family room furniture shuffle

by | Mar 20, 2016 | All Things Home, Decorating, Family Room, My House | 62 comments

This seems to happen every year.  I’m acquiring furniture and antiques to sell at the Lucketts Spring Market and the desire to change things up in my own home starts to brew.  Since I moved my business from my house to the studio, the furniture rearranging has really slowed down.  A lot.  It used to be a weekly occurrence, but it’s now a few times a year.  It’s not as easy to “try things on” as it used to be and I find that I get the “furniture shuffling bug” out of my system at the studio.

Jeff and my oldest son, Marshall, were sick this weekend, so my parents took Calvin, our youngest, to an Easter egg hunt and out to lunch to get him out of the house.  I was stuck inside, though, holding puke pots, administering medicine, taking temperatures and sanitizing everything the sick boys looked at.

When I wasn’t playing nurse, I got the itch to scoot things around in the family room.  It was impulsive, but I had been thinking about it for a while.

The family room and the master bedroom have been the most challenging for me.  Both rooms are long and narrow and tricky!  The family room has the added issue of traffic paths and lots of windows and doors.  There just aren’t many options for furniture placement and I’ve never been 100% in love with this room.

I spent some time looking at family/living rooms I pinned for inspiration on Pinterest.  I just sat quietly in the room and tried to look at it from a fresh perspective.

I already made the decision to sell the caned daybed (details at the bottom of this post) and we took it over to the studio last week.  Although it’s pretty comfy (with a full feather cushion), we don’t sit on it very often, so it really was just a big decorative item.  I figured I might as well sell it and bring the Ikea Ektorp sofa in from the studio.  It will be more comfortable, practical seating, which I’m seeing a need for when our family of four cuddles on the sofa for movie night.

And they are only going to get bigger!

 I originally put the Ikea sofa under the window where the daybed was, but I decided to pull it out into the room, to make an “L” shape with the leather Pottery Barn sofa…

At first, I hated it.  I felt like it was too big and it cut the room up, but I’ve learned to leave things for a while before I make a judgement.  Marshall was curled on the sofa watching a movie as this was going on.  “Mommy’s just moving some furniture around for a bit, buddy.  Okay?”


I swapped around the end tables and nudged the sofas around until I felt like they lined up well.  The longer I left it that way, the more I walked around the room and viewed it from different angles, the more I liked it.

It looked comfy, cozy and more inviting and the fact that the sofa divided the long, narrow room was a good thing.

I originally thought the sofa entirely displaced the wing chairs, which I really want to keep, but one of them works well to the right of the TV…

I put the other one in the corner behind the sofa, with an ottoman.  I’m not sold on keeping it there, but I’ll give it a try for a little while.  I like the way it makes a little reading nook out of that area.  (Obviously, I need to move those plates, but I’m still trying things out at this stage.)

I am most likely going to take that large basket to sell at Lucketts and will add a sofa table behind the Ikea sofa.  I have a small bench that I think will work well for a side table on the right of the leather sofa and I’d like to swap out the French provincial buffet that’s under the TV with this smaller marble-topped dresser…

We really don’t need a piece as wide as the buffet we’re currently using under the TV.  The dresser will fit better and still provide plenty of storage.  I’m going to paint and sell the buffet at Lucketts, so it’s a win-win.

The French caned daybed doesn’t fit perfectly into my Farmhouse White theme, so it is for sale now, if you’re local (or willing to pick it up) and interested.  The caning is in perfect condition and it’s upholstered in a blue & white woven cotton check.  It’s been in our family room for a few years, so there are a few small spots on the cushion, but it is removable (with an envelope closure) and washable.  As I said, we rarely sat on it, so it’s in nice condition.


Oh, and this is the piece that was in the table of contents in Country Living!  It’s priced at $280.  E-mail me at with questions or to let me know if you’d like to buy it.

I’ll also be selling the pair of green velvet chairs and a few other things from my house.

I’ll share more on this room as it develops!

When Calvin got home from time with my parents, he ran right over to the Ikea sofa and sat on it.

“Oh, Mommy!  Is this how our for-real house going to look now?”

He’s so used to us moving things around for photo shoots, that he had to ask.

“Yes.  This is how our for-real house is going to look now.”


  1. christina

    Hello! I would like it! I emailed you:)

  2. Bess in VA

    I’m in the market for an overhead fan and like the one in your family room. Can you give me the source? Also, I never noticed the cane sofa was not painted white. What was your reason for the decision? THANKS.

    • marian

      It’s a Harbor Breeze fan. It was in the house when we bought it, but I imagine it came from Lowe’s. The man we bought the house from worked at Lowe’s, so everything in the addition was circa 2000 Lowe’s!

    • marian

      Oh! And as far as the daybed…it’s a pretty wood frame, but the main reason I didn’t paint it is that the caning is double-ply with about an inch between the two layers. It would be really hard to paint it and have it look good.

  3. Betsy

    I love rearranging furniture! Have you considered moving the leather sofa over to the other side of the tv so both sofas face each other?

    • marian

      Yep, great thought! I love that arrangement, but it won’t really work in this space, unfortunately!

  4. Tara

    What color is that on the walls? The blueish upper? I love it!

    • marian

      It’s Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore

  5. Marsha

    I like the buffet with the t v and the ironstone on the wall above– but I think the smaller piece is going to look good when it moves into that space, too. I’m sure the piece you have for sale is already in its new home. Its so pretty – who wouldn’t like it in their home? I wish I could come to Luckett’s ?

  6. Pamela @

    I really need to work on my house, it has taken a back seat to my garden and art studio for too long. It is on the small side so it shouldn’t be such a big deal but for some reason I rarely focus on it then I see someone making the most of their space and it re-inspires me to take a crack at it. I love how you transition things in and out. That fits me so well as I get tired of the same ol’ same ol’ and love fresh. Time to start watching for great pieces to make over or fix up. I am not a fan of new furniture.

  7. Jenny B.

    Love Calvin’s comment and excitement. 🙂 I struggle with our living/family room arrangement too. Lots of traffic patterns and the dreaded corner fireplace. We desperately need more seating for our family of five, but I can’t figure out how to fit it in. Too bad everyone wants to be able to see the TV at the same time. Ha. 🙂

  8. Kim

    I have one of those long narrow rooms, with weird windows and our main entrance come right on in it. No foyer, or entrance. It needs help for sure. Inspiring ! Thanks

  9. angela

    I love the chair in the corner and it would make a good reading nook.

  10. Jennifer

    Calvin’s response was so sweet! You’re lucky it looks so nice, because you’d have to keep it anyway!

  11. Sharon

    I admire your design and style. But, I have to say, too much stuff!! Less is more in my humble opinion. Too much furniture!
    Sorry, still love about 90%+ of what you create!

    • marian

      Well, it’s not finished, yet! I’m just sharing about the sofa placement, but more is going to come out of the room. 🙂

  12. jeanine

    How do you keep the sofa clean with two boys? I have an Ektorp and two boys and would love to add the white slipcover. I’m just terrified!!!!!!!


  13. Carrie Schindler Schwab

    I can’t believe you’re going to sell that large basket/trunk – those are hard to find and that looks like a really nice one with the leather straps! I’d love it – do you fancy taking another road trip up to Wisconsin? It’s really lovely in the spring time. 🙂

  14. Dianne Ploude

    We have long narrow living room & family room spaces, too, and I know how difficult it is to arrange! My best way has always been to divide the rooms with the sofas … no matter what else I try, I end up back to this. :O)

  15. Diane Christy

    Your price on the daybed is ridiculously reasonable. Lucky buyer! I have one not quite as large that I’m waiting for my upholstery guy to pick up. I did it in a distressed French grey and am adding a grey/cream windowpane check that’s over-embroidered with delicate vines and leaves. Adorable.

    I live in Montgomery, Alabama and am keeping my fingers crossed that I get a booth at the Market on Chapel Hill in October. Here’s my FB page, Put in a good word for me!

  16. Roseann D'Elia

    WAIT!!!! I want to Buy the BUFFET UNDER THE TV!!!!!!!!! I will arrange to have it shipped to NY. PLEASE, PLEASE. I have been wanting it since you first posted it.

  17. Tracy

    Love the chair to the right of the tv. Have you thought of a love seat or chair and a half (some are quite big) in place of the ikea sofa? May give you a bit more room to move. I too have a long narrow room it isn’t easy! Hope everyone is healthy now.

    • marian

      Yes! I was actually saying that I wish the sofa was about 6″ narrower (or that the room was a couple of feet wider!) A love seat would be a good option, though, and something to consider. I’m still playing around with what I have at this point. I might end up moving it all back!

  18. teri

    it’s probably an English thing, but I’m not a fan of the ottoman. Or any American ottoman I’ve seen in real rooms. They don’t look comfy to sit on, or very useful as a coffee table. They look cluttery… (says the queen of clutter!)
    love your taste in interiors.

    • marian

      I am planning to swap out the ottoman or make a slipcover for it, since it’s looking a little grungy (hence the quilt thrown over it.) We like the ottoman, because it’s a soft place to prop our feet. We don’t use it as seating, but a way to kick back. When the boys eat something in the family room, they use trays on the ottoman and that works. Anyway, it’s always nice to hear someone else’s perspective! So, do you prefer coffee tables?

      • teri

        yes, my favourite one has a fossil marble top, and I have candles on it for cosy evenings in. ♥

  19. Barbara

    The daybed would look lovely with the white sofa if you ditched the leather one….you have transformed the room tho’ and it seems like you’re not finished yet!! Just love your styling, so imaginative.

  20. Laurie

    I don’t know if this would work in the room, not seeing 100% of it, but have you considered painting the doors to blend in with the walls in your family room? Especially the front door. What I’m thinking is that the walls would really become background to the furniture arrangement that way. As it is now, the doors jump out from the walls or look like separate elements, in photos at least. I LOVE rearranging furniture! It’s surprising what one can come up with!

    • marian

      Yeah, I have been considering repainting the doors, but I don’t know what I would paint them! I really want antique doors. 🙂 There are only three new doors in the house and the rest are old. So…I don’t know, but yes, it’s definitely a good idea!

  21. Lisa Green


    I remember about a year or so ago you wrote a post about buying a sewing machine from Sailrite. I am looking for a reliable and strong machine that can sew through multiple layers of fabric and soft leather. I make home dec products, some upholstery/slipcovers, and I’m starting to make purses. I’m really interested in the Sailrite machines but would love to hear from someone who has had one for awhile. Are you happy with yours? Have you had any problems with it? And, is there anything you would do differently if you were to purchase another machine?
    I really would appreciate your input!

    Thanks so much!


  22. Barb Watson

    I love and appreciate your creativity! You made the entire room look like a whole new place. I would be very interested in the large basket trunk. Would you let me know details on it.

  23. Ruth

    Thank you for sharing your struggles with a long, narrow, awkward-to-decorate room. My great room is like a bowling alley with a dogleg – It features a working woodstove on a brick hearth in the crook of the dogleg, flanked on either side by two sets of double sliding glass doors! Add in a staircase, a patio door, a sunroom door and a door to the entryway, and there is no wall space left to decorate, much less any cohesive design for where to put the furniture. The only thing I like about this room is the view! It helps to know that others, including professionals like you, are baffled by rooms of questionable design. Keep up the rearranging!

  24. Jean

    When I lived in Florida, I too had an awkward layout. My neighbor used to come over and move everything for me, as my daughter was 9 mos. old. (She’s 29 now, getting her Masters in June!), and when my hubby would come and find everything rearranged, he knew just had come to visit! lol

    I just adore your blue and white quilts. They are my go-to quilt colors for wedding present quilts.

    Have to go rearrange some furniture now……………….

  25. Breezy Mason

    I would so love to buy the green. Velvet chairs, if only I lived closer. But if you do make a spring trip to Wisconsin let me know coming from iron Mountain Michigan wouldn’t be a bad trip.

  26. Barb Bradford

    I still miss your blue print curtains you had. I think they were just a great pop of color for your room,

  27. Jill

    I have always loved the caned daybed. I just need to know the length.

    Thank you,

  28. Jill

    Besides the daybed, I am also very interested in the storage basket, and would like to know the dimensions, mainly the height. I should ask all the daybed dimensions, as well as the length. Thanks!

  29. Naomi S.

    Hmmn. Well, I like the little reading nook. I think a love seat would be a good idea in place of the Ektorp couch. It would just make the room look less “stuffed”, I think. I am very, very in favor of exchanging the buffet for the smaller dresser. I think the style of the buffet doesn’t really go with your other furniture so well, plus it is larger than it needs to be for the purpose it serves. I love those green chairs. They offer a bit of contrast to the other pieces and colors in the room. Maybe you could keep just one of them, but that might be too much with the white wing-back in the main area. I also think that the ottoman bench in front of the brown couch needs another color upholstery–again to offer some contrast. Could be a blue stripe or or something that repeats the color of the leather couch. Maybe a linen in a color more like you see in natural burlap fiber. Just a few observations and ideas from my perspective. So, now, would you like to come tell me what to do with my most troublesome living room? It has a wide door into the dining area, a very large bay window, a smaller doorway into the front entry-way and a door into the hallway to the bedrooms! Talk about cut-up! Arranging that room is the bane of my existence! I also have too much big furniture that I can’t part with! I feel that it’s kind of hopeless. But, then, I should have worse problems to deal with, right?

    Thanks for sharing your rearranging and changing efforts. Always good to see what others are doing and perhaps get a new perspective on your own rooms.

    • marian

      All really good thoughts!! Yep, this room isn’t quite right, yet, but it’s fun to be shuffling things around to try to get it figured out. 🙂

  30. Kathleen Harris

    Marian, I always think it’s brave when someone invites conversation about design choices that are being considered. Because you live in it, you have a perspective on your space that we can’t always see in pictures. From my perspective in viewing your pictures, I felt something was missing. It’s that “fifth wall” that is lacking somehow. Have you considered a simple-style crown molding? There’s fullness going on the bottom half of the space, but nothing drawing the eye up or around except the curtain treatments. I appreciate that it would have to be something simple, though. I love everything, but the leather sofa feels out of step with the rest of the room. However, I know it was an investment, and super durable. All of this being said, I may not have thought about it and certainly didn’t notice before~just thought your room looked great. I think I’ll go in my living area and have a sit down/think about what I need to change in there! Thanks for the inspiration to do so!

    • Anna ciaccio

      I, too, have an awkward space to decorate. We have a tiny condo with a 3 year old boy – so I’ve had to get very creative with storage and utilizing every square inch! It’s refreshing to see that you also have an Xbox one – we got one for Christmas and there is no good place for it! It has to stay well ventilated, so it just stays out (drives me crazy to look at.) ? Your space looks great – it is true, even if you don’t like it at first, it’s better to always live with it for a while before moving it back. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • marian

      Yes, I totally agree that the room looks bottom heavy right now! I would love to do faux wood beams and really cool chandeliers, but I feel like that is just too much for this house that’s in a tiny PA town. We’ve already done so much to it!

      I also agree that the leather sofa is looking out of place right now, but it is so functional and I can’t have our main sofa be slipcovered, with two boys. It was just too much washing. Sooo… I’m going to find ways to tie the brown into the rest of the space and add white to the leather sofa with pillows.

      It’s definitely still being tweaked!

  31. Donna

    Next to the sofa with the cool legs, the other couch, though white, looks heavier since it isn’t raised off the floor. What if you tried the daybed in place of the white couch? It has an airiness about it, since it has legs like the couch, and the caning and wood would blend nicely with the color of leather couch. It would also bring that beautiful buffalo check into the mix. It looks really comfy, although it’s possible that it isn’t all that comfortable, which would be a consideration. But, I think that it would look lovely.

    • marian

      Yeah, another good thought! the day bed is comfortable, but it’s low-sitting, so it would be a different heigh than then sofa and it makes it a little tricky to get in and out of. It’s really better being used in a place where you can spread out and take a nap!

  32. Hyedi johnson

    I love your collection of ironstone platters. It would give a wonderful pinch of color if you hung a few of your flow blue plates/platters with your white ones.

  33. Hyedi johnson

    I just read Kathleen Harris’s comment. That’s what I meant above, how the eye is not drawn up to the walls. A wall with flow blue plates would look niiiice!

  34. Joanne B.

    I personally don’t like the eclectic mixing of the white Ektorp and the leather PB sofa, but I’m trying to think outside my comfort zone in my old age, so I’ll go with it for now! I don’t exactly know your floor plan, but could you place the Ektorp in the opposite spot from where it is now? Right across from where it is now, where the lone wing chair to the right of the buffet is right now. Take that lone wing char and put it over to where you set up that lovely reading area by the front window with the other wing chair. This way the room would be open to that sitting area too, if you ever needed more seating. Or would that just met the length of the room more obvious? Im not sure if that would work for you since i don’t remember what is further behind where the wing chair by the tv is now. Love the buffet, but do agree it is too big a piece for your space. Whatever you do…it’ll be golden!

  35. Joanne B.

    I just have to laugh! I was re-viewing the pics once again and when I re-read my post that the buffet was too big I couldn’t help but think all our husbands would say no, the problem is the YV is too small! And that we should get rid of the plates! Men!

  36. Alicia

    Ohhhhhhh I really need those green velvet chairs!!! Can you ship to Australia? 😉 It seems impossible to find good quality velvet fabric in a nice green colour here. I have some french chairs I’ve been wanting to upholster for ages!

  37. Cindy

    Oh fun watching you move things around! I wish i were there so i could be right in the middle of it all… Those are some great pieces you are taking to Lucketts too. .. I bet people will be lining up for that buffet and daybed!


  38. Brittani Collins

    If you were anywhere near Indiana, that daubed AND the green velvet chairs AND the basket would be mine… ALL MINE!!! Mwahaha!
    But since you don’t, my living room will be sadly waiting whilst I continue to scour flea markets and Craigslist for old but beautiful pieces in a more than likely futile attempt at recreating your bright, fun, fresh, vintage farmhouse living room. ????

  39. Shelley Donnelly

    Hey Marian! Just wondering what your opinion is on the Ektorp Sofa? I’m in the market and have a family of five with three teenagers. Curious as to the quality and comfort of that sofa. I’m also contemplating using two sofas to create a very comfortable and cozy family room. Last but not least, which ikea white is your sofa? Thanks Shelley

  40. Cynthia Mitchell

    I would love to buy your daybed. How much and where are you located?

  41. Kerri

    I just did painted and rearranged my living/dining rooms! I love ikea’s ektorp sofa but it doesnt seem to be working in your space. If the leather sofa is a must (and as a mother to 3 boys, I understand!, lol), I would keep the current TV console (the scale of that is perfect where it is) and the caned daybed as they all have wood tones that tie them together as anchor pieces and have the sofas going in an L shape. The area by the front window would make a great board game/craft/homework area for the boys with the two wing back chairs flanking the windows and a table in front of it. also, if you are going for a nuetral palatte, I would consider painting out the blue and just keeping your blue accessories as accents. Can’t wait to see what you end up doing. I’m sure it will be beautiful.

  42. Downlights

    Great idea about family room decorating, I love the interior and lighting concept. great job.

  43. Lauren

    I actually like the sofa there! Those two paired together really make a statement. I can’t wait to see the new TV stand and what your going to do next! You give me the rearranging bug 😀

    Lauren | Lovely Decor

  44. Laurie

    It can be hard sometimes to figure out the best placement of everything in a room. I try to keep in mind the size and shape of the room and how the room is going to be used/functionality. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Marissa Palumbo

    Our living room has an almost identical layout with our front door in the same spot as your side door and the open kitchen to the back. We still have a fireplace exactly where yours was. I’ve found it difficult to decorate as well. Long and narrow with traffic areas is hard! We moved in December and I think I’ve moved the room around at least a dozen times already. I always come back to the same layout you have now (except our tv is in a large corner hutch). I also have a hard time decorating the space behind the couch. It’s currently toy storage/play area for our boys and right now it works but I know I’ll keep shuffling. Anyway, Thanks for sharing! I love all of your design and furniture makeovers!

    • marian

      Interesting! Ours actually had a fireplace where the TV was, too, but we never used it and it was massive, so we removed it and it made such a big difference in the space.

  46. Wall Art Australia

    Great info about family room furniture, great interior & decoration concept. thumbs up, Thanks for sharing the brilliant thing.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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