10 Rules for Arranging Furniture

Arranging furniture can be a daunting task. When you’re faced with an empty room knowing how to fill it can seem overwhelming. But all you need to do is follow these common sense rules and you’ll find that arranging furniture isn’t so scary after all.

Choose a Focal Point

Never underestimate the power of a focal point. Sometimes they appear naturally as windows or built-in mantels, while other times you create them yourself, as with media units and televisions. Whatever your focal point is, make a decision and stick with it.

Don’t Push Furniture Against the Walls

The size of the room will dictate how far you can pull your furniture away from the walls, but even in a small space you’ll want to give pieces a little breathing room by allowing a few inches between the backs of furniture pieces and the walls.

Create Conversation Areas

People should naturally be able to talk to each other without having to crane their necks or shout across the room. You want sofas and chairs to face each other, and they should be close enough that you can have a natural conversation with the person seated across from you without having to raise your voice. If the room is too large, create multiple conversation areas.

Find Balance When Arranging Furniture

Balance is always important in decorating, and when it comes to arranging furniture and determining where to put items in your living room you’ll want to consider both size and placement of the various pieces. Don’t group all the large or small pieces in one area, or to one side of the room.

Consider Traffic Flow

One of the most important things to consider when arranging furniture in any room is traffic flow. People should not be tripping over furniture, or each other, to pass through the room. Make sure there are a couple feet between the coffee table and sofa, and between chairs.

Use the Right Size Rug

Area rugs belong under the furniture – all the furniture if you can manage it. Exposing some flooring around the edges of the room is fine, but when using an area rug you want to make sure it’s big enough that all the furniture in a seating arrangement can sit on it.

Get a Big Coffee Table

When it comes to coffee tables, more often than not, bigger is better. A large coffee table in the middle of a seating area is great for both aesthetics and function. It acts like an anchor for the room and it leaves plenty of space for people to put down drinks or to display favored accessories.

Put Tables at Arm’s Length

Every seat should have easy access to either a side table or coffee table. People shouldn’t have to get up out of their seats to put their drink down. When it comes to table height, side tables should be approximately the same height as the chair arms they’re next to.

Let There Be Light 

Lighting is one of the most important elements of any room and it’s often not properly thought out. Always use a mix of overhead lighting, floor lamps and table lamps. A floor lamp looks great at the end of a sofa or behind an accent chair. Table lamps look lovely on side tables, shelves, and even mantels.

Use the Right Size Artwork

Things that are hung on the wall, whether it’s art, mirrors, or sculptural objects, need to be placed in relation to the furniture. Don’t hang a tiny photo over the back of your sofa. Use either a large piece that is approximately two thirds the length of the sofa, or use a grouping of pieces.

Source: about.com