Have you ever bought a sofa, chair or coffee table that looked wonderful
in the showroom but lost its charm once you brought it home? If the color
and style were right, the problem may have been that the piece of furniture
simply wasn’t the right scale for the room.
It’s hard for many people to visualize how a sofa they see in a
furniture store in Maryland will look once it’s in their family room. They fall in love with
the sectional with double recliners and envision nights spent cuddling
on it (with or without the kids). What they don’t think about is
how that sofa will dwarf every other piece of furniture in the room, or
how it will make it difficult to navigate into the kitchen or other parts
of the house.
Before you head out furniture shopping, measure your room and make a sketch,
noting the size and location of other pieces already in the room. If you
have one of those handy tablets, use
home improvement apps to make the job easier. Some apps even let you measure dimensions from
a photo – how cool is that?
Then figure out how much space you should allow around each piece of furniture.
(Rule of thumb is 12-18 inches around sofas, chairs and accent tables
and at least three to four feet for walkways to other rooms.) Doing this
little bit of homework will help you narrow down your search right away.
If you know, before you go, that the absolutely largest sofa you can fit
is 84 inches long, you won’t spend time looking at oversized seating.
Small Rooms with Big Style
Most decorating experts suggest sticking with smaller-scale, lighter-weight
furniture in simple, low styles for a small room. To provide an airier
feel, select pieces with legs; the room looks bigger when you can see
the floor continuing under the furniture. If you simply must put a big
and heavy piece of furniture in a small space, make it the focal point
of your room and don’t crowd it (or yourself) with a lot of other
In fact, minimalist thinking (less = more) is always good when it comes
to small spaces. Find pieces that can do double duty, such as ottomans
that can be used as coffee tables when you place a tray on top, or coffee
tables that can also store books, magazines or even laptops. The less
clutter you have in your room, the more spacious it will appear.
Finish the room with light-colored walls and ceiling (if you have a low
ceiling in your small space, painting the ceiling with a gloss or semi-gloss
paint will help multiply the light. Choose window treatments that let
in as much light as possible, since that always makes a room feel more spacious.
Cutting Large Rooms Down to Size
Although it may seem that people with large rooms have it made, big spaces
can be just as tricky when it comes to buying furniture. Furniture that’s
too small can get lost in a big room; it’s also hard to know how
to place the furniture without leaving so much open space that it looks
like you’re expecting a performance by a dance troupe.
For your big space, look for furniture with larger mass. That sectional,
paired with a big-screen TV, will probably fit nicely here. Consider filling
the space with several smaller furniture groupings; you could include
a viewing area, a conversation corner with two chairs and a table or a
reading nook with a comfortable, high-backed chair and reading light.
If your ceilings are high, think vertical when it comes to your furniture
choices. Go for sofas and chairs with higher backs, tall bookcases and
stacked groupings of pictures to fill the space.
The good thing about dealing with a
furniture store in Maryland like Showman Furniture is that our staff has the experience to help choose
the family room, dining room, bedroom and other pieces that will work
just right in your home space. Bring in your room dimensions and we’ll
be glad to suggest the sizes and styles that would work best.