Bandana newsletter

Bandana Is
Launching Thursday

Japanese magazines are so F*#king cool. The only problem? They're all in Japanese. We have a solution.

31 Days

Day 9

Rearrange Your Furniture

Words by Cory Ohlendorf

Maybe it’s because we’re all spending more time than ever inside our homes. Perhaps you need your place to function differently now that you're working from home. Or maybe you're just bored and looking for a simple project that costs no money and yields instant gratification. We're talking about rearranging your furniture ... and why now is the perfect time to do it.

After all, when was the last time you moved your furniture? Probably when you moved in. Are you absolutely sure that's the best place for it? Or have you ever considered new ways to style your room? “Maintaining a room in the way it's always been decorated—leaving furniture rooted to the same place year to year or putting objects back in exactly the same position—eventually you hardly see them anymore,” says New York-based stylist and designer Colin King. “Moving things around fosters a new awareness to your surroundings; even the smallest changes can be refreshing.”

Interior designer Brian Paquette's transformed sitting room in Seattle, Washington
Interior designer Brian Paquette's transformed sitting room in Seattle, Washington

Take a fresh look around the room and decide what things you want to keep and what items you can stash or donate. “I've found that there is usually a way to reveal something new among ones' existing pieces,” says King. “Just by varying their position or by putting some pieces away and bringing others out.”

Mentally, repurposing your stuff can bring clarity too. Dr. Carrie Barron MD, a board-certified psychiatrist/psychoanalyst, says that designing (or redesigning) is an opportunity for creativity as well as therapeutic comfort. As you rearrange your personal space, you hone your aesthetic and identify what you truly love, want and—most importantly—need. That decisiveness and specificity brings relief.

Interior designer Brian Paquette's dining room reconfiguration

That's exactly what happened to Seattle interior designer, Brian Paquette. “I have realized while being cooped up, that having as many places as I can to be able to just sit and read or listen to music or escape has been good for myself and my husband,” he says. “And the good thing about moving furniture is that if it doesn't quite work out like you thought, you just move it back.”

As you can see in the images above, he decided to turn his dining room, which is located directly off his entryway, into more of a sitting room that still has plenty of space for a table. Now this room, which sat empty most of the time, can be used in all sorts of new ways. “I'd encourage people to think outside what a room is predetermined to be, or has been for a long time,” he says. “Think more about your needs now—comfort, peace and some sort of escape.”

Play Around

Tape measure illustration

The best way to figure out a new configuration for your space? Just try moving things around. You may not know what works best until you see it for yourself.