! Putting a smaller desk next to the curved bank of windows allows you to still look outside but your desk won’t be the “center of attention”. Seating by the curved bank of windows will allow you to truly absorb their beauty with a good book or a drink 🙂

Option 2, with the accent chair. Instead of centering your desk in the middle window of the turret, center it between the two windows on the right side of the turret, leaving a bit more room for an accent chair by the fireplace. One of those versatile Target chairs would look great there and would speak to the wooden squiggle sculpture.

Erin Dae

Came to the comments to suggest what is already here – Option 4! Couch in the turret, might even be able to have a small console table behind it for a plant, lamp, or other styling options. Desk could face the turret by being perpendicular to the “east” wall (although you will need to have good cord wrangling), and the fireplace area and “west” wall giving you options for accent chairs or other flexible seating. I do agree with other posters also that floating the sofa in front of the pocket door could be another reasonable option. So much fun to think of the possibilities and can’t wait to see what you come up with!


In addition to layout, I think you should remember to consider the kinds of furniture pieces that you can use to keep the space tidy. For instance, make sure you plan for storage of your work materials (in a bench? Console table? Storage ottoman/coffee table)? Also, how often will you need the accent chairs? I would consider using a round dining table to double as a desk (office supplies that don’t fit in your storage piece can be put into decorative boxes on shelves mounted to your wall?). Get yourself 2-4 comfortable nice-looking office chairs for the dining table that can be moved to the seating area when needed. Or get 2 chairs for the table and keep an extra in your bedroom?). Round dining tables are cheap to buy used, which is good for the budget and environment. The point is to have a place for all of your stuff, because a well-designed space doesn’t look great when it’s cluttered up with the necessities of real life.


Another option is to put the couch across from the fireplace with a table that is bigger than a console smaller than a dining table behind it to serve as your desk. Then you can put 2 accent chairs in the window area.


And do wall to wall shelves on the wall where you currently have your couch.


Do you need the sofa? What about replacing the sofa with 3-4 comfy chairs?


I think this is a great option worth considering. 3-4 comfy chairs, with a round coffee table, centered on the fireplace. The desk could remain in the round window area, and could be rectangular. This would allow the wall opposite the fireplace to have a thin console table that could function as an entry.


I agree. Most guests go for a chair instead of sitting together on a sofa. I guess the layout will depend on whether you will have a TV in this room. Will you want a sofa so you can stretch out and binge-watch? Or do you want seating for guests to hang out and talk? If it’s the latter, you really only need a few comfy chairs. An ottoman can work as additional seating and a comfy footrest for chair naps. Also, the round table in the turret area is a great idea because it can be used for work and dining.


+1 – this is one of the coziest room arrangements I see! – 4 comfty chairs facing each other with a round coffee table in the center. Very pinnable :). I’d do this right in front of the fireplace, and then I love the idea from other commenters of a kidney desk in the window seat.

Unless you’re sprawling out watching a tv – that would be my partner and my priority so zero judgement if it is! Then you would need a couch and I think option #2 is the best. But you didn’t mention a tv in the post, so I’m assuming you use a tablet for streaming. I’d go with the comfty chairs if that’s the case.

I agree with this vein of thinking, it just feels to me like a sofa is too much for this space. Maybe even if you had a chaise for stretching out on instead of a sofa, that would clear remove 3 “sides” to any sofa-length furniture (like as compared to when you stretch out horizontally on a sofa, the sofa arm is now the back of a chaise and now you’ve gotten rid of the sofa back and the other arm of the sofa for more visual space in the room). I like the turret as a dedicated desk space/command center if you can get a curved desk in there.

If you move away from desk in turret though, in the other comment threads about using the left wall as your working area instead, what if you had a bookcase wall with a desk that folds down? Then when you’re done working, you can fold up the desk to hide the monitor and perhaps have a piece of art affixed to the underside of the fold up desk for when you’re done with work??


Yes, this is brilliant! I had a similar “fold-up-and-it-disappears-into-the-shelf” desk in a former small house, and it worked beautifully.


I also thought chairs instead of a sofa would be great, especially if they swivel. I’ve always wanted to do that in a space and have seen it done so well.


I had a similar situation with a narrow room and off center fireplace a few houses ago. I ended up with a version of option 2, but put the sofa at a slight angle. I also gave up on having a coffee table – which drove my mother crazy. I really like the idea of others who suggested a round table in the turret, but am not sure if you need drawers, etc for your work.

Gaudy Southard

Hi. I think the problem is the desk! I found a round desk you can fit properly in by the bay windows. That way you can fit the sofa on the right side(front facing the fireplace) and the chairs on the left. I have a pic of the desk.


Definitely do option B or 2 or whatever it was with the sofa facing you when you walk in! I think you could do something on the wall behind the sofa “walkway” and a runner so it was more of a walkway than lost space? Just a thought


I would go for Option 2 and replace the desk with a nice round table that can double as a dining table, if you manage to store away the monitor. With this layout the room feels airy, the fireplace is at the center of attention, you can still look at your pretty windows while seated on the sofa, and the round table fits very well in the turret, avoiding waste of space. In case you want to add a small accent chair near the fireplace, you can consider moving your desk chair along the round table, so the sofa area would feel less cramped.
Super nice apartment by the way! 🙂


I love the round table as a desk idea! Several people have mentioned this and it is perfect for the turret!

Heidi WAndel

HI! I would do option two but with the sofa more to the right so you dont see it when you come in. Then you would have more space for a coffee table and a chair. Also I would do a small round table for your desk with two chairs. This way it doubles as a dining area if you have guests. I cant wait to see the finished project.

Option 2 but move the sofa to the right slightly (so that it’s out of the way of the entrance) and place an airy chair (or two) to the left of the sofa.


I prefer option 1, with option 2 being second best. I like the idea of adding a chair. Could you find a curved desk that fits into that book better. Do those even exist?


K, here’s my 2 cents, Jess: ● I know right now, you’re on your own a LOT and work is pretty much everything… but, imagine people coming over (they will, eventually) and with the desk in front of the windows, it’s like “Hi! Welcome to my…um, office?!” This is foremost, your home, not your office where you happen to also sleep, eat, etc. ● If we say the fireplace is ‘north’, then, I suggest putting your desk on the west wall (or to the wall on the left of the fireplace). It’s bad feng shui to sit with your back to the doorway/s. Plus, (from my days working in health and safety) it’s not good to gaze at a screen and then into outside light. Move your ‘office’ so it’s not the meet n greet focus of the room. It’ll also encourage you to take mini breaks from your desk, stand up, do squats, walk around, have a break and sit on the sofa near the windows. ● When I ran my consultancy from home, I found it super hard to know when to stop working (I really enjoyed what I did and had a frenzy of ideas…like, all the… Read more »

Lise Mancos

Option B. I think an accent chair that can also be used as a desk chair. When you’re not working you can turn it towards sofa.


Gotta disagree.
When you actually work at your desk all day, an accent chair is bad for your body. You need a proper, adjustable ergonomic chair.

Liz M

I agree. There are some really nice desk chairs out there that could easily double at guest seating and won’t look so ‘functional’ as an office desk chair. Pottery Barn (for example) has some nice ones that are still technically desk chairs but look cute!

Liz Schaffer

Definitely option 2, with a few tweaks: 1. Find a chair that can function as a desk chair and an accent chair. Keep it facing the couch with a pillow and/or throw blanket when you’re not working, and keep something lovely on your desk during your off hours so it doesn’t scream “I’m a desk!”. 2. Keep a folding butterfly chair on hand for extra seating for guests if necessary. They store easily in a closet or a corner. 3. Place a slim console table behind the sofa so you see a designated entryway when you come in, rather than just the back of your sofa. Include a lamp, a bowl for keys/mail, a pretty object, and baskets underneath for shoes/slippers & your purse/backpack/other stuff you need to drop somewhere on your way in or out. Extra lighting & storage are always a good thing, just keep the profiles on the console table low so as not to block the view of the gorgeous window & fireplace when you come in. 4. Not sure why, but I’d push the left arm of the sofa (as you’re standing behind it) closer to the wall rather than have it floating out in… Read more »


Nope. Accent chairs are NOT work chairs.

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