The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Creating Better Spaces


I have good news and bad news. The good news is: I bought a house! I’m young to be a homeowner, but with a lot of hard work and some generosity on my family’s part, I was able to buy a property. I’m really excited to be able to save rent money while I get my career started.

But there’s bad news, too: I hate the place. I mean, I don’t totally hate it, or I wouldn’t have bought it in the first place. But I have to admit that, since I’ve moved in, the place hasn’t felt very comfortable. I think the problem might be with me. I feel like I’ve put my furniture in all of the wrong places, and like I’ve got too many toiletries cluttering up the bathroom, and things like that. Experts, can you help?

It sounds like your problem is less with the space that you own and more with how you’re actually using it. That’s good news, of course, because it means that your problem is fixable in simple ways that don’t require you to do things like knock down walls or buy a new house. But there are a few things you’ll have to learn and work on before you can enjoy the perfect and functional space that your heart desires.

What you need to do is familiarize yourself with the basic principles of interior design. Interior design is the branch of design that deals with indoor spaces. Great interior design can absolutely transform a room because it deals with so many different aspects of how a space is used. Interior design entails everything from what the flooring materials is to what is hung on the walls. And, importantly for you, it also deals with how your furniture is arranged within your space.

It sounds as if furniture placement is one of your issues. You suspect that you’ve put your furniture in “all of the wrong places,” and there’s a good chance that your instinct is correct.

The fact is, where we place our furniture can matter enormously to how a room functions. An important thing to think about is how rooms flow. The ways in which a room directs foot traffic can make it feel larger or smaller, more or less comfortable, and more or less functional.

In order to make your space feel comfortable, productive, and easy to enjoy, you should avoid creating dead ends and dead spaces with your furniture. When you can avoid it, try not to cut off spaces by putting one end of a piece of furniture against the wall and leaving the rest jutting out. Don’t place things at an angle so that they cut off corners of rooms and create dead zones. One great solution is to place furniture out from the wall. For instance, a couch in the center of a room that allows traffic to flow all around it can make one room feel like two distinct places, while still making it easy to flow around either end of the couch. Of course, space can be an issue, so you’ll sometimes want to choose to put a piece of furniture along the wall instead. When this happens, just make sure it runs along the wall instead of jutting out and isolating little peninsulas in your room.

Your bathroom clutter problem is another classic interior decorating struggle. Bathrooms never seem to have enough storage. Fortunately, there are a lot of great design tricks that can help you out here. Smart organization is a huge part of interior design, so start considering the ways in which you can make better use of your space. Read up on bathroom organization tips and consider DIY projects (or professionally done projects) that could add sensible storage to your bathroom.

Keep in mind that professionals work for years in order to familiarize themselves with the principles of interior design, and you’re not going to learn what they know overnight. You should consider hiring a professional interior designer to help you with your space, explain the experts at Karin Ross Designs. A trained interior designer like Karin Ross can help you work with what you have while giving you new options for furniture, organization, decoration, and more!

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