Taking care of the big stuff

Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 4:28 PM
Erin White

When moving into a new house, it can be overwhelming for some to figure out furniture placement.

Perhaps you are coming from a home you’ve lived in for years and had everything mise en place (mise en place is a French culinary phrase that means “putting in place” or “everything in its place.”) Personally, I love mise en place; I’m a chronic organizer. So with this brand new space, where do we start?

To make it easy, I use the motto “take care of the big things first, and the little things will fall into place.” That’s not too different from everyday life, I suppose. By the “big things,” I mean pieces that are large. The big cozy couch. The bed. That giant beautiful carved wooden china cabinet you picked up for a song at an antique shop in Alaska and paid more to have it shipped home than for the furniture itself (true story, not mine).

You get what I’m saying: the BIG stuff. Those items will most likely have an obvious place to live, so put them there. My only rules are I don’t encroach upon a window or a walkway, and I think of convenience first. There are exceptions to these rules as always in decorating.

For those big pieces you don’t yet own but would like in the future, I like to use “placeholders.”

A placeholder is something that serves the same purpose or can be imagined to. A moving box might be the future console table or corner chair. My own dining table was a folding card table for a spell. I didn’t want to spend money on something I didn’t really love because I was in a hurry (as I have done in the past, only to kick myself when I found “the one” and had to sell the impatient purchase for a song, because I’m impatient and wanted to buy the new one now. The struggle is real). So we borrowed Mom’s card table and put a pretty tablecloth over it. Et voila! A dining table placeholder. Or your forever dining table; it’s up to you.

Lastly, be fine with moving furniture around a few times. It doesn’t always fall into place the first day, and who cares? Once you’re in your new digs for a while, you may realize the corner chair isn’t getting used, but you have a pile of things on the floor in your bedroom that could use a landing space and said chair would work fabulously there.

The little things will fall into place. Happy moving.

Erin White is a designer and sales representative with Aspen Design Studio. She can be reached at or 749-9134.