How to Arrange Furniture in Your New HomeNeed some tips on how to arrange furniture in your new home?  The good news is that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to furniture placement.  What works for one home won’t necessarily work for another.  With a little planning, you can create a furniture arrangement that works with your lifestyle and creates a pleasant atmosphere.

Furniture Placement Planning

Before you move around furniture and hang up artwork, take stock of the space and the items that you want to place there.  When you’re planning furniture arrangements, think about how you’ll use the room, how often you’ll use it, and how you can walk through the space.

Next, find a focal point to arrange furniture around.  Dramatic elements like fireplaces or picture windows make good focal points.  But if your room is lacking architectural interest, you can create a focal point with furnishings and accessories.  Options include setting up an interesting artwork display, placing a lot of colorful pillows on a bed or installing dramatic window treatments.

Once you’ve determined your focal point, it can be helpful to draw a diagram of your space.  Get some graph paper and a measuring tape, and create a scale drawing of your space.  Don’t forget to include markings for doors, windows and staircases.  Measure your furniture, too, and create templates that you can move around on the floor plan.  Move the furniture around your focal point to see how it will look.  This way you can get a good feel for how several different furniture placements will work before you ever move the real pieces. (Your back muscles will thank you later!)

Furniture Arranging Tips

Arrange furniture so that there’s good room flow by using these tips:

Leave yourself at least a 24-inch path in areas you need to walk through.

Place couches 14 to 18 inches away from coffee tables.

Make sure you have enough space to open chests and cabinet doors.

Remember to make room for lighting next to reading areas.

In a living room furniture arrangement, place tables, sofas and chairs so that they create conversation areas.

Don’t be so square:  furniture doesn’t have to be placed along walls only.  Anchor furniture in the middle of a room with an area rug.  Arrange furniture on the diagonal where space permits a visually-interesting look.

Arrange large pieces of furniture like sofas, desks or dining tables first.  These pieces are typically the most important for a room’s functioning, so they take precedence over smaller pieces.

Create a comfortable TV-viewing environment by arranging seating far enough away from the screen.  A good rule of thumb is to multiply the size of the screen by three and then keep furniture that distance (in inches) away from the TV.  For example, if the screen is 30 inches wide, place chairs 90 inches away from the TV.

Mix Things Up

While there might not be a right way and a wrong way to arrange furniture, there is one rule you have to follow to ensure your furniture placement looks good: mix things up!  A sense of balance makes a space feel comfortable, and you can achieve that sense by varying the size and color of items in your room.  Mix large furniture pieces with small ones, vary sizes and types of patterns, and choose a variety of complementary colors.  Follow this simple rule and you’ll keep your furniture placement from looking dull or heavy.


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