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How to Choose Furniture for a Large Room

Choosing furniture for large rooms leaves many scratching their heads. Knowing how to choose the right furniture for a large room can keep your wide-open spaces from seeming cavernous.

Rooms with two-story-high ceilings or extra large floor plans need furniture that is in scale with the room’s dimensions. The best choices are substantial items that have visual mass, which makes them have a bigger impression in the eyes of the beholder. Choosing large furniture pieces is always a good place to start, but you don't need to have every piece supersized.

Here are a few ways to scale up:

  • Trade in your low-backed sofa for a high-backed (shelter) sofa.

  • Make your low-backed sofa look taller by standing a continuous row of extra-large toss pillows along the inside back. Better yet, make sure the pillows have a vertical stripe.

  • Create a seating area using a large sectional. This can help ground the space when the room feels cavernous.

  • Hang a large, over-scaled picture above the sofa.

  • Group two rows of several smaller pictures for larger scale and dramatic impact.

  • Hang a collection of three or four tapestries (dressy) or quilts (country) in compatible colors and patterns in a two-story entry or stairwell.

  • Build your own wall unit by grouping three to five bookcases as one single, massive unit, and top your arrangement with a super big container of faux or fresh vines.

  • Stack smaller chests or trunks atop larger ones to build a pyramid. Patterned or textured chests and trunks trimmed with eye-catching hardware don’t need any other decoration (such as a vase) on top.

  • Make any piece of furniture — a secretary, armoire, or china cabinet — look more important by placing it atop a simple platform built of 2-x-4s on edge, topped with 5/8-inch-thick plywood and covered to match your flooring.

  • Take a look at how large hotels and restaurants decorate. See how they soften these large industrial spaces into intimate spaces. Try some of their techniques in your home. Don't worry; if it looks beautiful in the lobby of a five-star hotel, chances are it will look lovely in your house as well.

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