10 Furniture Arranging Tips That Never Fail
Arranging furniture can seem like a formidable design task, especially since the layout is so important to the function and comfort of a room. Use these tips to get the most out of every space.
1. Find a Focal Point
If arranging the furniture in your living room has you at a loss, consider positioning your seating around the best view your space has to offer, whether it be a picture window, fireplace or television set. You can also create a focal point yourself with an oversized piece of wall art or by putting together a display of special items on a bookshelf or console. Can’t decide between making the fireplace or the TV your focal point? No problem. Simply mount the TV above the fireplace and choose both.
2. Incorporate Storage
When it comes to the family room, storage is a key factor to take into account as you plan your furniture arrangement. You’re going to want to make space for drawers, cabinets and drop zones. In a smaller room, freestanding pieces are usually the way to go, while in larger rooms wall-to-wall built-ins are ideal. Storage space close to the TV is a must as well for all those gadgets, movies and games.
3. Encourage Conversation
In rooms where relaxing or entertaining friends and family is a main function, it makes sense to arrange the furniture so that chatting is easy. Seats should be no more than 8 feet apart for direct conversation. In a larger space, arrange the furniture into smaller islands that are comfortable for talking. For example, try positioning two facing sofas in the middle of the room with a grouping of chairs and side tables at one end for multiple conversation spots.
4. Furniture Arrangement Dimensions
Allowing enough room between the pieces of furniture in your arrangement is one of the main secrets to understand. Leave 30 inches of open space between furniture that must be walked around, and 14-18 inches between a coffee table and couch, so that snacks and drinks can be reached easily. Apply these rules even in a larger room, as furniture that is spaced too far apart can appear to be floating without purpose.
5. Accent Tables are Key
Details like coffee tables and side tables are another key to a successful furniture arrangement. When picking out a coffee table, take room size and your planned arrangement into account. Round, pedestal-style tables make a great choice for side tables between sofas and chairs, as their curves allow for easier navigation. Nesting tables work well for tight spaces or when flexibility is necessary.
6. Arrange Furniture Around Lighting
One of the main factors in setting the mood of a room, lighting also plays a large role in deciding how to arrange the furniture. Remember, windows are a good source for natural light, while lamps, chandeliers and sconces bring light during the evening hours. Arranging furniture near light sources so that there is sufficient illumination for activities like reading or conversation is key. Enhance your lighting situation by installing convenient in-floor electrical outlets to service furniture arrangements that float.
7. Rooms With a TV
Think comfort and ease of access when mulling over how to arrange furniture when there’s a TV involved. Step one is positioning the TV so that the screen is not facing the sunlight. Also keep in mind that the standard television has a viewing distance of 8 to 12 feet and the optimal viewing angle is 30 degrees or less. Route the room’s traffic flow behind viewers rather than between them and the TV screen.
8. Bedroom Furniture Arranging
The size of the bed should always be taken into consideration when planning the furniture arrangement of a bedroom. You will need at least 2 feet on each side in order to make the bed. Also, do not position the bed within 3 feet of the door or else the bed becomes an obstruction.
If a lot of storage isn’t necessary, you might be able to comfortably have a larger bed in a smaller bedroom. In addition to the placement of the bed, it’s also important to think about the visual weight presented by the headboard. It’s all about balance. A bed that is a bit large for the room should have a headboard that is visually lighter, like one featuring metal scrollwork. A solid headboard takes up more visual space. Bigger bedrooms, or ones with tall ceilings, work best with headboards that are taller and heavier.
9. Small Bedroom
To maximize the floor space in a small bedroom, use fewer pieces of furniture but of a slightly bigger scale. Go with tall pieces that add mass in a smaller area, like an armoire. When planning your small bedroom furniture arrangement, essentials should be accounted for first, and then any extras that will fit, such as a desk or bench.
10. Dining Room Arranging
An ideal dining room furniture arrangement should leave a minimum of 36 inches between the table and the wall, on all sides. Place the table so that foot traffic can flow around it without difficulty. Allow plenty of room for chairs to slide in and out from the table. If there is extra space, a sofa tucked in along a wall is a nice touch for casual post-meal conversation.
To calculate how many chairs will comfortably fit around your table, measure out each place setting at 20 to 24 inches wide and 15 inches deep. You’ll also need at least 6 inches between chairs. With these estimates, your guests won’t be packed in like sardines.