divide and conquer

Whether or not you live in a newly constructed home with an open floor plan or large great room or you live in an older home with a quirky layout, chances are you have a room that poses a decorating challenge. Our living room is sizeable but long and narrow and has has three asymmetrical doorways which makes arranging furniture quite difficult. Unlike many, our living room is a room that gets a significant amount of use. It is adjacent to our family room so family activities often spill over into this high traffic area.

In my mind, a furniture plan is the most important part of the decorating process. It determines how the room will function and how well the space will be utilized. In creating a floor plan, one must ask oneself: what will be done in this particular room? Will there be books read? Parties hosted? Games played? Work done? What do I want the focal point of the room to be? How does traffic flow? How do the adjoining rooms relate to this room?

Generally speaking, large rooms don't usually don't always require one large seating area. After all, how often do you have more than 50 people in your home at one time? And when you do have a big blow out, don't people usually break into smaller groups for more intimate conversations anyways?

When I first tried to lay out our living room, I felt enslaved to the fireplace. Afterall, it is the most obvious focalpoint for the room. But because of the awkward placement of a doorway on the opposing wall, cenetering my furniture around the fireplace did not utilize the room well.

After thinking out loud with some design minded friends, and trying to find a less obvious furniture plan, I decided to and divide the room into two smaller seating areas. I did this by pushing the seating out to the ends of the room, creating smaller, more intimate spaces.

Pulling the furniture out, however, left a large empty space in the middle of the room in front of the fireplace. The solution, I have decided will be a large, skirted table in the center of the room to divide two smaller spaces but to give the fireplace the special attention it deserves. I promise to post pictures when the room is complete.

Do you have a room that poses a challenge when it comes to a floor plan? Is there a creative solution you had not considered until now?
{images: 1- via things that inspire; 2- via jeffrey bilhuber; 3- via house beautiful; 4- via jeffrey bilhuber; 5- via a bloomsbury life blog; 6- markham roberts via house beautiful; 7- via elle decor; 8- albert hadley via house beautiful}

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