When do-it-yourself home decorators start their projects they think of fabrics and paint colors, furniture and flooring, texture and lighting. They head to a home decorating store and look at carpet samples, compare flooring prices, study the specs on faucets, and borrow wallpaper sample books.
Very rarely do do-it-yourself decorators take the time to sit down with graph paper and map out a room for comfort. Chair placement is often decided by the aesthetic quality or balance. Almost never do home decorators determine how to place furniture before they take the time to lay out a room.
That is why there are bedrooms that contain chairs, which will never be used. Poor furniture placement in the living room forces people to turn their heads to talk, lean uncomfortably when placing coffee cups on tables, raise their voices when speaking, and twist uncomfortably in furniture.
It is not that difficult to create a comfortable room. The first step is to create a focal point. This point should be some place that draws the eyes. It can be a bookshelf, piano, mantle, or a table with a vase of flowers. However, do not become too enamored with the focal points in decorating magazines.
Yes, a beautiful $500 hand blown vase full of blood red roses may look perfect on an antique table. But, the cost of replacing $50 of roses every couple of weeks, the frustration of maintaining an antique table, and the fear that a child will shatter the vase, make the magazine’s suggestion impractical.
This type of impractical decorating has been seen in many larger homes. Home decorators buy over sized and overstuffed furniture. They expertly lay out rustic rooms with 6′ square mosaic coffee tables. However, when the room is finished, the table cannot be used for fear that it will be ruined and people are so far apart that communication is difficult.
In fact, if you’ve ever tried to curl up in an overstuffed chair with a hot drink, a quilt, and a good book, you’ll quickly realize that furniture manufacturers sacrificed comfort for prestige and image.
Another consideration when creating a comfortable room is the traffic flow. There is nothing more frustrating than running a gauntlet of furniture and clutter. Traffic should be able to move through a room without forcing people to move their feet off stools, or tuck their feet in so someone can pass.
Traffic should also be able to move through a room without stepping over furniture, or walking in front of the television screen. Traffic should also move without bumping into entertainment centers, bookcases, and knocking items off tables.
This brings another aspect into consideration. Many people feel that rooms need to be cluttered with furniture. This is not true. Purchasing a large, solid wood entertainment center, just to ‘own’ it, is as impractical as using over stuffed furniture in family rooms.
Smart home decorators do not sacrifice comfort to create an image. They do not fill a room with expensive art and figurines to make a ‘prestige’ statement. Uncluttered, comfortable rooms are easy on the eye, relaxing, and encourage people to stay together in the room a valuable asset in today’s hectic life.