Off the wall

February 22, 2013 -

We all know professional designers have to be multi-talented, but one thing designers are extremely good at is being off the wall

by Cheryll Gillespie

We know it is best not to ram your furniture up against the walls of a room, but instead to artfully arrange the furniture pieces so the space has room to breathe. Then we can take it one step further by mounting mirrors and art pieces away from the wall so we are able to backlight the pieces with the beautiful soft glow of LED lighting.
A well-designed and thoughtful furniture layout can make a space feel larger or cozier, casual or formal, creative or predictable, functional or chaotic. Designers do not haphazardly toss furniture around a room and let pieces fall where they may hoping that all will turn out OK. Definitely not.
We plan for functionality, visual pleasure, ease of conversation and spatial perfection. It is imperative you take the time to lay out your furniture in a scaled plan to ensure the pieces work well in the space. In smaller spaces, we prefer to angle furniture to help enlarge the space, to focus seating arrangements toward a great view, the fireplace or another focal point.
We arrange furniture to suit the function of the room. The living room is arranged for conversation, the dining room for eating and entertaining, the bedroom for rest and romance. The most effective and creative room plans have at least one piece of furniture sitting away from the walls.
This weekend take the time to use an online program — or go old school and use graph paper and a pencil — to try new layouts in your rooms.
Now, let’s move away from the wall with your bathroom mirrors and even large-scale art. Last weekend I mounted a large hand-carved stone art piece onto a wall complete with LED backlighting — fabulous! Mounting art and mirrors an inch away from the wall allows us the opportunity to backlight these features, making them even more dramatic. Consider the possibilities.
Other items that can be moved away from the wall include the sleek ceiling-hung modern European-styled fireplaces that seem to float in a room. Consider floating an artfully sculpted potted plant. One lesson I learned years ago in art school and I now employ on a daily basis in my design work is that a sculptural piece must look great from all angles. We always treat our potted plants as living art. A true art sculpture could also float on a pedestal or base in a room.
If your home’s layout allows a table floating between two rooms with a beautiful vase of flowers in the centre, try out this fabulous ‘off-the-wall’ addition. We love floating wall dividers like antique screens or curved wooden bookshelves. We also like to give the illusion of floating plumbing fixtures, like the ceiling-hung pipes fixtures or chandelier water fixtures.
Take a plunge and renovate the ensuite to include a floating bathtub — very decadent.


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