I find that I've carried that habit with me as I've grown older and have a home of my own. And while I generally like what I come up with, it is an art that grows over time. Furniture arranging can change the entire look of a room. It can change what you focus on, it can make it look spacious or cramped, and it can make it look cohesive or like a hodge podge.
There are definitely some rules to keep in mind as you place your furniture in your rooms. While there is room for flexibility, if you follow these rules you'll have a put-together look every time.
Area Rugs: Size Matters
The general rule with rugs is to go big. You do want to see some flooring, but this is an area where most people go too small. At the very least, the front legs of most of your furniture should sit on the rug. Ideally, your rug should contain all the furniture in a room to bring it together as a group.
Couches: Give Them Some Space
Believe it or not, but placing your couch a few inches away from the wall will give it some breathing room and make your space seem larger. If you're limited on space and can't pull it out, place other smaller furniture away from walls. If you have a large space, place the couch directly in the center, facing your main focal point.
Coffee Tables: Go Big
Coffee tables are great ways to bring a space together. The general rule is to go as big as you can. You want to maintain 12 to 24 inches of space between the table and other furniture. If you have a narrow room, go long instead of wide.
Artwork: It's All Relative
Generally, most people place their artwork too high. When placing artwork you should generally put the center of the piece at an average person's eye level. However, artwork should always be placed in relation to what's around it. If you have a low table and you put a small picture at eye-level, it's not going to look right.
Curtains: The Higher The Better
Many times curtains look like an afterthought. The standard height that they sell in box stores is not big enough for most rooms. You want your curtains to reach to the ceiling and go all the way to the floor. This will make your ceilings look taller and expand the space. You also want your curtains to hang one to two feet beyond where your casement ends to make the window appear larger.
Lighting: Balance Is The Key
Do not, I repeat, do not use the overhead lights as your only lighting source for your living room. Overhead lights have their place, but for ambiance and sense of comfort and coziness, you need to have table and floor lamps throughout the space. Make sure you aim for a balance so that there are no dark corners. Generally, you'll need more lights away from windows. To really highlight your space place accent lights on artwork and special features.
Televisions: It All Depends
Let's face it, we all love our TVs. But the buggers have gotten so ginormous over the years that there is no hiding them in a corner anymore. Decide what you want the main focus of the room to be and that will determine where you put the TV. If it is a family room, make it the focal point by placing it in a nice entertainment center or put it with the main focal point like over the fireplace. If you're space is more of a formal room used for entertaining, then eliminate the television or place it in a cabinet. Don't make your focal points compete for your attention.
Source: Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors