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Design Recipes: How to achieve perfect furniture placement

By Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

What makes one room successful and another a failure? It often comes down to proper furniture placement. It is a skill to be able to lay out a room effectively. Often a room feels overstuffed with furniture or is laid out in a way that lacks cohesion. This is where proper planning and placement come into play.

Planning ahead

This should be part of your process before you buy a single piece of furniture. It is a step many homeowners forget. Failure to properly preplan a space often results in furniture that is too small, too big or just too much. In short, it often leads to a poorly executed space. Before you begin, consider three simple steps.

1. Measure your rooms with a laser tool or refer to a floor plan.

2. Plan out the furniture pieces you wish to have in a room.

3. Select specific pieces that fit the appropriate size and scale.

A living room space in need of two coffee tables is executed using a coffee table and ottoman of equal size. One table is glass to help to ensure a sense of openness and spaciousness.

Where to start?

The best advice is to purchase large pieces first. For example, purchase your sofa before you purchase side tables, or buy your bed before nightstands. It is important to have clarity as far as what can properly fit in a space, and the only way to set you on the right path is to place bigger items first. Want to add an area rug? Rugs certainly help to add a finishing touch. Many designers recommend choosing a rug first, for either color or design inspiration, or last, to tie everything together.

A smaller living/dining combination space is enhanced through the use of a round table that provides a proper sense of scale.

Outdoor spaces

Plan your outdoor environment in the same way you would plan the design and layout of spaces within the home. Creating a floor plan is helpful, but begin by determining how you wish to use the space and then divide your outdoor space into zones. Zones could include a lounge or relaxation zone, as well as perhaps a dining zone.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at info@cathyhobbs.com or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com .