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Top 10 Decorating Rules For Arranging Your Furniture

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Arranging furniture can be a daunting task. When you're faced with an empty room, filling it in a way that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing can seem like an overwhelming task. But over the years, passion filled interior designers have noticed a number of simple, easy-to-apply principles that work perfectly. Just follow these common sense rules and you'll find that arranging furniture isn't so scary after all.

Choose a Focal Point

Rule number 1 never underestimate the power of a focal point in a room. Sometimes they appear naturally, like if you have a prominent window or a built-in fireplace mantel piece, meanwhile other times you may have to create them yourself, as with media units. Whatever your chosen focal point, make a decision and stick with it. You’ll want to arrange furniture around it as much as possible for a sense of direction.

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Don’t Push Furniture Against the Walls

Now the size of your room will always dictate how far you should pull your furniture away from the walls, even in a small space, you’ll want to give your beautiful interior a little breathing room by allowing a few inches between the backs of furniture pieces and the walls. Despite popular belief, this little bit of space can actually make rooms feel bigger. Of course, if you have a larger space, feel free to arrange furniture in such a way that conversation areas are created in the middle of the room, leaving several feet between the walls and the furniture instead.

You Must Create Conversation Areas

Your family and guest should naturally be able to talk to each other without having to crane their necks or shout across the room. If you position the sofas and chairs around your living area to face each other (not necessarily straight on, but close), so they are close enough that everyone can converse without raising their voices. If the room is too large, create multiple conversation areas.

Learn To Find Balance When Arranging Furniture

Having balance is always important in redecorating, and never more so than when arranging furniture and other items in your living room. You should carefully consider both size and placement of the various pieces, making sure not to group all the large or small pieces in one area or to one side of the room, which can make space feel lopsided and a little unsettling. Also make sure there’s variety in the shapes—if you’ve got straight-lined seating, for example, consider a round coffee table this is a much safer option with clean line sturdy tables your pets and children will be more secure away from sharper edges or a table that can be easily knocked over

Consider The Traffic Flow In Your Home

One of the most important things to consider when arranging furniture in any room is traffic flow. People should not be tripping over furniture, or each other, to pass through the room. Make sure there are a couple of feet (give or take a few inches) between the coffee table and sofa, and between chairs. Create a clear path so people can walk from one end of the room to the other without difficulty this way everyone can avoid nasty hazards or damage to any of your expensive furniture

Choosing The Right-Size Rugs

Area rugs belong under the furniture—all the furniture, if you can manage it. Exposing some flooring around the edges of the room is fine, but when using an area rug, it needs to be big enough so that all the furniture in your seating arrangement can easily rest on it. At the very least you want the front legs of large pieces to sit on the rug.

Get A Big Quality Coffee Table

When it comes to coffee tables, more often than not, bigger is better. A large coffee table in the middle of a seating area is great for both aesthetics and function. It will act as an anchor for the room a true masterpiece as it leaves plenty of space for people to put down drinks or for you to display your favourite accessories or ornaments. A large table will offer you easier access from the seats around it. That being said, make sure to leave enough room between seating and the coffee table for people to pass through (about 18 inches). And if you can’t find a suitable large coffee table, two smaller tables or other coffee table alternatives would be a good substitute.

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Put Your Tables At Arm’s Length It's Easier 

Every seat in your home should have easy access to either a side table or coffee table. You should aim to avoid layouts that force people to move from their seats in order to set down or pick up and place drinks. When it comes to table height:

  • Side tables should be approximately the same height as the nearby chair arms (if that’s not possible, lower is better).
  • For coffee tables, the height should be the same height as chair/sofa seats, or lower.

Let There Be Light It Completes The Ambience 

Lighting is one of the most important elements of any room, and it is neglected too often. Try to use a mix of overhead lighting, floor lamps, and table lamps (and sconces, if you can). A floor lamp will look beautiful at the end of a sofa or behind an accent chair. Your table lamps will look more lovely on side tables, shelves, and even mantels. Lighting needs to be placed at different levels and angles in order to be properly balanced, so use a variety of fixtures liberally throughout your room to create the perfect vibe.

Use the Right-Size Artwork 

Things that are hung on the wall—whether it’s art, mirrors, or sculptural objects—need to be placed strategically, and in proportion to the furniture. Don’t hang a tiny photo over the back of your sofa, for example; instead, use either a large piece that is approximately two-thirds the length of the sofa, or use a grouping of pieces. If you’re absolutely determined to use a particular piece of art that is too small, put it in a larger frame with a large matte around it so it can hold its own when positioned near a large furniture piece. 

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Finally Putting It All Together

Always remember when it comes to arranging furniture and accessories, it's best to plan ahead if you want to buy new décor. Use an online floor planner or old-fashioned graph paper to sketch out your desired floor plan first. It's the only sure-fire way to know whether or not things will fit the way you want.

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