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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

01.08.2001

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editor's note 
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DEPARTMENTS
 
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what goes where?  
furniture arranging 101 |
1 2 3 4

Youíve just moved into your new apartment (condo, house, mansion, whatever.) Your sofa, your end tables, your coffee table, your bookcases -- all are pushed aside into a corner, just waiting for you to find that perfect place for each and every one in your brand new digs. So many objects, so many possibilities Ö

Of course, you havenít a clue where to begin.

Itís perfectly understandable. After all, thereís something undeniably intimidating about the empty expanse of a room with no furniture in it. But before you start pulling and pushing those heavy pieces of furniture from corner to corner, wall to wall, hoping to magically stumble upon that optimal configuration, sit down and make some plans. As anal-retentive as this might seem, trust me: itís actually the lazy way out. Youíll be saving yourself a lot of physical exertion by waiting until you know exactly where everythingís going to go. We'll walk you through the basics of how to go about arranging  a room ...

Plan it out on paper
Get yourself some graph paper (or print out our handy-dandy pdf grid). Grab a tape measure and measure the dimensions of your room, then make a scale drawing on your graph paper. A convenient scale for a normal-sized room might be Ĺ" on paper equals 1í actual. Once youíve got your room dimensions down, measure the positions of any fixtures that youíll have to work around when arranging furniture Ė windows, fireplaces, radiators, doorways. Draw these fixtures on that floorplan sketch, labeling each object so youíll remember whatís what. Make sure you leave enough room for any doors that have to swing open.

Next, measure every piece of furniture that youíre planning to put in the room. Using the same scale that youíve chosen for your floorplan, cut out an appropriately-sized "footprint" for all of the furnishings. You can use colored construction paper if youíre feeling really fancy, using different colors to represent different types of furnishing. Or just use regular old paper, shaded in with pen or marker (so the shape stands out well against the graph paper floorplan). Again, make sure that you label each object.

but wait, there's more!

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