Furniture that is too big or too small for a space can make your home feel awkward and uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean you need to run out and purchase all new furniture…unless you really want to.
Break up the set. Living room sets and bedroom sets are common problems because we usually don’t want to split them up to fit in smaller rooms or add a piece that doesn’t match the set when decorating bigger rooms. Don’t be afraid to mix and match your furniture to get the right feel.
Perceived Size and Weight. Scale doesn’t just refer to the physical size of your furniture. It also refers to the perceived size and weight. Overstuffed couches are perceived as heavy even when next to pieces of the same size that are more tailored. Tall pieces feel big even if they only stick out a foot and a half.
The 3’ rule. Walkways between furniture should be at least 36” apart. You can feel when a room doesn’t follow this rule. If you’re bumping your knees into furniture or stubbing your toes while navigating through the room, you’re furniture is probably not 36” apart.
Don’t crowd doorways. If the door to your kitchen can’t open all the way because you put a shelf system behind it or your folding closet doors smack into your nightstand, you’re overcrowded. Your doors should be able to swing all the way open. Consider changing your layout or subtracting a piece or two. You’ll reduce damage to your doors and positively change the flow of the room.
Balance your room. You should have roughly the same amount of furniture on one side of the room as you do on the other. If you have a large couch on one end, balance it with a couple of chairs and a side table on the other.
High ceilings with high furniture. You don’t have to fill up the entire space, but if you have high and/or vaulted ceilings, it will look better if you have something to break up the great expanse of empty wall. It doesn’t always need to be a high piece of furniture. Artwork or curtains placed behind a lower profile piece can have the same effect.
Use color strategically. A sofa that is similar in color to the wall behind it won’t be a standout. But a black couch against a white wall would be eye catching. Dark colors tend to add weight while light colors tend to feel lighter.
Focal Points. When you enter a room, pay attention to where your eye goes. That’s the focal point of the room. If your eye doesn’t go where you want it to, you can switch things up. If you want your fireplace to be the focal point, emphasize it by painting it much darker or much lighter than the wall. If you want your sofa to stand out, toss on some colorful throw pillows. If you want your guests to see the wonderful crown molding, create a vertical line with curtains or a tall piece of furniture that will draw the eye upwards.
Break the rules. Sometimes breaking the rules can produce the best results. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, use different types of wood, or mix a mid-century chair with a traditional table. In the end, it only has to appeal to you.