Could Your Furniture Be Arranged Better?
Even the most dynamic rooms can fall short if the furniture isn’t arranged right. So what exactly makes for a successful arrangement? For starters, avoid these mistakes and you’ll be well on your way.
Mistake: Furniture Against the Walls
True, your room may feel bigger with the furniture pushed up against the walls, but it may not be the most conducive arrangement for conversation. Instead, consider pulling the furniture toward the middle of the room to create a cozy conversation area. Incorporate the fireplace into the layout if you have one.
Mistake: Foregoing Zoning
Bring order to large, open rooms by establishing zones for different activities. For instance, an area set up for talking and watching TV, or a work area with a desk or table for projects and homework. Set up your space according to your needs. Without zoning, large rooms lack direction, and often look disorganized and chaotic.
Mistake: Beds that Partly Block a Window
Not only can a bed that sticks out over a window frame look odd from the street, it can lead to uneven fading. But if that is the only choice you have for the bed, consider these arrangement tricks to make it look better.
Hang floor-length curtains behind the headboard so that the bed is not seen from outside.
For a more modern style fix, go with a platform bed with a headboard low enough to fall beneath the window trim.
Install an entire wall of curtains as a fabric backdrop.
Mistake: Ignoring Space Constraints
You must figure out how to work with what you have. A small space is a small space — it’s not going to magically expand on its own. So the faster you come to terms with it and figure out what works and what doesn’t, the better off you’ll be.
Mistake: Sticking to Conventions
While conventions are good to go by most of the time, occasionally you need to buck the system and think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. What works for you may not be what works for others.
Mistake: Forgetting Creature Comforts
Keep in mind how a room will be used and arrange the furniture to encourage the experiences you want. For instance, arranging sofas and chairs facing each other emphasizes conversation. Having table space in reach of all seats for drinks emphasizes convenience.
Mistake: Off-Balance Rooms
Living room furniture shoved all to one side creates an off-balance experience that can be uncomfortable. But achieving balance doesn’t necessarily mean everything has to be completely symmetrical either. A love seat on one side of an arrangement can be off-set by two chairs on the other end, for instance.
Mistake: Ignoring Traffic Flow
While you’re thinking about how furniture pieces relate to one another and the room, think about traffic flow as well. How do people navigate the room? You’re going to want to make sure people can easily get in and get out of the furniture arrangement, as well as enter and exit the room.
Mistake: Avoiding Smaller Furniture
Don’t ignore smaller pieces of furniture like settees, slim console tables or petite end tables as possibilities for your rooms. They are more versatile and can fit in multiple places, unlike bulky, oversized pieces that can quickly overtake a space.
Mistake: Forgetting About Drawers and Doors
Plan your furniture arrangement so that you can comfortably open drawers and doors without having to step aside. It’s always discouraging when you think you have the perfect arrangement, then try to open a buffet drawer with guests gathered around your table and realize you didn’t leave enough room to pull the drawer out.
Mistake: Thinking Single-Function
Furniture that is multi-function will always win the day. Consider all the activities the room will see and plan accordingly. For example, a pair of stools can be used as seating as well as end tables, depending on the circumstances.
Mistake: Poor Rug Relationship
Choosing the right rug for a living room or bedroom is difficult for a lot of people. Ideally, all legs of your furniture should be on the area rug. If that isn’t an option, at least have the front legs of all furniture placed on the rug. You can also layer rugs for a more modern look.