Smart Design with Suzette: Furniture Arrangement

Smart Design with Suzette
Furniture Arrangement

Furniture arrangement can be the simplest or the hardest thing to do depending on the size, shape and traffic flow of your room.

When you get this right, you will know it. The room will be welcoming and relaxing.




Start with an overview of your room. Look at the traffic flow and do not to place any furniture in its path. Next set your focal point. For a living room, it should be a fireplace, television or window. The bedroom should be the bed and the dining room should be the table, etc.

To help with placement there are a lot of tricks to where and how far apart pieces go. Here are some trade secrets – Sshhh! Don’t tell!

Courtesy/Better Homes and Garden
  • Living Room
  • There should be 30”-36” of space where you walk around furniture
  • Reaching distance between a coffee table and sofa is 14”-18”
  • Viewing distance between seating and television should be 8 to 12 feet
  • Place area rugs under furniture groupings to anchor it. Always have the rug large enough so that at least the front feet of your chairs and couch are placed on it

Dining Room

  • In most cases your table should mimic the shape of your room. If you have a rectangular shaped room then your table should be the same shape. However square room always looks best aesthetically with a round table.
  • Leave 24” of space between your dining chairs or more if you’re a family that gestures a lot, like mine. I’ve been known to knock over drinks because of my gesturing. Beware if you have me for dinner!
  • Have plenty of space to scoot chairs back from the table – 24” past the person seated at the table, so at least 4 feet.
  • Lighting should be 30” above the tabletop so it clears guests’ heads but still lights the area well.

General tips that can help with aesthetics, placement and flow

  • Measure the height and width of your front door. You can’t get the right piece of furniture in if it doesn’t fit through the front door! Made that mistake ONCE!
  • Measure every wall to get the right size and scale of furniture before buying. Be sure to keep these measurements with you when shopping.
  • Lighting is crucial. It adds so much depth to the room. Be sure you have lighting balanced around the room for task and ambient lighting.
  • Place curtains higher and wider than your windows. This will draw your eyes up and make your windows seem larger.
  • Hang paintings and mirrors strategically and at the right height. Mirrors placed correctly should reflect light and make the room look larger.
Courtesy/Better Homes and Gardens

How do you want your room to feel?

If you want your room to be cozy and intimate, then your furniture arrangement needs to be closer together. If you want open and spacious, then your arrangement needs to be farther apart.

Have fun with it!

Your space should reflect you and your personality. Move pieces around until you have the placement that feels best to you.

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