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Sitting Room Redesign

Peggy Pepper and Cindy Christensen show how to soften the look of a formal sitting room by simply re-arranging the furniture.

Peggy Pepper and Cindy Christensen of the Interior Arrangement and Design Association show how to soften the look of a formal sitting room by simply re-arranging the furniture. Although the existing decor is modern and spacious, it lacks the inviting look that the homeowner wants to achieve.

Pepper and Christensen begin by determining the best focal point for the room. They decide on the room's large inset picture window (which features a built-in window seat), then clear the room of all furniture.

Next, they bring in the sofa and position it perpendicularly to the wall with the window, creating a border of sorts on the window's left side. On the right side of the window (opposite the sofa), Pepper and Christensen use the homeowner's large cranberry-colored armchair and matching ottoman to balance the space. The result is a "visual vacuum" that draws the eye through the room directly to the elegant focal point.

To anchor the room, Pepper and Christensen center the handsome wood coffee table directly in front of the sofa, which means that the piece is also perfectly centered in front of the window on the facing wall. To complete the seating arrangement, a graceful chair is placed next to the left corner of the sofa.

Finally, the room is ready for accessories. Pepper and Christensen place a small decorative table next to the armchair (near the right corner of the window seat) and top the coffee table with several small accent pieces and an old mirror that features a lovely rose motif frame. Then they add a large decorative table in the far corner of the room opposite the armchair, which they top with richly patterned fabric, an elegant lamp and several small accessories. An oval mirror hung is above the table, and the window seat is adorned with a variety of charming pillows.

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