1. Start with a layout of the room. “Even if you don’t have the ability to draw things to scale, I usually recommend for people to take a ruler, consider every foot and inch, and give a layout of your room—a bird’s-eye view—and then consider your traffic flow. Considering the traffic pattern is really important—you may think you’re setting something up in the best way based on the shape of the room, but all of a sudden you’ve got people that are continually walking through your seating area, and it messes up the flow. No matter what, even if you have a small room, when you walk in a door, you want to be facing the sofa. It really depends on the traffic patterns.”
2. Figure out the focus point and function of the room. “What is this room really going to function as? Ask yourself, do I want people to be sitting and cozy? Is it a den? Do I want a television—is that my focus point? Do I have a fireplace—is that my focus point? Whatever the focus point is, you can start to set things opposite to it, which is why I love the idea of floating a sofa in the middle of the room. If you have a fireplace, for example, you can do a neat seating pattern where your sofa is not facing the fireplace, it’s sort of perpendicular to it. You can have two chairs opposite, so your conversation area is between the people that are sitting on the sofa and the chairs, and add a little cocktail or coffee table or two ottomans, and then you’ve got the focal point to your left or right, which is the fireplace.”
3. Use visual tricks to maximize space. “Bring your main sofa off the wall a foot and put a console table behind. That allows you to get some height with some lamps or a piece of art—because any time you bring a sofa off a wall, you visually make a room look a bit bigger. Even if it’s a small room, just a few inches makes a big difference. The idea of floating something makes you think that there’s more space behind it than there is. In a small room, you’re defining one conversational area, so you could still float that sofa off the wall if you wanted to, or you could find your longest point on the wall, put your sofa there, define it with an area rug, and put one or two chairs and/or a piece of art opposite. If the furniture is on a wall, you want something above it or behind it that is a focus point too, whether it’s a piece of art or a mirror. A mirror is always great because it will bounce your eyes off it and open up the room. It makes it appear a lot bigger.”
4. Mix symmetrical and asymmetrical pieces. “Place your largest pieces first, and then mix symmetrical and asymmetrical pieces. Your sofa is very symmetrical—it’s got two cushions, two arms. Then add a little bit of different height to it, so, for example, one end table on one side that gives it a little more height and something a little lower on the other or two chairs that don’t necessarily match opposite it, or you can bring that in with art that has different shapes that aren’t so patterned and symmetrical. Symmetry creates calm. It makes you feel cozy, and it makes you feel invited. The asymmetrical pieces give visual interest, make it more creative, give it a little bit of energy. A combination of both is important.”
5. When buying a sofa, remember the space of the room. “There are so many options out there, which is great in terms of scale and proportion. One thing to consider is the space that you have because you can really find different styles that fit in different shapes. Finding the style that you like is obviously important, but if you have a small room, consider the scale of the piece and the proportion of the piece that you’re bringing in. You shouldn’t go for the really wide, chunky arms or the really bottom-heavy pieces because it looks so much larger, and it takes a lot of space. You can find a three-inch-square arm sofa that has two-over-two cushions or a little bit of height in the legs, so it doesn’t look so clunky and bottom-heavy. For people that have really high ceilings and the room looks enormous, you need a little height to your pieces—you can’t do a very low, contemporary sofa because then it will look squatty. And then you add all the other stuff: comfort, does it fit in my space? Those things are important too. I just think if you’re trying to create a space in a room, the first step is to go, “OK, what kind of space do I have?”
6. Don’t forget to define spaces. “Create a conversational area. You can have a small sofa and mirror it with two smaller chairs, and you get just as many people as a large sofa. In a really big room, create multiple conversation spaces by separating it with area rugs. You can do a small area where there’s just two chairs and a little cocktail table between them, or you can have a media area where there’s a sectional and a television that’s on the wall, and then put in the corner a writing desk—creating separate little areas helps to break up a big room. Typically people in a huge room, they want to feel cozy. They don’t want to feel lost. They like to feel defined areas, so put a game table behind a sofa, things like that.”
Gathering all this information, now its time to take a look at XARVAN.com to find your perfect piece.