Ask the Expert


Decorating a Large Space


By Deborah Muccillo, owner, Interiors Within Reach


Granted this home is beautiful, but many of us in Orange County own homes with large great rooms!

So, how many of you have decorated your large, great room by placing all of the furniture around the perimeter of the space?

And with all of the furniture placed on the walls, the middle of the space is … EMPTY!

It’s always best for the traffic flow of the space to create walking paths around the outside of the conversation areas.  When you allot this space, you can then create functional conversation areas that will promote “conversations” in the smaller space remaining. What a concept!

Just pretend the room is smaller than it is using those new imaginary walls to place your furniture on.

Place your sofa or chairs on the “imaginary walls” with your end tables. Place your coffee table in the correct location so that it sits about 15 inches to 18 inches from the edges of your sofa and/or your chairs. You will have ample space for traffic flow around the coffee table.

Note: By placing your upholstered pieces only 15-18 inches away from the coffee table, you’ll promote conversation as the conversation will be heard!

Notice this room has several points of entry from the outside perimeter’s traffic flow space into the conversation area.  This design invites your family or guests to enter the conversation area and be a part of the activities.  Add your accessories, accent pillows, lamps, and artwork, etc.  You’re done!

While this room is decorated in a contemporary style, the rules are the same for any style!

Remember form is one thing … but without function, it matters not!

For those of you who will begin “moving” furniture as soon as you read this, be sure to go out and get those fabulous furniture glides for both wood and carpeted floors before you start!

Deborah Muccillo can be reached at 949.499.1624 or