Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bridget Otto - Spatial equality

Bridget Otto is up this Thursday with an article in The Oregonian's Homes & Gardens section. Her article entitled Spatial equality is about positioning furniture in a room to achieve balance.
The best way to start positioning furniture in a room -- whether it's to achieve balance, a better traffic flow or most efficient use of space and focal points -- is to sketch the room on graph paper, marking dimensions of windows, doors, built-ins, fireplaces, etc. Then, create templates to represent furniture.
Otto interviews three interior designers Carol Cornwell of Colours, Lisa Seung of Portland Home Decorating, and Nancy Zieg of Nancy Zieg Interior Design. (Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery interviewed these three designers in 2005, here, here, and here.)

Otto's recommendations are


Doorways/traffic lanes: Should be 3 feet, but can be a tad narrower in spots that won't get a lot of traffic.

Sofa/cocktail table: At least 18 inches apart; closer makes it difficult to get in and out; farther makes the table hard to reach.

Dining room: There should be at least 3 feet behind the chairs to allow easy movement.

TV viewing: The best views are straight-on, so don't place seating at more than 45 degrees off that line.


Sketch your room on graph paper, marking doorways, windows, fireplace, built-ins and any other immovables.

Measure your furniture at its widest points and transfer to paper using the same scale as for the room sketch. Cut the shapes to create templates.

Move the furniture here and there. If you don't like what you see, make cutouts of furniture from another room -- or of a piece of furniture you'd like to buy.
It's too bad the online article doesn't have the pictures from the article. There are good examples of the good and bad placement of furniture using Nancy Zieg's home furnishings.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

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