Jul 5, 2011

Some furniture arranging tips.

Instead of buying new furniture, try re-arranging what you have. Moving pieces into a new position, and swapping other pieces from different rooms can give your spaces an entirely new appearance.

1) Establish the purpose of the room. This seems simple but do consider multiple functions. Once you have determined how the space is to be used (seating, entertaining, TV watching, reading) select or create a focal point around which the furniture will be placed.  This joined living dining room has the client's art collection as the focal point. 

U shaped seating around art as the focal point.

2) Break the room into multiple seating areas.  Consider separating your sofa from lounge chairs rather than having a large rectangle or circle of seating. A reading grouping in a corner is functional and attractive and seating can be moved when large gatherings take place. Try these seating arrangements:

1) L- shape. Placing the sofas or chairs at right angles to one another.
2) Parallel. When sofas or chairs are placed opposite each other.  This often emphasizes a focal point.
3) U-shape.  Very functional for conversation and entertaining.

3) Place large pieces on an angle. The sofa, angled in a corner or even floating into the space, often provides more floor space so the room seems larger.

4) Back a table or desk up to a sofa.  Pull your sofa off the wall and tuck a desk and chair, or table and ottomans behind it.  It provides dual function with a smaller footprint. Be sure to leave room to walk around it.  

5) Use clearance guidelines to create ideal spacing.  Designers often use the following guidelines for furniture spacing. Living room: MINIMUM clearance for foot traffic is 18" around tables and seating but spaces for walking should be 3'. Dining room: Allow 2' per person at the table and at least 38" between seats and walls. Bedroom: Between a bed and a dresser, allow 3'. When using two beds, place them at LEAST 2'-6" apart.

6) Alternate heights in your groupings. It looks more interesting if you use a combination of high and low pieces.  For example, place a tall chest or dresser between two armchairs. Use curio on the wall between a sofa and loveseat.

7) Anchor groupings with an area rug. In larger rooms, or those where you float the furniture away from the walls, use an area rug for definition between functional areas and separate seating areas.

8) Keep seating functional.  Be sure to place a light and a table near seats used for reading and entertaining.  If the space is small, use small nesting tables that can be opened up as needed.