Rearrange Your Room

As we live in our homes for a while, we tend to collect pieces of furniture and accessories that we love. But years of collecting and accumulation can leave your rooms lifeless and uninspiring. By simply re-arranging your rooms, you can usually come up with a totally fresh and liveable space - for next to nothing!

Tricks of the trade.....

Most of the time we tend to think of rooms as squares or rectangles to be designed within. Often we follow the lines of door and windows as well as often designing around existing power points and aerial outlets. This often leads to boxy spaces that aren't open.

Putting a room's main piece of furniture - usually a sofa, on an angle with the back to the biggest blank piece of wall is often a good starting point. From there, work the accompanying pieces of furniture out at a right angle - after all you will need some symmetry.

A new angle to an old room creates a whole new open feel.

If you have a rug, lay the longest edge along side the widest piece of furniture and across the width of the room. This will create an illusion of size a space as you can see in the above photograph.

You can continue with the angular theme with coffee tables and side tables, but remember to leave yourself enough room to move around and not walk into a strategically placed pieces of furniture.

As mentioned in this column before, ALWAYS arrange your accessories, paintings and floral arrangements in odd numbers. Try it for yourself and see how balanced it looks.

Don't design around power points and aerials. If they aren't in the right spot, buy an extension chord and run it along the perimeter of the room, under a rug or move it all together. This will allow you to design a space the way you want it.

Visual Anchor

Probably the most important thing to consider is your VISUAL ANCHOR. Looking at all the images, you will notice in the after photographs that each room has a visual anchor be it a sofa, piece of art, side board or cluster of items.

Try and arrange your room so that as you enter, you see a larger piece of furniture directly opposite you. This will draw your eye into the room and give you a great place to radiate your room out from.

A great use of the 'visual anchor' concept

Small spaces.

A lot of us live in smaller apartments these days and we tend to place furniture in conventional ways and this often creates unliveable and boring rooms.

There are two things I recommend for small spaces.

1. Firstly, don't overcrowd a room. If you are downsizing to an apartment, don't bring the old family home furniture - keep the pieces that will best fit and then sell or give away the rest. Less IS always more in a small space and you will get used to it.

2. Buy a mirror - this will create the illusion of space and reflect light around the room.

Remember to start with your visual anchor and don't get bogged down with designing around 4 walls.

If you are unsure of how things will look spatially and you don't have the energy to keep moving furniture, use old newspapers to mark out where the furniture is to sit. Needless to say, this is a great idea for larger spaces too.


If you want to take your decorating to the next level whilst remaining with your existing pieces, a coat of fresh paint and some new accessories can make the world of difference.

As you can see here, the owners of this home have opted to use a warm colour to give richness to the room. As it is a grand space, the 'mushroom' colour has brought the room to life and added an air of sophistication.

By placing a large mirror on the side wall, light from the nearby window is reflected into the room ensuring an open and airy feel. A large indoor plant acts as the visual anchor and also softens the corner of the room.

All this for $1500 - less if you painted it yourself!

I hope these basic tips will give you food for thought. Use them as a guide and get creative because all you need to do is think outside the square and I assure you, your room will look like you hired a great decorator!