DEC­O­RA­TOR IN­DEX: EX­PERT AD­VICE RE­BECCA WAKE­FIELD’S IN­SIDER GUIDE TO AR­RANG­ING YOUR LIV­ING ROOM

How to place your fur­ni­ture and ob­jects for max­i­mum im­pact

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style -

1 The rule of three There is an un­writ­ten rule of still-life styling that says you should work with un­even num­bers. Avoid sym­me­try and ‘cou­pling’ ob­jects; in­stead, think about bal­ance for a more in­ter­est­ing and ap­peal­ing com­po­si­tion. Ar­rang­ing a lat­eral ob­ject (such as a book or tray) with some­thing tall and ver­ti­cal ( like a vase or can­dle­stick) and some­thing low and bulky (such as a pa­per­weight or bowl) is a great start­ing point for styling a cof­fee ta­ble or side­board.

2 Work with your room size

If you have a large room, don’t be afraid to buy an over­sized sofa and arm­chairs – you can of­ten get away with much big­ger pieces than you’d think. It will look un­der­dressed if you scrimp with small fur­ni­ture. You can add more del­i­cate el­e­ments with lamps and side ta­bles. With a small space, it’s the op­po­site: you of­ten have to down­scale more than you’d think to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of an open, airy space. Get a sofa that is less deep but as wide as the room can take, plac­ing it against the wall. Arm­chairs should be smaller too, but if you don’t have room for any, don’t force them in – they will over­power the space. 3 Get the right rug A rug should be the main an­chor of your room. Avoid it be­ing too small; a rug cov­er­ing only the floor around a cof­fee ta­ble will make the space feel in­co­he­sive. Go for the largest rug you can – they should ex­tend at least half­way un­der so­fas and 30 cen­time­tres ei­ther side of them; side ta­bles need to sit ei­ther fully on or offto avoid a messy look. 4 How to hang art I am a huge ad­vo­cate of un­ex­pected art­work po­si­tion­ing and siz­ing, which adds real in­ter­est to a space. If you’re not con­fi­dent do­ing this, use your fur­ni­ture lay­out and ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures as a guide. Don’t just hang an art­work pre­cisely in the mid­dle of a wall, as it can look con­trived. Hang­ing a small piece above a side ta­ble in the cor­ner of a room, and adding a lamp along­side, can cre­ate the il­lu­sion of a sec­ondary space.

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