Monday, June 14, 2010

Totally Confused

Hope you have all enjoyed the weekend and are having a great start to the week. Our weekend was a lovely one which saw us order our new carpet, enjoy a lovely breakfast at Beaches Cafe in East Fremantle followed by a wander around the E Shed Markets and then potter around the house.

The gas heater man has just been to assess our living room space and totally upended what we had envisaged. It looks like the inbuilt log-fire look gas heater I had my heart set on (in a style similar to this one) is not possible unless we build out and re-plaster the section of wall where our heater is currently situated by another 300mm. My worry with this is that it will make the space appear smaller (although some low line cabinets on either side could look nice).

His only other suggestion was to put a free standing gas heater (a pot belly style looking one) in the corner where the television is. This would mean relocating the TV and at the moment, I like the fact that it is hidden from view when you first enter the living room. I don't really want a huge screen to be the first thing your eye is drawn to in this area.

It's quite ironic that we now need to rethink this space, as only last week Paul and I were discussing how we need a new lighter coloured rug and should get rid of the big coffee table so Grace would have a space to sprawl out with all her toys. Now, this unexpected heater dilema has meant we will definitely have to reconsider our living area.

I am so confused now and think I need to spend a bit of time picturing different options and thinking about how things can be changed around in our living room. I would really appreciate any of your suggestions for re-working this room as I know you all have such great decorating ideas and will think of some different options to me. Please let me know what you would do if this were your space even if it means new cabinetry or a new wall (keeping in mind the couches, television and speakers must stay in the room)...


  1. When we built in our wood heater we had to build a big cavity to make it fit in with regulations. It probably comes about 55mm - 60mm into the room which seems like a lot but it was all we could do. I must say I don't really notice it now, it fits in well and doesn't look new or added-on.
    SO....I would say DO IT!! You'll love it and it also might be a nice idea to build in some display shelves on one or both side of it. That would be great!

  2. That heater is really giving you the run-around, hey mate? Well, after having a good look at your room, I honestly think if you built out the fire recess a bit more, it would actually make a fabulous feature in the room. Our 'old brick and tiles' were built from a pretty simple design, so a feature 'fire-place' may give the room a really nice character. I do understand how valuable every little bit of space is, but you mentioned maybe changing the big coffee table, that could give you a feeling of more space I think!
    :) Flick

  3. Hi Amanda, I think the layout you have need to stay. I agree with Sarah as I don't think it would make a huge difference and look lovely. Having said all that I would also get a second opinion. Try Jetmaster ( 277 Lord St, East Perth. 6000) We are actually looking at getting a free standing one for downstairs. We have to wait and get someone to take a look at our house because it is two storey and the flu will need to go right through the house - eek!

  4. i have heard lots of good things about beaches cafe, particularly their breakfasts. must head there one perth trip i think!

    got luck with the reorganising. i reckon go the inbuilt fire/gas heater job with the low line cabinets, will look very nice. could even get a build in one around the corner where the tv goes so it is a corner shaped one with a space to put the tv.

  5. Oh bummer Amanda! I really like the layout you've got going at the moment. I think you might not notice the extra 300mm that much and inbuilt cabinets either side and pretty mantel could look beaaaaauuuutiful! You could have cupboards then open shelves above on either side and would be great storage etc and a beautiful feature.

    I you can work it all out, big decision, whatever you decide will be great though.

  6. Hi Amanda,
    My suggestion is to build out the wall to house the new heater with the low line cupboards either side plus I would wall mount your flat screen tv - possibly over the heater, as this would free up your corner quite alot. If you don't like the idea of the tv being so prominent, what about wall mounted on the other wall near where it is in the corner. Wall mounted has greater safety plus doesn't take up the valuable floor space. Good luck with your designing - will look forward to seeing your progress.
    Best regards, Christine.

    P.S Thanks for the tip of the breakfast venue - we are loving venturing out on weekends here in Perth. xo

  7. I think you should go for the built in log fire look (don't worry about the renovations - minor really). It will make a nice feature! Exciting news about the carpet! Kylie xx

  8. Oh lots to think about Honey...especially when its a permanent thing. But I think you and hubby are on the right track of thinking. I wont baffle on..and will give you my opinion in point the hope it makes sense.

    Fireplace - Definitely go with option one !! - stick with the existing location of the gas heater. Although it may be a bit of a job to build out that wall an extra 300m..I think it will be time and money well spent..and I dont think it will make the space look or feel any smaller...and will be a beautiful feature in that room...and your idea of cabinets on either side..PERFECT...I would have a built in bookcase on either side consisting of 2-3 deep drawers on the bottom half and shelving at the top to display your books and lovelies...and the whole thing painted in white to really lift the room.

    The coffee table - Yes, agreed ..should probably go..we got rid of ours for Jacq also..and it just makes it that much more spacious for him to play
    (even though the rug is covered in toys half the time)..and you can still sit and watch them play..and also makes the room feel alot bigger. I think the coffee table it too solid and heavy a piece for that room. If you did want to put one back there down the track I would go for something smaller and less bulky.

    Rug - Agreed...something lighter will definitely lift that space..I think something beige with a design through it to add contrast and dimension would be all you need (perhaps even a sea grass rug for texture and durability..especially with little ones and they look really earthy and cosy in a room. Going too light in colour with a rug will be a nightmare whilst Grace is growing up..especially if that area turns into a play area for this stage anyway.

    If you are wanting to lift that area as there are alot of brown tones at the moment...I would do that with soft furnishings...lighter cushions, artwork..throw rugs...even paint the tv unit and bookshelf white..if you feel a bit daring?

    Hope some of these suggestions help...sorry if it sounds to " know it all"..gosh I hope not...just want to be honest in my opinion.

    You have a good eye for these things hon...and I know you will make it work and go with what will not only work best in that room..but with your family you know how what that space gets used for most..and best. XO

  9. Hi Amanda, sounds like you had a lovely weekend out and about. What a pity about your heater, it's so frustrating when these things die. I like the sound of the heater you were originally thinking about, even if it takes up a little more space it looks to me like your tv is in the best spot. Sometimes it's good to make a scale drawing of your room and cutting out the furniture and moving them around to see how it all works. But a new coffee table could open the space a little more too...

  10. I'm a sucker for a fireplace with bookcases on either side... so homey and such a nice feature for the room. I agree with all and sundry above. If you didn't haven't little Grace, I would suggest a natural fibre rug... but too scratchy. Could you bear to put your coffee table outside, under cover on your porch? I can see it with lovely greenery on it and a stack of coffee table books, up against a wall somewhere? That's where all my 'expelled furniture' ends up... outside.... decorated in a 'rural/ outsidey' kinda way! A-M xx

  11. I have heard about drawing out your room and I think Catherine is onto something! I bet playing with it on paper would be better than trying it out first hand! I did that quite a few times and thought I may lose some friends and a hubby as I kept changing my mind. I say go for building it out. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

  12. Hi Amanda ... this is the first time I have posted. Just an idea ... can you put your TV mounted on the opposite wall (the last photo shows you have your couch against this wall. Move that couch over to the side the TV is; your other couch can probably stay where it is or be slid over a bit closer to the wall and then get the fireheater you want. I think that would open the room up a lot and give you a feeling of more space. I wouldn't go with the pot belly style ... I think they look a bit tacky. The other option is to forget the heater idea and get a reverse cycle airconditioning ... my other half is an electrician and he tells me it is the cheapest form of heating around (even cheaper than a wood fire). However, nothing can recreate the mood and ambiance of a fireplace. Good luck with your decision.

  13. If I am ever stuck with what to do with my interiors I always just sit on it for awhile. Live in the space, get a real feel for it, and then something will come.

  14. Amanda, think of it as an opportunity to have a mantel to put things on, like pics of Grace. Get a piece of cardboard or paper, or something the size of the intrusion into the room, put it on the floor and see how you could live with it. Think of it positively, at least you don't have to partly demolish a darn chimney to get the heater you want.


  15. Totally agree with most of the comments of building the fireplace out & build cabinets on either side of it. It would look beautiful (probably very costly to have custom built though). Continue a cabinet around the wall and mount the TV on the wall just around from where it is now. It would give you tonnes of storage space. Take out the large coffee table, to open the space, which we did, but hubby complains sometimes "where do I sit my coffee cup ?" My response " Just hold it honey"
    Karyn x

  16. I just noticed you may not see the TV from one of the couches if it is flat on the wall, I think you can get them on a arm that turns out a little if you need it to.

  17. Hi Amanda
    I like the idea of the built in heating unit and the shelving/cupboard units either side. If you like the layout you have now I would stick with it. Keep looking on the net at living room layouts and you might find some more inspiration. Good luck.
    Donna xx

  18. Ooh just catching up on all your posts! I'd go with the extended version of the heating unit with shelves either side.

    You could have little door cupboards at the foot of the shelves and put an arch over the top (if you like the Georgian look?) of the shelves with wall lights perhaps coming through from the wall over the top shelf and under the arch...hope that makes sense!

    If this was my room I might consider bringing in bit more light by painting the walls white and bringing in a few bright colours! :-)

    Can't wait to see what you decide!


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