Q: I want to create a formal look for the living room of my new apartment, but I'm stymied by the fact that the entrance door opens directly to the room. Do you have a suggestion for how to shield the space from the door, so that there's an intermediate area between the entrance and the living room? I'd also appreciate advice on selecting a sofa that's comfortable as well as elegant.
A: Your concern over an ungainly entrance to your apartment is certainly warranted, especially since you want to give the living room a formal appearance. Various types of shielding are possible in such a situation, with the choice depending primarily on the location of the door in relation to the main conversation grouping.
In the photograph, a Japanese screen has been used to form a visual barrier between an elegant living room and an adjacent entrance corridor. This kind of treatment is most successful when the space is large enough to accommodate a foyerlike division alongside the major seating arrangement. If the space allows, the separation between the entryway and the living room can be further accentuated by placing a narrow console in front of the screen on the side facing the furniture.