How to arrange the family room?
â€¢ Draw the outlines of the family room to scale (1/4 inch equals 1 foot) on graph paper. On the
Â room layout, mark anything that would affect your arrangement: outlets for electricity, telephone
Â and cable; light switches; windows; doors that open into the room; space between windows; sill
Â height and so forth.
â€¢ Make paper cutouts of the furniture to your scale and shift them as needed until a likely
Â arrangement emerges.
â€¢ Select a focal point and subtly orient other furnishings and some lighting toward it. If there’s a
Â fireplace, it will nearly always be the focal point; other focal points might be bookcases or built-in
Â shelving that house lovely collectibles.
â€¢ Arrange the furniture in such a way that pieces viewed as a unit don’t show dramatic shifts in
Â height and mass as the eye sweeps the room. When a high-back chair is next to a low table,
Â boost the visual height of the table by hanging a piece of art above it or place a lamp on it.
â€¢ Set up seating in conversation areas so that people don’t have to stand to chat easily. Examples
Â include two chairs separated by a low table or two love seats facing each other.
â€¢ Pull furniture away from the walls. A sofa can make a great boundary that backs up to and
Â separates the living area from the breakfast room or eat-in kitchen.
â€¢ Angle the sofa so it’s diagonal to any walls. To heighten the drama, run an area rug and coffee
Â table parallel to the sofa.
â€¢ Allow a minimum of 18 inches (24 is better) for traffic lanes through the room.
â€¢ Place the television so that a busy traffic lane doesn’t run in front of it.
â€¢ Try to arrange the room so that all of the electronic equipment will remain accessible even when you entertain.
â€¢ Freshen the room periodically by shifting the furniture and accessories. Switch tabletop bric-a-bracÂ around from time to time, add fresh flowers, change out potpourri, move pictures and so forth.