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Decorating Tip: Balance Legs & Skirts
{I promise this is a decorating tip}

by | Jun 21, 2010 | Decorating Inspiration, Details

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Decorating Tip: Balance Legs & Skirts <br>{I promise this is a decorating tip}

Southern Living

Do you ever just feel like something is wrong in your living room, but you aren’t sure what?

Sometimes the problem is you have too many legs or too many skirts on the furniture pieces in your room!

Look around at your furniture, including tables, ottomans and seating. Can you see the legs on all the pieces? If you can, you may have too many legs in that room! If you don’t have a nice balance of furniture with skirts that hide the legs, your room will probably seem a bit, well, leggy. When all the pieces have visible legs it kind of feels like your furniture is not grounded to the space, as if it is all just standing around at a party and no one is relaxed. It can feel a bit messy and just uncomfortable.

If you have too many pieces that do not show legs, the room can feel a bit too heavy, clunky and weighed down. Lighten things up a bit by adding a few tables or chairs with legs! Legs help make a room breathe a bit.

By mixing skirts (meaning any piece that does not show legs, whether it has a solid wood base, flap fabric, ruffled skirt, a table cloth or even a woven basket or solid bookcase without legs) and pieces with legs, you can achieve a nice balance in the room that usually feels just right.

Look around, do you have the right balance of furniture legs and skirts in your room?


  1. Angie

    Hmmm…now that you mention it…probably not enough legs… I have to think on how to get more leggy! ;) Thanks for the post!
    .-= Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage´s last blog ..Collecting White…. =-.

  2. modern grandmas

    Great post…this is one thing that really bugs me but it is hard to explain to people…well done.

  3. Gayle

    Never ever thought of this. But it is so true. Thanks.

  4. Franki Parde

    It DOES make a difference!

  5. Melanie

    I have never thought about that before. I don’t have any legs showing in my great room:)

  6. Imperfect

    I know I definitely don’t have a balance in my living room. Every bit of furniture is legged and not skirted, mostly because I’ve developed an aversion to skirts. Maybe I should rethink that.
    .-= Imperfect´s last blog ..In Which I Finally Finish a Wall Arrangement =-.

  7. Karen

    That’s a really good tip. Funny, when I looked at the picture in your post I thought, what’ wrong with this room? Thanks!

  8. Renee

    What a great tip – I have a small living room with a couch that is too large and heavy for the room. I am considering a couch with legs and a bit more modern. Hopefully this will lighten up the space a bit.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Airing My Dirty Laundry =-.

  9. Kathy

    What a great room in that picture, Melissa! I love those chairs! Great point; when I meet with clients who will be purchasing new furniture this is a topic that comes up regarding the different styles and kinds of pieces to get.
    .-= Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions´s last blog ..Where Bloggers Create Party ~ My Space =-.

  10. Aunt LoL

    So…..question. We’re doing our Living Room, from scratch, right now. What if I (*gasp*) really don’t like “skirts”. Can I mix up leggy and squat pieces? We’re looking for a sofa, one large chair, two small chairs, an ottoman/coffee table and a rug. ???
    .-= Aunt LoL´s last blog ..A quick fix, and an unlikely model =-.

    • Melissa

      A “skirt” is just a general term I used to describe that you cannot see legs. Having pieces that are squat in the floor works well too. You can have all kinds of “skirts”, they can be solid wood, flat flaps, ruffled skirts, woven baskets, bookcases without legs….really any thing in the room that breaks up the all legs. Sometimes all legs can work, I think it is one of those general rules that you can break if you do it right and it feels right in the room or the style of room you have. Generally though mixing things up works better for most rooms!

  11. Annelise Wilcox

    I have no skirts, help, do tablecloths help?
    .-= Annelise Wilcox´s last blog ..10 Things…My Father =-.

    • Melissa

      Yes! :-)

  12. anne

    Ah so that what the problem is .. in my case too many legs .. :-) I will remember this when I get round to redoing my room ..Thanks Melissa

  13. Barbara (WA)

    Great tip ~ I hadn’t thought about it at all but see that my living room has a good balance of legs and skirts. It really makes sense.

  14. Jennae

    I definitely have an aversion to skirts, so there isn’t one piece of furniture in my living or dining rooms that has one. And I’m absolutely OK with that. I guess that means I like it a little leggy :)
    .-= Jennae @ Green Your Decor´s last blog ..Thank You, Young House Love! =-.

  15. gina, a {modern cottage} life

    I definitely have too many {all!} legs in our living room. New there was a problem, but couldn’t put my finger on it. This was a lightbulb post for me – thanks!
    .-= gina, a {modern cottage} life´s last blog ..have a berry inspired 4th of July =-.

  16. MzMannerz

    I also prefer to go skirtless, in the traditional sense of a skirted piece of furniture, but in line with your later comment, I do have pieces that do not show the leg (but aren’t skirted). Interesting!
    .-= MzMannerz´s last blog ..Let There Be Light =-.

    • Melissa

      Perfect! That is probably exactly right for your space!

  17. Barbara (WA)

    I’m back with a question: where did you find the photo ? I’ve clicked on “Southern Living” and searched photos there and on My Home Ideas with no luck. I love the wood stove surround and would like to see more or copy the photo for my files. Thanks for any help.


    Nice room and nice tips!
    .-= THE STYLISH HOUSE´s last blog ..Seeking The Gift Of Life! =-.

  19. ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage & Junkologie

    This is so timely. We’ve been talking about getting a new sofa and loveseat, but I have been debating what kind to get. I’m drawn to the ones with legs, but the three chairs in our room have legs. I was concerned that it just wouldn’t look right. You confirmed my thoughts. Thank you so much!

    .-= ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage & Junkologie´s last blog ..Fireplace Makeover: Phase 1 (Demolition) =-.

  20. Beach Vintage

    Thanks for the tip. I love those arm chairs.

  21. teresa

    I think I need to show more “leg” thanks for the tips….I will be looking at my rooms a little different from now on.
    Have a great day.
    .-= teresa´s last blog ..lost in a sea of color- =-.

  22. Gail Moore

    It did make a difference when I discovered this “tip”. I’m glad that for once I feel like whe I look at the legs and skirts in my living room, they are balanced. The only problem I think is the “hugemongus” legs on the antique piano kinda over power the “skinny” legs on a french styled arm chair. For some, reason, though, it doesn’t look too bad. Maybe because they are across the room from each other, or because they are from the same “era”. Thanks for the tip.

  23. Laura

    You know, I just discovered this quite by accident. I knew my LR looked too bulky and I noticed that the couches and chair all had boxy bottoms and the tables were big and boxy too – no legs. When we get new furniture, we are going for a little leg. Then I just switched around 2 bedrooms upstairs and noticed how much I liked the look of it through the doorway into the bedroom because I can see straight through the legs of the bedside table now. It looks more spacious.
    When I came across this post tonight, you just confirmed what I had been putting together in my head this week. :)

  24. kimberley

    Help! I am in the process of having a sofa and loveseat redone and am considered turned legs. The pieces sit in a “L”. I have end tables between each (with legs) and a coffee table (with legs) in front of the sofa. There are two chairs (skirted) in the room as well as a chest(no legs) and a lg. very bulky entertainment center (very heavy) in front of the seating area. What would you recommend, legs or no legs ??
    Many thnxs!!
    Kimberley !


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