HOW TO LAY OUT A ROOM

Thinking about redecorating your house, or at least a portion of it? Before you jump in, consider some ideas from the experts to help envision your plan. It can be a little overwhelming. What with TVs, couches, coffee table vs. ottoman, too little space, too much space, and occasional chairs (what’s an “occasional” chair anyway?), there’s a lot to think about! With a few tips from the pros, you’ll have the True Fashionistaroom of your dreams in no time. 

The good folks at Ballard Designshave some stellar ideas, suggesting to start with focusing on just what the function of the room actually is in order to plan your space. Doing so will actually help you to stay on track in your planning and purchases. 

The next step? Clear out your space and start with a blank canvas. Noting window, vent and door locations will help with your vision for the room. Remember the graph paper you used in math class a hundred years ago that was way more fun when you just colored in the boxes in cool patterns? This is a good reason to revisit that graph paper, or just download one of several available online room planners for a more visually appropriate picture of your creation. Plan Your Roomoffers a versatile, easy to use planner to help guide you through this initial process. 

The next decision is all about the focal points. Every room needs one, however most rooms require at least two. To refresh, the focal point is the spot(s) that will automatically attract the eye upon entering the room. It might be the 55” TV on one wall, or a statement piece of art on another. Look for the largest, most prominent wall in the room, and build your focal point from there. House Beautiful suggests large plants to help create a cozy feeling in a large room, as well as a two-tone wall to break it up a bit. Smaller rooms benefit from natural daylight to seem bigger, plus placing eye-catching items in corners will actually give the effect of elongating smaller rooms. 

If you plan on putting an area rug in your mix, lay it down and work up from there. Create your seating cluster around it using the basic rule that the front two feet of all furniture should fit on the rug, while the back two legs can sit on the floor. 

Time for your furniture. The reason furniture stores always set up a sofa and two chairs in their floor models is because that match works in virtually every living room. Ballard Designs instructs that smaller rooms should have a couch with slim arms, while larger rooms can have a couch with a bulkier arm and more generous shape. Think about what your room’s function will be when choosing the chairs. Will you be watching TV or reading? Choose a large reading chair.  If you’ll be entertaining, an upright armchair with a small footprint is a better choice. If it’s a den you’re outfitting, as many seats as possible is the general rule. Go with a large sectional or two sofas. 

Don’t forget balance in your plan. Space things evenly and place everything just so to create symmetry. Balance your patterned furniture with one-colored pieces. Arrange your décor so wall art works off the accessories.

And how about the occasional seating? These are the extra pieces that are there to be used… occasionally. Place them around the room but not in the initial cluster. They can be pulled up as needed. A bench, stool or smaller chair all work well in this format. These extra pieces can add personality to the room as well. 

Now that you’ve got everything arranged, don’t forget to leave room for traffic flow. About 36 inches is the general rule for comfortable walking space. Generally, inside your seating cluster, your passway can be roughly 18-24 inches. 

Maybe you have a large room, but your preferred seating cluster leaves extra space. Consider a secondary cluster, possibly a single chair, lamp and ottoman for reading. Perhaps the wall is large enough to allow for extra storage or a bench. Empty corners also beg for an accent piece such as a large plant or occasional chair. 

You can find a great assortment of furniture and accent ideas at True Fashionista Homeonline or in our new store in Naples, FL. You’ll love how your house will look!

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