One of the first things I sketched when we put an offer in on the church we were buying to turn into our home was a furniture layout of the sanctuary we were making over into our great room.
Oh, I had grand plans for two sectionals, a big table vase in the entryway and a dining room table for 10.
During demolition, we decided to build a balcony over part of the sanctuary and tuck our kitchen under it. This ate into the square footage and my plans for two sectionals.
Well, who needs two sectionals anyway? We had plenty of room for entertaining. Here’s a sketch I made at some point after we established the balcony plans.
This is the definition of a “loose sketch.” That round thing in the upper left is the spiral stairway with the balcony defined in a dotted line along the left side. The fireplace is there along the north wall (top) and there’s a doorway to the patio in the upper right corner (that never happened). Those rectangle shapes along the wall are windows. You can see the dining room table for 10 on the bottom right, the beverage bar on the bottom left and a kitchen island on the left. The sectional is right in front of the fireplace, with a conversation area for two behind it.
The real furniture layout turned out quite similar to the plans. Besides losing the patio doorway, my dining room table seats only eight (we can get 10 in a pinch though) and we added a big china cabinet. The way we situated the kitchen island (and added a recliner for Tyler to the mix) demanded we set the sectional askew.
Initially, when all the furniture arrived, we arranged the sectional and the rug beneath it at an angle to the fireplace (and TV). We lived with that for four months before deciding we needed straighten the rug (and leave the sectional angled). We did some heavy lifting a week and a half ago to make these changes (what’s a little sweat on a rainy day?), and now you can see the results. Here is the sectional now in a view from the balcony (fireplace is unseen on the left, dining table unseen on the right).
As I was admiring the view from the balcony, I realized I could take a panoramic shot of the whole great room. For perspective, the kitchen is beneath my feet.
There’s a little bit of a fun house vibe to this shot, but you can see the fireplace and the front door at the same time. You can even see two of the hanging chandeliers.
This is one of the answers when someone asks, how do you turn a church sanctuary into a living room?