— Michael Gabellini of Gabellini Sheppard design firm in New York City
Pick the Right Furniture Pieces
“I always plan how people use and move through their spaces so that we can achieve fluid circulation. This includes defining spaces without confining them, so that people can interact. Acoustics, comfort and closely set chairs with large, almost communal coffee tables are part of our plans. Flexible and inviting furniture is very helpful in accommodating gatherings of different scales and types.
“Opt for comfortable, tactile furniture that is generous in scale, as well as surfaces to place drinks and snacks. We love to use side tables sturdy enough to do double duty as stools.
“I prefer two opposing sofas with a large coffee table and four armchairs opposing each other. I also like using a large sectional with a big coffee table and a massive upholstered ottoman that’s wide enough for people to sit on all sides. It is great to include seating groups for separate intimate conversations in order to break out from a group.”