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Modern homes are not well-known for being spacious

Modern homes are not well-known for being spacious – unless you have a few million dollars to splash out on a grand property and if you do, you would probably be engaging an interior designer to save you the hassles.

The recent explosion of condominiums and small residences had many people scrambling to own properties. With tiny bedrooms, cloakrooms and lounges merging into kitchens, space is at a premium in the majority of affordable properties.  So it is important to make the most of what space you have and feel good at the same time.

Use these furniture-arranging techniques to make your home feel bigger.

PLAN YOUR LAYOUT

You must first plan your layout according to size of your space. To save you time, effort and energy, think about where your furniture will go before you start with the heavy lifting.  Then consider the function of the room – how will it be used and by how many people.  This will help you to prioritise your furniture.

When planning a social area, chairs should be no more than 2 meters apart to help conversations to flow.

FOCUS YOUR ROOM

Determine a focal point of the room, such as a fireplace, large window or TV. Arrange furniture around this feature to give the room structure. If you plan to watch TV in the room, the ideal distance between the TV set and the seating is three times the size of the screen. So, if you have a 40-inch set, your chair or sofa should be120inches or about 3 meters away.

PRIORITISE LARGE PIECES

Think where the biggest piece of furniture (such as beds and sofas) will fit into the room and then plan around these.

In bedrooms, allow at least 60 cm between the side of the bed and a wall, and at least 90 cm between the bed and a swinging door.

THINK ABOUT LAYOUT

A symmetrical layout will give rooms a formal feel, whereas asymmetrical arrangements will give a more causal feeling. This is particularly relevant for dining rooms.   In dining rooms, always leave at least 1.2 meters between each edge of the table and the nearest wall or piece of furniture.

Or if traffic doesn’t pass behind the chairs or one side of the table, .90 meter should be enough.

HOW TO KEEP TRAFFIC MOVING

Think where traffic will flow. This is especially important in a room with two doors. Keep paths clear of obstacles and direct traffic around seating – not through it.  Leave between 1meter and 1.2 meters of width for major traffic routes.

ITS ALL ABOUT COMFORT

Make sure coffee tables and lamps are all within reach of sitting areas. Coffee tables should be around 50 cm from a sofa to provide leg room.

CREATING SPACE

Position furniture about 7cm from the wall, as it creates the illusion a wall is further away than it really is.  Add stripes to elongate a room.  Try a striped rug or sofa, and for best results, make sure lines align lengthways with the room.

REFLECTING THE ROOM

To give the impression of extending the room, use the width of mirrors – face it lengthways for optimal effect. Opt for glass tables and Lucite chairs to give the room an airy feel. Hang artwork and photos lower than usual will give the impression of a taller ceiling.

Experiment with angles for a smooth line around the room. Instead of having one light source from overhead lighting, use lamps and arrange them around the room.

This is due to eyes being drawn to different corners or a room as light fills more dark spaces.

OPEN THE ROOM

Keep furniture from blocking the windows and the room entrances. Before stepping through the door, the room will already look bigger.  When it comes to arranging a room, trial and error is part of the process – but knowing a few tips and tricks might just help you get your room looking spacious and functional a lot quicker.

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