Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Amanda is having another Decorating Dilemma Party and boy do I have a dilemma!  HELP!  I actually have two dilemmas today.  I hope that's okay. 

Hubby and I got a great deal on a flat screen TV a few months ago.  We wanted to put it on the mantle for several reasons so that's where it went.  My couch and loveseat are "floating" and facing the fireplace/mantle.  I like the room this way, but what I don't like is that when you walk in my front door, you see the back of my loveseat.  I HATE the view from the front door.  Check it out!

How HORRIBLE is that open blank space with nothing to see, but the back of my loveseat???  YUCK!  It's probably over 6 feet of nothing right there.  Hubby thinks we need to leave it open - probably because until recently, we had overflow crap just sitting there and he's finally glad it's gone.  He says adding furniture there would look to crosded because of the hall tree.  I totally DISAGREE!  I would love to have a buffet table, sofa table or even an antique church pew like my sister-in-law's.  Who's right?  What do y'all think this space needs?  Is there someway y'all can think of to disguise or at least draw attention away from the back of my loveseat?  I thought about putting something directly behind it, but since it's a recliner, I'm not sure.  Maybe something directly across from my hall tree there on the left?

#2 PROBLEM:  My Mantle

As you can see in the above picture, my TV AND the durn DishNetwork box are on the mantle.  I know technically, the TV probably shouldn't be on the mantle, but in this case, it's function over fashion or decorating or whatever.  Anyway, any ideas how to disguise that ugly box?  I thought about just covering a canvas with some fabric or some painted canvvas or something.  any other ideas? 

I do realize we still haven't hidden the wires that are dangling from the mantle.  I will get to it.  I promise.  Eventually.  One of these days.  It's on my Honey Do List!.  And please excust the tray table with the computer on it by the back door.  I brought it in from the bedroom and had to put it somewhere just for a little while.

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Run over to Amanda's and post your Decorating Dilemma.  Nothing like a little free advice!


  1. Sorry, you're only allowed to have 1 Dilemma a month. ;) ;) Kidding!

    I wonder if a new rug or runner would help you feel like some of that empty space is being used? Sometimes I feel like I need to use every bit of space, and I also wonder if maybe it's okay to have a little open space too.

    Could you maybe go antiquing and find a neat crate or a few vintage suitcases to stack behind that chair? Not for clutter, but to store magazines or throw blankets.

    I'm not much help in the TV department. We don't have a fireplace, a mantel, or a flat screen downstairs. :( I like your idea of using a canvas. Are the wires long enough that you could run them down the side of the fireplace or disguise them somehow and "hide" the box in another piece of furniture?

    Thanks so much for linking up and also for the Happy Birthday wishes. :)

  2. what about turning the loveseat so it's not angled and putting a sofa table or something behind it...or one could even go along the wall! The great thing about a sofa table is they aren't very deep, so it wouldn't take a ton of walkway space, but a fun lamp and accessories would make it seem more inviting and homey. just a thought! As far as the mantle goes...sorry, no ideas, I have a love hate relationship with technology...AND cords! Ok, cords, I just hate! lol!

  3. Hi! Could you put a little sofa table behind your loveseat and put some cute decorations or something welcoming on it?

    As far as the tv goes, the only thing I can think of is a big project. What is behind that wall -- it looks like blank space in the "v" area behind the fireplace. I have seen some homes around here that build a little cabinet around the tv and the doors open like a cabinet and then you can push them back into the wall behind the tv. It's probably a really intensive project, unless there is a cabinet maker somewhere who specializes in making those and can ship them to you. You would still have to have a contractor come and fix the wall behind so the doors can slide into the wall.

    I think you solution of a canvas to put in front of the tv is a much simpler and inexpensive one.

    Good luck - I can't wait to see what you do!


  4. Love the idea of a sofa table. My friend found a really great one at overstock.com. Then you could put a lamp on it that would be great for lighting over the couch, and to keep it looking "organized" you could put baskets underneath, to hold a blanket, magazines. The sofa table my friend found had a little shelf on the bottom perfect of baskets - very pottery barn. GOod luck!

  5. How about a big ol' plant behind the love seat? I'm talkin' about a big potted thing, almost like a small tree. That should hide a lot! Or else a sofa table. I so agree with you; it needs something. Sorry, I'm no help with the mantel issue. Good luck!


  6. I agree, something behind the sofa. A large plant against the wall to cover the wires would be one solution. The other maybe a plant and a wicker brown basket/small trunk. Added storage and not too 'heavy' for the space. I also like the idea of 3 stacked old suit cases. I have 2 in my living room now, still on the hunt for a 3rd one.
    As far as that ole box, if you could find a crate or basket that it would slide down into? Or maybe even custom build something out of old wood 3 sided to sit in front of it. I saw a table top covered in old rulers that looked amazing. Something like that over a plain wood would be more of a conversation piece!

  7. I agree with you that something is needed behind your sofa or on that long wall. Amanda suggested a runner and I think she's got a good idea there. I picture a narrow table in the area where you have framed pictures. It would be a cute area to decorate and a good place to drop off your keys when you come home. I also like the idea others have shared of suitcases behind your sofa. You could easily find those in a thrift store. I have no suggestions for hiding the box next to your tv. That's a tough one!

  8. Do you follow "How Does She?" One of the fine ladies over there is always doing things with blocks of wood. You could make a couple of the 3 sided boxes for the Dish box (that were mentioned in an earlier post) and use scrapbook paper to cover them and decorate them for seasons and such. I know it sounds lame, but if you saw what they've done at http://www.howdoesshe.com/ you would be a believer. Check it out!

  9. I agree with you and everyone else - a sofa table is a great idea! Or a low bookcase or dresser...

    But, I'm also wondering if you could maybe extend the photo grouping you have right now (its hard to see in the photo) - maybe bring it closer to the sofa or lower to the ground? That might help to fill in the space somewhat.

  10. I think you need something round behind the loveseat- a tree in a round pot would be my first choice, or maybe a small round table. It would fit right in the little triangle you have from angling the loveseat (and I can see why you want to angle the loveseat.) It would also be different in shape from the hall tree and seem less crowded.

    As far as that darn box- can you get a longer cord and put it down off the mantle? If not, you gotta get some pretty stuff to camouflage it- a plant, a frame, some cute little stuff to look at, instead of it.

  11. You said the loveseat is a recliner, right? So a table right behind it probably won't work. I wonder if you could fit a LONG, narrow table along the right wall as you enter. It could disguise the cords by the loveseat and be a place to store your keys, etc. upon entry (in cute containers, of course). Maybe it could house a lamp too. Depending on what you find at local stores you may have to make the table. Are you or your husband handy? Show us what you end up doing! ~ April, afpinteriors.com

  12. What about a planter of some kind behind the sofa? Low enough or spaced out enough so you can still recline, but adds a little warmth.

    And area rug in front of the bench, or a runner down the space would also help! And maybe a shelf under the frames with a bud vase of plant, and an accessory or two?

    Not sure what to suggest about the cable box... I'd be putting it on the floor and just ignoring it! *lol*

  13. I like the way you have your furniture floated in the room. Okay, my first thought is...is the back of the other sofa prettier than the loveseat? If space allows you could switch them.

    I don't think a piece of furniture behind the love seat would make it too crowded. I would do something "un-chunky" (love my spazzy English this morning!) Maybe an iron console with a glass top? OR, you could do a trio of potted live plants there. And I liked Amanda's idea of a rug in the entry way near the bench. That may just do the trick without adding anything behind the loveseat.

    Dilemma 2 - Mantle. We have the exact same situation in our family room. Plasma hangs over the mantle in all its glory and we have a subwoofer thingie (big black box) that sits on the mantle right smack dab in the middle! I've thought about the fabric thing and actually got that suggestion from another blogger. Apparently there is acoustic fabric you can get, so covering the box doesn't distort the sound (because the "sound" experience is so important to these men of ours!) but I haven't researched it yet. For now, I just embrace the black box and decorate on either side of it. It probably looks ridiculous, but oh well....

    Hey, my link is not showing up on Amanda's party (I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong!) but I would love your thoughts on my kitchen. Check it out at www.finesseyournest.blogspot.com


  14. I love the idea of a plant!!
    And what about getting a big wicker basket and putting the dish network thing IN IT. You could cut holes in the back for the wires to run in and out. Cute and hides everything!

  15. Okay. Don't hate me for this...but what if you put the TV on the wall to the right of the fireplace, then took everything and squared it towards the TV. I think that would help a lot.

  16. I vote for sofa table with lovely vignette...a plant, some obelisks, a lamp to add height...one with a bottom shelf would be ideal, you could add some baskets (extra storage!) or books....great potential here. Wish I could see the rest of the room--the fireplace is great!

  17. You're right, I think! Your room would look nicer with something behind the sofa. Perhaps a small sofa table would be good, as long as it didn't interfere with the reclining action of the loveseat. You could put a lamp on the end closest to the wall, since there is apparently an electrical outlet over there. A plant would be lovely under the lamp, and the lamplight would keep the plant healthy. Then you could add some family photos, a piece of pottery, etc. to round out the vignette. If you keep it simple, your husband should like the look, I would think!

    If a sofa table won't work behind the sofa, perhaps you could try something like a tall plant in the corner with something low beside it--a couple of pretty baskets, perhaps? I would think that the plant could be placed right by the wall where perhaps it wouldn't interfere with the recliner, and then some low pieces wouldn't impede the recliner either

    Good luck!

  18. I'm being redundant here, but I think everybody has great ideas. A runner would draw you in and look inviting. I really like the idea of a potted plant on the wall side behind the loveseat (I think a palm would be nice). And then create a little vignette with the plant of baskets, suitcases, a low trunk, whatever.
    The mantel is trickier. Angie's idea of a basket to put the box in is good, especially if you could balance it on the other side of the tv. Or, are the cords long enough that you could put a basket or something on the hearth and the box could go in that?

  19. I think a sofa table or entry way table would look great. but if you both don't agree...here's a compromise...yes, a compromise. Get a few beautiful potted house plants, a tall one a couple medium size and a small one---make a mini house garden for your entry. it won't take much space and it will make for a beautiful entrance.

    For your other dilemma...see that small space between your door and the fireplace---get your man to build some open shelves. Have you man put the wires in the wall and cover the shelves with fabric. Everyone has to have a place for gadgets.

  20. A rug in the bare area would look much more cozy. :-) And I do think a narrow table along the right wall would be nice. :-)

  21. Hmmm, I really like having the sofa face the fireplace in theory, but here maybe it would be better to have the sofa and love on a right angle so you can put a sofa table behind the love seat. Or- I haven't seen the rest of this room, if you leave the sofa where it is, is there room to put the love on the other side of the sofa?

    For the entry, I like the idea of some kind on furniture piece under the photo grouping you have across from the hall tree, you'd just have to make sure it's not too deep. Recently the ikea website had a photo of an entryway on its opening page (it's not there now- just checked) where they used the hemnes shoe cabinet as a console table. It worked great because it's only like 8 inches deep!

  22. Okay. Y'all are so smart! I never even thought about a rug! DUH!!!! As for changing the furniture to the other side of the room, there isn't room. If the loveseat is flush against the wall, you can't see the TV or recline. Y'all have offered some great suggestions. Time to hit the garage sales and flea markets and see what I can find. I might have to check with Hubby on the plants because I kill every plant I come in contact with.

    Thanks everyone for your input!!

  23. I love the color of your living room. I think instead of a sofa table, maybe do a small wooden chair with a basket or small table beside it. Because of the angle, a long table might look strange, but a chair could fit into the smaller space well!

  24. Hey girl! I agree with what others have said, and don't know why I haven't done it myself. I actually think one of those cube bookcases would be cute, the ones that are just squares put together? I know I've seen one at Target. As long as it's the same height or lower than the couch.

    I haven't heard that about the DISH remote thing. I was hoping we could make all of ours wireless and put it hidden in the media closet, but I'm not so sure that will work anymore :( Wish I had better ideas for you!

  25. What about a sofa table behind the couch with some decorative things and a lamp. What if you cut a hole in the wall and recessed that little box, then cover it up with something like a picture frame? Hiding ugly but necessary electronics and their wires is very difficult, good luck.

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