When placing furniture in a space, it’s often our instinct to push the sofas and/or chairs directly up against the walls to create more space in the center of the room and to hopefully, give the illusion that the room is larger than it is. In theory this plan sounds good, but in reality, this usually isn’t the best arrangement for furniture!
The downside backing your furniture to the wall
When all of the furniture is backed against the walls, the groupings tend to look rigid and uninviting. It’s like a police line-up in your living room! And following the lines of a room doesn’t add any dimension or interest to the space so when your eye scans the room, it just sees a box. Also, depending on the size of the room, it might make the conversation groupings too far away from one another to allow for a relaxed conversation.
Avoiding the line-up
If you have the space, pull the furniture away from the walls into smaller, intimate groupings. An area rug can help you define the space so that you don’t feel as if your furniture is floating in the middle of the room. Pulling the furniture away from the walls will also create a traffic flow behind the furniture, so that people entering and exiting the room don’t have to walk through the conversation area but rather, can walk around it.
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What if the sofa MUST be on the wall?
If the shape and/or size of the room dictates that the sofa be against a wall, still pull it away even if it’s just a couple of inches. Pulling it off the wall gives it a little breathing space and still gives the room just a bit more depth than if it is literally on the wall. Even just a couple of inches tricks the eye into thinking the space is larger than it really is!
So avoid the line-up and give your furniture some breathing room!