If you're tired of how your living room or family room looks, consider an easy fix before you call in the decorator! Rearrange the furniture.
With a little forethought and planning, and some muscle, you could have a charming new look before the sun sets.
Before You Begin
Take a good look at the room, its features, and its contents. Re-evaluate how the room is used. This may have changed as your family has grown, or you may have been living with some awkward spaces.
Consider the focal point of the room as well as its traffic patterns. Do your kids use this space as the most direct route to the kitchen? Is this where you all watch movies together? Do you light a fire in the fireplace often? Is there a great view from the bay window?
Identify your favorite pieces of furniture -- as well as those you don't like as much. Consider removing a few. Just because they are in the room now does not mean they need to stay.
Decide to get rid of clutter and to straighten up the bookshelves. Think about displaying your favorite collections or hobbies in creative ways.
Sketch a few different ideas on paper. Use graph paper and measure accurately so that you know how everything will fit.
Move the largest pieces of furniture first and arrange the rest around them. If you have a favorite piece, showcase it.
Create a comfortable cluster of furniture near the focal point of the room. Make it attractive and inviting but don't crowd it.
Only put furniture against walls when you have no other choice. Think about placing rugs and sofas on the diagonal, which adds interest to any room.
Leave enough open space so that the room does not feel crammed. For traffic, allow about three feet for a "corridor."
Consider lighting. Make sure there is good light where you read and soft light in conversation areas. Don't position lamps so that they are hard to reach.
Finally, although you have gotten rid of most of your clutter, consider introducing a few accessories from other parts of the house -- or buying new ones. These could be pictures, large vases, or throw pillows.
If, after a few weeks or months, you decide the new arrangement does not work, move the furniture again. Chances are, though, you will love the new look. For now, anyhow!