We are very used to the open concept condo with a lot of windows. We have been spoiled with great light and views even in very small spaces. We wouldn’t actually know what to do in a place with a lot of walls. We definitely don’t have the art collection to place on them. The first few years in Vancouver we lived in a condo that was just 500 square feet. Everything there was really open concept (except the bathroom and even that opened into the living room and literally faced the couch – not that great for guests). While I love the open concept feel, I am really excited that our new condo has one room that is a little more cozy. It is a little away from the kitchen area and actually has three walls! We still have a huge space with lots of seating to be able to hang out with the kids and socialize during cooking and entertaining, yet we now have an oasis that we can actually “retire” to after dinner for drinks or chatting. Our goal for this space is to be comfortable yet stylish. That is a hard mix to get but I think we can do it.
The first thing that has to go is the fireplace. I know a lot of people like this style (my daughter included), but it’s just not us. Plus by levelling it out we can gain at least a foot of floor space. This will be great for the massive couch we want 🙂 We want a nice sleek look with a midcentury feel. Amber came up with this great wood slat idea that will frame the fireplace.
I am a huge fan of interesting ceilings as well. We are going to take the wood slats one step farther and continue them up the wall and over the ceiling. Again the track lighting has to go. This wood drop down ceiling will be able to have recessed pot lights to give the space more functional light but in a pretty way. It’s going to have the same feel as this picture from below:
We are going to put shelving systems symmetrically on either side of the fireplace keeping with the same wood theme. I’m not sure exactly what I want here yet, but I would like it to be more of an interesting place with a balance of books, art, pictures etc. I’m going to try to not bring in too much clutter. I will use empty space. I will use empty space. If I keep repeating it, maybe it will come true…
Right now there is a funny area on the wall opposite the fireplace that needs development. It looks like an alcove but has this empty space at the top. It is really tall and deep, but it had an overhang that did not really seem functional. We needed a solution for this space and Billy and Amber came up with a great idea.
We are going to turn this into a bar area. Now we will have beverages in all areas of the main floor! Amber has designed a built-in wine fridge with cabinets and an area to mix drinks above. It will also have wine glass holders so we will always be ready for company. I am so excited. I feel like I could be back in the 60s drinking Gin Gimlets.
Here is a sketch showing what we hope it will look like.
The next big question was what to do with the TV. This was always going to be a room where TV is actually watched. We have never had a TV in our bedroom and don’t plan on having one now. The kids use iPads so we also didn’t want one in the play area or their bedroom.
Dining Room Layout
This decision was the one where I thought Brad and I would definitely disagree. I was ok with thinking up a new solution besides “over the fireplace” but I wasn’t sure how Brad would feel. We had Amber draw up three options of where the TV could go and she gave us three different walls (the fourth is a window, so she did all she could). We both looked at the drawings separately and lo and behold, we both picked the same one (and not the one that we thought the other had picked). We both liked the square layout of the furniture with the fireplace and TV on facing walls. It was a huge surprise for me. It really solidified that we both know what we are looking for and we are on the same page. We both thought it worked well with the furniture we want to get. We get to get a nice deep couch to cuddle up on and we can divide our time and focus between the fireplace and the TV. I think it’s the best of both worlds and we don’t have to compromise on our slatted fireplace design (or ruin our TV from overheating). We can use a great reclaimed credenza for the media centre and hopefully two swivel chairs or two strong geometric chairs that look good 360 degrees around. I can’t wait to go furniture shopping. That’s going to be the really fun part!
Now to try to re-find the “great white of couches” we used to own on Gower Street…