Have you ever ordered a sofa that looked fine in the shop, only to get it home to discover that it swamped your room? It is a very easy mistake to make: the sofa was originally seen as small, relative to the large space of the store, but when placed in the relatively smaller space of your living room it appeared proportionally bigger. Now that you have your room plan, however, you will be able to place the sofa to scale on the drawing to gauge its impact before you make your purchase.

Mistakes are also easy to make when arranging furniture — mainly because of the lack of planning. You may find the following checklist helpful:

1- What activities will take place in the room (for example, dining, watching television, letter writing, bathing)?

2- What furniture will each activity require (for instance, desk, side table, armchair)? ♦ How much space will each function require?

3- What are the associated storage requirements (for example, bookcase, dressing table, record rack, desk)?

4- How will the human traffic circulate through the room?

Listing all of the above will help you to finalize your arrangements.

Physically moving your furniture around the room is one way to decide upon the most suitable arrangement, but it can be a little tiring and, in any case, the furniture may not be to hand at the time of making your plans. A much better way to configure where items are best placed is to draw them to scale on your room plan. Useful in this regard are stencils which feature common interior furnishings. These are available from most drawing office suppliers — but do remember to buy one that is compatible with the scale of your drawing. An alternative way of planning your furniture layout is to make most cutouts of the items you intend including (also to scale) and moving them around until you have a happy arrangement.

Ten Tips Ott Arranging Furniture

1- A three-seater sofa rarely accommodates three people happily. Instead, consider ordering a three-seater, but have it made up with two seat cushions.

2- If you choose furnishings with colours that closely match their intended background, the items will effectively disappear, leaving the room a much less cluttered appearance: for instance, A beige sofa against a beige carpet and beige walls. If you wish a piece of furniture to stand out, this effect can be achieved by choosing furnishings in a contrasting colour.

3- In a dining room don’t forget to allow enough space around the table, taking into account the need to pass behind a chair that is in use. A minimum space of approximately 90cm/3f, between a table and a wall, will be required for comfort.

4- In a kitchen, wall units that extend all the way up to the ceiling will eliminate an obvious dust-trap — an arrangement that will also provide extra long-term storage.

5- Stools and pouffes are useful for occasional seating in a living room. They take up little space and can sometimes incorporate storage space in their base.

6- When designing wardrobes, be careful to allow sufficient depth for coat hangers — 60cm/2ft should accommodate most. Also, ensure that rail is at an accessible height.

7- Try to arrange furnishings so that people entering the room are greeted by a pleasant view.

8- Kitchen units and vanity units should have recessed plinths to make it possible to stand close to the work surface/basin.

9- When ordering furniture, consider access to the house. Calculate in advance just how various items can be moved into position (this may involve removal of a window or hiring a crane for cumbersome pieces).

10- Storage! Storage! Storage!


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