When you purchase your furniture, you often have an image in your mind already of where it will go. But sometimes you discover that the image you had doesn’t quite work in reality. Or you might want to move things around later. How can you arrange your living room furniture in a way that is both visually appealing and still practical and functional? Consider the following tips to help you with arranging living room furniture to maximize space.
Plan It Out Before You Shop
Before you even buy the first piece, take some time to plan the room. Consider these factors as you look at furniture:
- The size of the room
- Furniture you already have
- The mood you want to create
- How will the room be used
Keep those factors in mind and choose pieces that match your plan, rather than just pieces that draw your eye or tug at your emotions.
What’s the Room’s Focal Point?
Maybe the room has a beautiful view out of a large window, a beautiful architectural structure, or something else that acts as a natural focal point for the room. If so, use it to determine the placement of your furniture.
If not, decide what you want your focal point to be. Is it a TV? Maybe board games is your focal point, so a nice bookcase to hold them or a table and chairs to play them on would be your focal point.
Keep the Room Chat-Friendly
People tend to gather in the living room if they’re not in the kitchen. This means it’s where a lot of conversations take place. You’ll want to arrange the room to allow for those conversations.
You might go with one big grouping of furniture that allows everyone to see each other and talk. Or you might make smaller groupings that allow people to break off into groups and chat quietly. Play around and see what you like best.
Scale & Proportion
You’ll want to consider both the size of the room you’re furnishing and the size of the furniture pieces you are buying. Taller, bigger rooms allow for taller, bigger furniture pieces.
If you have overstuffed, large furniture pieces, make sure you buy pieces that go with that, such as larger side tables, coffee tables, and floor lamps. If the room is smaller or your furniture pieces are smaller, go with more petite pieces that will match well.
Where Does the Traffic Go?
Consider all the spots where you enter and exit the room and how you move in and through the space. Where do you and others naturally walk? You’ll want to place the furniture so it doesn’t sit in the pathways where everyone usually walks. You want enough room between pieces to move easily as well.
Keep in mind that you may need more space for traffic than other people. For example, if you have someone in a wheelchair or a small child learning to walk, you may need more room to allow for that.
Choose Rug Size and Shape Carefully
Rugs, even in a room with carpet, can help break up the space and define different areas of the room. You’ll want to consider the rug size before purchasing, however. Buy a rectangular rug for a rectangular room or a square rug for a square room. A circular rug can work well in any room.
Placement of the rug counts too. A rug partially under furniture can make the space seem bigger, as long as the rug itself is not too big. A rug not under furniture and smaller can help the room feel smaller and busier.
Get the Lighting Right
Overhead lighting isn’t the most flattering and often doesn’t provide the lighting required for the activities. From reading to balancing a checkbook, playing board games to watching TV, we often need softer or brighter light than ceiling lights can provide.
Choose floor and table lamps that you can place around the room to offer more directed light. Remember that you may want to buy multiple of the same lamp in some cases – for example, to balance a couch, you may want to put matching lamps at each end on matching tables.
Consider lamps that offer a few options for how much light they provide. For example, choose a lamp with a softer, dimmer light for reading just before bed and brighter light for balancing your checkbook.
Jazz It Up With Artwork
The general rule for hanging artwork is: smaller pieces go on smaller walls; bigger pieces go on large walls. If you have a collection of smaller pieces, you can hang them together on a large wall. You’ll want to consider your space before you begin hanging pieces.
Don’t forget to consider height as well. You don’t want your artwork to be too high or too low. Right around eye level is the ideal height, except for pieces hanging above doors or fireplaces or on the staircase wall.
You don’t need to be an interior designer to create a living room you are proud to show off. With a little planning and pulling together the right pieces, you can create the space you long to enjoy, whether it’s cozy and inviting or spacious and soothing.