There were many arrangement options to this room. The seating could face the windows or the opposite, entrance wall, but the most beautiful was selected: surrounding the fireplace!

by Patricia Cove

First let me thank all those readers who sent me their “Before” room photos!

There are so many terrific projects from which to choose, and I know more are on their way. I will be contacting you in the weeks ahead to talk about your project that would be included in an upcoming article.

In the meantime, there are many things we can do to revive a tired living room, rev up a bedroom or spice up a kitchen. One very simple exercise, that also carries a lot of impact, is to simply rearrange your furniture.

Many people arrange a room without considering a “focal point.” That one feature serves as a grounding element, and provides the focus for all the seating, lighting, and furniture groupings. If you do not have a natural focal point, like a fireplace, or a large window, you can create your own. How?

Choose the longest wall and create a “wall system.” This can be as simple as

a series of glass shelves, all the way to a custom built-in unit. This shelving unit can house everything from your music system, to a flat screen TV. Place a large area carpet directly in front of the wall system, which will serve as an anchor to the layout.

Then, place your largest seating piece, like a sofa, loveseat or sectional, in the area most conducive to enjoying the wall system. The arrangement does not have to be symmetrical. Angling the furniture to allow for traffic flow is certainly acceptable and can also add interest to the space, especially when you add your accent tables, and lighting elements.

When it comes to a bedroom, I like to follow the rule of thumb. When entering a bedroom, the bed should be facing you. It is a sort of “welcome” to see a beautiful headboard, surrounded with a soft bedspread or comforter, and of course, many, many pillows, head on! If there is room, I always like to see a comfortable chair or two, preferably set near a window, or even a chaise, accompanied by a magazine rack and floor lamp, ready for an afternoon of reading or even a short nap.

Are you ready to spice up your kitchen? I really enjoy that commercial where Kelly Clarkson interrupts two gentleman who are in the midst of preparing dinner but cannot find an open counter on which to place a hot pan. In the blink of an eye, a very attractive “island” appears and is just the right size to accommodate that hot pan, along with all the other necessary dinner accoutrements.

If you note, that island really matches nothing else in the space, which is the whole point. It adds real interest to an otherwise modest kitchen. It is not overpowering, but serves its purpose, and it actually gives the kitchen a “new and improved” appearance for a very little investment.

Someone told me recently that kitchen islands are going out of style. To that, I say, if “form follows function”, kitchen islands should be around for a very long time.

So, rearrange away and see how some very small changes can make a huge difference in a space. And if you are so inclined, email me your new and improved room, I would love to see your changes!

Patricia Cove is Principal of Architectural Interiors in Chestnut Hill and can be reached through her web site:

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