I just read this article and thought it was truly inspirational. I hope you do too. It is written by Mark McCauley – member of ASID and author of Color Therapy at Home and Interior Design for Idiots.
6 Tips to Take your Design Dilemmas into Successful Arrangements
1. Take Measurements – To effectively arrange a space you need to know its size. Take a tape measure and measure length, width and if possible height (or estimate it). Also take measurements of halls, stairways etc. leading to the space to make sure your purchases will be able to get in the room.
2. Estimate Volume- Every object has a width, height, and depth. For added visual interest in any space, add varying furniture with varying characteristics. If you are going for a serene look, or a restful room keep the furnishing volumes in the room similar.
3. Its All A Matter of Scale – The size of the pieces in relation to one another and to the space of the room is their scale. Objects of similar scale used together will make the room more serene whereas -a nice balance of pieces creates a harmonious atmosphere, utilizing the differing physical qualities in height, depth and width throughout the room.When furnishings are out of scale it won’t feel right.
4. Create a Healthy Relationship – The relationship of items to one another to form a pleasing whole is called scale. There are 2 forms of balance – symmetrical and asymmetrical. The best way to remember this is think of the human body- there are two of everything. Asymmetry refers to an imbalance such as two candles of differing sizes next to each other. Asymmetry offers visual motion and excitement.
5. Paint Your Room – Look at your room as a painter would a canvass. There are visual tricks you can use to create the appearance of depth in the space. The first trick painters use is “Triangulation.” A good example is the placement of a couch with 2 end tables and a painting behind the couch. If you imagine this scene, the end tables create the baseline and the top of the painting creates the apex of a triangle.
The second trick painters uses in the creation of depth in an artwork, which is a 2 dimensional medium. Paintings often have a foreground, mid ground, background and a vanishing point. Stand at the threshold of your space. Place a chair at the foreground closest to you on an angle, cocktail tables provide a mid-ground and the sofa with the wall behind it provides the background. The vanishing point can be a work of art on the wall above the sofa or a window behind it.
6. Think Gestalt – All furniture arrangements have a totality or a form. A Long narrow living space for instance can be split in two creating zones for function. Say, one side has the sofa for a conversational space and the other half has a dining set for the function of dining.