Swapping Furniture For Functionality’s Sake

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Although we do currently have two or three big home décor projects in the works, there was a span of a few weeks where I tried especially hard to save my money. In other words, I was forced to get my home makeover fix just by using what we already had. Enter: our latest furniture change-up.

I’ve loved moving furniture around since I was a little kid. I remember, in particular, one time when Mom left us alone for too long, and eventually came down the hall to find me in the middle of switching my own bedroom furniture with my little sisters’. I believe there was a dresser mid-way out one door and halfway into the other when she happened upon us. I was probably seven years old at the time. So, yeah…I’ve been a big, big fan of switching things around for pretty much as long as I can remember.

Not surprisingly, it’s still one of my favorite ways to refresh a space in our 1960s ranch now that I’m an adult. There’s just something so satisfying about making a room feel brand new for free by moving or swapping the furniture around.

Take, for example, the quick arrangement update I made in our upstairs living room. For the longest time, we’ve had a rather chunky vintage hutch situated just to the right of the bank of windows along the front of our house. It was the perfect width and looked great alongside our old couch.

But then we upgraded to an extra long sectional, and the space in front of the hutch got just a little too tight for comfort. I could open the doors on the cabinet, but it was a little awkward to crouch down in the two feet of space between it and the side of the sectional. You can see what I mean in the before/after above.

After thinking about it for more time than I’d like to admit, I realized that the bar cabinet we had put under our Frame TV was actually just slim enough to fit beside the sectional, leaving plenty of room down in front. I’m not one for waiting very long after making a design decision, so within a day or two I had convinced John to help me swap the two pieces of furniture. Spoiler alert: it was perfect.

The bulkier hutch fits really nicely under the TV (I actually think the larger profile of the hutch balances the TV out better than the bar cabinet did), and there’s still plenty of room to move around it. The photo above shows an angle of our home I don’t often document here on the blog, but I thought it would be good to show that the hutch doesn’t block traffic flow at all.

The photo just below, on the other hand, is great evidence to show just how tight the space was between the hutch when it was tucked in beside the sectional. Like I said, the hutch was perfectly functional (we could open all the doors and drawers easily), but just looked and felt a little tight to use on a daily basis. Now that the hutch has more breathing room under the TV, it’s much easier for us to grab the blankets we store in the cabinet.

How about the bar cabinet, though? That piece of furniture was one we used mostly just on special occasions, so we didn’t need to be able to get into it on a daily basis like we do the hutch. So, the new location next to the sectional is perfect. We have more than enough room to dig into it comfortably and it’s out of the way, plus it has lots of visual breathing room beside the couch since it’s about half the depth of the hutch.

Have you looked around at your own furniture arrangements lately? Is there a quick and easy swap that you could make to simplify life a little bit? Honestly, I swap furniture all the time just for the fun of it, too, so don’t feel like you have to save these makeovers for whenever you can come up with a “function-only” type goal.

I’d say that we, realistically, rearrange the furniture in our rooms every other month, and it helps curb my spending so much. It’s amazing how easily you can fool yourself into thinking you redid an entire room just by changing around what you already have—for free! Give it a try sometime, then come back here and tell us all about it in the comments below.

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