Thursday, April 21, 2016

Empty Rooms Don't Have to be Scary...

When it comes to figuring out how to arrange your furniture, you don’t need a professional designer. It’s simply a matter of common sense. Figure out what you like, colors, textures, artwork, etc… to get ideas, start by looking online or through popular furniture catalogs such as , Wayfair, Pottery Barn, Pier One, World Market Crate and Barrel and then follow these simple steps.

Choose a focal point

Once again, this doesn’t have to be hard to figure out. More times than not it’s your favorite part of the room, a fireplace, mantel, perhaps it’s windows that look out onto a beautiful scenery. Whatever your focal point is, it’s important to know what it is before your start arranging your furniture.

Be prepared to rearrange and rearrange again!

If you are moving into a new home, don’t rush out and go buy furniture right way, and don’t go and buy all your furniture at once. I would advise you to just live in the space a while. You might be surprised to see that some of your pieces you have will work great in your new space.  And sometimes your furniture takes on a whole new purpose in a new space.  Adding pieces here and there helps prevent that “matchy matchy” look. You want your pieces to compliment each other not match. This can be obtained by integrating coordinating fabrics and patterns.

If you have the luxury of a large room take advantage of the size of the room, don’t push the furniture against the walls, use the middle of the room to create an intimate space. Even if you are working with a smaller space, keep a bit of distance off the walls if at all possible. Placing furniture a little bit of away from the walls, gives your furniture life.

The scale of your furniture is also just as important. I’m not big on using graphics, paper and pencil to the exact measurement, I think it’s more important to eye the actual room and visualize what you see in the room, it will inspire your creativity. The one exception I have for using an exact measurement is when it comes to the sofa… especially if your putting your sofa in front of a wall (notice I didn’t say up against the wall).  I prefer using occasionally chairs, and believe it or not these can be quite comfortable and help to create conversation space.

All chairs/seating do not need to face the TV! Chances are your room a multi-purpose room. Create a conversation space, you want the sofas and chairs to face each other (not necessarily straight on, but close), and they should be close enough that you can have a natural conversation with the person seated across from you without having to raise your voice. If the room is too large, create multiple conversation areas.

Once you’ve established your conversation space.. it’s important to use the right size rug it will help define the space

Remember not all furniture in the room belongs under the area rug. Exposing flooring around the edges of the room is important, but when using an area rug you want to make sure it’s big enough that all the front legs of your larger pieces sit on the edge of the rug. This helps to balance the room as well.

Balance is always important in decorating and when it comes to arranging your furniture in your room you’ll want to consider both size and placement of the various pieces.  Use a variety of different shapes, mixture of woods, glass and metals, these all create balance in a room. If you’re working with a large room, I would invest in a large coffee table, or better yet, if you can use two coffee tables together this can really add a sense of interest to the room. If your room is smaller, consider a round coffee table and off-center it to create space. It’s just as important to have easy access to the furniture, make sure you place tables near but not too close your furniture making it easier to pass through your furniture arrangement.

Ahh.. Lighting..

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I believe this is one of the most important elements of the room, because it sets the mood.  One thing to consider is the height of your ceilings, if you have tall ceilings, you’ll want to purchase lamps with a little more height to them, if you have your favorite lamp and it’s not quite tall enough, a little trick is to put some of your favorite books under the lamp just to add a little extra height. Don’t be afraid to use different metals, I love a good mix of metals, it adds interest to the room. Couple of things you want to keep in mind is the different types of lighting, remember lighting creates moods. 

One of the biggest trends now in the industry is can lighting, if you can incorporate can lighting I highly recommend getting a dimmer switch to create the mood of the room. This is cheap and simple to do. The same holds true for any table lamps, or floor lamps, purchase ones that offer three lighting options, using a three-way bulb. When you walk into the room, it’s important that lighting is placed on all sides of the room, to create a balance.

Placing Your Artwork 

One of the biggest mistakes people make when hanging there pictures or artwork is that they hand them too high. Typically you want to place your artwork a little higher than eye level. Now I know what you’re thinking… “we’re all different heights”… You don’t want to struggle to see the the essence of the picture. Scale is also very important, consider your wall size, if you have a large wall, either create a vignette, using multiple pictures, or one or two larger pictures spaced relationally on the wall. Nothing like a mirror to make your room look and appear larger. What’s key about mirrors is that they reflect light, if possible hang mirrors across from windows, to reflect light. In a large open space this is less important, and a floor mirror works great.

Keep it Fresh….

I’m going to end with this…As each new season arrives, to keep things fresh without having to break the bank, consider adding in just one new color to add to the room. You can do this by simply replacing the cover on your throw pillows, or adding in colored candles, and fresh flowers and plants in relation to the season.