no.9 – the switch

Continuing the countdown of my 10 most popular posts today we have…in position number nine – The Switch – Living and Dining room. This post generated 74 comments! In case you’re wondering, we have kept this layout since we made the change over a year ago. There are moments when I think about switching it back again but I think it would require new furniture so for now it stays. (I did however sell that bright orange and green rug.)

Right before Christmas, I mentioned that we switched our living room and dining room. While the thought has been in my head for awhile I always hesitated because it meant losing our white oak credenza on the main floor. It might seem hard to believe but the only wall it fit on downstairs was the one it was on. After some measuring and some cajoling, I convinced my husband that it was time to try the switch and move the credenza upstairs.

The front room of our house is a very awkward space to put furniture in. With two doorways, a cast iron radiator, a bay window, a fireplace and a maximum width of about 12 feet across creating a comfortable seating area is difficult. It’s fine when there are only 2-3 people there but once you add any more guests it becomes difficult to communicate.

Luckily, the sofa I bought when we moved functions as both a sectional and as two separate seating areas. I always thought it would work well against the long wall in the dining room with one or two of our Bertoia wire chairs facing it. I’ve also always loved the idea of having a dining room that also functions as a library or study. I could easily imagine lining all the walls of our front room with bookshelves and really making using of all the vertical height would have. (Not to mention that it would be nice to finally get all of our books out of the basement.) If we decide that we really like these two rooms this way than I’ll think seriously about getting some bookshelves put in.

To date the change has worked really well for us. There is definitely more circulation space between the two rooms which makes life a little easier. I also really like collapsing on the sectional with the whole family at the end of the day. It’s a little more informal and relaxed than our old set up. I’ve also added a bit more colour to the living room through some new pillows and a flokati like rug (from the lovely Mrs. Huizenga). I originally bought the new rug for Henry’s new room (it might still end up there) but threw it down when I bought it home and it hasn’t moved since.

What do you think of the switch? How about the splash of colour I’ve added to the living room?

Filed under house projects


  1. Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Holy doodle, is that a Tony Scherman painting in your living room? I love his work! I really like seeing a large scale painting in a smaller room, very impactful.

  2. Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    It’s a great space and lovely use of color. Well done!

  3. Chrislie
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    This was definitely one of my favourite posts. Love the switch!
    Are you still considering lining the front room with bookshelves?

    (P.S. love your blog!)

  4. Posted August 14, 2013 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    love the switch, the post, and the blog! where is your sofa from? and how does it hold up to family ivin

  5. Posted August 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    love the switch, the post, and the blog! where is your sofa from? and how does it hold up to family living?

  6. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    @m.a.tateishi – good eye, it is a tony scherman. And I agree it does make that room!

  7. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    @chrislie – I would love to line the front room with bookshelves. However, I want to do it correctly and beautifully so waiting for when we have the money to do it.

  8. Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    @Shruti – Thanks for your kind words. Our sofa is by Canadian furniture makers – Bensen. The upholstery is in need of a really good clean but the structure is excellent. The cushions and seats are as good as the day we bought them. The nice thing about this line is that you can buy replacement upholstery fairly inexpensively. (It would cost abut $1600-$2400 depending on the quality of fabric to redo our sectional) They just velcro on!

  9. Susan B.
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

    You have a beautiful home.

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