Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Living Room
How to Arrange & Design a Room

Place the largest pieces first
In furniture arrangement of any room, the major piece for the primary activity of the room must be considered first - the sofa in the living room, the bed in the bedroom, the desk in the office. This piece in most cases should face the focal point of the room. The focal point can be a view window, fireplace or, as is often the case, the television. Large pieces should be evenly distributed so as not to put the arrangement of the room off balance. Leave space around them for the best affect. In selecting these pieces, keep the architectural shapes of the room in mind. To echo a curved bay window with a curved sectional sofa or curved desk is pleasing to the eye and makes the furniture arrangement much easier. The following information should assist you in choosing effective room design techniques.

Next place those pieces relating to the main piece
The room arrangement must make your activity comfortable and convenient as well as flatter your furniture. Think about the use of the room as you arrange the furniture. If you typically eat or drink there, is there a place to set your cup or plate down? Is there enough storage for books or CDs? If the room is used for socializing, is there enough seating and is it appropriately arranged? Wherever possible keep pieces of similar scale together. A small occasional chair would look better next to an accent table or floor lamp than next to a large overstuffed sofa. Try to balance pieces of furniture opposite one another. A pair of upholstered chairs is visually more balanced across from a sofa than a pair of small scale occasional chairs. Mix straight lines for interest in a room. A round table or curved chair breaks up the monotony of an otherwise linear furniture arrangement. Balance the number of wood and upholstered pieces. Mix hard and soft surfaces by adding rugs or fabric covered tables to a room otherwise filled with wood, metal and stone.

Add accent pieces for secondary activities
Furniture arrangement for a secondary use adds function to a room. A reading corner in a bedroom or a game area in a family room can be created with a minimum of space. A long empty wall can be made into a focal point by grouping pictures over a long narrow table. Place a desk under a window to take advantage of the natural light and view. Place a curved item in a corner to soften the angle. A corner cupboard or curio cabinet is a wonderfully functional piece that adds character to the room while displaying your favorite collection.

Place your furniture where it looks best
Be aware of the light in the room when deciding on your furniture arrangement. A dark cabinet may disappear in a dimly lighted alcove. Bright pieces may seem garish under a picture window. Break up the horizontal lines of the room by mixing in taller items. A secretary or bookcase against the wall, a high back chair next to the sofa or a pair of lamps on a credenza will give the eye some variety and improve the view. A sofa may be placed diagonally in front of a corner that has been softened by a plant or screen.

Be aware of traffic patterns
You can direct the flow of traffic through furniture arrangement. Leave a minimum of two and a half feet for walkways and avoid flowing traffic through a conversational grouping if possible. Guide the traffic around the room's perimeter to create a less disruptive environment. Be aware of the usage of adjacent rooms in laying out your floor plan and flow colors from one adjacent room to the next when they are visible from one another.

Let your personality shine through
Ultimately, your home is an expression of who you are. Design your rooms so that you are comfortable, with a realistic eye on your own taste and habits rather than relying on a picture from a magazine. After all,you're going to be living there.

More information on home decor

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