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Rearranging Your Home to Combat Cabin Fever

Even amidst the most normal of circumstances, winter does not usually spark creative ingenuity. Spring and summer remind us of Mother Nature’s ability to transform; and these warmer months prompt us to reimagine and change our surroundings.

After being inside more than usual, with the days getting shorter and grayer, perhaps we should seek out change. By pushing back against our primal instincts during the coldest time of the year to insulate, we can instead look for ways to make changes.

Luckily, there is a way to change the flow of our homes, repurpose our spaces, and breathe a bit of fresh air into our habitats without even having to step into a store or place a hefty online order: rearranging our furniture! 

Using the walls of your home and the items you already have, this practice is an evergreen tactic to keep life interesting, but is particularly helpful now as every room of the house is being used constantly – and maybe even in new ways. Not shockingly, one’s ability to rearrange their home is going to depend on how much space is available. A two-story house with a basement for furniture storage poses a much different project than a 400 square foot studio apartment. Nonetheless, this DIY project is suitable for all and also doubles as a great rainy day activity. 

Living rooms or family rooms are the easiest to rearrange because they are usually constructed with multiple formatting iterations in mind. Other than a cable jack and a doorway, these particular spaces offer a blank canvas for furniture and decor arrangement. 

Start by thinking about moving around the major seating points. This might be a sofa, sectional, or perhaps some large reading chairs. Couches are in one of two positions: flushed or floated. If a couch is flushed, it is pushed up against a wall (this is usually what people default to). Floating furniture means the pieces are standalone within the space. Consider making a flushed couch floating by rotating it and reorienting the room. If the couch is already floating, think about opening the room up a bit by pushing that piece of furniture against a wall. 

Next, don’t just look at the furniture! Items like rugs and floor plants can be moved around freely and without too much effort. Rectangular rugs are a great way to change how the mind interprets the room. For example, a rug that runs longways when you walk into the space is going to make the room feel elongated, while a rug that runs across the room horizontally will have a widening effect. Play around with these options and see what feels good and also works with the light at hand (another big factor in how large a room feels). Floor plants – houseplants that are usually between 10” – 14” in diameter and sit on the floor – are another great way to alter focal points in the room. Try moving them around to create new spaces that may have previously been overlooked. If a couch is pushed up against the wall and a plant is in the corner next to it, try floating the couch and then moving the plant next to the arm, framing the piece and making it look more naturally placed. 

If flipping around the couch or chairs, remember to also change the placement of the coffee or end tables. Keep in mind that nightstands and end tables can be used interchangeably for the most part, so don’t be afraid to pull from other rooms! 

Lastly, the queen of the room: the TV. Televisions are mostly the focus of living rooms or dens in American houses, and while moving them around has to be a bit more strategic, it is not impossible (unless the TV is mounted, in which case pulling it out of the wall for a DIY project is probably not great). Luckily, many homes now have wireless-enabled streaming devices, eliminating the need to have a TV in front of a cable jack. As such, Try moving the entertainment area to another part of the room, even if it is along the same wall. It’s best to proceed cautiously with putting TVs in front of a window, as it makes the viewing experience subpar when the sun is shining in from behind. Similarly, the back of TVs aren’t exactly center-fold material, so floating them might not be the move. 

Dining rooms can also be considered for some rearranging. A simple fix is to change the orientation of the table, similar to the rug approach, as discussed above. In a time where large gatherings are few and far between, it might be worth considering if that room could be repurposed (should there be a place like a basement or attic to store the dining table). Dining rooms are often overlooked, but can double as excellent, more formal settings for a home office or sitting room as work from home continues to dominate the professional sphere. Try pulling that old desk and reading chair out of storage and using it in that room for your own, at home, corner office!

The great part about moving furniture and decor around your home is that there is no commitment–at all. There’s no huge investment in a new couch, or monthly payment for fancy home office equipment. If it doesn’t work, simply return it to how it was. Worst case scenario, some appreciation for the home’s current set up will be gained!

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