The trick to arranging your living room furniture just right
Even if you have a decent sized living room infused with just the ideal amount of natural light, as well as a beautiful collection of living room furniture to go along with it (a sofa, settee, arm chairs, coffee tables, a selection of quaint side tables, the works), it does not a beautiful family room make. Arranging furniture with panache is not as simple as lining them up against a bare wall or around a television set. With a little bit of brainwork, imagination and handy tips, adding some jazz and pizzazz into your living room is a simple task!
The Best Laid Plans
Before you even think about shifting furniture around the room till it looks ‘just right’, consider using a mock-up of the room to help you make you imagine your desired outcome! This doesn’t require any fancy schmancy softwares or computer-generated graphics. All you need for this task is:
• A measuring tape
• Graph paper
• A pencil & eraser
• Plain paper
With the measuring tape, find out the exact dimensions of your room (width and length), then draw out this outline on the graph paper, to scale. A commonly used scale is ¼ inches to 1 foot (12 inches). On your scaled outline, mark electricity outlets, telephone lines, windows and doors. These will affect your furniture placement.
With the scissors and plain paper, make scaled paper cut-outs of your existing furniture (just rough ones will do) and then shift these around on your scaled outline of the room until you find your desired arrangement.
Arrangement Tips and Tricks
The first step is to decide what the focal point of your room should be – all other furnishings will be subtly oriented around it. Lighting should also be directed such as to gently highlight this focal point. For instance, you may have an exceptionally intricate TV cabinet, a sofa with a striking painting hung above it or a glass display case for precious antiques and collectibles.
Furniture that is arranged together in a cluster should not show huge variations in height or dimensions at first glance. For example, if you’re placing a tall display cabinet next to relatively short chair, hang a picture on top of the chair to visually increase its height.
Seating furniture should be organized into cozy clusters of conversation-enhancing areas. For instance, place love seats facing each other, or arrange a cluster of overstuffed armchairs and throw cushions around a small coffee table. One way not to encourage conversation with furniture is to arrange chairs adjacent to each other, up against a wall.
Furniture also can be used to divide the space in your living room. Be daring and pull it away from the wall; don’t be afraid to create arrangements of furniture in the middle of the room. This gives you more flexibility in creating conversation areas as well. For a snazzy touch, arrange the sofa at an angle to any wall instead of straight up facing a wall or parallel to one.
Traffic patterns are also an important element to consider when arranging your living room furniture. As a rule of thumb, a minimum of 18 inches of space is needed between pieces of furniture that people will need to cross between to get around the room.
Once your living room arrangement starts to look tired again, spruce it up in a jiffy by adding new accessories such as a fresh vase of flowers, change the potpourri, introduce different colored candles, or shift the arrangements of your knick-knacks around.