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Category:  Decorating

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Rearranging Your Furniture

By Nikki Willhite

Tips to save money and make your home more comfortable

Many of us resort to tricks to help curb what seems to be the natural desire to spend money. I'm sure you've all heard the one about freezing your credit card. (Hopefully, by the time it thaws, your desire to use it will have faded).

Here's a trick that might help you save some money when you are just plain tired of your décor and feel you just have to have something new. Rearrange your furniture.  It will take some thought, and muscle, and your spouse may complain, but it is a very inexpensive way to curb what might turn into a major expenditure of money when you get the blahs about your home.

When you change the way your furniture is placed (and the accessories), it all seems different and new. You notice different things. Your eye goes to items you have taken for granted and they are once again appreciated. It can be very refreshing.

Another plus is that if you have carpet, you should be moving your furniture every 6 months so that you distribute the wear and tear on your carpet from the weight of the furniture (and you on it).

This trick works for me. The most common comment I get when people come into my home is "You've moved your furniture again"! (This is why I have a futon instead of sofa bed! Those are so heavy.)

Whether you are trying to save money or improve your home, a good furniture arrangement can also dramatically alter the appearance and comfort of a room. Here are some things to consider before you start pushing the sofa around.

*Plan out the traffic pattern in the room. You don't want to have to walk in front of someone watching the television to get from the living room to the kitchen.

*Pick a spot in the room that will be your center of interest. This is the focal point of the room, and you will begin by placing furniture and accessories around it. The most common focal points are fireplaces, picture windows, and picture groupings.

In the winter your focal point might be the fireplace. In the summer, change it to the window.

*Begin by placing your large pieces of furniture. Do not make your room lopsided by placing all the large objects on one side. If you only have one large item, you can place several small ones together on the other side of the room to balance it.

*Don't be afraid to place objects on the diagonal, or at right angles to the wall with space behind them.

*Be practical. If you left the interior decoration of your room to a professional, your television would swiftly be removed from the room. Either that, or you would be forced to watch it sitting on the sofa with your head turned at a 90 degree angle. Make your room comfortable for your family. If it doesn't look perfect, so what?

*Use all the resources you have to accessorize and individualize your home. Similar items grouped together make collections that look larger, more interesting, and more important. Most people try and find a wall to group their family pictures. Others have hobbies they can display like collecting plates, dolls, spoons, birdhouses, etc.

*Large pictures are expensive. I have quite a few, because my mother was an artist, and they were passed down to me. When you don't have any large enough to balance the wall behind your sofa, use groupings of items that look well together.

*Don't overlook creative collections of your children's artwork, and other meaningful objects from their young years. Family activities, like vacations, can also be showcased. Little quilts made from past clothing can be displayed. Anything handcrafted is wonderful.

*Make your bookcases more decorative than utilitarian. Avoid the library look. Stack books in groups both standing up and laying down. Add decorative elements between the stacks of books to soften the look. Plants are great, as well as anything black, or a shiny metallic color.

*Don't fret about the occasional misplaced hole in the wall. Keep the spackle and paint handy for when you are done. If you are very insecure about where to put things, try putting masking tape on the wall around the border of the object you want to place there and see how it looks. You can also use large pieces of paper to get a feel for relationships of items next to one another. My daughter-in-law does this, and lives with it for a week to be sure she likes it. You can also do it on the floor first. Or you can be like me...just be spontaneous, and keep the spackle handy!

*Leave some open space in your room. Every room needs a place to breathe.

*Finally, remember that what you are doing isn't permanent. Live with it a few months, and then if you don't like it, you can always change it.

Make it Fun...and save some money!


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