Every now and then, you might feel the urge. You can’t imagine why you ever picked out a couch in that shade of grey. You’re starting to think the antique lamp looks less “antique” and more “old”. And yeah, that coffee table was a hand-me-down from your aunt when you moved into your first apartment after university. You want to toss it all out and start fresh!
Before you do, try rearranging it.
Rearranging the furniture can go a surprisingly long way in making a room feel like a fresh space without spending a cent. (And it’s a good opportunity to vacuum in spots you haven’t seen since move-in day.)
Before you start tossing end tables about, though, there are a few things to keep in mind that will make you more likely to enjoy the end result.
Go with the flow
Think about how traffic flows through your house. You don’t want to have to walk around the couch every time you go into the dining room, do you?
Arrange furniture in a way that allows for a clear path from one side of the room to the other. Furniture shouldn’t be so close together that you have to squeeze through to get where you’re going (but end tables should be within an arm’s reach so you can easily access your beverage and TV remote).
Also, think about how you use the room. When you originally moved in with a young child, you might not have anticipated how annoying it would be to have your microwave in the dining room rather than the kitchen (not that I would know from personal experience or anything).
Once you’ve lived in a place for a while, you know how you most use the space and that can help guide the way you rearrange and group items together.
To avoid having one side of the room feel too “heavy”, be sure to consider the size of each piece you’re moving around. You don’t want all your biggest furniture grouped together on one side; it’ll feel unsettling. Large and small pieces — and pieces of different shapes — should be mixed throughout the room.
Find a focal point
What is your favourite thing about that particular room? Maybe it’s a piece of artwork, the mantle over the fireplace or a built-in bookshelf. Find a way to highlight that spot by keeping the view of it unobstructed and the design around it simple.
Pull stuff away from the walls
We have a tendency to line all our furniture around the perimeter of a room, shoved right up against the walls in the name of space. Don’t do that. Pull the stuff several centimetres away from the walls to create a little breathing room — you might even find that it makes the room feel bigger, not smaller.
Allow for conversation
The other thing we like to do, particularly in living rooms, is point every available seat at the TV for maximum viewing pleasure. However, that set-up can get a little awkward when you have guests over that you’d like to converse with, even if you do have the game on in the background.
Create a little conversation area where seating is close enough together and angled in a way that encourages people to chat.
If it doesn’t work, try something else
The best thing about rearranging furniture is that it’s free. If you get all done and you’re like, “Wow, this is an absolute disaster,” try another configuration! Maybe you’ll end up with the conclusion that it was best the way you originally had it (and it really is time to go couch-shopping), but at least you can say you tried.