By Seve Kale
Arranging furniture in a new home can be both daunting and exciting. The possibilities are seemingly endless, but it can be deceptively easy to get off track. Arranging furniture is an imperfect art form and you want a balanced space that is neither cluttered nor barren.
We’ve asked several design experts to weigh in on the following common furniture arranging mistakes they come across when working with homeowners.
Jumping In … Without a Plan
Designing your new space is exciting, but it can also be a little overwhelming. Ashley Paul, an interior designer in Cleveland, Ohio, recommends that you ask yourself practical questions about your space, such as: “How many people do I want to sit? What activities will be taking place?”
Once you’ve figured out your plan, then you can go about finding furniture that fits your goals. Interactive programs like Homestyler.com or Sketchup.com can help you create, experiment and plan with your space.
Forgetting About Focal Points
Take a step back and consider your space. Where does your eye naturally go?
Arrange your furniture to complement this natural focal point, which is often a fireplace or a window. Additionally, you can create focal points and areas of interest using bookshelves or artwork.
Never overlook the importance of balance and angles. Pay careful attention to the way in which you distribute your furniture to avoid a lopsided space.
Depending on your style and floor plan, placing furniture such as accent chairs at an angle can help even out the room.
Missing the Point
Don’t get caught up in the minutiae — if your living area is not a comfortable gathering area for your family, then what’s the point? Consider how your family and guests will circulate through the room — make sure everyone has the room to relax and the room to easily move through and around furniture.
Creating a Void
Even though you might feel like you have more space if your furniture is all pushed against the walls, you may accidentally create an awkward no-man’s-land in the middle of your room.
“When the furniture is pushed back against the walls, it makes the space feel uninviting and disoriented — floating furniture allows you to have conversation groupings and give the space a more intimate feel,” says Liz Toombs, C.I.D. and president and owner of Polka Dots & Rosebuds Interiors in Lexington, Ky.
Overlooking the Importance of Scale
Realistically consider the space you have when buying furniture. Sabine Guillame Hayes, an interior designer and owner of Georgette Marise Interiors in Swarthmore, Pa., has the following useful tip: “To make sure you consider the scale of your existing furnishings in your new house, place your largest piece of existing furniture (like your queen-size mattress) in the bedroom first. Then, ask yourself if it looks too big or too small in the room.”
Take our experts’ advice into account and avoid repeating the mistakes of others. With a little preparation, you’ll be able to turn your new house into your dream home.
Seve Kale is a writer for NewHomeSource.