Monday, October 12, 2009

Arranging furniture...

Are you someone who re-arranges your furniture a lot? Or, do you leave your furniture as it is for a long time? Most home keepers fall into one of these two camps.

I tend to move smaller things around, but leave furniture as it is. One reason is that I get used to things being a certain way and overlook possibilities for improvement. I also have some rooms that have limited possibilities for re-arranging furniture due to the placement of doors and other items.

I appreciate friends who have a good eye for how things in a room can be arranged for new effect. Some people I know are wonderfully talented in this area. Some can see a wonderful re-design using the things they already have right away. Others keep moving things until they come upon an arrangement of furniture and other items that is most pleasing.

Of course, the keeper at home can always consult a professional re-design expert. Since that can be a budget-breaker, it's worth the practice it takes to learn this skill for yourself. By trial and error, studying beautiful rooms, and even asking for the help of a friend, you can learn how to use your furnishings for best effect. Even if this is not your natural talent -- as it is not mine -- you can do a lot to develop your own eye.

Some items to keep in mind when re-arranging furniture are

1) What is the focal point of my room? How does everything else in my room relate to this focal point, just as everything in a painting relates to a focal point? Have I inadvertently created competing focal points in a room? Is this jarring to the eye? (Note: One common problem with creating a focal point is when you have a fireplace and a TV or entertainment center in the same room. Some homes are designed so that the TV is directly above the fireplace, which makes it easy to use that wall as the focal point. In other cases, you may have to tweak things a bit so that the fireplace and TV don't compete with each other.)
2) What built-in architectural details do I need to accommodate?
3) What are the natural traffic patterns in the room? Where do people enter and leave the room? Do people have a clear path to pass in and out of the room and can they easily walk to seating? Can they access shelves, desks, etc.? Do you wish to encourage the traffic flow in a certain direction.
4) Where will you place lamps?
5) What feels comfortable to you and your family? Often, what looks nice in a decorating magazine or what seems like a great idea in your mind's eye might not really be comfortable in a real room. Don't be afraid to arrange things once again until you find an arrangement that is most comfortable.
6) Is there a piece of furniture or a rug or an accesory that you are using in one room that might actually be put to better use in another room?
7) Do you have too much furniture in a room? Too little?

If you consider these things, you'll likely come up with an arrangement that suits your family's needs and is also pleasing to the eye.


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