A well-respected local interior designer recommended the sofa for us, as well as the room layout, which pins the sofa against the wall. It works, but the chairs by the window always felt a little far away from the sofa. (The chairs are also too small, but that's another story.)
The Mr. has agreed that if I sell our current sofa for a reasonable price, I can look for a replacement. I worry that Craigslist buyers aren't looking for sofas in the price range I want to sell, so that is one concern. It doesn't hurt to try, though! But ... before I can sell, I need to have an idea of what I would replace it with. We spend the majority of our time in this room, and so we can't go without a sofa for too long!
In a room with a fireplace focal point (like ours), I've always liked two identical sofas flanking the fireplace. It might work in our room, but since two sofas is an investment, I would need to be sure the layout would work for us before I could take the plunge. So how could I test it out? I separated the two parts of our sectional and placed them across from each other in the room.
In new layout #1, I placed the chairs across from the fireplace, perpendicular to the sofas.
Layout #1 was very boxy and the only way to enter the room was in the small opening on either side of the chairs. I wondered if I could do better.
For layout #2, I split the chairs apart a bit, placing them on the diagonal at the end of each sofa. That left a walking space between the two chairs.
The two sides of the room aren't exactly symmetric because the sofa piece on the left is shorter than the piece on the right. It's a little distracting, but keep in mind that this layout is just a test to see what might work for us in the future. I don't plan on keeping our sectional pulled apart like this forever.
So far I like the flow and I like that the sofa is pulled off the wall on the right side of the room. I'm going to bring down a sofa table to put behind it, but haven't gotten that far yet.
If you're an eagle-eye, you might have noticed a white leather bench in front of the fireplace in layout #2. I got the bench as a gift from The Mr., and haven't decided on its final resting place. It was purchased for our bedroom, but there are a few different ways we could use it in the living room, too.
I also tried a third layout, which was floating the sofa directly across from the fireplace. It was too wide to provide a good walkway into the room, and it cut off the room too much. In this room, it might work with a loveseat, but not a full-size sofa. (I actually tried this layout first, but didn't take photos, and I wasn't about to move all that heavy furniture around again just to snap a photo of a layout I didn't like anyway!)
Now I need your opinion on the living room layout. I know photos aren't the same as being in the room, but do you have any thoughts or suggestions? I'm open to ideas!
P.S. Please don't mind the horrible photos and the junk around the perimeter of the room! I was just snapping quickly during the rearranging.