Dear Husband never knows what he’s going to come home to – at least as far as our furniture arrangement is concerned. Sometimes, I look at a room and think that it doesn’t work, or that it could work better, and I start rearranging. That’s exactly what happened when I started rearranging the living room.
Here’s what our living room looked like before:
When we saw the house for the first time – before we bought it – that was how the furniture was arranged. So, that’s what I went with, too. This presented some problems, though:
- Our furniture is bigger than the furniture that was here when we saw the house.
- Because the furniture was bigger, the flow through the room didn’t work. See arrow above armchair – walking from the entry or living room into the dining room almost always resulted in running into this chair.
- We put a TV in this room. The couch’s angle made watching TV less comfortable. See the arrow from the couch to the TV.
So one day, I decided to change things up. I turned the couch 90 degrees so that it faced both the TV and the fireplace. I also moved the chairs 90 degrees so that they flanked the fireplace.
What did this accomplish?
- Better flow: Now, when you walk in the door, there’s a clear path or entryway. You just walk along the length of the couch and there’s nothing to block your way. See white arrows in the picture below.
- Better angle for TV watching: Now, the couch faces the TV and it’s more comfortable to watch TV. See black arrow in picture below. As a bonus, the couch also now faces the fireplace, making it a focal point in the room.
- The chairs now flank the fireplace, making it more of a focus, and the chairs don’t block any flow to or from the living room.
- Another bonus: because the table with my typewriters isn’t blocked by the couch anymore, you can better see the typewriters. (Note: since taking this picture, I’ve replaced that table/desk with the barrister’s bookcase that was in the family room. That desk is now in the guest room.)
So, what did I learn about space planning from this experience?
- Don’t be afraid of big furniture if it doesn’t overwhelm the room. I actually considered selling the living room chairs and getting something smaller when the room was arranged the “before” way. But I like these chairs – they are comfy – and they just needed to be in a different spot in the room.
- If you are running into something as you walk from one room to another, your arrangement isn’t working. You should be able to walk a natural path from one room to the next, with no obstacles.
- If the first arrangement doesn’t work, try, try again. Live with the furniture and room arranged one way and, if it doesn’t work, change it. If the change doesn’t help, you haven’t really lost anything by rearranging the room (it’s free!) and you’ve learned what works and doesn’t work for that room.
- If you are not sure whether a change will work and you don’t want to move the furniture to find out, draw it out first. Make paper representations of each large piece in the room and move it around on paper before actually moving the first piece of furniture.
- When moving furniture, make sure you either lift it (use your knees!) or put a towel or slide under the legs, so that you don’t scratch the floor.
What room in your house isn’t working? Leave a comment and tell me what you might try to change in it.
For more posts about room design and decorating, click HERE.
To see the rest of our 1929 home, click HERE for the home tour.