PART 4 – THE SITTING ROOM
Sitting rooms are associated with the pleasurable company of others and should encourage good social interaction. Choose comfortable seating that is not too squashy, so that people can rise from it easily. To encourage conversation, seating should be positioned so that people face each other (either opposite or in a U-shape) and situated close enough so that someone can easily hear what another person is saying. It is considered confrontational to see the back of someone’s head when entering a room and if people are seated with their back to a door they will feel uncomfortable, as though they may be under threat of attack from behind.
Lights should be shaded so as not to create glare and electrical cables should be concealed from view. Light has a gathering influence (like the fireside) and we tend to bend towards it like plants do. Artificial light should mimic daylight as closely as possible because light stimulates life and affects your mood as well as the atmosphere of a room. Up-lighters can be uplifting and crystal chandeliers encourage sparkling conversation. To create an informal atmosphere, choose low furniture (preferably of an oval or round shape) to give a more relaxed impression. Natural wood tends to soft a scheme, creating a more gentle effect. Avoid very tall overwhelming items of furniture that give the impression they could topple forward at any moment.
If the room is small or has little light, choose furniture which takes up less space visually i.e. low, transparent or which allows lots of floor space to be seen underneath it. For safety reasons there should be plenty of room to move between items of furniture and this tends to give a more relaxed flow to the space. A footstool with concealed storage for magazines and newspapers can double up as extra seating or as a coffee table on which to place a tray. Voiles on a window can help protect furniture from fading by reducing and softening direct sunlight, which is especially important in south facing rooms.
Next week, read Part 5 – The Dining Room in my latest blog on ‘Feng Shui Interior Design for Entrances & Reception Rooms’