Arranging furniture in your beautiful, brand new home is an exciting, and sometimes daunting, task. The possibilities seem endless, giving you the perfect chance to design a space tailored to your personal style, your needs for your home, and your Pinterest board.
Interior design is an imperfect art form and you want a balanced space that isn’t cluttered or barren, and can easily get off track. To learn where people go wrong, we asked several design experts to share common furniture arranging mistakes they’ve come across when working with homeowners.
Here’s what they shared – and what you should avoid:
Mistake #1: Jumping in Without a Plan
You might feel pressured to make your new home perfect the moment you move in. Avoid the temptation to start arraigning your furniture without a plan. Paradoxically, taking the time to figure out how you live in your new home, and refine your décor style will save you time, money, and stress as you decorate your house.
As you plan out your furniture needs, follow Cleveland-based interior designer, Ashley Paul’s guiding questions for your space, such as: “How many people do I want to sit? What activities will be taking place?”
Once you’ve figured out your plan, then you can go about finding furniture that meets your needs and matches your style. Interactive programs like Homestyler.com or Sketchup.com can help you create, experiment, and plan your space.
Mistake #2: Forgetting About Focal Points
Take a step back and consider the rooms in your new home. Where does your eye naturally go? Does your home have any exciting architectural details, or a great view, that you want to highlight? Is there something you want to draw the eye away from?
You can arrange your furniture to compliment focal points in your home’s architectural features, or cover up eyesores. Orientate your furniture, especially seating arrangements, to face focal points like big windows or a fireplace.
Faking a focal point with interesting furniture and décor objects can create visual interest in a simple space. Installing built in shelving, hanging large-scale art on a blank wall, or investing in a dramatic pendant lighting can compensate for basic features.
Mistake #3: Creating Imbalance
Never overlook the impact balance and angles have on the look and feel of a room. Before you start buying exciting, on trend furniture, pay careful attention to the way in which you distribute your furniture to avoid a lopsided space.
While armature interior decorators can create an exciting room by leveraging asymmetry in their furniture layout, beware of creating a random and cluttered space. You don’t have to be totally matchy-matchy to design a balanced room. Buying accent pieces in similar proportions, including strategic, bold furniture, and nog going overboard with tchotchke can help you create a room you love.
Mistake #4: Missing the Point
Do not start arraigning your furniture until you know how you want to live in a space. Seriously, step away from Pinterest and from design blogs for a little bit, and spend time in your new home.
Don’t let yourself get caught up in all the details of decorating your new home. If your living room has the latest, most on trend furniture, but isn’t a comfortable gathering space for your family, then what’s the point?
Consider how your family and guests will circulate through the room — make sure everyone has the room to relax and the room to easily move through and around furniture. Before you buy that beautiful white couch, think about spills. If you love the look of a spindly glass top table, plan out the likelihood of a child/pet/other loved one knocking it over.
Mistake #5: Leaving a Void
Even though you might feel like you have more space if you push your furniture against the walls, you may accidentally create an awkward no-man’s-land in the middle of your room.
“When the furniture is pushed back against the walls, it makes the space feel uninviting and disoriented — floating furniture allows you to have conversation groupings and give the space a more intimate feel,” says Liz Toombs, C.I.D. and president and owner of Polka Dots & Rosebuds Interiors in Lexington, Kentucky.
Mistake #6: Overlooking the Importance of Scale
Realistically consider the space you have when buying furniture. Sabine Guillame Hayes, an interior designer and owner of Georgette Marise Interiors in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, has the following useful tip: “To make sure you consider the scale of your existing furnishings in your new house, place your largest piece of existing furniture (like your queen-size mattress) in the bedroom first. Then, ask yourself if it looks too big or too small in the room.”
Take this expert advice into account to avoid repeating the mistakes of others. With a little preparation, you’ll be able to turn your new home into your dream home!
Seve Kale is an award-winning freelancer writer and former content intern for NewHomeSource. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in December 2013 with a degree in Government, Humanities and Spanish.
Prior to working with NewHomeSource, she interned in the Press Section at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires and traveled extensively throughout South America