How a Designer Can Aid in Furniture Setting
When most people think about hiring an interior designer, they zero in on aesthetics: wall colors, window treatments, pillow patterns. But that’s just scratching the surface of what a designer can add to a home. These pros go beyond cosmetic concerns to ensure that a space feels harmonious through and through, from its floor plan and architectural envelope to the last nail head, tassel and tuft. How can they help with your room setting? Where you place your furniture in a room will instantly set the tone for how you’ll live in that room. Here are some must-know tips for arranging spaces, whether you’re relaxing, watching TV or chatting with friends.
The first step in arranging a space is determining its size. Use a tape measure to get the dimensions of a room. Or, a quick tip: Measure your foot and then walk heel to toe across the room. This is an easy way to estimate the basic size. Then, check the dimensions of the hallways, stairs and door widths leading to the space. This is the eternal challenge for a homeowner, being sure the entrance and egress of the room are large enough for potential purchases.
Every object has a height, depth and width. To add visual interest to any space, incorporate a variety of furniture with different characteristics. If you’re going for a serene, unchallenging area for rest or recovery, keep the furnishing volumes in a room similar.
The size of pieces relative to one another and the size of the space is their scale. Similarly scaled pieces are more serene when used together, but a nice balance of pieces creates a harmonious atmosphere, utilizing the differing physical qualities of height, depth and width throughout a room. When furnishings are out of scale, you’ll notice that it just won’t feel comfortable or right.
The relationship of items to one another to form a pleasing whole is called balance. There are two forms of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Bilateral symmetry is like the human body: There are two of everything. Asymmetry refers to an imbalance, such as two candles of slightly different sizes next to each other. Symmetry is very restful, while asymmetry is used to add visual motion and excitement.
The second trick painters use is the creation of depth in artwork, which is a two-dimensional medium. Paintings often have a foreground, midground, background and vanishing point. Stand at the threshold of your room. Place a chair, perhaps at an angle, in the foreground closest to you. The cocktail table will provide a midground and the sofa with the wall behind it will serve as the background. A window in the scene will give you your vanishing point. Or, the vanishing point can be within a work of art placed above the sofa.