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Posts Tagged ‘odd shaped rooms’

From the Design Files of Heather B – Apartment with Awkwardly Shaped Rooms

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Design Question

My roommate and I live in an apartment that has awkwardly shaped rooms. It’s hard to describe, but it seems that every room is on a kind of angle. We’re having problems arranging the furniture. Because of the weird shape of the rooms, we’re not sure how to make the furniture fit into the living space. It becomes more complicated because of the apartment’s open area design. We have antiques mixed with contemporary furniture, so I guess the style is best described as shabby chic. Right now it seems that everything is stuck just wherever and we’d like to find some way to make it feel more inviting. How do we arrange the furniture so that it looks right?

Design Answer

Arranging furniture in an apartment where there is not much continuous wall space does get tricky. But it is possible to arrive at a happy medium so that the living room furniture fits in the room in such a way that it is both esthetically pleasing and functional. I see that you have sent in just a picture of the living room (great space by the way), but you mentioned that the other rooms in your apartment suffer the same malaise. These following steps will be applicable to all of the rooms in your apartment.

  • Choose the biggest piece of furniture in the room
  • Determine which wall will be the best one to accommodate it
  • Decide what the room’s focal point will be. In the bedroom the focal point is typically the bed; in a living room, since you have one, it will be the fireplace
  • Arrange the other furniture in the room around the chosen focal point
  • Pay attention to the room’s traffic flow; you want enough room around each piece to be able to move freely. For bedroom furniture or living room furniture with doors and/or drawers, make sure that you will be able to fully open them

Specifically regarding the living room, in my opinion, in addition to the main problem of the odd shaped room, it is currently lacking a definitive focal point. Wherever there is a fireplace in a room, it becomes a natural focal point. In your case, nothing in the room faces the fireplace. Try the following to address both problems.

Remove the small bookcase from the left hand side of the fireplace.

Move the sofa into its place and put the bookcase and lamp (which may I add, is perfect shabby chic) on the left hand side of the sofa.

Place the armchair on the right side of the fireplace so that it is facing the focal point.

Put the coffee table parallel to the fireplace and in between the couch and armchair.

You have now created a conversational grouping in the room that makes the most of the fireplace as a focal point.

Let me know how it turns out and send me more pics! Thanks for writing in.

Keep sending me your design questions, and especially if you’re asking for advice regarding wall color, tips on rearranging a specific room etc., include pictures if you can.