The adventure of trying to make a house a home that we built for our family of six plus some craft, home décor, recipes & any family fun we might have.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

How to design a furniture layout that's perfect for any space.

Over the years I've learnt that it can be very costly and frustrating choosing furniture. You get it home only to discover that it's too big or small for the space that you're working within. Our previous house was a great starter home but with a growing family the room sizes were on the small size, thus making it easy to clutter up a room with the wrong pieces of furniture.

I learnt very quickly with our first home that it was important to get it right the first time because it could be a long and difficult process if you got it wrong. We had a neighbour across the street who's house was a mirror image of ours and when I visited her I'd always look at how she'd arranged her furniture so that I could try it out at our place. I remember that she never had a lounge suite in the front formal room which we were using as a living and craft room. It was all because she couldn't find the right lounge suite to fit into the long narrow space. It took her five attempts before she got something that worked but she never really loved how it looked in the space and I think that was because she just settled. It had become too tiring bringing lounges in and out of her house only to discover that they were so wrong in that space. With this in mind that's why I use my method when needing to purchase furniture for any room in our house.

I've been looking to purchase some new furniture for our dining room and living room ever since we moved into our house sixteen months ago. During this time I've been putting money aside, especially as I've wanted to purchase good quality items due to the short life of our previous items. There are a number of steps I use during the process to choose furniture for a particular room. I've found that they work really well for me and I hope they might help you next time you're looking to purchase furniture for a particular room. These are the steps I followed when I recently purchased our new lounge and dining table. You can also use this process when purchasing rugs or art.

1. When I'm interested in purchasing furniture I like to spend time looking at the furniture, sitting on it, touching it, watching how the children use it and generally making sure that it was something we'd need and use. I also make sure I get the measurements for each piece either from the store or online.

2. I take lots of photographs of each piece when I'm in store so that I can show them to Mr Opoes to get his thoughts and opinions. If the items are online I'll show them to Mr Opoes and again we'll talk. This process allows me to get a feel for what he wants and I'll even take him to the store so that he gets a feel for each piece and he can eliminate something because it's wrong for his frame, height etc.

3. When we get home I take out my painters tape and I start measuring up the space it'll occupy. This is particularly helpful if I'm purchasing a dining table, 2 seater lounge, 3 seater lounge, king single bed, single bed and the list goes on. The best part about taping out the size of the furniture is it stops you from making a big mistake when you're in the store. If you're interested in two different sized dining tables its best to tape them out with different coloured painters tape.

4. If other pieces of furniture need to move then move them to get a feel for how the pieces will work within the room. We're a family of six so originally I wanted to purchase two 3 seaters but with each measuring 2.52 metre (8 feet 3732 inches) long I just couldn't make it work within the space. During the process of placing the tape on the floor you can step back and see what will fit and what doesn't fit.

5. Then it's back to the furniture store or online to place your order. This whole process would have usually taken me two days to complete but with it being school holidays I had to work around the kid's activities and their pain threshold for furniture shopping. 

As you can see from my photographs I chose the one day that it was overcast and wet to take my money shots. It's a pity I didn't hear the weather forecast the night before as it would have helped with the photos I took. Now to delete the sixty photos I still want people to think I'm a professional photographer ha ha. Now we should receive our new furniture by the first week of November so I'm hoping that all this preparation pays off especially as the lounge is getting made in the fabric I chose.

When it arrives I'll share progress photos minus the overcast weather so you can see how the room looked before and after. I'd love to hear how you go about choosing furniture for rooms that you're decorating. Tomorrow I'm going to share with you how I'm thinking of organising my Tupperware and other plastics in my pantry as the children are stealing it and hiding playing with it.



  1. forget the photos that is fantastic, I have made that mistake before I think this is pure brilliance!

    1. Thanks for that Mel I've been using this method for about eleven years especially when I moved in with my now husband and not much of his furniture fitted the space available :( I quickly learnt to measure, mark it out and measure again.