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Furniture Arrangement for Beginners

Last Updated on November 4, 2011

Without a doubt, the arrangement of your home’s furniture can be a make or break portion of the overall look and feel you are aiming for. Even if you have found the perfect pieces of furniture, catchy accessories, and gorgeous wall colors, a poorly organized furniture scheme can ruin an entire room. Whether you are a new home owner or are simply hoping to rearrange your existing furniture, there are several guidelines to follow which should help you in creating the most effective and pleasing arrangement.

Although it seems obvious, it bears mentioning that you must first and foremost consider the physical properties of your room. Where are the doors? Do they open inward or outward? Are the windows high enough that furniture can be placed under them? Which walls have the most space to accommodate furniture? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself before you start arranging your furniture.

Arranging your Living Room Furniture

More often than not, it is a good idea to consider your largest piece of furniture as the focal point of your arrangement. Therefore, in the living room, it is recommended that you start with the sofa and work off of that. It’s best to place the sofa against the wall with the most surface area, for two reasons. First, the largest wall obviously has the most space to accommodate the sofa. Second, placing the sofa on a large wall can help make the wall look smaller and add continuity to the room.

Once you have found the best place for your sofa, you can move on to other seating items. At this point, it is important to consider the traffic patterns of the room. If the room connects to two others, consider the path which you would walk in order to pass through. You want to keep traffic lanes open and as natural as possible. For a point of reference, most doorways are approximately three feet wide. This is a good standard for the width of your traffic lanes, but you can make them a bit wider if you like.

Image courtesy of roblisameehan (CC by 2.0)

Arranging your Bedroom Furniture

In the bedroom, your bed is the major point of focus and requires careful consideration. The most visually appealing place for a bed is in a centralized part of the room. Again, if this can be done by placing it against the largest wall, then you should certainly consider it. Many people adhere to a rule of thumb that the bed should not be in the path of the doorway. For some, this creates a somewhat cumbersome look. Of course, there is also the possibility that you may want to be in bed (and out of sight) with the door open.

As you are considering your furniture arrangement, always think about the purpose of the room and what the object of focus is. Family rooms typically revolve around fireplaces or the television, so keep these aspects in mind when planning your design. The best arrangement is the one that makes you and your family feel most comfortable and doesn’t interfere with the natural flow of traffic in your home.

This is a guest article by Jürgen Heidenreich. He owns a German website with information on different types of sofas, which include corner sofas (praktische Polsterecke) and XXL sofas (riesige Megasofa).

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