When the holiday decorations are all stored away, it might be the ideal time to rethink and re arrange your furniture. I am always inspired to change things up for a refreshing start to the New Year. Here are 8 ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
#1 Find the focal point.
Consider what the focal point in the room will be. In this room, the obvious focal point is the fireplace.
But it could be a window wall with a great view. What if it is a big screen TV? This is becoming more and more common as formal living rooms are not as common as in the past. I will be writing about television placement in a future article.
#2 Cozy up the seating.
Seating should be arranged to face your chosen focal point. Keeping the pieces close together without overlapping allows for comfortable conversation.
#3 Try my Hard and Soft Rule with tables.
Think of alternating a “hard” item such as a side table with a “soft” piece such as upholstery. A large plant can soften the edges between “hard” pieces. A decorative cloth over a table creates a “soft” item. Always have a table near enough to set a beverage, a snack, or a book. This could be side tables or the coffee table. The coffee table should be no more than 22″ from the knees in order to access comfortably.
#4 Avoid traffic jams.
Now think about the traffic pattern within the room. Nobody wants to have to walk in that narrow space in front of someone to get to their seat. So plan for pathways that are spacious enough to get up and down conveniently.
#5 Create ambiance with lighting.
At least one seat should have a terrific lamp specifically for the purpose of optimal reading. Other areas can have accent lighting, up lighting and other general purpose lighting. Never rely on overhead lighting as in this photo.
I will write in depth about lighting in an upcoming post.
#6 Area rugs are awesome.
An area rug can anchor and define a “zone” if your room is large and has more than one area that can be defined. Perhaps a reading nook is possible in addition to a conversation area. Choose a rug large enough to anchor the furniture. A rug that is too small diminishes the impact of that all important focal area.
#7 Let the walls breathe.
Don’t be afraid to float the furniture away from the walls. If you study your favorite rooms, you will notice that it is seldom that all of the furniture sits against a wall. It is all about size and scale which makes this approach successful. In general, using a few interesting large scale pieces rather than using smaller pieces to fill up a room is what I recommend.
Try different ideas. Live with an arrangement for a few days to see if it is comfortable. A table behind the sofa, instead of to the side, can provide excellent lighting.
To simplify, find the focal point in the room and highlight it. Have fun!