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What can be done with a small, character lacking lounge?!

(22 Posts)
Cydonia Mon 10-Aug-20 23:52:20

I viewed a house recently which was really lovely, apart from the lounge. It is 12’7” x 13’0, so not very big, but also doesn’t have a fireplace. The downstairs is open plan, so the lounge opens into a huge kitchen with lots of space for seating. We are up sizing ( is that a phrase? ) from a small terrace, and our current lounge is a little smaller than this one but does have a nice fireplace and alcoves etc.

The rest of the house is great ( well, apart from the paved garden but that can be made into a lawn! ) and is in an area we like, but the lounge is disappointing. I think there is room to extend forwards, perhaps a bay window? But I’m not great at visualising these things, and with the house at the higher end of our budget I’m not sure if it would be too costly? Just thinking with a bit more space we could add a small fireplace or wood burner. But there’s no chimney so that might be impossible?

Has anyone managed to improve a rubbish lounge that can give me some pointers please? I’m not sure if I am allowed to add photos of the property?

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FlamedToACrisp Tue 11-Aug-20 00:41:40

You could add a fake fireplace with dried flowers in the grate.

You could buy a beautiful and unusual dresser, attractive upright piano or large stunning painting which would be a focal point for the room.

You could put in a shelf around the top of the room with ornaments on, or buy a couple of interesting wall shelf units.

You could theme the room in a quirky way, for example all Japanese or Egyptian stuff, or a woodland animals theme.

You could make a feature wall with some really kick-ass, ooh-where-did-you-get-that wallpaper.

or you could just make it a cosy, inviting room that everyone feels instantly at home in, and forget the need to make it quirky and special.

Iggypoppie Tue 11-Aug-20 00:46:50

You are allowed to add photos (please do :-))

I have the same issue currently. You can create focal points with furniture and art works etc though. If you have gas you can get a gas fired wood burner type stove. It needs an outside vent installed to an external wall but not a chimney. It's better for the indoor and outdoor air quality.

Iggypoppie Tue 11-Aug-20 00:48:47

It's called a balanced flue stove

IdblowJonSnow Tue 11-Aug-20 00:50:52

Nice flooring? Like parquet if that kind of thing is to your taste? Or a beautiful rug? There are loads of things you can do. You could create a fake chimney breast so you've got alcoves.
Is it a new build?

Cydonia Tue 11-Aug-20 01:33:08

Some great ideas there, though not sure if there is space for some of them. That’s the trouble, where the fireplace would go is also the only place you could have a second sofa. It’s a fairly new build, I’d say 90’s? Will try and add discreet photos wink

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Cydonia Tue 11-Aug-20 01:37:01

Pictures. The house was previously on the market around Nov last year and in that advert it has the second sofa on the “bare” wall.

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Cydonia Tue 11-Aug-20 01:40:56

There is a radiator so the room will be warm enough, I just like the focal point of a fire. But yes, some kind of art work in the middle and perhaps a nice armchair could work. Also like the idea of nice flooring.

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HannaYeah Tue 11-Aug-20 01:47:13

I’d start with wood flooring.

NellyJames Tue 11-Aug-20 02:03:02

Could you not have the sofas at right angles? So one where one is shown and the other (a smaller one) in front of the radiator. A compact but stylish fireplace on the bare wall with the tv wall mounted above it.

NellyJames Tue 11-Aug-20 02:09:17

And yes if you have wood flooring and buy sofas designed for wood flooring ie raised and able to clearly see under them, this will give a better sense of space. The sofa in there is very chunky and dated. Ideally, your sofas would face each other but then you’d be blocking the archway. Don’t put laminate down. If you can’t afford wood, choose carpet.

Cydonia Tue 11-Aug-20 02:10:58

Yes you could work it round that way couldn’t you? I’m not a massive fan of wall mounted fires or tv’s but being a more modern style of house than my current one I should consider a more modern style!
Definitely wooden floor I think, we have a messy boy and a Labrador so carpet downstairs is a no no!
Thanks for making me realise I don’t need to spend a fortune extending!

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FlamedToACrisp Tue 11-Aug-20 02:33:19

Do consider moving the TV. If you walk into a room and see a great big TELEVISION right in your face, it sucks all the character out of the room, as if it has one purpose only.

If you back the TV against the wall that has the door, the immediate thing you notice on entering is the sofas (or whatever artwork/focal point you face towards the door), giving a cosy vibe and the impression of a room used for chatting and being sociable. We found doing this made all the difference in our cottage (which had all the character 'modernised' out of it in the 1970s sad)

ThisIsMeOrIsIt Tue 11-Aug-20 03:13:55

We have a similar size front room. We had a wall put up between it and the dining room. Laminate floor, rug, squishy sofas, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on one wall, monstera deliciosa plant in a corner. Colour scheme is browns and teal.

It is now the perfect evening room - snuggly in winter and cool in the summer. It's my favourite room in the house!

bettsbattenburg Tue 11-Aug-20 04:36:55

I would get rid of the arch, brick it up completely if there is another entrance so the lounge isn't like a corridor. Then I'd add features with lots of soft cosy furnishings and have the tv on the door wall so it's not the first thing you see. I would then make an art wall on the wall opposite the door with an eclectic mix of different art styles and frames.

Starface Tue 11-Aug-20 05:12:08

Oh there are some great suggestions here!

I agree, in present form the room is essentially a corridor. This could only really be resolved by putting in a wall, which would give you far more options.

If that isn't on the cards I agree with - put the telly on the wall above the sofa by the door, with artwork above sofa next to plant/something interesting in corner on other wall. The one disadvantage of this is you can only see the telly from one sofa. Depends how important that is for you. You could still keep it where it is but put sofa + lovely artwork on that wall to create the feature.

I wouldn't be putting in any stoves/fireplaces. Except very possibly in the corner. But it would be a bit odd next to the radiator, and frankly its an unnecessary expense when a plant will achieve a better effect. Plus I would definitely want a second sofa, and I wouldn't want it under the window as surely that would block the door?

If you don't want a TV on the wall, consider sofa on the opposite wall with nice picture above plus plant and 'curated' cushion arrangement, move TV to wall where current sofa is, with a nice armchair in the corner.

Cydonia Tue 11-Aug-20 09:19:18

Great suggestions, thanks everyone! Wish I had vision for stuff like this! It’s all hypothetical at the moment as we’re waiting on a property selling/inheritance being released before we can make offers on anything. But as the “perfect” house doesn’t really exist, I want to see a way around the negatives of the ones I’ve viewed.
I reckon filling the arch back in and just having a door to the kitchen would be a good idea, the kitchen is already a large kitchen diner so a separate lounge would be better. And cheaper than my “solution” of an extension at the front!

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keiratwiceknightly Tue 11-Aug-20 09:27:31

I'd do a corner sofa, beautiful wood flooring and a bright Mexican style rug. Smaller Tv ideally or flat into the corner then put in a small fireplace or narrow bookcase where the fireplace would be. Huge bright pictures above sofa and fireplace/bookcase and strong coloured curtains. Lamps/pot plants etc also helpful.

(But we rejected a house with a living room that was only access through because it felt too much like a corridor...)

GOODCAT Tue 11-Aug-20 09:29:54

Try looking at apartment therapy it is good for smaller rooms. Our lounge is small and we have a big kitchen diner, but we spend most of our time in the lounge.

I agree that filling in the arch would help as it will give you a whole extra wall.

Badabingbadabum Tue 11-Aug-20 09:37:57

If there is plenty of other open plan space downstairs I would use the smallness to make a properly snug cosy room. Couple of sofas and an armchair, nice rug, just somewhere that makes you want to sit down together.

RustyLeesBogBrush Tue 11-Aug-20 09:51:00

I would be making a feature of that window. Nice curtains but do something with the radiator.

Have you thought about a radiator cover, you know those that have lattice patterns on them and look quite regal? I have a small lounge OP and had one fitted, it wasn’t dear but when it was painted the same colour as the walls it looks fabulous, everyone remarks on it.

Also, nice flooring, I liked someone’s parquet suggestion.

I would put the TV onto the wall with recessed wiring so it looks flush and if possible open up the arch.

A corner sofa would work in there, but avoid really bulky sofas and stick to medium sized ones. The smaller your room, the smaller your pieces of furniture should be. Everything I brought when we moved looked wrong until I swapped it out with smaller pieces.

Cydonia Tue 11-Aug-20 11:44:58

That’s a great idea about a decorative radiator cover. Our current house is pretty small so we already have furniture to fit with that, though think a corner sofa would maybe work better. Trouble is, because of where the stairs are there is no other way through to the kitchen, so would still need a doorway if you filled part of the arch in.
The house is the most expensive on the shortlist and not really my favourite, but does have a lot of positives. My favourite also has a small lounge but two real fireplaces, so one extreme to the other!

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