Not all rooms are created equal. Let's face it, some rooms are awkward and arranging furniture to create conversation areas while preserving traffic flow is just plain difficult. You try and try and then give up shoving any remaining furniture to the four corners of the room (if you even have four corners).
Well, I'm hear to give a few tips on how to think outside the 'push everything to the walls' box.
Let's say you have a room that is multipurpose. Think about brining in pieces of furniture that can be used in unique ways. In this homeschool room we added a secret weapon that changed the room's functionality completely!
Here is the before.
And here it is now. The family heirloom oak table, which wasn't working in the kitchen for this family of five, is now the perfect place for homework and craft projects!
Let's say the room just isn't working for you anymore. This room had it's furniture pushed to the outside edges 'to accommodate the crowds'. But the family was no longer having as many large gatherings, so we rearranged the furniture to make the space feel fresh and intimate. Here is the space before.
And here is the after. No more far away conversations! And apart from the pillows everything was already in the room!
Let's say you just don't know what to do with a large room. Don't push the furniture to the outside edges of the room and hope everyone can hear (let alone see) one other! :)
Instead put the sofa facing the fireplace and create a better solution for conversation. Note: The other side of this room serves as an office which is a great way to multipurpose a large room.
Here is another great example of when floating a couch works well.
Let's say your room has a fireplace, large openings, several windows AND you want to watch TV in this room. Here is the space before. Note all the furniture facing the TV!
And here is the after. Putting the couch in front of the fireplace (a natural solution) wasn't an option because the TV would have been too high to watch comfortably. So....we floated the couch (facing the TV) but there is plenty of other stuff going on in the room to create a comfortable place for multiple activities AND visitors.
BUT not all sofas work best facing the fireplace or TV. In this amazing home, the sofa started that way, but it blocked the view from the foyer and didn't create the best conversation space (and floor room) due to the room's long and narrow features.
So...we turned the couch ninety degrees and added a fuzzy, luxe rug.
This room also helps to explain that sometimes pieces need to move to other rooms to live their best life. Ha!
See the GORGEOUS piece tucked in the corner never seeing the light of day? It looks a little grumpy.
We moved it to the dining room. Well, my client's moved it (fist bump). Here is the dining space before.
And here it is with the 'new' bookcase perfectly balancing out the heavy piano. I love shopping client's homes!
Furniture arrangement can have a HUGE impact on a room and should be the first consideration when freshening up a space.
BUT one last scenario. Let's say you have a pesky closet/window/unused door that takes up exorbitant real estate and rarely gets used. IF it were gone you would happily tap into your furniture arranging mojo. I have a solution. Ignore it.
In this case it was a wet bar.
The solution here was to blur the lines between closet and wall by using a dark paint color. Then throw a sofa in front of it and add LOTS of distracting, gorgeous oil paintings. Voila!
In doing this we created a better furniture framework for the other side of the room. This is where it started (the wet bar is on that left wall).
And here it is now. Look at that beautiful traffic flow!
So there you have it, folks. The best solution isn't pushing everything to the walls. In fact, I've moved sofas 3-6 inches from the wall and seen clients' eye's pop at the difference it makes. A little breathing room for the wall. A little respect for the job it is doing. :) And when the room seems to still be stumping you, try floating the sofa or just plain ignoring a door. It might be the key to getting you outside that box.