Roark is an HGTV featured designer and redesign expert who shared her tips on how to transform homes into a beautiful and functional space using existing furniture in our first event, ReDesign with ReStore.

1. The furniture is hugging the walls.
Furniture lined up along the walls creates a “hole” in the center of the room; it does not make it look more spacious! Try using the surprising space maker…pull your main seating pieces (what is called “floating” the furniture) out into the room and discover how inviting this arrangement feels.

2. The room’s architectural features have been ignored.
You can enhance the room’s character by placing furniture according to the architectural features. Pay attention to odd-angles in walls, floors, ceilings, windows and built-ins and use them as your placement guidelines.

3. Your room has no distinct focal point.
Typically, the first thing you see upon entering a room is called a “focal point”. Be sure to accent the most eye catching feature in your room with furniture, art and accessories.

4. There is no “intimate” conversation area.
Your primary seating area should be positioned around the central focal point. Tighten up the seating arrangement so people can carry on an “intimate” conversation. Remember to avoid placing furniture “shouting distance” apart.

5. You are “in the dark” when it comes to lighting your room.
Most rooms lack proper lighting. Even if your room has ceiling “can” lighting, it still needs additional light sources. Always try to include task (activity specific), general (over-all and ambient) and accent lighting whenever possible.

6. Mirrors are hung on the wrong walls.
Mirrors can add confusion if not properly placed. Hang a mirror where it will reflect a great view, bounce light, or visually open-up an entry area or other small space. Remember to check what your mirror reflects before positioning…because you will see two of them!

7. Your art is hung too high.
Art is most often viewed when seated and should also be appreciated at this level, eye level or just above it when seated. In a hallway hang the middle of your art at eye level while standing.

8. The room lacks texture.
A mixture of textures is necessary for visual and tactile interest. If you have a lot of hard surfaces in your room, soften them with an area rug, potted plants or fabric i.e. more upholstered pieces, draperies and pillows. If your furniture is sleek, like leather, try a nubby textured “throw” to introduce a softening element.

9. The room doesn’t reflect your true personality.
Rooms should project the personality of the people who live in them and incorporate their personal interests and lifestyle. Your ‘packed away’ collections, photos and memorabilia can provide inspiration and be your new decorating treasures.

10. The room does not feel “balanced”.
Be aware of how furniture and accessory pieces interact with each other. Try to offset large pieces with other large scale items; actual or visual. Don’t use a singular small scale item on a large furniture piece (like a small candy dish on a heavy credenza). It is important to balance both vertically and horizontally. Similarly, do not hang a tall, vertical picture over a long, wide sofa.

Michele Roark has been featured on the Home and Garden Channels ‘Decorating Cents’, ‘Our Place’ and in several national magazines.
“Decorate with your Existing Furnishings. It’s the most fun you can have with your furniture.”

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