Sometimes the most difficult home decorating decisions we make is how to place the items we already own. Placement of furnishings in a room can affect mood, the visual size of a room, and the functioning of the family. Being creative in arranging your room can also be a great way to set your living room apart from every other on the block! Here are some great easy furniture arranging tricks to try to give your room a whole new flavor in just an hour.
To prevent lifelong use of aspirin, save your back and work things out on the computer first! There are several great programs online that allow you to play with furniture arrangements for free. Try the room planner at Urban Barn, Arrange a Room at BHG, or the room planner at Pottery Barn. All three are simple to use and allow you to recreate your rooms, then try numerous arrangements. Want to do it the old fashioned way? Get some graph paper, and use a 1 square=1 foot method. Cut pieces of paper the size of your furniture pieces, and mark them appropriately. Now move the furniture pieces around the graph paper until you find an arrangement you like.
Try taking all the small items out of the room first, then concentrate just on the large scale items. Clearing the room can give you more focused picture of how those large pieces need to fit in relation to each other. In other words, since they are the biggest, they have the most important place in the room, so find the perfect fit! Then you can bring the smaller pieces back in one by one. This method results in a more grounded arrangement. Here is an example of a before and after furniture arrangement. Before was the typical “line the walls” arrangement. After is an example of using more than one seating area to add interest to a room.
Try everything on the diagonal. Not all at once, mind you, but experiment with placing the whole arrangement on the diagonal, or if that doesn’t work, one piece at a time. (Include the area rug in this.) Placing pieces on the diagonal carries your eye smoothly through the room, so not only does it look larger, it looks more interesting. Infographic from ‘Fred Gonsowski Garden Home‘.
Got a cramped room? You can still create cozier seating areas to make the room feel warmer and more friendly.
Don’t block the view! Blocking the windows in a room with furniture severely limits the amount of light, which makes a room look small and cramped. Use low or small scale pieces in front of a window. Likewise, try not to block your view into a room. If the room is viewed most often from another room, keep the path of sight clear to make the space visually expand.
Finally, just because you’ve always done something a certain way, doesn’t mean you still have to. Maybe you don’t really need all the furniture you have crammed into that family room, and can pare it down and open it up. Or perhaps that big chair in your bedroom that does nothing but hold folded laundry would make a perfect reading nook by that window in the living room. Don’t be afraid to think of your furniture for different uses, and try new things!
Image Credits: Pottery Barn, CafeMom, Fred Gonsowski Garden Home, How to Decorate