When it comes to furniture arrangement it might be a different story though, since much of your furniture might be on the heavy side and you don't want to break your back dragging things around. That's where help of a husband, a friend or neighbor may just come into play, but thinking ahead of how you use your room can save you time and backaches.
Our own living room is the first thing that you see when you walk into the house...it's on the right and is sunken, as designers often did when this home was built in the '60's. Truth be told we don't sit in here very often and if I were to have oodles of cash on hand to tear down walls I would open this up to the kitchen. That will be left though to the next owner down the line, so for now I have options in terms of furniture arrangement only.
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How To Arrange Your Living Room Furniture
First step in the way that I design a room is to paint the walls. I'm often asked what color my walls are, and they are Benjamin Moore White Dove.
In all of the photos above you can see that my living room has a focal point. Creating a focal point would be the second thing I would do with any room, and comes into play after painting the walls. A focal point can be anything you'd like it to be...a fireplace (faux in this case), bookcases, an outside view or even that big screen tv. You want something that will draw your eye into the room and be the main thing that you notice. If your focal point is a mantel or a bookcase you'll be able to style it for the seasons and display things that have some meaning in your life. Just be sure to edit and not overdo or can look like a clutter catcher. You don't want that!
You want to orient the furniture to the focal point and I'm a rule breaker here because I didn't do that. Why you ask? As I mentioned we don't really sit much in this room and with just my husband and myself around here now it's become just more of a spot to entertain on the occasion that it's too hot to be outside.
In this shot I've moved the sofa to one side of the fireplace and a pair of chairs are arranged on the opposite side. You'll want to arrange the furniture (in real life ;-) to allow conversation to flow freely among your family or guests. It's much easier to arrange chairs than sofas, so play around with placement of your chairs once you have your focal point in place and your sofa where you want it to be.
Add some floor pillows, ottomans and create a CONVERSATION CIRCLE.
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*TIP* Take a few shots with your smart phone and you'll find that things aren't exactly always how they appear to the naked eye!
You'll want to move your furniture pieces in close enough to be practical, but to make sure to leave room to walk around. Consider your children or grandchildren and make it practical for them and safe. In this shot I have a pitcher with some branches shown, but it's just for a few photos and would not be safe and that is always a concern.
Watch for sharp corners and rotate your pieces around until you find just the right look.
FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION
- Balance your room by mixing large pieces with light pieces...such as my garden tables brought in from outside above. They are lacy and airy and appear to "lift" the room.
- Do you prefer symmetry or enjoy creating a look a more casual look? Pairs of chairs (lamps, etc) will give your room a more formal stature where single objects are more relaxed in feel.
- Be sure to leave some negative space, just as you would in a photograph or a painting.
- Does your room need to be multi-purpose? Create areas or zones by grouping your furniture or with area rugs.
- Be flexible and keep your eyes wide open for seasonal changes and shop your own home and have fun in your designing!
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