Back to the drawing board.
Pre-planning saves time and labor later
Though arranging your furniture around an end game of function and comfort is a great example of the practical application of home design, how do you make it look great too?
Color key. Using the same scale as for the floor plan, measure, draw and cut out the major pieces of furniture too. Using markers or crayons, color them as close to reality as you can. If your online furniture planner allows, color each piece in your drawing. One of the most important pieces of information you’ll get about how the completed room arrangement will look is whether the colors of the room are spread around in a balanced way. You’ll get the best effect by mixing color and pattern, as well as by mixing the tall and/or big pieces with smaller pieces throughout the room.
You don’t want to wind up with all the big brown pieces on one side of the room.
Meeting scale with scale, deliberately. Don’t put a dinky table next to an over-sized chair. However, two small armchairs and a small table can be grouped to balance a larger piece like a sofa.
Counter-intuitive inspiration. Investigate the idea of using only a few large pieces of furniture in a small room. This gesture can actually make a small room seem bigger.
Create more visual flow, floor to ceiling, by varying the elevations of the different pieces furniture you are using. The exception to this is that it’s best to keep most of your light sources at relatively the same height to prevent a “carnival light” effect.
Sometimes, through no fault of your own, the focal point includes a view of the radiator.
This vision is hardly “uplifting”. Move the templates on the graph paper to see if the furniture arrangement you have in mind, can be flipped so that a major furniture piece, the sofa for example, sits with the back to the radiator. Pull it out about a foot for good air circulation, and arrange the other pieces around it accordingly. If that doesn’t work, there are other solutions. A draped table could work, perhaps with a large flower arrangement, or a lamp.
Folding screens are great. They can hide so much, anywhere.
The floating world, redux. When the room is large enough, the sofa and chairs that make up the conversation area can “float” as long as there is at least 3 feet behind the sofa for passage. Or consider if the area can be placed on a diagonal.
This can be an inspired solution for smaller rooms. Need help living large in a little space? Small Space Solutions #1: Fool The Eye
(Furniture Arrangement Three Part Series)
The original version of this article was published on Hamptons.com. It’s presented here as a foundation for further discussion.