Decorating Dilemma: Timi’s Family Room

Decorating solution for Timi's Awkwardly Shaped Living Room

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.


Our family room is the main entrance to our house and our gathering place. I’m starting over with new furniture, rugs, accessories, and need guidance. Furniture placement is awkward with a fireplace on one wall, tv on the other, and needing walking paths to the upstairs, basement and kitchen. The only things that have to stay are the pictures and mirror at the entry. Any ideas for products and placement are greatly appreciated!!



Sofa near window
Two sofas with cocktail table


Dear Timi,

Thank you for your Decorating Dilemma. We love your open living space and are confident that we can help you update some of the pieces in your room to make it a more cohesive area. Starting with a clean slate allows us the opportunity to add whatever we like and re-design the layout. Here are some photos of what we recommend you use.

Let’s begin from the ground up, perhaps a neutral rug like our Chunky Sisal Rug  in natural would break up the color of the hardwoods and be both comfortable and practical for the high -traffic area.  The Marchesa rug in an 8×10 in the main living space under the sofa would be a beautiful addition to the space and will bring color and character into the room.

Our Baldwin 3-Piece Corner Loveseat Sectional will replace your current sofa. We recommend the Trilby Basketweave in Natural, which will allow the space to seem brighter and adds a good amount of texture while remaining neutral. The Durham nesting tables as well as the Durham Cocktail Table are the perfect accent to the sofa and will allow plenty of flexible space for setting drinks, books, remotes etc. As storage on either side of your mounted television, we have chosen the Sonoma Bookcase with oak shelves. Unfortunately we don’t have the dimensions from the window to the television, so these may not fit, but they would be a great solution if the measurements work out. This will allow plenty of storage as a home for all of your additional accessories.  Our Chateau Betton Clock would be a great replacement for the artwork to the right of the television will be the perfect location to view from multiple areas

To add more seating to the space, we recommend using two of the Leyland armless chairs behind the sofa near the fireplace as reading/lounging nook. We chose the Bradley Stripe in sand on the Leylands as the perfect fabric to bring some interest and tie in the color of the Marchesa rug. The Olivia Side Table between the two Leyland armless chairs is the perfect spot to place a lamp and or books/magazines etc.  The Ellis Glass Table Lamp in Amber is a great lighting fixture for the space.  We also recommend using the Garden District mirrors in the whitewash finish flanking the fireplace. We also recommend accessorizing your fireplace with our Chateau Candle Lanterns and our Wooden Pruvost sign above the mantle.

Although your space may seem tricky, you’ve done a great job laying out the furniture and taking into consideration the traffic pattern, windows, doors, etc. Please let us know what you think, and don’t forget to send some pictures when you complete your look!

Happy Decorating!

Decorating solution for Timi's Awkwardly Shaped Living Room

Do you have a decorating dilemma? Send us your own questions here.



How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Donna Karlan

    January 24, 2015

    I am wanting to purchase the larger wooden “Pruvost” sign. It is no longer offered in your last two mailings. Is it still available for purchase? (Crossing fingers…hope, hope, hope!) now that I’m prepared to buy it I’m not sure how to order it. I’m happy to see it still exists in several of your decorating pictures. Please let me know. Thanks!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      January 26, 2015

      Hi Donna,
      Yes, it certainly is still available! You can purchase it here. We’re thrilled to hear you like it.
      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  2. Reply


    March 20, 2014

    Ha, don’t bother Laura, you have a better chance of winning the $100 million lottery than having them answer you decorating questions. I tried last year without success and thought oh well I’ll try again, maybe my first fell through the cracks. Nothing again this year.

    • Reply

      How to Decorate Team

      March 27, 2014

      Hi Cathy!

      I’m so sorry you didn’t get the answer you needed to your decorating question. We do our best to answer every single question that gets submitted using our Decorating Dilemmas form. Our Design Services team does their best to address all of your decorating needs, so we’re disappointed to hear that you didn’t get the service you were hoping for.

      If you try once more, I can promise we’ll address your dilemma. Please submit your question here.

      The How to Decorate Team

  3. Reply


    March 19, 2014

    What an awesome post…you guys were so thorough and on target with the dilemma she had. You guys are so talented and did such a great job on the recommendation. I think I need to send you my decorating dilemmas…I would love your expertise in my home!

    • Reply


      May 5, 2014

      Thanks Laura! I think they did a great job too!! I was excited to get their help! They responded and kept me in the loop while they worked the design!