August 19, 2011

Striving for Furniture Placement Symmetry

Thanks to an interior designer consultation that I bid on and won at a charity auction, I feel like my living room is now going in the right direction.

Even though I had never met the designer before she came to my house, I just loved her.  She's young, beautiful, super nice, and very talented. For this blog post I'm going to call her the
 Darling Designer..."D.D" for short.

So when D.D. got to my bedroom in her walk-through of my house,  she immediately said that I needed  to move where the bed was. 
She presented a couple of concepts that I am still trying to re-program my old brain to accept.

One was to consider the entire wall when you
 are deciding where the center is. 
D.D. centers furniture on the whole wall  (see pink line).

I  had been subtracting out the space that a window took from the wall and centered furniture  on what was left (see yellow line).
 I am trying D.D.'s technique and have moved the bed.
 It gives a lot more room on the side of the bed where the skirted table is now.

Another concept that is foreign to me is that it is OK to put furniture in front of a full length window facing the street.
D.D.'s first choice for furniture placement would be to move 
the bed to the center  of the wall with the two windows and
 place a chest with a lamp on either side of the bed.

 This wall is faces the street.
  I couldn't bring myself to put furniture in front of these windows,
 mostly because I don't think it would look good to passer-bys.
Also, wouldn't that block a lot of light? What do you think?

Until I can decide what kind of bedside furniture to get, I have a very make-shift table.  Actually, it is only two wooden plant stands with a board across them that has been covered with a temporary cloth.

D.D. thinks that twin chests with lamps would look alright
 on this wall (if I can't bring myself to put the bed on the street wall).
Something (like art) would be needed to on this wall above the chest
 and lamp to visually balance the window on the other side.
What would you put?

If I continue to be paralyzed by indecision, what do you think of a nicer table skirt made  out of this material for the time being?

 I think I could live with a chest being in front of a window on the  driveway side of the house.  Only the next-door neighbor would see the back of the chest in the window.
Until I can bring myself to put furniture in front of the window, 
this side of the bed has a tiny table that I was hoping almost "disappears" visually.
  It holds Tom's indispensable CPAP and an alarm clock.
He says that is all he really needs on a bedside table anyway.

Across from the bed is another wall trying to achieve symmetry.
Now I have centered the dresser on what D.D. would consider the middle.
D.D. considers the whole wall including the door (pink line).
I had it centered within the space without the door (yellow line).

One wall we both agree where the center is is the
 wall with the armoire.
After I took this picture, I realized the armoire is NOT actually centered
...I need to move it over a little.

I'm getting used to this new way of arranging the furniture.
Since the room is basically a square, I think D.D. is probably right about where to consider the center of a wall.

One of these days I'm going to put a chandelier up in what is the smack dab middle of the ceiling.  The center of the bed and dresser will line up with the chandelier if they stay where they are now. 

Here are some things "I'm gonna" do ...
(well, they are on the project list):

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer me!


  1. I think everything looks great. I like the fabric on the side table and I think all the projects you have lined up will make it look even better.

  2. I really like her suggestions. I think a chest next to your hubby's side of the bed would look fabulous. If you want to camouflage the backside of the furniture, then just add sheers with a tension rod to hang down from the top of the dresser to the floor. Then all you see are pretty curtains and that's all. I love your mirrors and the fabulous painting you have over the makeshift table. Gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

  3. Gayle, How wonderful to have a designer come to your home and give suggestions. I do like the idea of a nightstand in front of the window that does not face the street and darkening the color of the armoire. I know whatever you do will be beautiful! Thanks for sharing this week at the Open House party.

  4. I have to agree with you. I do not like furniture in front of a full length window. It blocks natural light and it looks awful from outside. I do agree with her to use the whole of the wall as a measuring guideline when centering furniture. That being said, things do NOT have to be in the exact center of a wall to look good...many time things need to be offset a bit to account for easy usage.

    It is wonderful to have a designer's advice, but in the end, it should come down to what the homeowner loves and feels comfortable with.

    I think your armoire would look wonderful in a darker hue and I love the pillow fabric.

    I say go with your gut instinct and you will do fine! xo Diana

  5. Just stopping by from Tatortots & Jello! What a treat to have a designer come give you advice! I agree with what everyone is saying. I like the idea of the whole wall being used to center the space. I also agree that your needs for the room and functionality are most important. I like the bed where it is now with the nightstands on both sides. Staining the dresser will also look nice! Good luck! I'll be sure to check back for pictures!! :) xo, Reannah

  6. Lucky girl to win a designer consultation. I think the darker armour would look great and the table on your husbands side. I'm with you on not putting large piece of furniture in front of the window. It just defeats the purpose of the windows bring in light. Plus, it does not look good from the street. Have fun redoing your room - I am sure it will be amazing with all the talent you have.

  7. One thing that would have been helpful is to step back and take a photo of the entire room so we could see what walls have what items. I had to draw it out to see where you had everything in relation to each other:)

    Here is what I would do:

    1) Move the bed and center it between the two windows on the street side. Do matching chests on either side and use the two lamps you have on the triple dresser and put one on each chest of drawers.
    2) Put the mirrors over the bed and between the two windows.
    3) Remove the two inner panels of drapes so you essentially have an outer panel of drape and no inner panel on each drape. You can use a smaller decorative curtain rod that would hold just the outer panel if you like and I would use a brown wrought iron rod to match the iron on your bed.
    4) Hang a chandelier over your bed near the end of your bed. It will look pretty plus reflect in the mirrors over your bed. Also, as you drive down the street (if I remember that was the street side), they can see the pretty chandelier. I'd use an old crystal chandelier with some aged iron and some pretty hanging crystals.
    5) Move the triple dresser over and center it on the wall between your yellow lines meaning center it between the edge of the wall and the inner part of the window where you current bed/covered chest is.
    6) Move the two chairs and place one on either side of the armoire. In essence, you can leave the armoire in it's current spot. You can play around and may need to hang some pictures or some decorative items about the chairs to balance out the scale of the armoire. Another idea is to take your current photos and put them in larger frames with white mats. You can cut the mats yourself with an exacto knife but when you use larger frames, make sure they are all the same color-either all brown or all white. You can buy used or old frames and paint them. Putting a mat around them gives them more presence in the room.
    7) I don't like the print on the table cover; it looks better the way it was in the original photo.

    Hope this helps.

  8. I am a new follower and I am hooked on your site already! I see you have lots of lovely advice from blogging friends re your room makeover, and I agree about the windows. I liked the idea of hanging curtains to disguise the backs of the furniture though. I look forward to popping back for a visit to see what you finally decide! God bless.

  9. Wowsa you have a whole lot going on! First I am with you about covering up windows. I hate it. I adore natural light. My house has floor to ceiling windows and I keep the shades open as much as possible. That being said I think D.D. is right about where to put the bed. It will look much better but you will be giving up your light. How about a trial run with an open mind? That being said from a gal who keeps her furniture in the same spot for years. I hate change but if I got a consultation from a designer I think I might at least have a go at it.

  10. You are getting some really great advice...I guess I would just add to make sure YOU like it...whatever it is because you are the one who has to live with it! You have some beautiful things and I am sure it is going to be one lovely space.

  11. Not sure if this helps you any, but we are currently renting, and to have a bedroom where you have free reign to do whatever inspires you would be heaven. So, you are lucky to have such a beautiful room to create with. Can't wait to see what you do with the space!!


  12. Hi Miss Kitty,

    I know I'm LIKE A YEAR late with this comment, but I'm just getting into blogging and you are the first person I'm following. You're probably DONE with your room by now, but here's my take on it just in case you're not. I like the current placement of your bed and I hate blocking windows too, but I really think you should try putting a table in front of the single window if you keep your current layout. And if blocking windows is your only concern with putting a more substantial piece there or moving the bed per D.D's suggestion, then have you considered getting a clear acrylic side table? This would give you the function of having a beautiful side table and storage underneath it (think pretty baskets!) without blocking light into your bedroom or blocking views from the street or side yard. If these tables are too pricey, you can lean on your awesome crafting skills and make your own side tables using clear inexpensive acrylic panels from Home Depot or Lowe's (in the millwork section) could even frost them with a nice stencil to fit in more with your decor if they are too contemporary for your taste. And BTW - I like the idea of staining the armoire and I love the fabric on the side table. I just wouldn't put it too close to the window curtains because it seems to "compete" with them. My only other suggestions would be to move the armoire to where your current side table is. It's large enough to balance out the single window plus where it is currently seems to make that wall a little plain because everything is at the same height. Also, placing a larger piece of furniture the furthest away from your entry makes the room feel larger because the piece appears to diminish in size as the distance increases. I'd then put the dresser between those two doors, leaving you a nice little reading area on your entry wall. Your current side table would fit nicely between the two chairs there and you can store your books underneath. I think you did a great job with your mirrors, decor, and other ideas.

    And I LOVEEE your diy coral!!! Awesome post on that!


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