In my experience, interior design can be a lot like drawing. Let’s say you took an experienced artist and someone with no art experience, sat them down in front of a bowl of fruit, and asked them to draw it. The experienced artist would probably use shading, perspective, and other skills to produce a faithful recreation, right?
The amateur, on the other hand, would likely struggle to do the same because they wouldn’t have the same understanding of artistic principles. Even though they were drawing from the same source material as the artist, the amateur’s drawing would look… well, amateurish compared to the artist’s!
I think this is a useful metaphor when thinking about interior design, because it helps explain why us non-designers often struggle to recreate designs or styles we see in magazines or on TV. Without an understanding of the principles that go into designing a space or arranging furniture, it’s very hard to recreate it at home!
That’s why in today’s blog post, I want to explore some of the most common mistakes that us non-designers make when arranging our furniture. You’ll not only leave this post with a better understanding of design principles, but you’ll feel more confident about applying them successfully at home!
7 Mistakes You Make When Arranging Furniture
1. Thinking Narrowly
When selecting and arranging furniture in any room, it’s important to consider how you’ll use that room both on an average day and on special occasions. If you like having friends or family over for game nights, you can plan for that by supplementing your larger furniture with ottomans, poufs, and other versatile pieces you can move around to provide additional seating.
Thinking broadly when arranging your furniture will help you create spaces that aren’t just visually pleasing, but functional too!
2. Ignoring Light Fixtures
If you’re arranging or rearranging furniture in a room with a large light fixture, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. In the dining room, for instance, dining tables look best when centered under the light fixture.
If you can’t move the furniture for some reason, you may have to hire an electrician to relocate the wiring so your light hangs in the right spot. (Another viable option, as long as you have a chandelier with a long chain, is to use a ceiling hook to swag the chain so that it hangs where you want it to without relocating the wiring.)
3. Not Planning Focal Points
The main seat or seating in any room should have a “view” or focal point. Without one, the seating may not actually be a functional addition to the space.
Fireplaces and TVs are obvious candidates to use as focal point, but what about rooms that don’t have either? Windows work well, or you could even center your furniture around an opening into another room. (If your only option is a blank wall, create your own focal point with a bookcase or a gallery wall!)
4. Ignoring Traffic Flow
If you don’t consider how traffic will flow through the room when you’re arranging your furniture, the room could end up feeling more like an obstacle course! Make sure to keep traffic flow in mind as you decide where your furniture pieces should go so you can facilitate movement through the room, rather than impede it.
5. Blocking Windows
Windows bring natural light into a room, and the fewer windows a room has, the more important they in preventing the space from feeling dark or claustrophobic. Avoid blocking windows with furniture to allow as much natural light into the room as possible.
If you simply can’t avoid placing furniture in front of a window for some reason, bringing mirrors into the room will help bounce the light sources and brighten up your space.
6. Sticking To The Walls
In a smaller room, it makes sense to place furniture along the walls to make the most of the space. But in larger rooms and open-plan areas, only placing furniture along the walls won’t help you make the most of the space!
Instead, you can break up a large area and utilize the space more effectively by grouping your furniture into two or more separate clusters. Don’t be afraid to “float” some of your furniture in the middle of the room!
7. Breaking Rug Rules
Picking out the right area rug for a space can be a lot trickier than it sounds! One of the most important rug “rules” to keep in mind when deciding where to put one is that all the legs of your furniture should rest on it.
If that’s not possible for whatever reason, try to at least the front legs of the item resting on the rug!
Do you have a favorite tip or trick about arranging furniture?