Furniture Arranging Made Easy
No matter if your rooms are big or small, having the right furniture arrangement will make them more enjoyable.
Check out these layout examples, plus tricks for living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms.
Face the View
If your living room doesn't have a fireplace, orient seating so it takes advantage of whatever view your room has to offer, whether it's a TV or a bank of windows. Create your own focal point by hanging a large piece of art on a wall or create a vignette of favorite objects on a console or bookshelf.
Arrange for Conversation
For face-to-face chats, place seating no more than 8 feet apart. In a large living room, use furniture to create comfortable islands. Face two sofas in the center of a room, and place a group chairs and side tables at one end to create a separate conversation area.
Set Up Traffic Patterns
Allow 30 inches between pieces in places where you need to be able to walk around furniture and 14 to 18 inches between a coffee table and sofa, so drinks are within reaching distance.
Put a Table within Reach of Each Seat
Use round pedestal tables as side tables between chairs and sofas. The curves of round tables make them easier to navigate around. When space is tight, use nesting tables for flexible use when needed.
Think About LightingInstall in-floor electrical outlets to service floating furniture arrangements.
Focus on Entertainment
Place the television and computer so the screens face away from the sunlight. The viewing distance for a standard TV is 8 to 12 feet, and the best viewing angle is not more than 30 degrees. For traffic flow, create paths that flow behind viewers and not between them and the screen.
Consider freestanding pieces in a smaller room and wall-to-wall built-ins in a larger room. Make sure there is some storage near the TV.
Consider All Options
Don't be afraid to give your bed a slightly unusual placement, such as in front of a window, if it will help you maximize space.
Adjust for Size
In a small bedroom, use fewer furniture pieces of a slightly larger scale to maximize floor space. Opt for tall pieces, such as this armoire, that add volume in a smaller footprint.
Place a bench at the foot of the bed or a small-scale armchair in a corner for bedroom seating. Consider placing a chair next to a bedside table. The chair and bed can share the nightstand. If there isn’t room next to the nightstand, pair the chair with a small garden stool, which will serve as a small table without occupying much space.
Plan Walkways Around Furniture
Allow at least 2 feet on either side of the bed to allow for space to make the bed. Avoid placing the bed within 3 feet of the door; otherwise the bed becomes a roadblock.
Select the Right Size Bed
It’s possible to use a larger bed if you don’t need a lot of storage furniture. Also, consider the visual weight of your headboard. If the bed is slightly large for the room, opt for a visually lighter headboard, such as one that features metal scrollwork. A solid headboard consumes more visual space, and taller, heavier headboards work best in bigger bedrooms or bedrooms with tall ceilings.
Consider How You Use the Room
How do you use your dining room? For family-style meals or buffet-style serving? Make furniture choices that support your needs.
Suit the Space
Circular tables with pedestal bases let folks see everyone at the table and are suitable for tight dining spaces or square rooms. Rectangular tables limit seating, but work well in rectangular dining rooms and come in a variety of lengths and widths. Oval tables with added leaves also work well in rectangular dining rooms and offer flexibility by adapting to small gatherings or large.
Buy for Size
Be sure to allow a minimum of 36 inches from the table to the wall on all sides. Position the table so traffic flows smoothly around it
Know These Measurements
When determining how many chairs you can fit around your table, allow for a width of 20 to 24 inches and a depth of 15 inches per place setting and leave at least 6 inches between chairs.
Include Functional Storage
Make the most of square footage with a wall of shelves that provide storage for the dining room’s alternative uses -- office supplies, games, and crafts -- or dining extras such as china, linens, and barware.
Light It Right
Choose and place lighting that adapts to the room's functions. For example, hang the chandelier with extra cord length so it can be adjusted for homework or dining. Use dimmer switches, lamps, and sconces to set the mood for the occasion.