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A smiling couple moving a sofa in their living room.



Whether you’ve just moved into a new home, or you’ve been in your place for a while and want to revamp the look and feel, you need to find the right balance between style, form, and function. You might have gorgeous furnishings and artwork, but you still won’t be totally happy with any room that doesn’t have good flow. Here are three common layout bloopers that disrupt the flow of a room and prevent it from functioning the way you want.

1. Creating Physical Obstacles

Physical or visual obstacles in a room can result in negative experiences and decrease the functionality of your space. Positioning the sofa so it blocks a main walkway, or placing a lamp where it creates an eye-line barrier between you and the TV when you’re trying to watch shows from the kitchen, leads to frustration.

The fix: Before positioning your furniture, think about how you use and travel through the space. Ensure entryways and main traffic areas are free of obstructions. To help avoid making your living room feel closed off or small, try to position your sofa to face the room’s entrance

2. Lining the Perimeter

It’s tempting to place all your furniture along all the walls in order to make a room feel bigger. But this can result in the room feeling stark and disjointed, and in a living room, leave people shouting at each other from opposite corners of the room when they’re seated in chairs that are spaced too far apart to be conducive to conversation. Open-plan spaces may not have as many walls, leaving you scratching your head about where to place your furniture and hang artwork.

The fix: Pick the room’s main focal point (a picture window, the fireplace, the TV, etc.), and orient your furniture around that. Pulling some pieces in from the walls helps create alternative traffic patterns and can also create a sense of negative space that actually makes the room feel larger.

3. Misjudging Scale & Proportion

Having a bed or sofa that’s way too large for your room will make the space feel small and can be difficult to navigate around. Conversely, having furniture or artwork that’s too small will make the room feel sparse, unfinished, and uninviting. A rug that’s too small for a room will float like a lonely island in the center, disconnected from all the furniture around it.

The fix: Before buying a new piece of furniture or rearranging a room, measure the space, and create a scaled layout sketch to determine how your belongings will fit and be positioned relative to each other. Don’t forget to also think about how tall your furniture is in relation to the ceiling height. This can help you avoid costly shopping mistakes, and the hassle of rearranging furniture within a room multiple times. Your friends/movers and your back will thank you!

Have fun decorating or rearranging your home and getting the flow just right in order to maximize the space and its feel and usability. For more helpful home and design tips, visit the Cadia Crossing blog.