Choosing and placing furniture doesn’t sound like it’s that hard but when you’re faced with an empty room, you’ll suddenly realize that you haven’t got a clue where to start. The rest of the decor has an impact on the room but where you decide to place the furniture dictates the entire setup of the room. All of the other decisions that you make about decor are going to be completely dependent on how you’ve picked and arranged the furniture so it’s vital that you think about it properly.
Taking your old stuff into the new house is going to save you some money but it might not necessarily work as well as it did in the old place. Making those kinds of compromises from the outset is going to stop you from creating the room that you want. Instead, it’s better to see what the space in the new house is like and buy some new furniture that fits perfectly with it. Before you get started, read these tips to help you choose and arrange your furniture in the best way possible.
The first thing you need to look at is the space in the room. If you buy furniture that’s not suitable for the amount of space in a room, it’ll look terrible. For example, if you’ve got a huge open space and you get a couple of small armchairs and put them in the corner, the room is going to look very empty and half finished. Equally, if you’ve got a small space and you put a big corner sofa in there, it’ll be cramped and you won’t have room to move in there. When you’re dealing with a small space then it might be worth thinking about alternative furniture like a bean bag lounger instead of a sofa so you can move it around and create more space if needs be. When you’re dealing with a much larger space, you need to use bigger pieces around the edge of the room to stop it from looking too empty and uncomfortable.
The next thing to consider is the function of the room; who’s using it and what are they using it for? If it’s a family space that you’ll all be using together then you need to put in a sofa and a few chairs so there’s more than enough room for everybody to sit down. However, if you’re working on a home office, there’s no need to take up a load of space with big sofas and chairs because there’s only going to be one person in there. You can free up the rest of that space for other furniture like bookcases and desks for a work area.
In family spaces like the lounge or the kitchen, you should be thinking of them as multi-purpose. The kitchen, in particular, is often used as a socializing space as well as a dining and cooking area. Keep this in mind when you’re choosing furniture and pick pieces that can be easily moved and rearranged to suit the needs of whoever is using the room at the time.
All of the furniture in the room should be arranged around the focal point. Depending on the layout of the room, there may already be one or you might need to create one yourself using the furniture. If the room has a fireplace or a large bay window, for example, that’s going to be your focal point. However, if it’s a completely blank room then you’ll create your own focal point using furniture of your choice. When you’re planning the layout, start from the focal point and work backwards, all of the rest of the furniture in the room should be focused on that point.
If you’re using a television as your focal point you need to make sure all of the furniture is an appropriate distance away, luckily there is a pretty specific rule for that. The distance should be 1 and a half times the size of the TV, that means if you’ve got a 40 inch TV, all of the furniture should be at least 60 inches back from it for optimum viewing.
By prioritizing pieces of furniture you can bring out the layout of a room naturally. Start with your focal point and take your largest piece of furniture first. This is usually the sofa, which should point directly towards the focal point. Once you’ve got that in, you’ll be able to see what space you have left. From there you can decide what will fit in there and start making decisions on the rest of your furniture, getting smaller and smaller as you go.
When you’re deciding on furniture placement, the aesthetic of the room is obviously very important. However, you’ve got to be practical about it as well. Think about the traffic that is going through the room and whether people will actually be able to walk through. It’s easy to compromise on space so you can get more seating in but it’s not going to work. You might think it’ll be fine but after a couple of weeks of having to squeeze by the sofa every time you pass through a room, you’re going to get fed up. Always think of practicality first and make sure that the layout of the room isn’t going to cause you any logistical problems.
If you’ve got young kids that are going to be running through the room a lot that’s something to consider as well. You can’t put low tables or cabinets with sharp corners in because they’re a health hazard to the kids. Always use furniture with soft corners if you’ve got a young family, you can always swap it out later when they’re a bit older.
Symmetry is a great tool in room design but you should only use it in certain circumstances. When you create a room that is completely symmetrical it gives it a very formal and professional look. That works for some rooms but if you’re trying to create a cosy living area it isn’t always best.
Furniture placement is a lot more difficult than people realize but if you follow these rules, you can crack it.