Friday, 18 February 2011

Permit for the balcony; living room furniture layout

We got a call this morning from our real estate lawyer.  He told us that ISD has approved our plan to increase the depth of the balcony by 8 inches and that the permit is ready for pickup at the city.  Hooray!  That gives us a width of just under 15 feet and a depth of 32 inches, enough for a teeny tiny bistro table, should we so desire.  Needless to say, we immediately phoned our ironworker and told him the news so he can get to work building the balcony at long last.

Yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours making living room furniture-sized blobs out of taped together sheets of newspaper.   I replicated the footprints of our couch, armchair, ottoman, dining room table (unextended).  I also made 3 extra armchair-sized forms and a loveseat-sized one.  The purpose of this flurry of activity is to be able to decide where to tell the electrician to run wires for the chandeliers.

This morning at the building I laid out all the cut-outs in the living room (had to move the chimney flue guy's pipes...I think/hope they're putting in the flue as I write this).  The good news is that there seems to be plenty of space for a good amount of comfy (non-impromptu) seating.  Witness the results.  The first photo was taken from the staircase landing:

 Above is the view from the balcony door.  Below, the view from the funky triangular corner at the front of the building, where the grand piano is going to be.

Lastly, two views from the dining area:

I quite like what I've laid out, but there are a few things to tinker with.  One is the idea of ditching the loveseat in favor of another small three-seater.  We have the room for the bigger piece and I've never been a fan of love seats.  They feel neither here nor there: too small to stretch out on and too big/uncozy to hog all to yourself.  While the symmetry of the space is probably best with a loveseat, given my long-standing convictions, I worry that I might come to resent its presence.  By far the biggest problem I can see with getting a second small sofa is that no one is ever, even remotely going to be as handsome as my dear wonderful Mr. Smith.  Finding him was a once-in-a-lifetime event: I'm very pessimistic about it happening again.  If we do away with the loveseat, but despair of finding a worthy companion for Mr. Smith, another option is two more armchairs, probably placed side by side, or otherwise on the diagonal, mirroring the pair with their backs to the dining room/stairs.  I worry that it's too many armchairs, though, and would feel unfriendly: too broken-up with each guest in their own little bubble.  I'll be giving the seating arrangement some thought.

Of course, there are no tables of any kind shown, but there's room to add some.  We do need to pick up some side tables, of which I'd like one to actually be a nest of three, so I can expand them when I need a place to deposit my ever-present revolving pile of current magazines.  I'd also like some side tables that can double as seating in a pinch.

In addition to side tables, it would be great to have a place for a table where we can set up a permanent bar, with pretty glassware, decanters of whiskey and Port, an ice bucket, etc.  There are three places that might be able to accommodate a bar table: immediately behind the sofa, on the wall behind the loveseat and in front of the window that's next to the dining room table.  I have a gorgeous table that I brought back from London with me and I'm thinking about putting it to this use.  I wish it had a lower shelf, but it's a fairly good size otherwise, so it might do the trick.  Unfortunately it's in storage so I'd be guessing its measurements from memory.

The other piece of furniture that I'm considering putting in the space is a desk for my boyfriend to work at.  Part of me wants it there so he can have a place nearby for his work papers.  (Plus, without a designated place, they're sure to take up residence in non-designated places.)  Another part of me wants to relegate it all to the the guest bedroom/exercise room because it's always so untidy.  I think the trick is finding just the right piece: something almost in the vein of a secretary desk or a roll-top desk so it can be closed to hide the clutter.  It would need to be quite small but not so small that it feels cramped because then he won't use it.  Plus, of course, its got to look sufficiently manly if it's going to entice him.  I'll be keeping my eyes open over the next couple of months.

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