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Arranging Furniture in a Living Room

Sitting and living rooms should be considered first, for their comfort is entirely dependent on good arrangement, and under this general classification we can include drawing rooms, morning rooms, reception rooms of any sort, and libraries.

To arrange a small living room there should be at least three comfortable living room chairs, modern easy chairs for example, with perhaps four single Queen Anne chairs, and a William & Mary stool. For writing, a plain mahogany Chippendale bureau or a small oak table might be used ; and whatever the proportions of a room, a small oak double gate-leg table is always useful. This is a mixture it is true, but it is a good one, and would be suitable against most modern backgrounds of paint, paper or distemper.

A living room may present many difficulties : the furniture may be dull and even ugly, and yet if there is one good piece, it should always be possible to give it a good setting. The other furniture should be placed in relation to this one beautiful object; it may be a cabinet, a side table, or a mirror, but whatever it happens to be the rest of the furniture can give prominence to its interest.

There are many easily forgotten details that go to the making and arranging of a comfortable room. For example in a fairly large drawing room the chairs and sofas should be grouped rather than scattered, for in the interests of sustained conversation it is important that guests should never be isolated by the injudicious placing of furniture. Then in any type of sitting-room, the presence of writing tables, furnished for ease and convenience, can bring the right touch of interest. If there should be a bureau instead of a writing-table it is better to keep it open so that writing materials are always to hand. A long stool in front of a fireplace lends a note of comfort, in the same way that a mirror can bring brightness to a dark corner.

Living Room Interior
Living Room Interior, 1909.
The large table, like some of the chairs, dates from the middle of the 19th century. There are two built-in "cosy corner" seats on either side of the fireplace, an Art Nouveau grate and tile.

There are ideas about lighting that are often overlooked when the position of furniture is settled in a room. A sofa should always have a lamp placed near by, either a tall floor standard lamp, or a small reading lamp on a table or stand, so that anyone who desires to read may do so in comfort. All this may seem an excursion into the perfectly obvious, but such small matters are occasionally passed over in the planning and layout of sitting-rooms, and they are not really so small as they seem.

Next: How to Arrange Furniture - Walls.

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