Moving into a new home is incredibly exciting. An empty house holds so many possibilities. You can do anything you want! Yet, as the moving men bring all your furniture into the house, the worry may begin to set in, especially if you don’t have a plan. The task of finding a place for every possession can be daunting. You may find yourself wondering, “how in the world will that couch fit anywhere?” or thinking, “That bookshelf is a lot taller than I thought!”

To ward off any potential panic, before moving day, it’s important to assess all your possessions and decide where you’re going to put them in your beautiful new home.  There are a few common mistakes that people make. Once you become aware of these errors, it’s much easier to avoid making them:

Putting All Your Furniture Flush Against the Wall

Though it’s an easy way out, placing all furniture against a wall often creates an empty zone in the middle of a room. Though it may be played off as “spacious,” all that extra room puts too much air in between guests and inhibits conversation from flowing. Step away from the walls!

Blocking the View

Don’t fight the room’s built-in beauty for attention. It’s always shocking to discover a couch or other furniture blocking a lovely built-in fireplace or a picture window with a stunning view. Homeowners make the mistake of trying to fit too much furniture into a room and end up blocking outstanding focal points. Your furniture may be lovely, but give something up if it’s going to block a window, fireplace or any other natural focal point.

Goldilocks Syndrome

While rooms with too much furniture seem overwhelming and crowded, making it difficult for guests to gather and relax, too little furniture is not good either. When there’s not enough furniture, a room feels cold and unwelcoming, especially when visitors want to settle in and get cozy. It’s hard to strike a balance, but also so important. So, like goldilocks, you don’t want too much and you don’t want too little, you want your room to be just right.

Now you know that you don’t want all your furniture against the wall, you don’t want to block focal points, and you don’t want too much or too little furniture. Making your rooms just right isn’t easy, but once you accomplish it, your house will be spectacular.

First, choose a focal point. This should be something that grabs your attention when you walk into a room. It can be a fireplace, large windows, a beautiful painting or sculpture. Find that special something that you want to showcase and make it the focus of the room. Arrange the furniture in a way that it can be appreciated from the majority of seating.

Also, try to keep furniture out of your way. If you love your coffee table, but everyone is consistently bumping into it, perhaps it should be placed at a different angle or in a room with less traffic. Keep in mind that 30 to 36 inches are needed for walking paths. Don’t block the natural entries to rooms and avoid forcing detours or strange routes. On the other hand, it may be ideal to reduce the number of straight paths in homes with small children. Straight paths encourage speed which may be disastrous for collectables and other displayed items.

Use multipurpose pieces. Storage ottomans and tables with drawers create storage but allow for simplicity in rooms. These are especially good suggestions for homes that need more storage space. When decorating, begin with the biggest and most important pieces you’ll be putting into a room. That way you won’t come across them after there’s a lot of furniture in a room and have to remove something or make everything too crowded.
Take advantage of varying furniture heights to add detail to a room. Play up angles, corners, and diagonals when appropriate. Plants, and coffee tables help to create natural divides of spaces without appearing intrusive and out of place. These small touches add greatly to the decor and atmosphere while being practical.

Try to figure this out in your mind before you begin moving the furniture. Moving large furniture over and over is time consuming and exhausting. It will most likely end with frustration and the perfect placement may never be agreed upon. Avoid this disaster.

Try sketching your new home. On a piece of graph paper, draw the shape of a room. After the room is outlined, marking all doors, windows, and other points of interest, create models for your furniture our of construction paper. When all your pieces are ready, it’s time to put together the puzzle! With this scaled down model of your room, you can try all kinds of furniture placement, easily figuring what will and will not work. If you get frustrated, take some time away from the puzzle. Once you have a plan that works, glue those pieces in their spots and note all measurements. Then on moving day, you’ll have a prepared guide.

Though you may change your mind when the big day comes, having this outlined map of the room will keep you from moving everything over and over again. Trying the possibilities in scale makes reality much more pleasant!

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