Archives For multi purpose room

Sarah’s Townhouse Living Space

Jennifer —  February 22, 2012 — 2 Comments

I was way humbled and really excited when I opened up my email and saw another reader ask for my help. I am not a professional but I like to problem solve so I love getting these projects. Sarah sent me pictures of her townhouse and asked for my thoughts. She and her family needed a lot of this space and wanted some advice on how to do it. She lives in a similar area to me where the only thing you have accessible is the big box store like Target. Here are the pictures that she sent me of her townhouse.



Here are the needs she wanted in her space:

  • Storage – They don’t have kids yet but they want to so they want to not only have storage for their stuff but also potential toy storage
  • People Friendly – They like to entertain so making a place where more than five people can sit and have fun.
  • Dog Friendly – Did you see that cute pup that showed up in a few of the pictures?  They wanted their space to be dog friendly and maybe even have a little space for the dog.
  • Functional – Sarah’s townhouse is a great space with a big area and a little nook.   She wanted to maximize the funtion of the room to the fullest potential.

Her Dream:  A built-in bookcase wall.  When she emailed me she had about given up on that dream.  I place that burden on my shoulders on how to figure out how to make it happen.  I like a good challenge!

Their style:  I will let you read what she emailed me:

My husband and I recently purchased or first town home. While I love the newness it lacks style being builder grade EVERYTHING! We have a hodge-podge of furniture from hand me downs and thrift stores. I would like to start to create a more cohesive look and define our style. Which I feel like is modern eclectic…… We def need some color in our life….  As far as colors I am really pretty open. I tend to like more base tones with punches of color through accent pillows and decor. Not a fan of yellow or green. I think that is due to our hunter green leather couch that has been haunting us for yeeeeeaaaars. I like the mixture of patterns you use. Just like you did in Kristin’s. Bird/ floral with modern patterns really strike me….  I really would like the place to be great for entertaining and have a cozy vibe. This year we have hosted quite a few family events but don’t really have proper seating or set up for it.  It has to be kid/pet friendly easy to wipe down or vac up the pet hair. Storage would be crucial. My husband has books, books, and more books still in boxes. We are also hoping for a baby in the near future. So I would like to be able to have some sort of storage to have toys and essential down stairs, but also be able to put them out of sight when wanted. I dream of floor to ceiling built in bookshelves….

Sarah told me that they had already painted the walls Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige. (which I included in the background of the moodboard below) It is a great neutral color with some gray tones.  I knew she wanted color so I had to add lots of color in the items I suggested for the room.  She is also a DIYer which means I could get creative and give her some ideas to make some of the things happen in the moodboard from thrift stores.  She revamped an old mirror to a chalkboard and recovered a chair.  Check out this rocking chair she rehabbed.

I spent some time mapping out a floor plan on    Floorplanner is great because I got to move furniture around while sitting on my couch.  No sweat off my back!  I will be honest, I moved five different couch options around 4-5 times before I came to my favorite option.  Here is a picture of Sarah’s living room one more time:

Here is the layout I came up with based on Sarah’s actual room dimensions:

Here are the reasons I settled on this plan:

  • I liked this plan because you could seat 16 people.  Here is how:
    • 6 (or more) on the sectional
    • 4 on the stools
    • 4 at the table
    • 2 in the nook area (rocking chair and desk chair)
  • I also liked this plan because it included a desk area and reading nook surrounded by Sarah’s dream…built-ins.  I think she and I have similiar husbands…men with a love for reading who came into marriage with boxes of books.  I found a place for the Hubs “ours” here.
  •  I liked this layout because you could see the t.v. from all areas of the living room, dining room, built-in nook, and kitchen.  The maker of the snacks shouldn’t miss the Superbowl at a Superbowl party right?  Or the popcorn popper on movie night can now pop some corn without having to hit pause.
  • Finally, I liked this layout because it gave this multi-purpose room an open feeling yet still defined 3 distinct spaces.

On floorplanner you can look at your space in 3D.  I use the free version of floorplanner so there is a wide variety of options but sometimes not the specific options for furniture/things I want to place in the room.   I have to use a similiar object as a “fill-in”.  (Hence the ottoman next to the desk the same size as a storage basket found online.)  Here are the 3D views of the room:




Now it was time to come up with stuff to make that floor plan happen.  When I did Kristin’s moodboard I had a palette of colors based on some fabric she had picked.  With Sarah, my only direction was no greens or yellows.  My inspiration became her rocking chair.  It was wood with white and grey.  This would be reflected in the furniture.   I figured a mix of wood and white would give an eclectic, “collected” feel.   The modern element would be mixed in with color, pattern, and furniture lines.   I decided to go with different shades of blue, and a pop of color in red.   Here is the moodboard for the living space:

For Source List Click Here

Here is the moodboard for the dining space:

For Source List Click Here

Here is the moodboard for the built-In nook:

For Source List Click Here

For all the sources of the products, DIY options, and resources to DIY some built-ins I came up with, check out this explanation I sent to Sarah.

This was really fun for me so if any of you readers out there need some space ideas, I am willing to help you the best that I can.  Sarah is a DIYer so her space might take a few years.  She promised to show me her progress so you might get some updates here and there.  It will be fun to see how she puts her own spin on it.  My motto is that if my ideas can spur on yours, or if I can give you one little solution to help boost your ideas…then its worth it!   I can try my best to capture her style but no one will finish it to be exactly her style like her!


Thanks for reading,


If you liked this post check out these:

Tiny Nursery

Small Laundry

Kristin's House


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