By Gerda MenzelOn May 07, 2018 Ideas
Think of a nice hotel lobby: The furniture is arranged in groupings that invite conversation. When you place the furniture in your living room, aim for a similar sense of balance and intimacy. "A conversation area that has a U-shape, with a sofa and two chairs facing each other at each end of the coffee table, or an H-shape, with a sofa directly across from two chairs and a coffee table in the middle, is ideal," says Michelle Lynne, a Dallas-based stager. One common mistake to avoid: Pushing all the furniture against the walls. "People do that because they think it will make their room look bigger, but in reality, floating the furniture away from the walls makes the room feel larger," she says.
Stick to colors like beige or gray, especially on the first floor, where flow is important. "You want to minimize jarring transitions," says Breining. Neutral walls give you the greatest decorating flexibility, allowing you to easily switch up your accessories. And if you have two small rooms next to each other, painting them the same neutral color helps them feel larger. Look at a paint strip and move up or down a shade or two for a subtle variation from room to room, suggests Allen-Brett.
"Mirrors can make a space feel brighter because they bounce the light around the room," says Breining. But placing one in the wrong spot can be almost as bad as not having one at all. Put mirrors on walls perpendicular to windows, not directly across from them. Hanging a mirror directly opposite a window can actually bounce the light right back out the window.
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