While some people delight at the prospect of arranging furniture and reinventing their rooms, others find the task overwhelming. When it comes to arranging your space, so many considerations are at play. Organizing furniture is about so much more than moving things around and hoping for the best. Many things should be considered before embarking on such a project, including the layout of your living room, lighting, traffic flow throughout the room, and of course, the visual equilibrium of your space.
If you need to arrange living room furniture and are unsure of where to begin, you can start by following this simple guide. As the old adage goes, ‘knowledge is power,’ and these expert tips and tricks will have you arranging furniture like a pro!
Re-arranging a living space can range from super affordable to really expensive, depending on how much you are changing. If you don’t have the budget for drastic changes, you can still make a statement by moving furniture around or changing the lighting.
It All Starts with a Plan
While seasoned designers might be able to throw together a phenomenal room in the blink of an eye, most of us need to start with a plan. The best thing to do is to get some graph paper and jot down a rough sketch of your living room and the proposed layout.
Be sure to draw in essential things like windows, shelving units, fireplaces, and doorways, as this will help you to visualize where you can place larger pieces like sofas and coffee tables. These plans are beneficial if you plan to buy any new items for your lounge and help you see whether or not they will fit. If drawing is not your idea of fun, you can also check out an online floor planner or opt for the skills of a professional designer. However, if you decide to give sketching a go, remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. It is just a rough idea of what pieces will fit into your lounge.
Select a Focal Point
Once you have a rough idea of the layout of your space, you will want to choose a focal point. Focal points can enhance the room and bring everything together; they are an essential part of interior design. A focal point is usually the part of the room that draws attention first, and as such, you want it to make an excellent first impression. The focal point is truly the star of the lounge show, so you will want to highlight the room’s best features.
Sometimes focal points arise naturally, in the case of a fireplace or a large bay window. However, other times you’ll have to create one. As a loose rule, the sofas should face the focal point (such as a fireplace, shelving unit, or television stand.) In addition, you can enhance the area by adding artworks, accent walls, plant displays, or statement pieces of furniture.
An excellent focal point might also have a light source to add extra emphasis. This can be in the form of lamps, pendant lights, wall sconces, or ceiling lights.
Allow Spaces for Conversation
The living room in any home is one of the most critical areas for connection and socialization. As such, you want to ensure that there is ample space for conversation. You’ll want to ensure that the sofas and chairs in your area are arranged in such a way that people can easily chat. They should be positioned near each other so people can comfortably have a conversation. This doesn’t necessarily have to be uniform and straight, but you want to create intimate spaces for discussion. If you have a particularly big room, you could create a few conversational hubs.
Pay Attention to the Scale & Proportion of Pieces
Scale and proportion are important considerations when it comes to arranging your living area. You don’t want to have large sofas and a very tiny coffee table in a large room or hang small artworks on large areas of the wall. You want there to be an element of balance and cohesion.
Likewise, if you have a very small lounge, you’ll want to avoid furniture pieces that are so large they dominate the room entirely. When purchasing new furniture items, always have the room’s measurements on hand to make sure the pieces will fit into the area with ease.
Identify the Traffic Patterns in Your Lounge
Each room has its own unique traffic pattern. If you have multiple entrances in the room, then you’ll need to take this into account. You don’t want people bumping into furniture or tripping over signature pieces as they try to get from A to B.
Knowing where your living space is most congested with foot traffic will allow you to create clear pathways for people to walk through. Ideally, you want to ensure that there are a few feet between the path and furniture pieces like sofas and coffee tables.
Use Your Rugs as Dividers
Not only are rugs a fantastic addition to any lounge, making the space cozier and more welcoming, but they can also be utilized as a room divider. This works well if you have different spaces. For example, large area rugs work well under coffee tables and couches.
Rugs can also create different yet cohesive spaces in the room. Opt for different colors or patterns to add definition to different parts of your lounge, such as the seating area, a reading nook, or highlight passageways and entrances.
Rugs are a fantastic way to make a living room extra inviting and work well to define the space.
Don’t Focus on the TV but Do Focus on the Fireplace
While most living spaces have a television unit, and this is a great source of entertainment, it doesn’t have to be the sole focus of the lounge. There are clever ways to hide the television away while not in use, such as placing it in a cabinet with doors, hiding it behind a piece of art, painting the wall behind it a dark shade so that it blends into the room, or utilizing sliding doors.
Many homeowners opt to put the television above the fireplace, which is usually an impressive focal point on its own. A TV above the fireplace can seriously detract attention away from this feature piece and often leads to the screen is way too high for enjoyable watching. Rather opt for artworks or mirrors above your fireplace or even featured shelves. Instead, place the television next to your fireplace on a shelf, hinge, or cabinet. This will create a better balance between the two without detracting from either.
Add Proper Lighting to Your Living Room
Lighting is sometimes one of the most overlooked elements of design, and this is unfortunate. Lighting can dramatically transform a living space, enhancing the ambiance in a flash. When it comes to lighting, the options are endless. Many living spaces have a large lighting source, such as a chandelier or pendant, and this makes for great focal pieces.
However, it doesn’t have to stop there. Wall lights are a fantastic way to create an interesting wall effect and work well to illuminate dark areas. Spotlights are another fantastic choice if you want to highlight a particular area, maybe even a focal point, and of course, lamps are always a great choice too. When it comes to lamps, you can choose standing ones or smaller table ones. Lampshades can also serve as brilliant statement pieces, creating further cohesion between colors, patterns, and design.
Find Visual Equilibrium
Visual equilibrium is largely a personal perspective and relates to the balance of the space. The arrangement of a room can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, depending on the space, and both can work. You would use the focal point as the middle-ground (say a fireplace) and then mirror outwards with your furniture, lights, and other objects such as tables and shelves. When it comes to finding the visual equilibrium, you will want to pay attention to the visual weight of different objects. Large, domineering signature pieces can be great. However, you don’t want too many of these items competing with each other as this can become overwhelming.
However, asymmetrical spaces can offer an exciting and innovative style, and balance and cohesion can be created with color, light, and texture. You can even mix and match elements of symmetry and asymmetry. When it comes to finding balance, you have to choose a layout that appeals to you.
Go Green, Strategically
Amazingly, many of us are opting to go greener, and there are several great ways to enhance your green footprint in your lounge. While it might be costly to transform everything all at once, there are some simple ways to strategically go green. These include:
- Using energy-efficient LED lights. Not only will these reduce your energy bills, but they’ll also make you feel good because you are boosting your ecological footprint.
- Choose energy-efficient window frames that work to keep your room insulated and the heat inside.
- Opt for furniture that is made from recycled objects and items or repurpose old pieces. You can also make sure that you use sustainable resources.
- Choose natural fabrics and fibers for couches, pillows, curtains, and blankets rather than synthetic ones.
- Consider a furniture swop party with your friends.
- Embark on a DIY project and make your own furniture. There are some great resources around to help you with the project.
Mixing up your living room layout can make a tired lounge look brand new. Whether you are moving existing furniture pieces around, adding different lighting solutions, or changing up the color scheme, a change really can be as good as a holiday. Sometimes you just have to experiment and try out different options. If your living area is feeling stale and tired, try moving a few items around and see how your space feels. Try it out for a few days, and if the flow is not working for you, mix things up again. Eventually, you will find a flow and style that brings you joy and suits your style and lifestyle.
Have you recently arranged a living area? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks.