Ok, before you get all paranoid my friends- NO I do NOT walk into houses and immediately critique what is right and wrong. Only for the ones I get paid to do :) There are a ton of factors that go into how the house is decorated. Is it furnished with all hand-me down furniture? Did you start with a smaller house and now that you're in a larger setting the scale of the furniture is all off? Or my favorite: combining furniture from "the bachelor pad" and your posh apartment? No matter what the beginning story is, there is no reason why you can't work with what you have until you have the resources to fix it.
One of the first things I do notice (again, just in the houses that I get paid to) is how the rooms are laid out and if the furniture is pressed against every wall available and not creating a "cozy" area. Yes, many factors go into WHY this is happening- a doorway in the middle of the room, an odd shaped room or a fireplace that takes up an entire wall and theres minimal space left for furniture. However, even with the biggest "obstacle" in a room, there are still ways to create that intimate area so we don't feel like we're in a waiting room . There's always that main wall where we ideally place our largest sofa smack up against it, but it's best to have it at least 6" away. Just pulling it out that little bit brings a more relaxed feeling to the room (go ahead, try it ;)) Also, the rule of thumb is to space out all pieces in a conversation area 6-8' to 10' max. You don't want to feel like you have to shout to the other person across the room!
Take a look at these beautiful living rooms and notice how the furniture is off or barely touching the wall.
By the way, the rug in this picture is too small but we will cover area rugs another time!
Now I know what you are thinking- "I don't want to see the back of my couch!" Number 1 solution to that is to add a console table or even a dresser behind it (see photo to the left). Not only does this create a "break" in the room, especially for the open concept homes, this adds extra storage space and another place to display our beautiful family photos!
Just remember, if we don't feel warm and cozy in our own homes, anyone who enters will feel that same way.
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Until next time friends,
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