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Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I last blogged, so let’s catch up! I’m Brian Balthazar, a Director of Programming here at HGTV. While I spend a great portion of my time on the great design programs here at the network, I spend a lot of my remaining time doing interior design for homeowners in the NYC area.

Which brings me to this post! I’m currently working on a room for a wonderful New Jersey family… but there are still some finishing touches left for the room — and I’d like you to help me decide what to do!

First, let me show you two “before” photos.

  

As you can see, there is a lot of potential here. But also some interesting challenges! Among them: The walls on each side of the fireplace are uneven, making everything on that wall feel off center. The bookcases on each side only emphasized the problem.

Also, the furniture in the room was so bulky that putting a table in the middle was next to impossible if you ever wanted to pass through, but without it, the furniture seemed too far apart for a comfortable conversation.

Then there was the light. The large bay window overlooked a covered porch, so rarely (if ever) did the room get direct sunlight. As a result, the homeowners had decided against any sort of window treatments.

While the room is still in progress, I have some rough photos of how it’s coming along — and there will be more in my next post. First, I removed the bookcases, then I lightened up the entire space by ditching the dark rug and furniture. A fresh coat of paint in a lighter tone went up, and window coverings were installed slightly off to the side of the bay window, so they didn’t block any of the light coming in.

Now I’d like to seek the collective advice of the gazillions of loyal “Design Happens” readers!

While most of the furniture has arrived or is ordered, I am yet to be impressed by a coffee table for this room. It must remain narrow enough to accomodate walking through the room. And I’m not married to a traditional concept. In fact, I’m considering something apart from the long couch-length table that would be expected.

Below is a photo of the middle stages of the room redo. This was around the holidays, and the space has since been updated with new lamps and accessories. The holiday decorations are down, and the room is crying out for a table!

  

Post some of your favorite table ideas and links, and I’ll let you know which one I go with! I’ll also show you what the remaining corners of the room look like!

And finally, an interesting side note:  Last night, as I planned this blogpost, I got a phone call about a coffee table that was, oddly enough, abandoned on the sidewalks of midtown Manhattan yesterday — left to be taken to a landfill! A very smart, resourceful guy (Thanks Dennis!) found a cab driver willing to help lug it into the car and now it’s waiting for a home! Is this solid wood piece THE coffee table for the room, refinished with a dark stain? Or do I have one extra coffee table in my living room until I find it a home?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!
Brian

FILED UNDER:

Design Inspiration

29 Responses

  1. TONI says:

    A SMALL CUSHIONED BENCH COVERED IN THE SAME MATERIAL AS THE THROW PILLOWS ON THE SOFA.

    SMALL FABRIC COVERED BENCH, PLEASE USE THE SAME FABRIC AS THE PILLOWS ON THE SOFA. THEN ON THE BENCH A COUPLE OF SMALL BOOKS THAT WILL HI LIGHT THE RESIDENCES INTEREST AND A SMALL TRAY WITH OLD EYEWEAR THAT ENGAGES A PERSONS CURIOUSITY HUGH CO
    VERED IN THE SAME FABRIC AS THE PILLOWS ON THE SOFA.

    SOME SMALL PERSONAL BOOKS (POETRY) WOULD BE NICE ON THE BENCH WITH A SMALL TRAY OF OF OLD GLASSES

  2. TONI says:

    SORRY ABOUT THE WAY MY IDEA TYPED OUT, NOT MY FAULT…HOPE YOU GOT THE JEST OF IT….

  3. Chelyse says:

    You have got a great mixture of light and dark colors in the room. I think if you were to take a slab of wood a two lengths of 4 x 8's glued to gether (pine or fir maybe because they're light) slightly burn the grains and laquer with a poly eurathane (old masters) it would give great contrast in the colors of the room along with a warm natural surrounding.

  4. janinefl. says:

    i think your right on track with the chairs around the fireplace as the centerpiece. cushions made for the right table or bench seating in the bay window? chairs need the right tables or something and don't forget the right lighting for just the right atmosphere!

  5. Miriam Bonilla says:

    I think some stationary panels on both sides of the window would look just beautiful! How about beige fabric with some medium to large size modern print in browns?

    Two Pillows to match the drapes (print) and one in a solid chocolate on the sofa would bring the room together. The table probably would look good if it's stained same color as the round little table and add some glass on top. I also can see a customized rectangular ottoman, that opens on top,(for extra storage), upholstered with solid fabric in medium brown (not chocolate). Oh! how about adding some natural green, probably a sleek bamboo tree behind the striped chair? Good Luck.

  6. Nancy Boltwood says:

    Not sure that the furniture has to be pulled to the outer limits of the room (or so it appears.) I would put the sofa in front of the fireplace and bring thing into the center of the room. Cluster it up a bit.
    Intimate. Your (found) coffee table… some new nobs (loose the bin pulls) and maybe some large scall sea grass basket(s) underneath for added storage. Not a dark stain either (expected) … but something like silver leaf paint would be soft and reflective.

  7. Barbara says:

    I would put a tall slender green plant in the corner to the left of the fireplace.
    I love that table. I would refinish it in a rich wood stain.
    I used to have a small living room. I used a round end table for a coffee table. No corners but helped with the need for something.
    It is now used to hold a chess board in my bigger house.

  8. Sandy says:

    If you cut the coffee table in half lengthwise, you would still have a table but one that really fits. Paint it a lively color and add an orchid as these need light but not direct sun to thrive.

  9. Phil Hurst says:

    I like the new found coffee table. It looks like it's not to big or small for the area. It seems as though you could be pushing the design style in a craftsman / modern style. I would recommend adding a piece of rectangular base moulding around the bottom of each leg and refinishing the whole thing with a rich dark stain. That would help separate the couch from the rug. The new larger base to the legs of the table will help give it a more planted and prominent look.

  10. Doreen says:

    I think a trunk coffee table would would set the whole room off. Even something like an old world Bombay trunk coffee table. All the colors will tie in to the whole room.

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