Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Need some advice...

When the former owner gutted the first floor of my house, he took out the wall between the living room and dining room. For some totally bizarre reason, he decided to leave the original beam exposed because he thought it was "cool". Well, the exposed beam is driving me crazy mostly because he did such a poor job of trimming it out. My brother wants to put some sort of bead board around it to cover it. I want to box it in with drywall and it will just look like there is an "I" beam in the middle of the room. Thoughts?

Next is the shape of the rooms.

From House photos

I can understand why he took down the wall to open everything up and move light through the space. The problem is that this gives the space a "shotgun" feel and I think it needs something to break up the view going from living room to dining room. Should I put a wall back up with a large opening from LR to DR?...and if I do that tying it to the beam overhead makes the LR & DR the same size. The benefit of the wall would be that I could put my hutch against it making the walking (and sitting space) around the table better. How horrible would a wall of fabric be behind the wing chair? Too Christopher Lowell?

I have looked at decorated shotgun style rooms and nothing looks right to me. I am usually pretty good about picturing something in my mind and then executing the idea but this really has me stumped.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!


Michelle said...

I like the drywall idea best. Next, instead of a wall, or a curtain, could you find a bookcase about the same size as your hutch so you could set them up back to back? Or, maybe you could decorate the back of the hutch somehow. Or, how about a shorter bookcase that you can see over the top easily, like maybe 3 1/2' tall, but is wider, that you could set the end against the wall, and use that kind of like a divider behind your chair?

I have a long living room too, and I have it set up kind of like you do, making two living spaces out of it.

I'll be anxious to see what you do with it.

Victoria said...

Hmmmm...the room doesn't look very wide. Some do a sofa with sofa table behind to break up a room but it almost doesn't look wide enough for that and it prob wouldn't give you the height you need.

I don't think the fabric would be a bad idea at all. Or like Michelle said a bookcase or even a screen.

Sorry I'm not much help...I ask my sisters for their ideas and rarely come up with my own. ;)

The Calico Quilter said...

Well, weighing in with a comment (better late than never!!) - I think it's better open. You could replace the wall with a wide open archway, which would visually and symbolically divide the space without actually blocking the light or traffic flow. Glass paned pocket doors would be cool too - a pair about six or so feet wide - but that's getting pricey. I wouldn't build a wall long enough to move your hutch to that side; it might make the living room look too small.

If you leave the exposed beam, maybe you could cover it with some attractively aged salvaged wood to make it a better looking exposed beam. If you construct a wall it would probably have to go there, so the beam would in the wall again. If it stays in the open, I would encase it in drywall for a cleaner finish.

I wouldn't vote for a screen either. Your furniture is fairly traditional and screens always look too shabby chic or too oriental, depending on their style. I wouldn't do a curtain at all. Definitely too Christopher Lowell, and they look messy and need to be straightened a lot.

Sofas with a sofa table are always good for dividing a long space without chopping it up too much, but the room looks too narrow, unless you have a pretty short sofa or a loveseat. In any case, it appears to me that long and fairly open would be better than divided. Hope this helps.

Hazel said...

I would do the bookcase behind your wing chair ,gives you storeage space ,cheap and no labor cost and if you didn't like it ,it could always be movied to another location .I wouldn't do it on both sides just behind the wing chair .