Let me start with a simple statement. The way you position your furniture is key to making your space function well. And it is a huge part of making the space comfortable and attractive.

I was recently visiting a new neighbor of mine. Sherry Grzanka moved to Ohio from Nashville with her husband and two sons about a year ago. Sherry is a true Southern Bell. She loves the home. Ironically she injured her arm a few weeks after moving to greater Cincinnati and despite her best efforts to get the family room arranged, she was not still thrilled with the layout of the space.

After we talked about the room for a few moments, I said, “How about we just tweak a few things.” She said “Sure, let’s do it.”

Before: The Love Seat and Leather Chair
are across from the TV

Before: The sofa is not yet facing the TV. It’s perpendicular to it.

Sherri’s spacious family room is open to the kitchen. Surveying the space, I asked Sherry what the room was primarily used for. She said, watching TV and entertaining. In the before picture, a love seat and club chair were positioned in a “v” shape directly across from the television. The longer sofa sat perpendicular to the TV. So I said, let’s try moving the sofa directly across from the flat screen so more people have a front-on view.

With the sofa now parallel with the TV, we made an ” L” by moving the shorter love seat to now be perpendicular with the TV. This created a more balanced room. We also moved a red accent chair that had been in the front corner near the TV to the back corner. We made this area a secondary focal point by hanging the artwork that had been leaning on the mantle on the wall where it could connect with the red of the chair.

The brown leather chair, which originally formed a “V” with the love seat was now in front of the room near the TV. This allowed all of the brown leather to be in a cohesive unit with accents of color added in. (I suggested the Sherri buy a red throw blanket to go on the brown leather chair in the future.)

After: The brown leather furniture forms a cohesive seating area for watching and conversing.



We finished by positioning the various side tables and bringing two larger lamps from a different room. Though the moves only took 15-20 minutes, they made a world of difference to the function and feel of the room. And Sherri’s son Jack, seen “enjoying” the sofa agreed with this sentiment.

Here are a few principles that might come in handy, if you want to do some rearranging:

  • You might have to do the actual move to see if it will work.
  • If you can’t do the move without help, try to draw the floor plan from eagle eye view on a sheet of paper. Draw your current arrangement on one sheet and your new proposed plan on another. Compare to see if  the new arrangement has the potential to be an enhancement.
  • Sometimes you need to get rid of something. Less furniture might be better.
  • If you are watching TV in the space, consider centering the sofa directly across from the TV. Place a sofa table or attractive bench behind the sofa to add “jewelry” to the back.
  • Place coffee or accent tables so that each seat has a spot to place a beverage or book.
  • Artwork can bring focus to an area. It’s a great way to share your personality.

    After: Close-up of the Red Chair

  • Pillows and Throw blankets are ways to tie colors together and they are comfy for lounging.

If you would like ideas on how to rearrange a room in your home – please let me know.

Get your furniture groove on…

Home-ista Kelly

P.S. The red wreath in the first photo is now adorning Sherri’s front door.


A symbol of home…

August 5, 2012

What if we starting thinking about our homes as the pot that holds the soil where our lives grow?

Would we do things differently?

I thought about this idea after two summer windstorms destroyed two different sets of cachepots.

On the first incident, I was leaving our house and saw from the street that one of a pair of brown triangular pots was broken. The beautiful red Sun Parasol plants and the soil they were growing in was all over the ground and I was sad. But the clay pots were old and probably not intended for outside use, so I said, “Oh well” and cleaned up the mess, when I got home. A few days later I bought two new cachepots and added more soil to the plants.

The second set of pots was made of a heavy a terra-cotta. They were painted brick-red and had a cream-colored medallion embossed on them. They were inexpensive but well made. I liked these even more than the old ones.  And ironically I wasn’t too concerned that they would break; the storm was a fluke for this time of year. But they did, less than a week after being on the stairs.

This time I opened my front door to do a quick once-over before my mom and her friends arrived and I found my plants thrown out of the cachepots and onto the ground again. Some of the branches were going the wrong direction and now I have gotten mad.

So what kind of pot is going to be suited to do the job? Thinking about this, I realize that the plants were probably too top-heavy for the first two sets of pots. It made sense the wind was slinging them to the ground. And the pots were easily breakable. Maybe next time I would get a pot that looks like clay or stone, but isn’t. And yes I want the pot to be attractive, but it needs to protect the plant from damage, because it has the important job of holding the soil that nurtures the life of the plant.

Can this analogy help you think about something that you can do this week, month, year to make your home more functional because home contains the physical, emotional and spiritual soil that your life is growing in? And of course you want that life to be the best it can be…

Home-ista Kelly

P.S. I did get more pots. They are made of a resin that looks like stone.  Hopefully they will last. But even if they don’t this whole episode has given me a greater appreciation for the power of the pot… I mean the home.

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; by knowledge its rooms are filled with all kinds of precious and pleasing treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4