This past Sunday morning, I was drinking my coffee, and gently going into the day- I like to rise early and meander a bit. I have a routine that starts with: turn on my salt lamp, turn on my Asian lamp as it's been so dark in the mornings, light a candle, turn off the porch light, and lastly brew a yummy cup of coffee. I like it hot, and with nothing in it (I save fancy coffees for a fun day out when traveling).
I was taking in the living room, and going over every single element, for whatever reason, and I noticed the Casement Trim work around my front door. My 1909, craftsman home has extensive woodwork throughout that is truly a feast for the eyes. My eye rested on the "end" of the trim work, and I realized my sofa was 6-9 inches behind it.
With my design, not always, I viscerally feel things. I see it, which engenders thought and then I act upon it. Many designers carefully plan out their designs, their homes, which I'm starting to do more, but I also lead with intuition, aka that visceral reaction; I knew the sofa had to be brought forward, and placed in line with the woodwork.
I promptly stood up and started moving my sofa forward to align with the woodwork. Of course, I felt unsettled. Is the sofa too far forward now? Is it too close to the fireplace? I also had to move the coffee table forward.
In design school, you are taught you need 36" of passage in all traffic areas. And it is a cogent rule of thumb; we need space to move. It also gives visual "space" to your eye.
I've been living with it for going on three days now, and I love it.
My living room is a decent size, but it's rectangular in configuration and quite difficult to furniture plan. Trust me, I've tried every configuration. If I did a sofa and two decent-sized chairs, they'd have to be positioned facing each other and not oriented to the fireplace, which I do not like. And, I'd have to purchase a loveseat which also is not desirable to me.
Now, there is a spacious feel to the distance between the sofa and my two striped stools that live right behind it. It feels more elegant now. More refined. And the flow is utter perfection. And guess how much space is between them now? 33" inches.
I added 10" inches which shocked me- more than I anticipated. It's not the standard 36" but sometimes, it's not feasible. And, where the coffee table resides there is only 31" egress but I've decided to make the main flow of the room be behind the sofa, to get to the dining room.
I could move the stools elsewhere but I like where they are; I prefer to leave the large Pocket Door free of anything in front of it, which resides to the right of the stools.
Design is a juxtaposition with the size of your space, the items you own, and of course lastly how you live. If I had kids, this scenario might not work...it could be dangerous, but I do not. We all have siblings that split their eyes open on a corner, which in this room would be the fireplace mantle...eek.
I have curtailed it to my exact needs, as I live today, which is the best part of the design. And, nothing is ever permanent, also the best part of the design. Perfect example, I am now moving on from my rust-colored velvet sofa and purchasing the English roll-back armed Sofa of my dreams. Still deciding on Linen or Velvet! Choices, choices. Can't wait to show you the finished living room.
Let me know what you think! Tell me about your home and its foibles, Jennifer.