Last week, I shared the #1 mistake people make when home decorating. Do you remember what it was? It was a great opportunity to assess my own lighting situation, and I found that changing out a couple of lightbulbs made me feel like I was living in HGTV. It was magical.
Today, I share the second mistake I see over and over again as I visit real people's homes in my job as an artist:
Incorrect scale and placement of furniture (and decor.)
Often, in the erroneous notion that "we don't want to make the room look smaller," people will line their seating arrangements along the walls. Yes, you might have a nice open floor space for wrestling, but it can make for awkward conversations when everyone is seated at odd angles and with too much distance in between them.
Instead, think: Conversational Style and Balance. Group seating in "conversational" arrangements. Don't face all the seating toward the TV set. (Sorry, men!) Imagine how a fancy hotel lobby has groups of chairs facing each other, with tables within reach to set drinks and lamps on. They want you to linger and talk! Hey, what a novel idea! Home should have the same effect, only moreso.
I love this HGTV article and slideshow because it has some great tips!
When it comes to scale, most of us use things that are too small in scale for decorating and furnishing. Antiques are almost always "too" dainty looking for today's decor styles, and need to be used judiciously when combined with current pieces. Using a few pieces that are "oversized," like a large armoire, a big coffee table, and generous lamps make a room look expansive and luxurious, rather than cluttered with a lot of little things.
I believe furniture pieces should be similar in scale, i.e. don't pair a huge overstuffed leather couch next to a dainty antique chair. Pull the tiny chair into another arrangement and use a chunky side chair, maybe with with ottoman, instead. This will give the room a more cohesive look and again, aids that "conversational" appeal.
Today's Small Thing is to look at the furniture arrangement in your living room.
No, you don't have to REARRANGE furniture today, unless you want to and have a strong enough back. (Sit down, Anna Marie! You've got a pinched nerve, so don't attempt it!) Simply consider your options and make a plan - that is all for today!
Then, just as soon as you can, grab an extra set of muscles and get to work. Create a conversation area by pulling chairs and sofas into a group, rather than lining the walls with them. If your room is large enough, a diagonal arrangement of your main pieces might be a fun change. Balance the room by making sure that not all the "heavy" or dark pieces are on one side, and remove the small, cluttery things that detract from a "sanctuary" feel. Shop the other rooms of your house for lamps, pillows and accessories....and you may find that you have a whole "new" living room without spending a dime!
When you look at your living room, what rearrangements can you make that will make it feel conversational and balanced?
OK, OK! Bonus Points: 40 for moving a few things around. PLAY! Move a lamp, bring in a new pillow, retire those dusty silk flowers. Take a picture of your room and look at the photo with a critical eye....you'll see things differently that way! (80 points possible today!)
Next week - I share Decorating Mistake #3!