Three Do-and-Don’ts for Angling Furniture

Three Do-and-Don’ts for Angling Furniture
Source: El Mueble, Design: Rosa Escofet, Atelier Escofet
Source: El Mueble, Design: Rosa Escofet, Atelier Escofet

To angle or not to angle? That’s a question when you have limited space (and you’re looking to maximize it), or you want to go for a more “designer” look (meaning, you’d like to do something more creative and exciting than pushing all your furniture against the walls and living in a grid).

With any design, it’s important to try it out. Live in it a little and see how it works for you (design is about how something works, and beautiful design is both lovely and functional). Remember that photographs you see are styled, so don’t try to create a “magazine” or “catalog” look in your home where you’ll feel like a bull in a china shop. Strive for a look that welcomes, supports, and reflects who you are and how you live.

Here are three pairs of Do-and-Don’ts to help you decide how to angle your furniture:

Don’t aim the foot of your furniture at an entrance, especially if you’re working with a small space. This feels overwhelming to people entering the room, like getting sucker punched!

Do angle in a way that is inviting. Think about how you approach a particular piece of furniture and arrange it so it’s “approachable.” We generally approach beds from the side and seating at about a 45-degree angle. The feeling with an angled bed or chair is, “Please, come over and relax” instead of “Here. Sit.”

Notice that the designer above angled for more than just a feeling, but also for practical purposes. There are cabinets to the right that require easy access, and the placement allows for  a convenient table on the chaise longue’s side without an arm.

Source: Casa Sugar, Bedding: H&M
Source: Casa Sugar, Bedding: H&M

Don’t put something behind your angled bed like a folding screen or other object to “flatten” the space. If you’re going to place something at an angle, place it an angle and show it off! Using a screen to block the corner is like putting a hat on top of a great haircut (and maybe a wig on top of the hat).

Do use a bed with a beautiful headboard, and consider your drapery if the angled furniture is in front of a window. The simple curtains here provide both contrast to the vintage, wabi sabi feel of the space, as well as emphasize the plane of the wall. A tall plant with attractive foliage would work, too.

Keep in mind that the above is a styled design–if your bed is in front of a window, make sure you have access to the window so you can open it up for fresh air and lively sounds. As fun as they are, I would move the clock and certainly the flower vase; the former blocks and the latter is a tripping and cutting hazard!

Source: HomeLife
Source: HomeLife, Photography: Sam McAdam-Cooper, Styling: Glen Proebstel

Don’t angle your furniture if you’re more into traditional or modern styles of design, which derive their sense of order, calm, and aesthetic from linearity.

Do angle your furniture if you love a casual, informal, and relaxed cottage look or better yet, a bohemian attitude that says, I don’t live my life at right angles!

Angling your furniture can create drama and give your room an unexpected beauty that is both inviting and fun!

If you’d like help with a small room or deciding how to design your space so that you actually want to spend time in it, please contact me here.

Featured image: HomeLife

4 thoughts on “Three Do-and-Don’ts for Angling Furniture”

  • I suppose the beauty of furniture (re)arrangement is that it’s never permanent. I tried angling a dresser once, didn’t like, and moved it back after living with it for a week or so. I’m glad I experimented though!

    • Exactly! I applaud your courage for experimenting.

      With furniture arranging, paint colors, etc. you can try it and if you don’t like it, you can go back to what you had or try something different. It might cost a little in time, elbow grease, and some cash, but thinking of design as a process rather than a goal helps take the sting out of it.

  • I agree about the clock and the vase, for visual effects in particular. The clock just looks messy and the vase, like a completely out-of-scale afterthought. There are better ways to play up the atmospheric shabbiness of that room.

    I’ve angled furniture a lot, just to break up angularity and boxiness in a room and bring intimacy to the fore. Right now our living room has a nice chunky oak lateral file cabinet angled across a corner, and a computer armoire of a similar wood tone angled across the opposite corner. Part of it is probably that I’m more used to living in small spaces, but part of it is that rounded the corners can create a feeling of being embraced or gently held by the room; displays on top of those pieces can also be seen well from different angles so that you have more a sense you can sit anywhere.

    I also want to mention that it makes it easier to move your furniture(and floor) if you use sliders! You can buy different sizes and they really save your back.

    • Hi Maria!

      Agreed, a room with rounded corners can feel more cozy, and I think it’s interesting you note your familiarity with smaller spaces as being one of the reasons you prefer an “embracing” design!

      Being able to be anywhere in a room and have a good experience of the design is important and considerate, in my book. It shows that you care about where someone is in your space and how they are using it. The room should revolve around a person wherever they are, rather than forcing the person to shape themselves to it.

      And yes, sliders! If you can’t put wheels on it, sliders are the next best thing for moving furniture and saving your floors.

      Thanks again for sharing your own design wisdom and experience!

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