Life as a Designer. How to arrange furniture

It sounds easy enough to locate the most prominent features in the room - the fireplace or TV, typically -  but for many rooms there may be no claer focal point. Or there might be more that one which makes orienting a room more difficult.

Sit and stare. What do you want to look at? In our living room, everyone throught that we should have the sofa face the fireplace, but when in the room, you just wanted to look out the beautiful windows to a backyard of trees. So we choose to orient the sofa toward the windows instead. It's hard to know the focal point until you are in the room and you realize, "Yes, this is how I want to sit/" You don't necessarily have to face the focal piont; you can just arrange your furniture around it. 



These are the technical terms that designers have to think about but nothing needs to be perfect. Here are a few handy ways to achieve a layout trifecta: scale, balance, flow.

SCALE. Your furniture should match the size of your room. So a large living room often needs a large sectional, but here's a shocker: A large sectional can also work in a small living room - situate it in a corner and the room actually feels bigger. If your sofa is big, then you might think the armchair needs to be too, but a pair of small-scale chairs visually create one large chair. When pairing seating, choose seat heights that are within 4 inches of each other.

BALANCE. The easiest way to think about balance is by looking at whether the visual weight of the room is equally distributed, both in color and in furniture. The just means that things should feel close to equal visually. It could be a big painting that balances out a sofa, or a bench that balances out two club chairs. 

FLOW. Your room should be easy to natigate from one end to the other. Make sure you have enough space for your walkways and to get to where you walkways and to get to where you want to go. You don't want guests bumping their knees when they get up from the couch or having to squeeze past a side table on their way out. This might involve a bit of trial and errors, so don't be afraid to arrange and rearrange your pieces.