Most of our questions from readers are about color – what color to use, what colors work together, how to add or delete color from their spaces, etc. We also get lots of requests to help with fitting furniture into a room. That’s the dilemma presented by Crystal….she’s moved into a new place and wants some help figuring out how to arrange her furniture.
Too Many Doorways
Crystal writes: “I recently moved into my new home and am having lots of difficulty arranging my furniture in my family room. As you will see in the pictures I have attached, I’m having such difficulty mainly due to the fact that I have 3 entryways/exits off of the family room (1 from the front door to the family room, another from the family room to the guest bedrooms and bathroom, and the 3rd from the family room to the kitchen) and I don’t want to block any of these entrances/exits with furniture or obstruct these pathways.
My family room is a 16′ x 18′ room and I would like for this room to have an open feel and flow that is a clutter-free, stylish, comfortable and relaxing space for watching television, listening to music, reading, entertaining guests, sleeping. Please help me accomplish this in this family room!!! I greatly appreciate your help.” Crystal
I wrote back to Crystal with a few questions which she helpfully answered as well as sending me some room measurements. I was able to make a scale drawing of the room and give her some ideas.
Diagonal Lines Create Interest
Crystal, you actually have a pretty generously sized room at 16 x 18′ and while the doors on every wall present a little bit of a problem, it’s certainly not insurmountable. As you look at the 3 ideas I’ve drawn for you, you’ll see a definite pattern. In each case the furniture is moved out AWAY from the wall (great designer tip!). You have plenty of floor space so really play with moving furniture into the room.
Create a seating area where there’s no more than 6-8’ between seating pieces. In other words try to L the sofa and love seat as you currently have them to create a cozy conversation area. Another option would be to have them facing each other with a coffee table in the middle and 2 smaller chairs creating the third “leg” of the arrangement.
The furniture representations are all average sizes and the drawing is to scale – the black lines at the edges represent windows or door ways. The entrance to the kitchen is at the top where the bar is indicated. Crystal wants to add seating in addition to her existing sofas and this arrangement allows room for that. The console table behind the sofa would be open underneath with room to tuck a couple of ottomans for even more emergency seating.
The diagonal arrangement brings a dynamic feel to the room without blocking any pathways to get through the room. The front door to the house is the wall at the bottom of the drawing so imagine coming in the front door and seeing a sofa angled attractively toward you. Very welcoming.
Still working on the diagonal, this plan moves the TV stand or armoire to the corner, adds some plants and shows there’s plenty of room for a desk under one of the windows and a bookcase or video cabinet in another corner. This solution creates a very cozy seating area with only one armchair or recliner that makes a U-shape of the seating pieces. The addition of a larger (this one is 8×10) area rug really anchors the seating area and connects it to the TV. Here the path from the front door to the kitchen is directed around the main seating area so as not to interrupt activities.
Square Things Off
A more traditional solution is to square things up a bit. Move the TV armoire/stand to a place between the windows and add your accent seating next to it, visually filling the corner by the front door entryway. Use the area rug to connect all the pieces and to fill the corner behind the sofa, add a console table, small desk, a couple of bookcases, whatever fits your lifestyle and needs. If you need extra storage, this is the place for it. Imagine opening the front door and being confronted with this open and welcoming view.
Crystal’s always open to more suggestions. At this point she’s just working with the sofa and loveseat so the room is a blank slate. Do you have some suggestions about how you’d treat this good sized room to make it inviting for relaxing, hanging out with guests and watching TV? We all benefit from sharing our ideas, so let’s hear yours.
Remember our one year anniversary celebration is right around the corner. Don’t miss tomorrow as we share more about what’s to come……..