Did you all know rearranging furniture helps cultivate creativity and elevate your mood when you’re feeling a bit in a rut? According to Psychology Today, “As you rearrange your personal space, you hone your aesthetic and identify what you truly love, want, or need.” Luckily interior designers have recognized a few simple principles for furniture placement that are easy to apply and foolproof.
Choose a Focal Point
Sometimes focal points present themselves naturally like a fireplace, picture window or architectural detail like built-ins. If your home or room is void of a natural focal point you’ll have to decide on what you want the center of attention to be. In a media room the obvious focal point would be the media console and television, in your bedroom it may be an elegant headboard and in the dining room you may make the chandelier or table arrangement the star. Whatever you decide to make your room’s focal point, stick to it and design around it as much as possible.
Keep Furniture Away From Walls
If you’re working with a smaller space this might be difficult or impossible, but if you have the room to pull a sofa a few inches away from the wall you’ll create a room that feels bigger and more thoughtfully put together. If you have an ample amount of space in your home you may consider making individual conversation areas with your furniture pieces that allow several feet of space between the furniture and walls. This does not apply to all furniture, but sofas, chairs and other seating items can be placed in defined areas and don’t need to be anchored by a wall.
Anchor With Area Rugs
Anchoring your furniture with a gorgeous area rug is a great way to tie in the design of your room and add a cozy textural element. The general rule of thumb is that all furniture legs should be sitting cozily on the rug, but if you’re rug isn’t quite big enough you want to ensure that at least the front legs of larger pieces of furniture in a seating arrangement are on the rug. The back legs of your couch can be on the floor if necessary, but if all the pieces of furniture are sitting completely on the area rug, you can create a curated vignette that doesn’t leave any floating pieces.
Balance is always important when arranging furniture in your home. Be mindful not to group too many pieces of the same size together. The room will feel lopsided if larger furniture items are to one side and smaller items to the other. A variety of shapes and sizes strategically placed will create a harmonious, balanced space.
Define Conversation Areas
In keeping with the above tip, arranging furniture in distinct areas allowing people to converse without shouting across the room or straining their necks to make eye contact creates a warmer, more welcoming environment where guests are invited to mingle. Position your sofas and accent chairs towards each other – they don’t have to be necessarily facing each other straight on, but with a natural angle towards one another allows your guests to sit comfortably in a natural conversation area.
Be Conscious of Traffic Flow
One of the more important aspects to consider when designing your space is the traffic flow throughout the room, and from that room into other rooms throughout the house. Neither you nor your guests should be tripping over furniture or bumping into each other trying to navigate the room. If you have the space, maintaining roughly a few feet of space between your pieces of furniture allows open paths to walk about the room with ease.
Place Tables an Arms Length Away
We know this might seem contradictory to our last tip of leaving a few feet of space between furniture, but different rules apply to side and coffee tables. Every seat should have access to a table top, and those tables should be paced closely enough to the seats so that you can comfortably reach to set a drink down on a table. Side table height should be roughly the same height as the arms of your sofa and chairs, while coffee tables should be about the same height as the cushions.
Let There Be Light
Of course, none of these tips are of any use if your room is a dark cave without adequate lighting. Use a mix of overhead lighting, wall sconces and lamps to create balanced lighting that can transform your room’s mood and adapt to every occasion. Light fixtures provide an excellent opportunity to add personality to your space, enhance your decor and create a ~mood~ in your space. Be sure to choose the right bulbs for your space as well. LED lights are energy efficient and look great!
Invest In Art and Antiques
Local interior designer and art consultant, Chandos Dodson Epley has said “Great art and fabulous antiques only get better with age. It’s better to cry once and have a forever piece.” We couldn’t agree more! Art and furniture collections are personal items unique to every collector and fill up each space with personality, history and character. Thoughtfully curated artwork has the ability to carry an entire room, while a beautifully cared for antique can transform a cold space into one full of warmth.
Trust Your Intuition
All of the above tips are really just guidelines for creating a well-designed space, but, like art, each room in each home is unique to the inhabitants. Ultimately, your home and everything in it is an extension of you. If you feel like breaking all the rules listed above, go for it, your intuition is one of your superpowers, after all. One of the great freedoms of interior design is that things can always be changed – furniture can be rearranged, fabric can be reupholstered, walls can be painted, sconces can be swapped and rugs can be replaced, but what you truly love will never go out of style.