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Common Furniture Arranging Mistakes

Decorating a home isn’t just about making it look good. Every space is unique, as is every household, and it’s important to take those things into consideration when arranging furniture. It’s not always easy to know where to place your furniture; some rooms may be oddly shaped or the wall color makes a room look bigger than it actually is. While there is no set way to decorate a room, here are some common furniture arranging mistakes people make.

Not Arranging to Scale

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is using the wrong scale of furniture for your room. Most homeowners will overestimate the amount of furniture that can fit into a room, although it’s possible to go the opposite direction, too. Even though a room can physically hold a sectional does not mean that it should, and some sectionals may not be the right shape for certain rooms. Seating areas should be arranged so that it is easy to get in and out of. You want to avoid anyone having to shuffle around your furniture to move around the room.

Living room with sectional facing television on stand
Photo by Zastolskiy Victor

Make sure there is ample breathing room around your furniture. If a room starts to feel stuffy or crowded without any people in it, then consider editing down your furniture. By balancing the right amount of furniture with enough room for people to move around, you can turn any room into a cozy and intimate space.

Choosing the Wrong Shape

Another big furnishing error people make is choosing pieces of furniture that are the wrong shape or size. We often see dining rooms with ill-fitting dining tables and bar counters with stools that are too short. It can be easy to miscalculate these things when you don’t take the necessary measurements of your space and plan out your furniture. 

A great way to avoid this mistake is by considering the purpose of each room. If you are putting a dining table in your dining room, consider how many people need a seat at the table. You should also measure the room to see what size table can be accommodated. Will you need space for extra seats in case there are guests? Are there other pieces of furniture that need to be in the room? There are many possibilities and scenarios that you could consider, but ultimately, you will have to prioritize what is important for you and your household.

Nowhere to Focus

Decorating a room can be difficult when you don’t have a focal point to build your furniture around. Sometimes, a room will have a natural focal point, like an accent wall, a window, or fireplace. Other times, you might have to create your own focal point; this could be where you place your television, a coffee table, or a piece of art. Some rooms can have multiple focal points, but too many can make a room seem chaotic and cluttered. Starting from a single focus area can help shape your room organically and also reduce the chances of overcrowding the space.

Open living room with fireplace in the back and sofa facing tv on stand
Photo by Jonathan Park

Forgetting to Add Storage Space

Sometimes, homeowners get caught up in maximizing their space to fit as much furniture as possible and they forget to account for storage space. The amount of storage space needed for each room will vary. Plan ahead by assessing what types of things need to be stored and where you want to store them. 

Large storage with built-in seating area between two large closets. Built-in seating has storage baskets underneath and a bag hanging from a hook on the wall.
Photo by Michael Higginson

Aesthetics Over Function

When it comes to the design and decor of a room, the way it looks is very important. However, aesthetics is only a part of the picture – you have to make sure your room is functional, too! If you only arrange furniture based on how a room will look, especially by trying to copy what you’ve seen somewhere else, it’s easy to forget many of the details that make a room useful. For example, you could have plenty of comfortable seating in your living room, but what about a place to put down food and drinks when entertaining? Or maybe every room looks great during the day when the sun is out, but you’ve forgotten to add lamps in dimmer areas.

The key to avoiding many furniture arranging mistakes is by focusing on one step at a time. Take into consideration your lifestyle and the purpose of each room. Then, assess the furniture you already have before purchasing anything extra. Prioritize what type of furniture a room will need before adding more embellishing decor.

Not sure exactly where to start? No problem! Our designers at WPL Interior Design are ready to help you avoid these furniture arranging mistakes and make your space one-of-a-kind. Tell us more about your home decorating needs through our online design form or give us a call today at 215-592-9570!

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