Awkward Rooms: Finding Balance

Awkward rooms. Everybody has them. Even the most well designed custom homes. That one room where you just can’t figure out where to put the furniture to make the space work. I have one. In my house it’s my office and sometimes I’m still not sure if I’ve found the absolute best solution, but I have managed to find some balance and function.

So, what do you do with those awkward rooms? A few design “rules” can help you figure out your best approach for furnishing those spaces. The first step is using good space planning guidelines. If you like to entertain, like I do, you will want to make sure that there is enough room for everyone to move around in the space. The most common rooms for entertaining are the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen.

Earlier this week, I posted video and table that had furniture spacing information for these rooms. You can access them here.

The other problem with awkward rooms is finding a way to create visual balance. The easiest way to create a balanced look is by using symmetry. Symmetry is by far the preference of most people.¬†However, if the awkward space your designing just isn’t conducive to symmetry, then you’re probably wondering how to achieve balance without symmetry.

It’s not as hard as you think!
It’s all about weight. Every single object in your home has visual weight. There are several elements that give something visual weight. The obvious elements are shape and size. A tall object has more visual weight than a short object. Squares and rectangles seem heavier to the eye than curved and rounded objects. However, texture and color can also effect the visual weight of an object. Think of a brown faux fur pillow versus a cream colored silk pillow.
A cream colored silk pillow with mother of pearl accent looks lighter than a brown faux fur pillow.

Or an organic live edge wood table versus a chrome and glass table.

A glass and metal table has a light, delicate look compared to the live edge style table.
Even though they may have similar dimensions, one appears heavier than the other.
So, lesson one in balancing your awkward rooms is to use items with a similar visual weight. An example would be to balance a light colored, smooth velvet sectional sofa with 2 side chairs in a coarser, darker fabric, like in the image below. Although the chairs don’t take up as much physical space as the sofa, the dark blue color makes them look heavier. This contemporary mediterranean room is a recent project where I used this this technique to create balance.
Contemporary Mediterranean Living Room
The other major factor in creating balance in awkward rooms is space. You can use the space around an object to help create balance. This one is a bit of a head scratcher, but think about a really great gallery wall, like the one below. The designer has used the framed art to create balance, but she has also used the space between the art to achieve a balanced look.
Here’s another example with a furniture layout.
What challenges have you faced in your awkward rooms? Will you be able to use balance and space to help you make your room less awkward? Still not sure? Give Paradigm Interiors a call or schedule your Design Style Consultation here!
You can shop the Contemporary Mediterranean look here.
Product board for the Contemporary Mediterranean look