So often I walk into a home to find a beautiful space that just doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe it’s crowded, maybe it feels too spread out or a little sparse, but it’s almost always the result of someone setting up their space the way they’ve been told.
There’s nothing wrong with a few guidelines to help you arrange space in your home, as long as they’re just that – guidelines. When we start to regard these guidelines as rules, that’s when we get in trouble. Space should feel comfortable, fun, and balanced, and if you have to break a few rules to get there, so be it!
Here are a few of the most common room layout ideas we see that could stand to see thrown out the door.
Furniture goes against the wall
It’s not true! While it may seem obvious to put a couch against a wall, and we frequently see this in homes, this isn’t necessarily the best use of space. Rooms can actually look larger when broken up into small spaces using furniture. Couches can serve as great room dividers, as can shelving units, tables, and desks. Think about creating a mini rooms or zones within your space; you’d be surprised how much larger your space can feel!
I can't have large furniture in a small space
It’s all about balance. You don’t have to give up your statement pieces or large, comfy couches when you live in a small space. But, we often see individuals go in the polar opposite direction and fill their small homes with tons of tiny pieces. Though it may seem logical that a small home needs small furniture, all those small pieces can often leave a space feeling cluttered and disjointed. Instead, balance out your larger pieces with space and smaller pieces, and your room will still feel just right.
Using wall space will make my home feel claustrophobic
We hear this one all the time: I don’t want to mount shelves on my walls because it’ll make my room feel claustrophobic. The idea here is that using your wall space will bring your walls in and make the usable space in the room less, and we get that, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Be smart with what you choose to put on your walls and you won’t risk any comfort or space. To maintain an open and airy room, go for wall-colored, lightweight, open shelving. Leave a little breathing room on your shelves and surfaces so that you can still see the wall behind. And, if you’re looking for a little more visual space, trick your eyes with a mirror – it’ll give the illusion of a larger room without having to tear down walls!
I have to have matching sets
Pft, no way you don’t. Matching bedside tables, sofa sets, and dining room table/chair sets are things of the past! Well, at least the rule that you have to have them and have to keep them together is a thing of the past. We recommend finding pieces that you love, not necessarily pieces that come together. It’s totally OK to break up bedside table sets or have two different (or just one) bedside tables. Use your things in a way that works for you, and if that means breaking up sets or having mismatched pieces, then so be it.
What home rules have you learned to break? Share in the comments below!