Day 18: Lock in Your Furniture Layout

updated Mar 11, 2020
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Day 18: Monday, August 26
Assignment: Work on your furniture placement only – no accessories, artwork or decor yet!

Congratulations to everyone on making it to the last leg of the Style Cure, with an extra round of applause for everyone who tackled the big paint job this past weekend. I know its tempting to zoom to the finish line and completely set your room up at this point, but if you can keep your foot on the brakes for just a bit, today can be an interesting day – let’s focus on getting the furniture placement done right.

Today’s Assignment:

If you cleared your room out for painting over the weekend, today’s assignment is a bit easier, since you are moving things back into place anyway and have removed all the accessories and artwork, which gives you a blank(er) slate. If you didn’t paint, it would be helpful to strip out some of your current accessories, artwork and decor items at this point to be able to focus on just the big pieces, and then add in the rest again with us over the course of the week. Leaving (or making) things a bit spare will help you think more about the actual space and how you are making the most of it, without the distractions of the “pretty” stuff that you’ll layer (back) in soon. Either way, everyone should take some time and work on exact furniture placement ONLY today.

Thinking back over the plans you made regarding the optimum layout for good flow, place the furniture. And then “test” it by considering the following hints and tips from Maxwell and tweak it accordingly. Now, of course, these are just guidelines and may not apply to your own particular room or needs, but by running through the list, you may come up with some new things to try. Even small shifts can make a big difference in how the room “feels” and what it is like to spend time in for you and your guests.

  • Are there any parts of the room that will be difficult to reach with a vacuum cleaner? Adjust as much as possible to make cleaning (and flow) easier and better.
  • Some layouts will require big pieces (bookshelves, dressers, certain sofas) to be placed against walls, but for other items (end tables, chairs, floor lamps, etc) make it a goal to have them at least 6 to 12 inches from a wall to give some breathing room to everything – a “cushion of air so that good energy flow can continue” is how Maxwell puts it.
  • Locate the middle of the room and work off of that axis as a way to center the main furniture arrangement.
  • Consider symmetry. Sofas and beds often work best with things of a similar scale (side tables, lighting) on both sides.
  • Consider the flow lines. Keeping access around pieces open from as many sides as possible is a good goal.
  • If possible, place the bed so the foot points toward the bedroom door.
  • Try to place the tv and other media equipment on walls that are least visible from the main entrance to the room.
  • Whenever possible, move sofas off of the wall.
  • Don’t block windows.
  • Aim for a minimum of three separate seating options in the living room sitting area.
  • Keep the corners of your room as open as possible.

Once you get things arranged to your satisfaction, stop and live with it for the rest of the day without adding anything else. Changes of all sizes take getting used to, so no need to rush here. Also, letting your eyes get used to the space with less “detail” will help with the next few assignments.

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(Image: Ashley Poskin / Anne & Tahoe’s Barnum Bungalow )