8 Tips on How to Resolve Your Layout Dilemma
Well, obviously you are not living in a cave. That is fact number one. Fact number two is not to worry – you can get around this layout dilemma with some simple rules to follow.
Placing furniture in a living room that has doors and windows at every turn can be a nightmare of a layout dilemma – but don’t let it get to you. There is not much you can do other than boarding up the windows and doors and I am sure that is not the way you wish to go.
1. It is called centering or focalising. Don’t concentrate on the wall space, but rather the furniture.
Place the furniture as close as possible to the centre of the room and by doing so you are creating a specific space for seating and getting cosy. It will create a natural flow of foot traffic in and out of the room.
We are often in the décor mode of placing everything against the wall. You have to get out of this and focus on a central feature. By defining this space everything else you have will automatically find its own territory.
2. Decide on the focal point of the room
Now this is tough – you should get a clever (and strong) friend around and empty the room of all your furniture. This puts the whole area into perspective. Do not treat the TV as a focal point. The TV must find its own place once you have decided on the focal point. In my opinion, TVs high up on an arbitrary wall are not going to win the style award of the year. Try and hide a TV or build it into a unit that has other accessories to draw you eye to, i.e. books, vases, collections etc.
If there is no obvious focal point like a fireplace, picture window etc. then select a wall on which for instance, the door is over to one side and then use this by hanging art or setting up your TV. I am suggesting getting a clever friend – because he or she will give you a whole new outlook on how to setup the layout.
3. Measure and draw up a diagram with all doors and windows of the sitting room
Perhaps you need another clever friend here as well if your to-scale-drawing skills are mathematically challenged. Everything to scale including the furniture and then on the scaled space place your furniture and get a perspective. Work out where the natural flow of traffic will be. You may have to chuck some stuff out – beware. No point in trying to squeeze those ugly step sister feet into Cinderella’s glass slippers.
4. Incorporate an existing rug or plan for a new one
Along with the furniture make a plan for where a rug will go as this will help in defining the seating arrangement. It should be slightly smaller than the seating area. An area rug even on top of existing carpets will give you a lovely platform to build your seating around. If you have an existing one and it is larger than the planned seating – just make sure that it does not hinder traffic. You don’t want people falling off the so-called platform!
5. Symmetrical is best
For instance, sofas facing one another or a smaller sofa facing two armchairs. If you are going to end up with an L-shape in your sofas, then make sure there is a small table between them for a lamp or other accessories. This also applies to two chairs- place a small side table in between. Then of course you can work out the position of your coffee table. If it does not fit proportionately – sorry to say but consider getting a new one.
6. Lighting to demarcate and give ambience
Once you have formatted the space for seating – then take lighting into consideration. If you need to you now have a central spot to place an overhead light fixture. It will allow you to have lighting without having a spaghetti junction of power cables and will not block any view you may have. This does not mean you can’t have side lamps, or lamps behind the sofas- just make sure the cables are out of sight.
7. Arrange your artwork on any bare walls you have
If you have lots of doors and windows in the room you are inevitably not going to be hanging lots of big art works – so, my dears, choose selectively. Remember you after a stylish home – get rid of the junk. Your clever friend will be able to help you here.
8. Consider sliding doors or hanging doors
These will give you plenty more space in which to work. You want foot traffic flowing naturally and these types can help in this dilemma. You don’t want you guests reversing and taking sharp right hand bends!
Thanks! Lea Ann