Do you have a room in your home that is awkward and just doesn’t quite work? Our living room has a number of interior design challenges. From the angled corner fireplace, the overly high mantel, the off centered window and the multiple entrances, it is a designer’s nightmare. My custom built in media unit is phase 1 in operation “Solve awkward living room design”.
Design dilemma #1– Where to put the TV? You can’t put it above the mantel. The TV would have to be the size of a postage stamp. Not to mention, you’d lose all the great holiday mantel decorating possibilities like the one we shared last Thanksgiving.
Here is our living room BEFORE. Notice the window is not centered on the wall. The window casing is actually touching the stone in one place yet there is over a foot of unused wall space to the right of the window. ARGH! What WAS the builder thinking? Awkward. I can’t even think about the draperies without breaking into hives. I digress. Anytime a fireplace and a TV share space in a room there will be competing focal points. You must consider scale and proportions in order for the room to have harmony and balance between the two focal points.
After many fruitless trips to countless furniture stores searching for the perfect media center for our living room we realized that it did not exist. I spent hours scouring Pinterest and Houzz for inspiration. We met with Tim Pelham at USA Home Improvement to discuss our options for a custom built in media center. One of the things I love about our home is all the trim and moldings. Cohesive design uses repetition of common elements. Here we chose to create a built in that had the same angled crown molding that is used in the mantel and over the window. I hired Debbie Shankle a local interior designer to draft the plans as my drawing skills are limited to stick figures. She did a fabulous job of translating the ideas in my head to a plan.
Here’s a helpful tip. Use a template. Debbie created a paper template of our proposed built in media center to determine positioning on the wall, the depth of the unit and the angle of the corner shelves. This helped me to see how much space the unit will take up in the living room.
Here is the completed built in media center AFTER. We found a solution that hides the unsightly cords. We gained valuable closed storage for books, DVD’s, and games.
Tim and Debbie did a fabulous job and my built in turned out beautifully. I love it!!! Here’s another look. I think we solved design dilemma #1. But wait- you’ll notice nothing is displayed on the shelves. Oh no!
Design dilemma # 2- Shelf styling. How to style corner shelves?
More on that and other design dilemma’s in my living room later. Comment and share your design dilemmas and solutions. We’d love to hear from you.