So you’ve finally decided to buy contemporary furniture online and even chosen your sofa, arranged for its arrival, and the delivery persons – replete with tea and biscuits - have at long last taken their leave. You should now be putting your feet up, sipping something in celebration, and marvelling at your home investment. Instead, you’re pulling out your hair. IT’S TOO BIG! You can’t open the living room door properly and half of the Persian rug has been swallowed up beneath it.
At Design 55, we want you to avoid this and other costly and embarrassing mistakes. That’s why we’ve put this guide together.
Proportion in design is crucial. The separate elements of a whole have to come together in harmony or you can suffer from real-life Alice in Wonderland syndrome – and the disparate elements of your interior appear grossly mismatched: either too big or too small.
Our advice is to patch your floor with sheets of newspaper to exactly the same dimensions as your proposed purchase. Is there sufficient room to “circulate” around it? Will drawers and cupboards open with enough space to be comfortably usable? Rugs should never be even partially obscured – that’s like hanging paintings so that they criss-cross.
Another crucial consideration is access. If your furnishings are to arrive fully assembled it is essential that you ensure they will fit into your home. As a general rule of thumb - if the depth or diagonal depth of a piece of furniture is less than the entryway width, then you should be okay. If you’re not starting from scratch, measure your existing furniture – this will give you an excellent indication of what will fit.
Don’t forget to factor in obstacles like radiators and wall lights. Not only do these features impact on access - they also influence the positioning of your furniture. You wouldn’t want to seat someone at your dining table with their back pressed up close to a hot radiator. Nor is it advisable to position leather furniture in close proximity to sources of heat – a natural material, it dries out and cracks.
When you buy a dining table ensure there’s a least 30 cm. in every direction around each person to be seated. Then double this to 60 cm. at the rear of the diners to facilitate easy access around the table when they are seated.
Careful consideration of what will fit and what will go, and where, and what with – from the very inception of your design – this will help you to avoid the problems and pitfalls that can happen when things haven’t been as well thought through as they ought to have been.
Just a few hints. Hope they were handy!
By Adam Watson