Whether you’ve downsized to an attached bungalow or you’ve just purchased your first apartment condo, you’re going to have to take some time to arrange your furniture. However, a fun project can turn into a frustrating experience if you wind up dragging furniture all over the room in order to find that right spot. So, before you make any furniture-arranging mistakes, check out the tips below. You’ll be glad you did!
1. Be Prepared
There’s nothing worse than lifting a hefty sofa bed or straining over an antique cabinet while you shuffle from one side of the room to the other, especially if it doesn’t end up fitting the wall space. Here’s your first tip: save yourself frustration by measuring your room in advance.
Before scheming up the most creative of furniture layouts, you’ll want to figure out where each piece of furniture can fit around the room. Remember to consider potential obstacles such as floorboards, angled ceilings and door frames as well. Sometimes an extra inch of baseboard can be the difference between a perfect fit and frustration.
2. The Balancing Act
The most basic rule when arranging your furniture has to do with balance. Whether you are working with a large or small space the rule still applies. Balance can be achieved with symmetry or asymmetry; they both give a different look and feel.
Larger, more open concept settings often afford the space to use symmetry, though it’s not impossible to achieve the same in smaller spaces. It’s typically helpful to have two, not necessarily exact, but similar items. For instance, should you have a nook by a fireplace or favourite reading window you may be inclined to situate two paintings or armchairs on either side of the ‘centrepiece’. Symmetry can add a sense of completeness to a room, and put people at ease.
Asymmetry offers a different kind of balance. Large pieces of furniture, for instance, can be offset with a small side-table or a collection of wall art on the nearby wall space. A mantel space can be filled with a few candles of different sizes or a larger potted plant situated beside a modern, low sitting sofa. The asymmetrical look adds creativity, and a complimentary feel to a room.
3. Grouping Together
Every object in a room carries a particular visual weight. Grouping together wall pictures, furniture and other objects that are of similar size and shape can help bring continuity to a room, and make it feel orderly. There are certainly exceptions to the rule. Sometimes a vibrant piece of art or old family heirloom may be arranged in a way that attracts attention. But generally speaking, grouping furniture by size helps to naturally pull a room together.
4. Height Matters
While it’s important to focus on the positioning of furniture, don’t forget about your wall space. Part of balancing a room well is creating multiple levels for the eye to be drawn to. While family photos and favoured art pieces are certainly part of the equation, they’re not the only way to tie in the vertical space of a room. For instance, if you have a low-sitting couch and coffee table, consider using floor lamps to balance the height of the room, instead of solely relying on overhead lighting.
Our final tip for rearranging your furniture in the best way possible is triangulation. A method often used by artists and borrowed by interior designers, triangulation is a great strategy for nearly every room in your home. Tying all of the prior tips together, this forces you to approach every space in your home as a complete space – floor to ceiling.
Triangulation is simply creating a triangle with your furniture grouping. Take a sofa, two end tables and a large framed painting. Position the sofa in the centre of the wall space, two smaller end tables on either end, and the painting centred above the sofa. If positioned well, it should feel like the entire space, floor to ceiling, is one cohesive unit.
Lastly, try to have fun in the process. Arranging furniture around a room can be challenging, but it can also be a lot of fun, especially when you take the time to experiment with different scenarios. Following some of the basic tips of balance and symmetry should help you get things in order quickly. If it doesn’t sit right on the first try, give it another go. With these basic rules of thumb in play, there’s a lot of flexibility in creating a space that works for you.