Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Maximize your house!

Have you ever walked into a room and known immediately that the furniture should be arranged a certain way?  Well stop, this a sure-fire way to cost yourself valuable square footage!
This is how a living room looked before my client purchased it.  There are three identical units that are designed very similarly.
(Photo provided by Washington Fine Properties)

This layout has its positives.  Because the sofa faces the fireplace it does a good job of highlighting the focal point within the seating group.  Both options create a very small, intimate conversation area.  However, if you want your space to look as large as possible here are some things to avoid:

-Do not select an undersized area rug.  This is the biggest mistake that many homeowners and designers make. 
-Don’t squeeze your arrangement toward the fireplace or focal point.
-Avoid creating a walk space behind your conversation area.  This makes the room visually end at the back of the furniture grouping.
-In certain situations angling your furniture closes off the space and visually limits square footage.
-Do not select furniture that is under scaled or over scaled.  Pay attention to the seat and back height of your choices.

Here is an alternate plan that was created for my client and a photo of the in-progress design.

Here are some ideas that we used that may translate to your space:

-One large room sized area rug (NOT installed yet) in the living room defines its function and makes the entire room fair game for seating.  As an alternate you could consider a wall-to-wall or custom fit installation.
-By selecting a sofa with a commanding length we visually balanced the fireplace. 
-Pushing the sofa all the way back to the wall virtually widens the room.  
-Creating two adjacent seating groups is conducive to entertaining because it allows for large groups while still allowing intimate conversations.   
-We designed armless chairs and loveseats in order to promote cross group interactions. 
-Appropriately scaled furniture fills the space without making it feel crowded.

You may not be able to add square footage to your home, but you can certainly maximize it with your furniture arrangement- so explore all of your options.

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