Dare to Float Your Furniture

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If your couches are clinging to your walls, you’re not alone. It’s a typical decorating mistake, stagers say. “There’s a common belief that rooms will feel larger and be easier to use if all the furniture is pushed up against the walls, but it’s simply not true,” says Designed to Sell’s Lisa LaPorta.

Instead, furnish your space: Float furniture away from walls, re-position it into cozy conversational groups, and place pieces so that the traffic flow in the room is obvious. In most cases, this means keeping the perimeters clear. “When you place furniture in a room, envision a figure-eight or the letter H in the middle, with clear pathways around it,” LaPorta suggests. Not only will this make the space more user-friendly, it will open up the room and make it seem larger.

If you’re nervous about doing something that can seem a bit radical, “Try an area rug on an angle first, then move the couch and see how it looks. But just try it,” San Francisco home staging expert Christopher Breining says. “If the new arrangement doesn’t strike your fancy, you can always put things back the way they were. But chances are, you won’t want to.”

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