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Furniture: Tips for Perfect Placement

Your new home is almost finished, and you are excited about moving in soon. You are imagining how you will arrange your furniture and decorate each room. It is important to arrange your furniture in a manner that is pleasing to the eye and easy to maneuver around. Sure, your coffee table might look great in a particular space, but it is not practical if you knock your knee on it every time you pass through the living room. It is no secret; most of us cannot go out and buy all new furniture to fit perfectly into each room of our new homes. For the most part, many new homeowners have to work with most of the furniture pieces they already own and add new pieces over time. You can hire an interior decorator to give you advice about arranging your furniture, but that will come with a hefty charge that most likely is not included in your building budget. However, you have the power to arrange your furniture on your own! Do not expect to have the perfect furniture arrangement in a matter of seconds. You will need to put your time and careful and creative thought into your furniture arrangements, just as you used your time and creative ideas to shop for the perfect house plan. The tips listed below will help you achieve success with furniture placement in your new home.

  • Create a balanced room. Do not place all of the large, bulky and heavy furniture pieces on one side of the room. You will create the appearance of a sinking ship.
  • Choose a large piece of furniture as an anchor piece for each room and arrange other pieces around it. For example, the entertainment center may be the anchor in the family room. Arrange chairs, couches, and tables around it. In master bedroom, the bed might be the anchor piece. Arrange nightstands, chest and dresser around it.
  • Use your longest piece of furniture along the longest wall. In the living room, choose a couch over a chair. In the dining room, perhaps you would choose the china cabinet.
  • Do not place every piece of furniture against a wall. Use angles or create space whenever possible. Angles create a less rigid feel, allowing for more casual living space. Consider angling a chair and floor lamp in the corner of the great room. Create space by positioning the couch parallel with the wall, but bringing it out 2 ½' - 3' from the wall. This creates a place for traffic flow between the couch and the wall, while adding a cozy touch.
  • Accent larger pieces of furniture with smaller ones such as a plant on end table in the great room, a lamp and night stand in the master bedroom and a small bookshelf in a child's bedroom.
  • Avoid the boxy feel. Stay away from arranging all seating around a coffee table. This creates a box that is not open to the rest of the room. Using angles in this instance helps avoid this problem. In a child's room, avoid the box of putting one piece of furniture on each wall. Instead, angle the bed out from one corner drawing attention to it instead of the items against the walls.
  • Use furniture pieces that work in each room and are pleasing to the eye. The same furniture pieces that worked together in one room at your old house may not work as well together in the new house. Maybe the bookshelf does not need to be in the family room anymore and would work better in the den.
  • In a room that is functional, but seems a little tight, consider removing the least used piece of furniture or the one you can do without. If there are six people in your family, do you really need eight chairs around the dining room table? Consider storing two chairs in the basement or attic and place them in the dining room only when you have company for dinner. Does your child need a toy box in his room or can it be moved to another play area such as a game room or basement?
  • Whenever possible, create a seating arrangement you can walk around instead of one you must walk through. Consider the family room. No one likes someone passing in front of couch and blocking his view while trying to watch TV.
  • Do not block traffic flow. Allow direct access to seating in the living areas. Keep tables, lamps and chairs out of the main flow of traffic. In a similar manner, in a child's room, arrange for the miniature table and chairs to be located away form the door as not to block traffic.
  • Arrange furniture to capture views. Do not block the floor to ceiling windows in the great room with a bookcase or the view of the lake with an entertainment center in the family room. Why pay for the windows if you are not going to use them?
  • Sometimes, large rooms such as the great room or family room can be divided into two separate spaces. Consider using a couch and sofa table as a room divider. Use the couch side of the room for watching TV and socializing. Use the sofa table side for a sitting area or calming space for reading after the kids have gone to bed. Use armchairs and floor lamps in the sitting area. Place framed photos or decorative vases on the sofa table adding decorative accents to both portions of the room.
  • Go with your gut instinct and arrange your furniture the way you believe it will work for your family. Live with the arrangement for a few days and rearrange it if necessary. Wait to decorate the walls with paintings and other accents until you are satisfied with the furniture placement. This is also true when it comes to hooking up electronic equipment whether it is the TV or home computer.
  • The furniture arrangement must be functional. If your daily activities do not flow smoothly and you find yourself wishing a certain piece of furniture was in a different space. Move it. Your furniture arrangement must suit your needs.

Arranging furniture can be quite challenging and overwhelming, but these tips will help you with the tack while reducing your frustrations about furniture placement.

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