A room that is weighted down at one end by a great, heavy sofa that is not weighted down at the other end is an uneasy room. It gives much the same effect as a ship’s deck that is healed way over, with one side much higher than the other. Walking on the sloping deck is uncomfortable and insecure. A badly balanced room will give you the same feeling, even though you are not conscious of it.
Balance and symmetry should always be combined with and easy atmosphere. A beautiful tree is symmetrical in general outline, but there are no two branches exactly alike. So within the frame of balancing your objects, your furniture should be grouped naturally, for practical use and sense of intimacy. You may wish to place the sofa opposite the fireplace, with two chairs “talking to it”. Or, if you have a very large room, you can place twin sofas on either side of the fireplace and at right angles to it. (Never place sofas catty-cornered, it makes your room look crowded)” Dorothy Draper – Decorating is Fun! Available from www.CarletonVarney.com