I purchased a town home last year and have yet to really do anything to make it my home. My lack of time and expertise make this challenging, to say the least.
But this place has SO much potential! There are many projects that I have planned for my new home. However, I know enough to know what I don't know, which is a lot! lol I really need a designer to help me think this through and do it right.
Some of the projects are potentially quite complicated; but let's start off with one of the simpler and more straightforward projects: my living room.
I would like to make my living room a comfortable and homey room where my housemates and I actually want to sit, socialize, watch TV, read, and hang out. I'd like it to be a place where I could invite friends, family, a girlfriend and not be embarrassed. This should be a communal room.
* The TV needs to be mounted over the fireplace, and the wiring (cable and otherwise) need to be hidden. A surround system (ideally wireless) needs to be installed in conjunction with the mounting of the TV.
* A mantle needs to be built or purchased and installed over the fireplace. (The fireplace is black.)
* Bookcases need to be installed to the right and left of the fireplace. I'd like the bookcases to be on top, with a cabinet on the very bottom. The cabinet can hide the cable boxes. My neighbors did this, and I like what they did. They have the exact same town home/room layout as me, only reversed or flipped. I've included pictures of their bookcases.
* Recess lights need to be installed in the ceiling. I'm thinking 6 or 8 lights. (Is 8 too many?) PLUS: maybe a light over each of the bookcases. How big should these lights be? What kind of lights exactly? Spacing, location...?
* The room needs to be furnished, so that people can sit, socialize, and enjoy drink and food. What size couch and chairs should I have, and where, exactly should they be placed in the room?) Should we have one long couch along the back wall, and two chairs to the left and right of the couch? What will create the best sense of community? What type of couch and chairs? What colors?
* Color: what color should we paint the walls and the ceiling? What color should the furniture be?
* Carpet: size, type?
* pictures need to be identified, purchased and hung. Right now, there are no pictures.
* Blinds (and curtains or valances?) need to be built into the design.
(There are blinds on the window now, but we probably should replace those or maybe add to them; I don't know. They do have a feature that I like very much: You can lower them from the top and raise them from the bottom.)
The bottom line: this room needs the care and attention of someone who can help it realize its potential! The good news is that it's not a big room, even though it has big-time potential. Can you help?!
The more specific you can be, the happier I will be. For example:
"You should purchase a 80 inch brown leather couch, this type model, found in this store, and you should put it 30 inches away from the wall facing the TV..."
That type of thing.
"You should install 20-inch recess lights in the ceiling 10 inches apart starting 30 inches from the back wall. You should use this type of light, which you can purchase in this store..."
I'm looking for a product design for the bookcases, the cabinets, the fireplace mantle, and the recess lights. I'm also looking for details on the type, size, dimensions, color, and location of the furniture. Ditto the carpet and the paint colors.
I'm a traditional guy. So I tend to like a traditional, homey design. I abhor the modern aesthetic, which I think is really unattractive and unbecoming. This means that if you propose orange and yellow coloring, or something out of the 1970s, it's probably not going to agree with me -:)
I tend to like a light, breezy, summer-like atmosphere -- as opposed to a darker and more somber mood. For this reason, the room's big windows have real appeal to me.
Simple, elegant, traditional, homey -- these are all adjectives I'd use to describe what I'm looking for. By the same token, I'm a young guy and a bachelor. I don't want this to look like my grandfather's home. I abhor clutter and mess.
The living room is rectangular shaped and is connected to a dining room. I'm interested in designing both rooms, but my real focus is the living room. However, you need to be cognizant of the dining room, because it could affect your design of the living room. There is no wall that separates the dining room and living room. But the stairs extend out 70 inches or so along the living room from the dining room.
What makes this dining room special are two things: it's very high ceilings (12-14 feet is my estimate) and full-length windows, which allow in a tremendous amount of light.
The long sides of the rectangle are on your left and on your right, with the windows on your left. The windows extend pretty much from the ceiling to the floor. There is about 16 inches of wall space between the bottom of the windows and the floor. But everything above that pretty much is window.
The left window is about 71 inches wide; the right window about 37 inches wide. The space between the two windows is 48 inches of wall space. Along this wall space (the space between the two windows) is an end table.
The right long side of the room or rectangle side borders the dining room and the stairs. The stairs extend out about 90 inches along that right wall of the room or rectangle.
At the very front of the rectangle is a fireplace. To the left of the fireplace are three big shelves. To the right of the fireplace is an empty space. My 60" HD TV is now in front of the fireplace.
A two-seat couch (very comfortable) is opposite the TV and the fireplace at the bottom of the fireplace; and a chair is to the right of the couch.
I would like to add a surround sound system to the room. It seems to me that this room is ideal for that, given its size, shape and height. However, I'd much prefer a wireless sound system if they exist. The less wires and clutter we have the better.
I've enclosed a picture with dimensions. But to avoid confusion, let me write those dimensions here. It's best to read this in concert with the pic.
The room is basically 138 inches wide by 202 inches long. The fireplace wall is 86.5 inches. This is the space or width that you'd have to mount the TV. The fireplace itself, obviously, is smaller (about 60 inches wide by 42 or 43 inches high). The fireplace is black and it does not have a mantle.
The 202 inch length extends from the fireplace itself at one end to the far wall at the other end. But the space to the right and the left of the fire place extends an additional 22 inches past the fireplace. The width of these crevices, to the left and right of the fireplace, is 25 inches. And again, the ceiling extends
Aesthetics and looks are really important. I want this room to look nice and compel attention. I want the shelves and cabinet and mantle to look sharp and inviting. I need the room to be designed with furniture -- what should go where; what type of furniture; and where I can purchase it?
But affordability is key. I don't need expensive furniture. But I do need furniture that will look nice, be comfortable, and fit well within the dimensions of the room, while creating a sense of community.
Ditto the lighting. This can make or break a room. One switch, two switches, three switches? What type, how far apart?
The more specific and prescriptive you can be, the happier I will be. I basically need a set of instructions that I can give a builder, which he can work off of to build everything and procure the furniture.
Thank you for your time, help and expertise!