• Sonja Capasso

Biggest Design Challenge, Revealed! (hint: awkward living rooms!)

Updated: Nov 9, 2018

One of the biggest and most problematic design challenges is and always will be how to place furniture in an awkwardly designed room.

Even for us, the designers, this can be a problem. Trying to figure out the best possible furniture placement in an awkward space sometimes takes time, lots of coffee, no sleep, and a ton of brainstorming, so that we can create function as well as aesthetic in the space.

So how do we do that?

Number one priority is function.

I know - beauty of the space is so important. We want our space to visually be pretty, and also, when we live in the room (home), we want to feel elated, happy, and content - but without function, beauty means absolutely noting.

We must also address the needs of the space. How will the room be used? Is it a sitting room, a reading nook, dining room, or family room? Will there be a TV in a room? How many kids/adults are going to be living there? What is the task you will be doing there most? Is it doing homework, reading a book, relaxing, watching TV? All these questions need to be answered before the space design begins.

I will talk about my very own space challenge in a home we moved in a month ago.  We have a fairly large living room, but the room has a gigantic fireplace, low ceilings, and asymmetrical deep niche - the only location where we can place TV.

Here is what that looks like:

Ideally, fireplace would be low enough to fit a tv above it - but personally, I hate how that looks. In a way, I am glad I have to get my creative juices flowing and find a better solution for this space.

Here is the room layout in a 2D plan:

Awkward living room layout

So here are my 3 (and a half) solutions to this design. Let me explain our own needs and desires first:

We want this home to be comfortable, cozy, and most especially, dog friendly. We do not have kids - and our dogs are our babies. We also love watching movies and binge on netflix shows, so TV watching and relaxing is one of the most important functions our living room needs to have.

Since the TV can ONLY be placed on one wall, AND we also have a fireplace focal point on another wall, I had to design a space where you can BOTH watch TV and enjoy the fireplace.

Option 1: L sectional that faces both TV and fireplace, with additional recliner or chairs with ottomans to watch TV. Leave the deep niche as is.

Awkward living room layout and furniture solution

Option 2: Same sectional, but build a wall into the room to try and even out the space and make it more symmetrical. This one is visually most pleasing yet also most expensive, plus we will be losing a LOT of valuable space.

Awkward living room layout and furniture solution

Option 3: An interchangeable space to serve both conversation area, fireplace focal point, and addresses our need for TV watching in a cozy comfort. Movable chairs towards the sofa.

Awkward living room layout and final, winning furniture solution

Awkward living room layout and final, winning furniture solution

Move chairs and ottomans towards TV for an easy and comfortable watching and relaxing. 

Which one do you think we chose?

Follow along to see what we have decided to do with our space and which option we chose?

Need help designing and planning your own space? I offer affordable design solutions for every budget. Check out my packages here, and let's talk.

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Capasso + Co

Sonja Capasso, LEED AP ID+C

Watertown, CT 06704


© 2018 by Capasso Interiors.

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