I found these words years ago in a furniture ad. Little did I know then that I’d be using them on my own website all these years later (at least 8-10 years ago in Utah!). They still give me pause.
What Do Visitors See?
What do your visitors see when they visit your home? Do they find things throughout your rooms that reflect your personality, your individuality, your passions? Have your interests or style changed in the last few years? How can you take the same old things that you own and make them more reflective of your style as it is today, not when you bought the furnishings?
Currently I’m faced with this exact dilemma. I have the same furniture I’ve had for the last 12 years though this is the 5th house we’ve been in. Frankly I’m a little bored with the look and the furniture. But, it’s what we have for now. Not even a new lamp. So how do I mix things up to infuse some new life into these old furnishings and show that my style is evolving?
By far the easiest thing to do when there’s no budget for new is to rearrange the old. Cindy wrote a series last year with some great tips on arranging furniture and since she’s the master of redesign – using what you already have – I decided to test her suggestions.
I have a fairly standard great room arrangement with the family room (no formal living room), dining (no breakfast room) and kitchen all one big rectangular space. I originally squared everything up to the fireplace as the focal point.
Her suggestion is to try placing furnishings on the angle – it opens up the room, often making it feel larger. It creates a more vibrant, interesting viewpoint into the room. It pulls furniture away from the walls. I’ve always had my furnishings squared up but I’m ready for a change.
Though this might not be the best angle, you can see that my sofa is squarely across from the fireplace, I have 2 club chairs side by side at right angles to the sofa and lined up with the area rug. I have a recliner (the caramel chair on the left) at a slight angle toward the TV with a narrow walkway into the room between the recliner and bookcases. On the 2 chair side you have to kind of squeeze between the end table and chair – definitely a tight fit so not a convenient access point into the room. It looks nice but doesn’t function really well.
I chose to leave the area rug straight and just move the furniture. I angled the sofa and pushed the recliner down closer to the fireplace. As you can see it really opened up the room and created a much better access point from the right. However, the recliner is now so close to the bookcases, hubby can’t fully recline and now it’s difficult to enter the room from that side.
Just by switching around two chairs I improved the traffic pattern immensely. You can see I have more room between the bookshelves and purple chair and you can easily pass between the recliner and end table. The room is still balanced by the purple chairs flanking the fireplace.
Here I’m standing square to the fireplace so you can see how the angles make for a strong conversational grouping yet TV viewing isn’t ignored. A win-win arrangement.
This is the view of the room as you view it from the entry hall. The angled sofa makes a more interesting viewpoint and doesn’t close the room off so much.
Try a New Arrangement
I encourage you to spend a rainy/snowy afternoon rearranging your furniture. Try it on an angle. Try using pieces from other rooms in the house. And I’ve discovered over the years that planning it or visualizing it doesn’t have the same accuracy as actually doing it. And the bonus? It forces you to dust and clean under the furniture pieces as you move them!
Let us know how your rearranging goes. As always, we love hearing successes and dilemmas from our readers.
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