Decorating Dilemma: The Big Room

Decorating a large room can be a challenge. Since there are less obvious furniture layouts, it takes a bit more planning (or a workout moving furniture all over the place but sometimes that’s what it takes!) The biggest challenge with decorating a large room is getting started, so I’m here to help with some pointers.

1. Draw it out.

I discussed this in my post about where to start when it comes to decorating but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s so much easier to figure out furniture arrangement when you’re looking at it from a birds eye view. You can consider traffic patterns, spacing, furniture groupings, scale, etc when you draw things out on paper.

Lively Living Room Layout 2

Here’s the drawing I put together to determine if I wanted to switch our living room layout

You don’t need a fancy computer program or any tools. Just measure your space and furniture and draw (preferably with a pencil).

2. Find your focal point.

Determine what will be your focal point and group your furniture around it. It can be a fireplace, a piece of art, a picture window with a view, a large piece of furniture, etc. Whatever it is, make sure you can see it as soon as you enter the room and make it obvious by accentuating it. You can paint it an eye catching color, hang art on the mantle (see the below photo), or group the furniture around it.


Photo by Micah Kandros. Design by Amy Jacobs

Once you enter the room, your eye will immediately fall on the focal point and then naturally flow around the room. If you place your furniture in a way that it accentuates the focal point, you’ll immediately feel more comfortable in a room.

In large rooms, there are often more than one focal point. Just be sure that the different focal points balance each other out so the room feels even.

3. Group furniture.

Speaking of furniture arrangement, group your furniture into different activities. Define one area for sitting/entertaining, one area for eating, one area for reading, etc.  I also covered this in my post about long and narrow rooms. Another mistake I see in large rooms is thinking that all furniture needs to be against a wall. Think outside the box (literally) and pull your furniture from your walls, this will give you many more furniture arrangement options.

4. Use area rugs.

After you group your furniture, define those areas by using area rugs. They help tremendously in breaking up a room; otherwise your furniture will look like it’s just floating in the room with no purpose.

5. Consider color carefully.

Neutrals are great in a large room, but a big space with many different colors will quickly become jarring and busy. Try to keep the number of colors in the room to a minimum and be strategic. Monochromatic color schemes (same color but different tints and shades) are great in large rooms because it creates depth, but isn’t overwhelming.

If you have a decorating dilemma you’d like me to address, comment below or contact me!

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