How to place Furniture in a Room

22 June 2011

I am continually struck – both in my own and in clients’ homes – what a profound effect the placing of furniture can have on how you feel about, and use, a room…

  • Our own furniture is constantly on the move, although our preferred arrangement is the one shown in the right hand picture above – with a lot added since it was taken in 2003!
  • Our most recent move has been to “put manners” on the TV.
  • Too often, the TV and fireplace compete for attention in a Living Room, with the TV shouting loudest.
  • Our TV oscillates between a small TV room upstairs and our Living Room downstairs – for those times when we have a fest of TV.
  • Our solution for the Living Room has been to put the TV on a wheeled unit, so it can sit quietly in the corner or be wheeled out to centre stage, when required.

Other points to bear in mind when arranging furniture are…

  • Use existing room features as reference points and work with these to provide lines of symmetry and balance – windows, fireplaces, alcoves etc.
  • Arrange seating areas in such a way that each piece feels that it is “talking” to the others. If the furniture arrangement looks conversational, chances are it will be inviting and conducive to conversation among the a large group, as well as being comfortable for a someone sitting on their own.
  • Find out where the “centre of gravity” of the room is and place the largest item of furniture here. In a Living Room, for example, this may be the wall opposite the fireplace, where you might locate the largest couch.
  • Pull furniture away, even slightly, from the walls where possible. This will increase the flow of space and, since the walls can be felt all round, make the room feel bigger. Pushing furniture hard up against the walls in a large room will make the room uninviting and give the effect of the furniture being “strangled” by the walls.
  • Explore how a large room may be broken up into a number of smaller areas and furniture groupings.
  • Be adventurous! Explore different options, including some you feel may not work – they just might, or if not, they might trigger new ideas.

PS We are planning a major re-shuffle for our first floor rooms next weekend to create more space…I’ll keep you posted! Eva

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