What are the essential furnishings needed to design a bedroom? What about a dining space? We’re willing to bet that you didn’t need to think very hard to answer either of those questions. That’s because we use the furniture in a room as context clues. They provide us with essential information about the space’s purpose. As you pick out the pieces that will go into your next design project, ask yourself how you intend to use the space before anything else. The answer to this question will help you dictate which furnishings are most necessary. For example, if you are working on a room where you want to entertain lots of guests, you’ll need plenty of seating. However, if you want to create a more reflective space, give that square footage to work desks that will help you complete important tasks. Remember, furniture makes a great focal point, so don’t hesitate to put it to good use. Pick the one element that, in your mind, clearly defines the room’s intended function and center your design around it. Arrange your other furnishings and décor items in such a way that the eye is always drawn to that same spot.
Speaking of arranging furniture, in addition to helping define function, these groupings also dictate how your friends and family will move through the space. Anyone who has tried to shimmy their way out of a too-tight seating area can tell you the importance of leaving the proper amount of – physical and visual – breathing room. When it comes to making sure you leave enough space, these are a few ground rules to keep in mind: - Keep the number of pathways in a room to a minimum – two is fine. - Send movement around seating groups, not through them. - Leave enough room to stand between seating and tables. - Push furniture away from the walls. Stick to a 3 in. rule - Arrange seating in clustered groupings to facilitate conversation. - Break large rooms into multiple groups. - When in doubt, take a test run through the space. Those who are visual learners may enjoy having the ability to test out multiple arrangements without having to push furniture around all day. Floor Planner is a free service that lets you see how your furniture will look without lifting a finger. They also have an IOS phone and tablet app so you can take your 3D plans on the go.
When you first hear it, the term “visual weight” seems like a complex concept. However, in reality, you instinctually know what it is. We’ll show you: Think about how you would feel if all of your furniture was suddenly pushed to the same side of the room. It feels like you’re on the Titanic and one side is sinking, right? Visual weight is all about helping balance a room. If you’re dealing with multiple, big, heavy components make sure to stagger them throughout the space so that one side does not feel more weighted down than another. Do your best to group larger items together with smaller ones to help vary your points of visual interest. The best tool that we can give you for this job is totally free. Just use your eyes. When you think you’ve found an arrangement that works, take a moment to step back and look at the room as a whole. That small shift in perspective should be enough to clue you in on whether one side feels more weighted than the other and allow you to make adjustments accordingly.
Last but not least, the furniture you choose to allow to fill your rooms is undoubtedly an expression of your unique sense of style. After all, some of us may flip over the simplicity of Scandinavian interiors, while others may prefer the collectivist comfort of a more eclectic design. Either way, the pieces that we allow into our homes speak volumes about our personalities. You may recall reading about the psychological effects of interior design and how the choices that we make effect other’s perception of us. Factors like the how much seating you provide for your guests, whether or not you prioritize comfort over style, and the brands that you buy all play a role, so weigh the decision of what furniture to buy with the utmost care. How do you go about finding a style that works for you? That’s easy. All you have to do is find pieces that you love and emulate their look. Design sites like fivebean are always a good place to start. But, don’t get too caught up in copying the pros. The best designs embrace individuality. Always remember to trust your instincts.
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