I fully intended to kick off the house tour with a view of our entryway/foyer, but I have no (good) pictures of it, and there is no light in there (courtesy of a never-finished fix to a leaky roof) so we'll just skip that and go straight to the living room!
The living room is the most used space in this house - since we have no family/great room, den or basement we do all of our living in, well, the living room. The room is a fair size, long (20') but narrow (11'6") and gets a good amount of light in the daytime (though the only windows in the room face the street so we often sacrifice either light or privacy).
What has proven most difficult for me in decorating the room is furniture placement. As I've mentioned, we have a sectional that is too long for the narrow room, and the fireplace, windows and opening to the dining room make TV (a must in this house!) placement difficult. Hence, I typically get very tired of how the space looks and move around the furniture A LOT.
In terms of structural change, we didn't do many to this space upon moving in, just replaced the fireplace mantel and refinished the hardwood floors. Still to come is adding recessed lights (people balk at overhead lighting, but I swear I collect lamps given our lack of it!), replacing the floors altogether (our original contractors mistakenly put on a coat of polyurethane on top of a still-wet coat of stain, so there are plenty of bubbles and gouges in the floor), and replacing the windows (we have a 55" picture window flanked by two 20" casement windows now, but I'd love to just have two 36" double-hung windows with wall space in between to put the TV).
When we first moved in, we tried the most obvious spot for the couch - the staircase wall. I didn't like how the couch jutted out into the dining room opening, and we didn't have an obvious place to put the TV (opposite the couch is the windows).
So we separated the sectional to function as two separate couches (and painted that inner corner as an accent wall).
Better picture of the accent wall (don't mind the mess!).
Opposite the staircase wall is our fireplace, over which we hung the TV (here it is, all dressed up for Christmas 2008).
The living room arrangement stayed like that for a while, until I decided I wanted to put the Christmas tree in front of the window for Christmas 2009. So, I swapped the living room and dining room areas, which also opened space for a separate sitting nook in front of the fireplace.
Then, at some point, I decided I liked the idea of being cozy with the fireplace, and split the long living room with one of the sectional pieces in the middle, and seating all around. In theory, I like this furniture placement best. In practice, I felt a little squished trying to manuever around the space. The room also got a fresh coat of paint, to match the accent wall - Behr's Sage Grey.
I don't know why I didn't think to try this to begin with, but following the split living room, I placed the sectional in front of the window. This is the only way the sectional fits in the space, but the chaise covers the fireplace which seems pointless to me (I'm not sure why - we never use it!).
So, we went back to square one, though, this time, had a bit more furniture to fill in the space - here's what our living room looks like now (minus lazy Zoe sleeping in the middle of the picture -- usually).
Well, not exactly. The brown chaise seen above has replaced the two beige side chairs (which have been banished to one of the bedrooms) since Esposito wanted to be more comfortable when he plays his PS3 (no priorities I tell you!). After I've gone through the house tour, I'll do a recap of all the current spaces and include more updated pictures of the space.
So now you've seen our living room. Next stop - the dining room.