Cost of Rearranging the Furniture - $0. New Living Room - Priceless.

By Paul Michael on 14 August 2009 11 comments
Photo: Wonderlane

They say a change is as good as a rest. Well, they're right. My wife and I have had the same living room layout since we moved into our home. As our home is small, we just assumed it was the best arrangement for the space we had to work with. Then, one night as I steam-cleaned the carpets, my wife had a moment of inspiration that made all the difference.

As I'm sure you know, steam-cleaning requires the furniture to be moved from the area you're sprucing up. Usually, we move it out of the way, clean, and put it back right over the indents left in the carpet. One thing we do not move is the upright piano, because it weighs about as much a baby elephant.

"What if we put the piano in front of the window?" my wife said. I scratched my head, and thought it was never going to work. After all, the living room doesn't get much light and blocking some of it with the piano wouldn't work, right? Wrong.

The new arrangement worked. We suddenly had more room, more places for our girls to play, less clutter and a lot of brand-new looking carpet. The old arrangement had basically put the loveseat out of commission for watching TV; it was almost impossible to see the screen. Not so with the new layout. In fact, I was left wondering why we didn't do it this way in the first place. And the cost of this fresh new living space was nothing. Not one cent on anything new, we just moved things around and created a fresh new living space.

This may seem like common sense to many of you, but I just thought we were stuck with the old layout because nothing else would work. And I was SO wrong. Now, at a time when money is very tight and moving out of a smaller home may not be possible, this may be a great alternative to buying anything new, be it a home or a small table.

Take a look at any living area in your home, from the bedroom to the back yard, and see if there is another way of making it work. Don't be afraid to move things around, if it doesn't work you can always move it back. You may be surprised at what you can create when just look at your old living spaces with fresh eyes.

If you don't want to move things around, do a quick sketch. Use a tape measure to make things will fit. You can even use software to see it in 3D before you ever move a thing. But the point is, your oldest, lived-in space can be given a brand new lease of life by simply swapping a few items of furniture around. So, give it a try. You have nothing to lose but the old cobwebs under the coffee table.

Oh, and for some ideas, check this book out:

500 Ideas for Small Spaces: Easy Solutions for Living in 1000 Square Feet or Less

Great ideas for anyone looking to rearrange in a small space. It's available from trusted seller Amazon.


No votes yet
Your rating: None

Disclaimer: The links and mentions on this site may be affiliate links. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors.

Wise Bread is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


11 discussions

Add New Comment

This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Guest's picture

Moving around furniture to get a "new" feel is a fantastic idea, but moving your piano in front of a window (with it's hot and cold heat fluctuations) may cost you more in piano tuning tune-ups than the cost of moving to a slightly larger apartment. The inner works of most pianos are made of thousands of tiny, delicate pieces of wood, which is very sensitive to changes in heat and humidity. If this is a south-facing window, you can block it off so the light doesn't warm the room (not very frugal). Or, if it is a north-facing window, you also have to protect it from drying cold (frugal to block off the window with insulating blinds, but with unpleasant darkness). You'll also have to protect it from any increase in humidity coming in the window when it's open. The safest place to put a piano is on an inner wall (both weight-wise and also tuning-wise).

Guest's picture

1,000 square feet is a small space? And here I was thinking my 800 square foot NYC apartment was pretty good-sized.

Guest's picture

Your headline is backwards. And I think commenter #1 is right about the window/piano issue. You're not even supposed to hang string instruments on exterior walls due to temperature changes.

Guest's picture

is that the before picture, or the after? i was hoping to see both..

Guest's picture
sarah sevcech

i agree with commenter #3 that your headline is backwards.

Guest's picture

As far as I can tell, the headline is fine. I immediately got it as a spoof on Visa's "Priceless" commercials.

Great post. We've been doing this quite a bit lately in all the rooms at our house, just seeing if there's a better way to set things up. Usually, there's not, but you never know.

Guest's picture

don't forget the $5 for a bottle of advil...hee

I LOVE moving furniture around - I've always redecorated my rooms ever since I was in HS, through college to now. There's always some better arrangement and I love the new looks I create. Moving paintings and pictures around on the walls can really change up a look too.

Guest's picture

I love rearranging the furniture. I do it at least twice a year just to change things up. I love the tables you have. They are very unique.

Guest's picture

Besides being a HGTV fanatic, I don't really know much about home decorating. I wanted to let you know that I am adding this story to my blogcarnival about inspirational true stories that you submitted. It is funny how you move one thing and unknowingly it opens up a whole new room and feel.

Guest's picture
Tuesday's Child

That happens to be a favorite activity of mine and when I was younger, my kids would go to sleep, my husband off to work the night shift and I would come alive with ideas on where to put the couch - or maybe this table and lamp would really look awesome in that corner. I loved it. It was great exercise and just so exciting to see small changes make such a huge difference. One time when my hubby was away on a hunting trip, my sister and I rolled up the old shag carpet, (yeah, it was the 70's) polished up the wood floors, got some area rugs, changed the curtains, moved the furniture around and when he came home a week later he thought he was in the wrong house. It's a great way to redecorate without spending a dime.

Guest's picture

my house is rented, when can i have my own house, i have a good layout in my mind,but don't have a house to apply.small house may look big if well lightened and arranged.[img][/img]