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Design

The Farmhouse Living Room Layout Challenge – Playing With Real Furniture In A Demo-d Space Because The Creative Process Can Be Weird

I’ve never actually placed furniture in a floorplan in the renovation stage before. Usually, it’s either pretty intuitive where things would go, there is a lot of flexibility, or there weren’t really a million options. But this time, with walls moving and a lot of square footage to play with I wanted to make sure that we used every inch of this house with the least amount of compromises possible, later. The living room was the biggest question mark as it is large, faces west (or will), is a pass-through space with a ton of traffic from the entrance, up the stairs, into the sunroom, out to the backyard, into the family room and open to the kitchen. It has multiple focal points – a big fireplace as well as the soon-to-be new scenic doors. So in order to really feel like we were making the best decisions we had to be in the space to feel it, and then even that wasn’t good enough…

But first, here was the first floor when we bought it:

The Living Room – Before

And as a refresher, here’s the layout of the entire first floor when we bought it:

They had the living room shared with the dining room, which worked great. But we were changing the plans. As you might remember here was our “first final” floorplan.

And here it is in a cool, 3D version which is a bit easier to follow:

And then on your prompt, we decided to put the kitchen in the corner where the mudroom and breakfast nook are, to capture the best natural light of the house, which left the great room to have more flexibility. But we lost our cute little breakfast nook and that made us very sad.

While we have a large dining room in the new sunroom (which will double as a work table for me, room for meetings, etc) we needed somewhere for the four of us to each on a daily basis – and no, we don’t want to eat at the island – we like to face each other. So without a real solution, we left the dining table kinda floating almost where it was originally, but it wasn’t ideal. I wanted my nook! This was where we landed before we went up there last time.

The floating table just didn’t feel right but we needed to be in the space to see it. And then once we were in the space I was like, “well, I still can’t tell unless we get some furniture in here”. So much to Brian’s utter delight, we brought in some “stand-in piece” to “play furniture layout”. It’s Brian’s favorite game! If you are wondering if this is normal, I’m happy to report that there is no “normal” in a creative process and where I used to think I was nuts, I’ve realized over the years all creatives must push things to the point of what looks to be a little crazy to get a truly unique home that meets your needs. If you can do it by staring at a rendering then good for you! But I love to be in a space and yes I actually “lay down” on the “bed” (plywood floor) to make sure that this is where I want to sleep, and you bet I’ve been known to tape up the height of the sconces on the exposed framing. There is a massive difference between what works on paper and how you want to actually exist when you are in your home. A lot of it has to do with the views in every direction, natural light, and how you walk through and live in a space – a practice you just can’t predict on paper. So here are some of the furniture layout options we tried out…

The Straight-On Sectional + Floating Dining Table

Sure this “works” but it allows for very little extra seating as the path in front of the fireplace would be a thoroughfare so putting a large chair there would be hard. Besides, we aren’t going to have a TV there and putting your back to the scenic doors, with the huge view to the yard full of trees felt wrong. You WANT to look out, not crane your head to look behind you. And it was just a ton of wasted space.

Where my brother is, is where the big scenic doors to the backyard will be. Where the big window is, is close to where the entrance into the new added sunroom. Again, this CAN work and looks TOTALLY FINE, but when we were there all of us wanted to look outside, not at the fireplace.

The (Pretend) Two-Sofas Facing Each Other

Pretend there is another one facing that sofa. I think it should be noted that the sectional is HUGE – like 10′, which shows you the scale of the room. So two facing sofas could work IF the dining table weren’t floating, because it’s weird to have the back of a sofa so close to the table. It’s like we aren’t in a loft. Surely there had to be a better solution?

The Sofa + Chaise + 2 Chairs

Now, this configuration actually worked with the table floating there. A pretty backed sofa (like 8′ – 9′) with an open-backed chaise facing the fireplace and with 1-2 accent/club chairs. When we all sat in this configuration there was enough pass-through space to create great flow and it was open to the future view to the backyard (which is on the right – that will be totally opened up). All of us liked sitting in all those seats – the view from all of them is pretty and makes us feel part of the rest of the house, open to the view but still provided a t on of seating.

But I still wasn’t psyched about the floating table and it just seemed like there HAD to be a solution to make that table more intentional. It felt like it was in between two doorways, like floating in a nebulous zone. So then I had the thought that we could put a nook in the corner IF we could move the entrance into the family/media room.

So as you can see above that corner could be a perfect area to be built-in, but we have that darn double door to the family room (which were vintage and AWESOME). But what if we just had one door? could we fit a nook in that corner then? Of course, when we were there all the construction supplies were in that corner so we couldn’t move the table to test it out, but it felt pretty darn great.

Brian couldn’t picture it at first but I knew it could work. Then I remember that we actually did just this at the Griffith Park house.

photo by tessa neustadt | from: griffith park sunroom reveal

See? Corner nook, right next to a doorway, under a window – it’s exactly our layout. Once Anne confirmed that we could fit it all in I was SO EXCITED. This means we have even more flexibility for the living room furniture – and next time we go up we’ll be able to finalize our furniture needs, see what we already have or what we need to source.

I’m so excited about that corner. Not only will it be where we eat breakfast and dinner, but homework, games, and general hanging out with friends (FRIENDS!). Everyone loves a booth. The one we have here at the mountain house is – ahem – HUGE – so the four of us all end up just sitting in one corner. This nook will sit a roomy four but can go as big as 6 if needed. It’s also a great “kids” table when we have friends and family over, so the grownups can be in the sunroom (which could seat 10) while the kids eat here.

Anyway, things are trucking along – permits are in, floorplan is DONE, windows, plumbing and lighting are being finalized right now and we just found our vintage island that I had totally given up on. More to come. xx

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Katharina
9 days ago

I love it!!!! Thank you for sharing your thought process!

DeniseGK
9 days ago
Reply to  Katharina

Yes! My gosh, this is a great idea. I’m no professional, not even an advanced amateur, so I absolutely could not figure out what they were gonna do. This looks so awesome. Does Brian love it yet? I hope so! It will let him sit in the corner when your parties are winding down and he can converse with someone he’s really comfortable with while not still being in the middle of all the humanity once he’s kind of exhausted by the socializing he’s been doing for hours. I bet that is something he does.

Tanja
9 days ago

The table ‘floating’ in the middle (I would switch it to a sturdy wooden table with benches to give it more visual weight, so that it’s not ‘floating’ anymore) looks more balanced (atm) than the table crammed into a nook. That said, I understand why you are drawn to the breakfast nook scenario – it looks cozy and like a nice place to hangout. And it will definitely look more balanced once the island is there and the furniture layout is finished.

Vera
9 days ago

I love it! The floating table was driving me crazy. I am so uncomfortable sitting in high-traffic areas. I want to be tucked away in my own little intimate “world.”
This new breakfast nook is PERFECT. I would sit there for hours chatting and playing games.
AND now the living room can be centred on the fireplace!
Ahhhhh so happy!

Vera
9 days ago
Reply to  Vera

One thought after scrolling through again in delight – the final rendering shows a rectangular table. I would do an oval/circle or rounded rectangle. When shimmying into/out of the booth, it’s nice not to get a corner in the ribcage! 🙂
Mountain house and Griffith Park both have oval/circle, which is part of what makes them look so inviting to me (you know, along with them both being GORGEOUS in every way).

Addie
9 days ago
Reply to  Emily

This layout looks so good! I’m glad you had already thought about the oval table. I have the same pain point with banquette table corners, otherwise they’re great.

Lori S H
9 days ago

I love the idea of the nook, but weren’t you concerned about banquette seating for teens in a post several months ago? Would slimmer profile chairs fit, or even a bar height table that has stools that slide under? It seems more comfortable long term.

CC
9 days ago

YES. This is it!! Team nook, all the way.

Sofia
9 days ago
Reply to  CC

Must be the New Yorker in me, but who wears shoes in a house! Or on a sofa?! Eek!

DeniseGK
9 days ago
Reply to  Sofia

If you are referring to the pics of EmilyBrother and Brian, I would guess they are people who don’t want a stray nail in their foot while walking around a construction site.

Pinny
9 days ago

The biggest perk of moving the dining table is being able to center the seating area on the fireplace. I think you would feel perpetually dissatisfied with the fireplace and seating area not in alignment. One thing to consider with a chaise: if this the more formal living space for guests (as well as yourselves), the guests shoes will dirty up the foot section of the chaise unless you have them remove their shoes. Exciting progress!

Susan
9 days ago
Reply to  Emily

A pretty washable throw across the foot will solve that

Sofia
9 days ago
Reply to  Pinny

Must be the New Yorker in me, but who wears shoes in a house! Or on a sofa?! Eek!

Ellen
9 days ago
Reply to  Sofia

you mean in the active construction zone? i think shoes would be a must….

Evelin
9 days ago

ooooh, no sneak view on the new mudroom and total extension?

Meg
9 days ago
Reply to  Evelin

Came here to say this – I can’t get enough of this design process 🙂 So so exciting!

KP
9 days ago

I think I am just going to have to trust you and keep following along 🙂 To me having three eating areas seems unnecessary. Casual sitting can happen at the 10 foot island. Formal sitting can happen in the dining room that seats 8. If a dinner party is larger than 8, the overflow/kids can sit at the island. But that’s just me – I hate redundancy in design. Sounds like this is what works for your family, the island and nook will get a lot of use and the dining room not so much.

Tiffany
9 days ago
Reply to  KP

Yes, I agree with this. I’m trying to eliminate the amount of seating that we have to eat. I feel like the sunroom could be used for dining. The island could totally be a homework area! Plus, you have the family room right there for movie/game nights.

Mary B.
9 days ago
Reply to  Emily

I agree on eating at an island – if we are sitting down to a family meal, I want to look in my kids faces while we are talking! I am also picturing that with the sunroom maybe being a place for working, having a separate table for regular family meals will take the pressure off to clear all work things from the sunroom for every meal. Plus, the sunroom is farther from the kitchen. Not a big deal for dinner parties, but an annoyance for every breakfast/lunch/dinner (or are my kids the only ones that have 30 additional needs that require me to get up from the table during every meal!? ha!). I love the nook and think the extra seating, given the amount of space you have, will be really nice.

MC
9 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Love this plan! Agree that eating at an island isn’t my favorite- I’m short and hate that my feet don’t touch the floor in a counter stool, and it’s also tricky for kids to move their stools in and out for the same reason.

Sunny
9 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Could you make the island low on one side so you can have seating for two on each side of the “L”?

Sarah
9 days ago
Reply to  Emily

what about island withnooen end for two seats on each side and carved island posts?

yasmara
9 days ago
Reply to  Emily

We have a peninsula with barstools and a breakfast table right beyond it – honestly, we use both every single day. The only eating area we have stopped using is the formal dining room, which is now my husband’s home office! The peninsula is used for one or two people (we often eat breakfast at different times) or for when one person is cooking and one person is sitting (or when we swap and one person is cleaning up and one person is sitting with her glass of wine). When we eat a meal as a family of 4, we always use the breakfast table because it’s nice to face each other. We also have a screened in porch steps away from the breakfast table and we use that dining table all the time too when the weather is nice! We absolutely could have fewer eating areas (and in fact, we do, with swapping out the formal dining room), but we definitely have found they serve different purposes.

8 days ago
Reply to  Emily

I’m a non-breeder, but I also think having those separate casual eating spots will make spreading out for homework or projects or whatever a lot easier, too! A kid at each location. :

Lisa
9 days ago
Reply to  KP

We live in an 1875 farmhouse (for almost 25 years) and have a kitchen island, built-in banquet next to fireplace in kitchen, dining room with large table, and a table in our living room for games, puzzles etc. All the seating areas get lots of use, allow our family to come together and spread out as desired, and have been very flexible as our kids have grown. We use the island most often as serving/prep space or kids snack when they were younger. The banquet is where we usually eat and over the years has been the hub of the home for homework, crafts, and the first spot to fill up when others visit. The banquet was one of the selling features of our home and holds so many happy memories of time with family and friends. I LOVE your new floor plan. The banquet is efficient but cozy and flexible. The chair options allow for flexibility for people who prefer them over the cushioned bench. I also agree with the importance of having a second living area for TV that can be closed off. We have a den/game area with doors that has grown with our kids from a… Read more »

MKP
8 days ago
Reply to  Lisa

Agree with the pocket door idea for sure! Will be nice to have separation of someone is watching movies – the volume gets so loud at times in movies (like during action scenes) it drives me crazy.

Victoria
9 days ago
Reply to  KP

Yes I don’t understand why have an island, let alone a large island if you don’t want to eat at it but to each their own. Just a reminder, you don’t HAVE to have a island, you can just put a table there.

Nicole
9 days ago
Reply to  Victoria

And after all the posts about how this is going to be farm- style, you aren’t doing a farm kitchen with a table in the middle! It’s the quintessential farmhouse thing. Besides the fact that it solves the dinner table dilemma.

Kelly
9 days ago
Reply to  Nicole

I couldn’t agree more! Shavonda Gardener is redoing her kitchen and has a whole series of posts on using a big kitchen table instead of an island.

8 days ago
Reply to  Kelly

I keep picturing a huge chunky farmhouse table here. It would suit the house so well and feel simple and charming. Maybe they could even extend the kitchen walls just a bit into the living room to gain back extra cabinetry, make the kitchen feel rectangular instead of like a corner of the great room, and make the whole downstairs not feel overly modern / open plan– I think open plan is on its way out anyway. In our 120-year-old house we have huge double-doors with glass windows in them leading to our kitchen, and it feels like the perfect balance between open and closed. Going to go check out Shavonda’s site!

Sarah
7 days ago
Reply to  Victoria

My take on the island is that it is largely for cooking/prep, with the seats there for added flexibility (for example, as teens their kids may prefer to eat a quick breakfast at the island).

A Hayden
9 days ago

I love it so much! Banquette/nook dining is one of my favorite features in a home and just oozes comfort and happiness. Although I understood moving the kitchen, I was also sad to see the breakfast nook gone. So glad you’re getting everything “back” (mudroom, nook) even with the new kitchen layout. This design is PERFECT!

Kari
9 days ago
Reply to  A Hayden

I agree! I love a banquette and how it is so unobtrusive in a space. It’s also super cozy for a cozy family. This is just right for the room and I LOVE it!

Nina
9 days ago

It’s been really fun to follow your design process this way! I would probably just have a casual table iso the kitchen island (that’s how my parents’s home was layed out… and my grandparents’s home… and my home… I might be a bit biased) but I probably also wouldn’t move to a massive farm house with multiple options for dining tables :p can’t wait to see more of the house 🙂

Meagan
9 days ago

Yes, love the nook! It’s so much better all around, and makes the space look more intentional. The floating table has had me bitting my nails this whole time, glad you found a better solution.

Barbara Snyder
9 days ago

Ahh, that’s much better! The previous plans were driving my symmetry sense/obsession nuts!

Karen
9 days ago

I think this is going to be fantastic. I’d suggest you consider a straight sofa/comfy built in bench in that banquet area instead of an L – we have a hard time squeezing in around a corner 🙂 While some might think it redundant, this could totally turn into dedicated family puzzle/coloring zone. We just recently put a small table in our living room and it’s so nice to not have to clean up lego creations every night! And very fun to have a place for visiting grandparents to hang doing projects with kiddos 😍

EP
9 days ago

I have to be honest, the breakfast nook with the banquet doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. It looks crammed into the corner like an afterthought, and the scale looks really off in a room that large. Plus no one besides a small child likes to sit in a banquet with their back to a windowsill, it’s just not comfortable. I liked the location of the table before, although I would go ahead and center it (in the east/west sense) rather than have it more to the east/left. I feel like there it would be a very flexible space, can be used like a library table, a work space, for homework. It flows well with both the kitchen and LR, and is a nice visual transition zone. The banquet in this location feels awkward to me and very separate from the kitchen which makes it not so much a kitchen table at all.

kk
9 days ago
Reply to  EP

Yeah I agree.. I don’t love the right angles of a square nook, and in a very multifunctional room, the nook is the straw that breaks my back in terms of making the room feel like a hodge podge of functions. A freestanding table feels more intentional to me. . Plus a free standing table can be moved, switched out, removed, etc. I like the BEFORE pic with instruments in the open space.cause it really shows me how they used the space at night as a sophisticated refuge to make music . The nook reads so relentlessly daytime/kid to me, and I can see it collecting “kitchen/ kid/ homework clutter. I don’t want to be chilling in the groovy adult refuge living room at night looking at a nook! IMHOP that nook mood is for the family room, not the living room.

Sara
8 days ago
Reply to  EP

I completely disagree. I love a nook — any way to feel cozy and among the fun but without having to be in the middle of it. All of my favorite vacations homes I’ve stayed at have always had multiple gathering points where you can be together but also doing something else – a puzzle, coloring, cards — while some are chatting and some are in the kitchen. It’s convivial.

This design is going to be a home run as em will make it so cozy without any uncomfortable parts!

Heidi WAndel
9 days ago

Love this new plan! I dont know if you want the separation between family room and breakfast nook (banquette) or if you need it structurally, but I think it could be nice if it were open. Just and idea. It is looking great.

Sunny
9 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Lol. If the kids eating area is the nook, the will be sitting right there with you while friends are over visiting. Kids always want to be with the grown ups. They will do puzzles and games at that table while you have cocktails

9 days ago

I’m Team Table, but, you have done banquettes and you clearly love them, at first you wanted an enclosed nook that I would never have gone into in a million years, and clearly this is how you and your family feel comfortable eating so there you have it! Glad you found a layout that gives you what feels right.

Kelly
9 days ago

Does a nook not fit in the back corner of the kitchen? In any case, having a little table nook in your living room area would be very nice even for things other than breakfast.

SAB
9 days ago
Reply to  Kelly

I like the idea of the nook and a table in the main living room, which makes perfect sense for homework and games, etc. but its too far for a breakfast nook: I don’t like how far you’d have to walk with your bowl of cereal to get there, or with multiple back and forths for an entire dinner. And then to clear it when the kids are done eating, and walking back to the kitchen for a rag, etc. Its too many steps. (Never mind how far it is to the real dining room, you’ll need to use a cart to bring the food to that room!)

HerselfInDublin
9 days ago

So interesting to see real furniture in the space!
I really like this, it seems much more balanced and you get to centre the sofa arrangement on the fireplace, which I think would drive you nuts otherwise.
I also like how the table is still visible from the kitchen, so you can chat to people sitting at it while you prepare food, but separate enough that you can have two different things going on at once in the different areas. And as you’ve been living with a banquette arrangement in the mountain house you can consider it road-tested.
Still not quite convinced about the sofa/chair situation in the living area though. I think it could be worth having a “summer configuration” facing away from the fireplace towards the sunny garden view and a “winter configuration” facing away from the rainy/snowy view and cosying up to the warm fireplace. Same furniture just a few different accessories and maybe a different rug. Worth a thought, anyway.

R
9 days ago

I’ll have to trust you, Emily. You’ll make it great.

I hate sitting in booths and having to scoot myself in and out. The booth area seems out of scale to the rest of the living room. Also, booths are uncomfortable for people with bellies because they don’t allow them to adjust the seat’s distance from the table. (I realize your nuclear family isn’t overweight or pregnant though!)

MKP
8 days ago
Reply to  Emily

You could even do an upholstered dining bench like Arlyn’s instead of something built in and then you’d have total flexibility to move things around if you ever wanted a change.

Lucy
9 days ago
Reply to  R

Mostly chair seating with a bench along the wall seems like a good compromise for function. I like booths just fine in a restaurant ( if I remember correctly what it’s like to eat in a restaurant!) when someone is refilling my water glass and offering to bring me things every few minutes, but at home with my small kids it would drive me insane. Maybe we’re doing it wrong but we seem to get up every 30 seconds to clean up a spill or whatever. I also would want all our friends and family to feel comfortable sitting there, of course, and booths are not great for everyone.

Mary B.
9 days ago
Reply to  Lucy

I just made this same comment about getting up multiple times during a meal for the kids! My comment was in reference to using the sunroom as an everyday dining space – too far from the kitchen for that! But just know you are not doing it wrong, or if you are I am too and you’ve got company!

Margo
9 days ago

I absolutely LOVE this floor plan. The nook is perfect, and makes everything else fall into place. Not a single thing feels off. All the pieces of this very challenging puzzle have finally snapped into place!

9 days ago

Thank you for sharing, Emily, altough I am not a fan of fixed furniture. I always prefer more flexibilty with table and chairs. for old people and guest and everybody is more convenient and confortable and easier to go in and out.

I would have made the kitchen more narrow and galley, leaving the rigt part of the room for a rectangular table, maybe taking some space from family room to widen the dining zone and making space for a kitchen island.

Dena
9 days ago

I am so happy about the dining nook!! I love all the different “table” spaces…… breaks it up and gives you different zones which is so ideal!!

Kirsty
9 days ago

So fun seeing the process on this! Thanks for sharing all the gritty details and decisions Emily.

One thought I had – did you think about shifting the left wall of the family room (left if looking at the plans above) a little more to the left? This would reduce the size of the kitchen a bit – but still seems very generous, I think?
Not by much, but just enough to give the breakfast nook/banquette a little more breathing space from the door into the family room.

I don’t know if that’s structurally possible. It looks like its all opened up at the moment and possible, but maybe not!

It would also mean the family room has a slightly odd shape (assuming you wouldn’t want to move the exterior wall at all) – but maybe you could square it off a bit by putting built in cupboards against that left wall (backing on to the wall with the range on it in the kitchen).

Kirsty
9 days ago
Reply to  Kirsty

In the Griffith Park house it looks like there’s maybe 1/2 a metre between end of banquette and the door – which could make all the difference! If you’re coming out of the family room into the kitchen/living area when someone is sitting in one of the breakfast nook chairs, you don’t want to walk right into their chair.

Christina
9 days ago

I’m glad you are making the space perfect for your family! For me, I’d reduce the size of the pantry and put the eating nook in that corner/side. I’d leave the double doors to the family room and use built-ins for storage where you plan on placing the banquette.

Rose
9 days ago

I love the nook idea! The house I lived in as a child was a classic Portland bungalow and had a breakfast nook. I don’t think we even had a regular dining area? everywhere I have lived since then has not had one. I thought it was the coolest thing ever when growing up. So I’m jealous of your children??? Haha!

heather
9 days ago

this makes sense to me! I can totally picture the things you describe happening at this table. We squeezed a built in bench and table into the corner of our kitchen under a window and everyone smiles and sighs in delight when they come in and see it. There is just something about a that setup that is so cozy. I think it will also help to bring back a bit more farmhouse and vintage feel. My question is about the door to the family room. how wide is it? if it was just the family room it looks fine – but as a the entry point to the primary bedroom and I guess now the downstairs loo, etc. that seems like a very important and high traffic flow point. what are your thoughts and plans for that? can the wall and door be angled to make it a little wider for example?

Jeanne
9 days ago

Hey y’all. Never commented before but… our neighbors just completed a full kitchen reno and they opted for an island with seating on 3 sides so they WOULD face one another. The husband actually said he grew up with an island in his family’s kitchen that was configured that way. There are 4 in the family, husband/wife and 2 young kids. One end of the island is mainly prep area and the other end is where seating is with plenty of room to move around it and not feel crammed in.

Marie
9 days ago
Reply to  Jeanne

I was thinking this would have been a great option as well! I’m pretty sure the “Portland House” had an island set-up similar to the one you described that was meant to be used for more casual meals, since the actual dining room was a bit far from the kitchen. But in a house this large they have lots of fun options, so I’m sure it is hard to choose!

Teresa
9 days ago

I think the example of the banquet from a clients home is really cute and goes well in their space I think you might have problems with the banquet location in relation to the family room door. The scale might be off but it looks like the chairs on interior of the room will be right in the path of the walkway through the family room door and since you’re reducing the size of the doorway from a double door to a single door this is going to create a choke point in the flow of traffic. I agree with another commenter that a better location fr the breakfast nook may be in the pantry spot and to use cabinetry or a console table for the “landing area” that you want right where the banquet is. That way the flow of traffic isn’t impeded. And as your kids get older/bigger and have their friends running around this could certainly make a difference when they’re both trying to have their separate friends running through the family room/living room doorways. As an adult I know that I find the single door way leading from the kitchen through our laundry room to our… Read more »

Jenna
9 days ago

You can never have too many seating options! And I love that you can have a designated kids table! There will be parties again someday!!!!

Cat
9 days ago

What about putting the table where the kitchen island is? Kitchen looks at have lots of counter space and storage.

Emma
9 days ago

okay I have this EXACT layout in my house (living room with nook in the corner) and I get compliments all the time and I think it looks perfect. I sketched it out first and sent it to my sister in law whos an interior designer and she didn’t like it on paper but loves it now. Seriously, do it! and people are making too much fuss about sliding around a corner. 99.99% of the time we sit on one side so it’s just like having two benches. it’s only if you have to fit like 7 people that you need to use the corner (which, you would just use your dining room).

Virginia Hanna
9 days ago

Curious if the sunroom will be heated. I’m thinking about hosting Thanksgiving or other big celebrations when you need the larger space and the banquette (or the living/dining area) isn’t set up for that. The banquette seems crammed into the corner and appears to block the doorway into the family room / powder room traffic but I’m sure you tested that out : )

Lindsay
9 days ago

This makes so much sense. I love it when you have this nagging feeling that the solution is out there, and then you find it! Kudos!

9 days ago

What computer program did you use?

9 days ago

What computer program did you use?

Sunny
9 days ago

since this will be an every day table, is there storage nearby for games and homework, or a place to put half done homework while you eat dinner? I guess you could move it all to the bar while you eat?

but I kinda wonder now about the family room. Our informal dining is in the same room with our FR and it all seems so cohesive— casual and a little messy at times. But that is fine because we have a “formal living room” that stays neat ( a room with comfortable, conversational set up for friend visits) Does this make sense? Idk. But our more casual, daily family life is off in a room that doesn’t necessarily need to be neat while we still have a space for adults (and neatness 😊)

9 days ago

Have you seen the banquettes from Six Penny? Molly from Light and Dwell just used one in her dining room and they give the perfect mix of comfort, modern lines, but still remain casual. You should definitely consider something like the to offset all the wood in the kitchen!

Jennifer
9 days ago

It’s taking shape! I can’t help but notice the elevation and ask if you’ve considered adding a second story over your master wing? It would give you the flexibility upstairs to have both a true laundry room and kids bath and I think would help the front elevation to look more like the add on was original to the house rather than, well, an add-on plopped next to it. It could be a lot of bang for the buck.

Tara
9 days ago

Did you lose the mudroom or is it still there and I just missed it?? All I know is with kids and dogs tracking in mud I would need a mudroom for sure! It’s definitely on my “must have” list for my next house!

Monika
9 days ago

The corner booth makes sense, however if it were me, I would nix the kitchen island and have a rustic table in the kitchen as my casual dining spot. Curious if you considered that option.

Sunny
9 days ago
Reply to  Monika

corner booth is looking awkward and last minute the more I look at the plans. The doorway to the family room is in the way and the only path to the FR and primary bedroom. Why have a kitchen with a bar if you don’t want to eat there? Leave the island but get rid of the bar seating and find a fabulous rectangle farm house table and put it in the kitchen. It keeps the old double doors to the family room; keeps the meals near the kitchen; keeps the kids in the kitchen to eat while adults are enjoying the living room.

Sunny
9 days ago
Reply to  Sunny

Use the antique long counter you found as the island–no bar and get a farm house table for your farmhouse.

April
9 days ago

This makes a lot of sense to me. I like the three different types of seating (island, booth, dining table) vs having a small dining table and large dining table. With larger groups, it’s nice to have spillover seating that’s not at the island, at my place we use the island as a buffet/bar for large gatherings and it’s nice to not have to make space for dining there as well. I like the look/function of a floating dining table but in this space it did feel weird having two “official” dining tables across the first floor, and it somewhat bothered me that it couldn’t be centered on the island and that it was close enough that the two areas could compete in terms of finishes, style, geometry, and scale. The booth takes care of all of those concerns. And a booth nook allows for additional design fun.

Natalie
9 days ago

This is such a great solution! I love a cozy nook and have always wanted one in my house. I can absolutely envision each scenario you mentioned as well as extended family holiday gatherings where every person has a place to be and several things going on at once. I bet it feels so good to be done with the floor plan and I think this has been a great lesson in how to take your time with planning layouts and figure out what’s most important for your family. It has been so interesting and inspiring to follow your thought process. Thank you for sharing it with us!

9 days ago

I like the nook. My concern is the view from the nook is of the grill so close. In earlier iterations of the plan the BBQ area was perpendicular to the long wall. I would revert to that arrangement to improve the view from what is likely to be a favorite spot.

Erin
9 days ago

Yay!! I am thrilled you are making good progress and having positive vibes with your layout. I know it sounds weird to get stoked over a few more feet of wall space, esp with all the natural beauty you will surely be enjoying through your new windows, but I was like-Yes! More room for artwork!

Sarah
9 days ago

Exciting and nice how this nook can be here while having the sunroom for a nice sit down dinner. And more seating when family gathers in the great room!

One critique – the view from the nook will be a metal BBQ. Not ideal. Do you need a built in BBQ area? Feels too SoCal to have entire built in BBQ area and not a happy view when reading a book at the nook. I bring up the view because reading in a sunlit breakfast nook is my dream scenario.

Molly M Phillips
9 days ago

Love this, love a breakfast nook over a floating table, and can’t wait to see the island! I’m thinking of a remodel to an old farmhouse and I’ve about decided an island is too modern of a look for a vintage feel. Am I doing the wrong thing since they are SOOOOO handy?!?! So I can’t wait to read your thought process.

emily jane
9 days ago

Wonderful news -both the floor plan breakthrough aaand the vintage island (I love it when a piece ‘finds you’ : )! I wholeheartedly agree with you -there really isn’t such a thing as ‘normal’ as each person’s process is as unique as they are so it’s silly to constrain oneself. I like to remind myself that however complicated or frustrating a particular project might be, it does not mean it will be reflected in the final outcome once the solution is discovered (in fact, sometimes the struggle makes the end result that much sweeter ; ). I am SO glad you didn’t give up and can hardly wait to see your vision come to fruition.

krkrkrkr
9 days ago

I posted this suggestion for the other part of your living room already but can’t stop myself from reposting it, I guess because I’m now the type of person who has strong feelings about rooms with many entry/exit points:

Late to the party here, but a relatively minor change that would make your living room furniture layout much easier…

What if you closed the wall space to the left of the fireplace and opened the wall to the entry (so the stairs flow into the entryway instead of into the living room) – and you had an extra wall to work with in the living room for furniture placement? It would make the room feel more like it’s own and less of a pass through to other parts of the house. My mom’s kitchen is similar to your living room: it’s large, but has five doorways leading to other parts of the house/outside. It’s hard to figure out a layout that flows for the room that doesn’t block a passageway. Good luck with the layout planning, the struggle is real.

Elaine
8 days ago
Reply to  krkrkrkr

This is such a smart idea…the fireplace would then have two walls either side of it giving the living room a more clearly defined, balanced area. It would reduce the number of doors opening directly into the living room which helps with heating and it would still allow access to the stairs through the entry (in most Irish houses the stairs is right inside the front door too and it’s not a problem). Smart.

And I love the new banquette!

Sarah L
9 days ago

LOVE a cozy corner banquette (as long as the benches are comfortable and not too long!!) There’s a great little startup PNW-based company you should check out for your nook called Northerly Customs. https://www.northerlycustoms.com/
It’s owned by a mechanical engineer turned ship builder and they’re very environmentally conscious and focused on precision, ease of use, and comfort. He builds STORAGE into the benches too- seat and back, and they go together without hardware. They’re just really clever and I wish I could figure out how to fit one in my dining area.

Kate Donaho
9 days ago

I love where you landed. I do have a question — is the window next to the vent hood looking into the family room?

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