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Thread: Family Room Layout - looking for a sectional?

  1. #1

    Default Family Room Layout - looking for a sectional?

    Hi there -

    We are closing on our home this week and are looking for some ideas to furnish our family room. I came across this forum since I wanted to do some research behind the brands and didn't like what I was seeing at B&M stores in terms of quality and craftsmanship. What a wealth of information.

    We are in the Chicago area and have looked at most furniture shops, ranging from Art Van on the lower end to Walter E Smithe on the high end. Our challenge is that we are planning to start a family and are questioning whether to buy furniture that would cost $14,000 for the family room or go cheap and replace more often. What are your thoughts for this situation? We are also undecided for fabric vs leather because of this.

    We are trying to stick to a traditional/transitional style of the home and put BIG furniture in the family room. We are thinking of a large sectional, similar to the pictures, and a chair and a half in the corner. TV will be along the same wall.

    Any thoughts on what to look at? Do you recommend chaise lounges for sectionals? We like the concept but feel it may be difficult to walk around and be crowded.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria VA
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    13,344

    Default Re: Family Room Layout - looking for a sectional?

    Welcome. Nice home, I have a similar layout in mine as well. I assume these are the seller's photos when they advertised the house?

    I am of the opinion that you put the best, highest quality furniture in the family room and less expensive pieces in the formal living areas and dining rooms as they are used infrequently. Also bedroom chairs and the like fall into the less-used category. The most oft-used pieces should be the strongest build and most comfortable. As you use lesser quality upholstery, the suspension will fail and lose its support. Most people will think its the "cushion foam" but it's usually the underlying suspension. Frames in inexpensive furniture are not stout enough, so then they flex, with flex comes shifting. If Pirelli webbing , those loosen up like an old folding beach chair. If No Sag springs (common) they have little support in the first place and are aggravated by flexing frames. Even the top suspension, 8-way hand-tied is not going to stay taut if the frame is moving around. So when you look at furniture - push out on the arms of the piece, how much does it flex? Push hard on a back corner, enough to lift the front foot off the floor - how much flex there? The more stout, the better. Solid maple frames are the best, but few makers use them any more - the industry standard is now plywood.

    Leather will outlast fabric at a ratio of 4 to 1. Most fabric pieces will need a re-cover in 10 to 12 years, leather will go 40 + if you keep it clean and conditioned and don't let the UV rays of the sun blow the color out of it.

    Your room is set up well for a sectional - up to you, however a sectional will typically cost more than two sofas. Chaises are very popular right now, however as you note they can create an immovable obstacle and be very room-specific, meaning if you move again to a different home the sectional with the chaise segment may not work in a different house.

    In an open layout like what you have, backs of the units matter as you walk into them. One of the most handsome pieces I have ever installed into a home is a Sundance Sectional by Hancock & Moore. This has the top build quality and looks fantastic in a room like yours. Downside is this is expensive, you can use a pair of Sundance sofas on the H&M promos and prices for the two sofas vs the sectional will be several thousand less.


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    http://www.myfurnitureforum.com/show...ndance+kipling

    I'd avoid doing the giant wood media center on that large wall, it's pretty dated-looking. There are plenty of more open, pleasing designs you can use like this one I happen to like from Hooker Furniture.

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    One other thought, if the Mrs. would like a chaise (the men never want them!) in lieu of a chair & half there are stand-alone pieces that can be moved around such as this Taylor King unit that I've sold quite a few of. Lots of covers available.

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    http://www.myfurnitureforum.com/show...=taylor+chaise

    Hope that helps
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  3. #3

    Default Re: Family Room Layout - looking for a sectional?

    Thank you, Duane. These are listing pictures and I can take some more when we do our final walkthrough today.

    While I'm a big fan of leather, the wife isn't fully bought into it since we are upgrading from my old bachelor pad furniture. I think the chaise is a cool concept and we will take a look at that. Do you have any upholstered options that you are a fan of?

    We were looking at this couch but it ended up being about $11k for something I had no idea who was building it.

    https://www.smithe.com/as-shown-camd...formation.aspx

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Family Room Layout - looking for a sectional?

    Leather furniture doesn't need to be dark brown and foreboding, I'm selling more and more lighter colors these days - so perhaps look at the range of colors available.

    A good sectional should not be $ 11K, that's pretty high for a fabric unit. I like Taylor King's and (depending on the configuration, depth and fabric) should come in around $ 6K or so.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Family Room Layout - looking for a sectional?

    Your plan for the TV wall will have a big impact on what you can put into the corner. A big chair and a half will naturally push the TV and stand away from the corner. Also, for when you have larger groups at the sectional, a very large corner piece may make it hard to "pull it in" and join the sectional crowd. That is the kind of thing my wife would tell me! If you did want a larger corner piece, you could always use poufs to create that seating around the sectional when you needed it.

    I agree with Duane's comment about making an investment in the furniture you will use the most, in the family room. I wish I had followed that philosophy about 15 years ago, however I didn't have a spare $10k at the time. Several disposable pieces later I am finally correcting that.

    I personally don't like rooms that have dueling focal points, the fireplace and the entertainment center on separate walls. That makes arranging furniture difficult. Depending on how important TV is to you, and whether or not you have a secondary living room, I would at least consider putting the TV over the fireplace. I am filled with disgust when that is done in cases where the fireplace is very high, but that isn't the case here. Modern TVs often don't need external devices so you may not even need an entertainment center. Then you'd have complete freedom in arranging your living room furniture. I know this is a controversial design point but it works for some people, some rooms, some lifestyles.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Family Room Layout - looking for a sectional?

    I like the idea of the TV over the fireplace as well, long as its not too high up so you have to crane your neck to comfortably view it. That existing look of the L-Sectional and huge entertainment wall is very dated, and uninspiring.

    If that were my home, one thing I would consider is using this Taylor King unit and place it mostly in front of the fireplace (with TV over the FP) and then a pair of matching swivels flanking the fireplace. I'd cozy the room up a little and add some curves. This sectional is larger than it looks, check out the dimensions. Would look great in that room.

    https://taylorking.com/PDF/5516.pdf
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

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