Personally, I preferred the 2nd shot. And I think, I could remove this "clutter" by adjusting the chairs and plants. But alas, this shot was rather "controversial." And to consider it artistic is subjective indeed. In the end, the client (like the majority) was more comfortable, and was drawn to the 1st shot. Nevertheless, I was satisfied that it took really sometime for some to consider the "best" image.
Tech note: These images were simply "draft" renders. Lit in 3ds max, and rendered with Vray using one Direct Light. Some quick colour correction, brightness and contrast adjustment and background replacement were also done in Photoshop. -- only for "preview" purposes.