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Arranging furniture impacts room as much as a well-chosen wood floor

June 24, 2013

The most beautiful furniture in the world won't look its best if the proportion and balance is off in the room where it's placed. In the same way that the antiqued oak floors in Anderson's Gnarly Plank collection are a good choice to offset traditional furnishings, a room design that is well-arranged makes the best use of the furniture in it.

Hardwood FloorsThe most beautiful furniture in the world won't look its best if the proportion and balance is off in the room where it's placed. In the same way that the antiqued oak floors in Anderson's Gnarly Plank collection are a good choice to offset traditional furnishings, a room design that is well-arranged makes the best use of the furniture in it.

How the traffic flows
Interior designer Lauri Ward, the author of Use What You Have Decorating, suggests considering the traffic flow of the space by looking at how the doorways are situated. If two doors open onto a room, the traffic pattern should move behind the seating, not through it from one door to another. With a single doorway, the traffic should flow directly to the main seating area.

The designer also emphasizes that the size of furniture and where it is placed can throw off the balance of the whole space. She suggests spreading out the largest furniture pieces throughout the room for horizontal balance. The placement of area rugs on hardwood floors can also upset the balance of a room, and should be considered in conjunction with furniture placement.

"Proper furniture placement and balance may at first seem a complicated task, but all it really takes is common sense and learning to look at your room in a new way," Ward told iVillage.com.

Creating a comfortable space
Selecting the right furniture arrangement has the same effect whether it's in an indoor room or an outdoor living area. It can make a cavernous space seem cozy or create more openness in tight quarters. When designed correctly, people will also have enough room to walk around freely and settle in comfortably.

The furniture placement in home design can start with three steps - evaluate the space, consider the room's purpose and determine the best seating arrangement. The website advises consumers to take measurements before major furniture purchases are made.

Without considering these points, Ward said home decorators continue to make the same mistakes, such as placing a sofa against the room's longest wall. Rather than give the impression of more space, as most people believe, it may look as though the couch is too distant from other pieces that would otherwise make a comfortable conversation area.

Considering the purpose of the space will help homeowners select the furnishings that will work best for family activities as well as entertaining guests at a home gathering.