Arranging furniture can be a pretty overwhelming task when you consider filling a room in a way that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Interior Designers typically have a mental list that they run through as they help you with furniture placement.
CHOOSE A FOCAL POINT – Sometimes focal points appear naturally as in a fireplace, for example, while other times you may need to create them yourself as in a media cabinet with a TV. You’ll want to arrange furniture around it as much as possible.
CONSIDER TRAFFIC FLOW – Make sure that people won’t be tripping over furniture, or each other, to pass through the room. Create a clear path so that people can walk from one end of the room to the other without difficulty.
GET A BIG COFFEE TABLE – In this case, more often than not, bigger is better. A larger coffee table in the middle of a seating area is great for both aesthetics and function. It anchors the room and leaves plenty of space for people to put down drinks or for you to display your favorite accessories. Make sure to leave enough room between seating and the coffee table for people to pass through (about 18 inches). You can also create a large coffee table using two or more smaller tables.
CREATE CONVERSATION AREAS – It is best to position the sofas and chairs so that people can naturally talk to each other without having to shout across the room or crane their necks. If the room is too large, create multiple conversation areas.
LET THERE BE LIGHT – Lighting is one of the most important elements of any room and it is often neglected. Always use a mix of overhead lighting, floor and table lamps and sconces, if you can. Lighting needs to be placed at different levels in order to be properly balanced so use a variety of fixtures liberally throughout your home.
USE THE RIGHT ARTWORK – Whether you use art, mirrors and/or sculptural objects on your walls, they need to be placed strategically and in proportion to the furniture. Over a sofa it is best to use a grouping of art or a large piece that is about 2/3 the length of the sofa. Remember: you can enlarge artwork by matting and framing the art.
It’s always best to plan furniture placement in your room ahead of time; especially if your plan involves buying new furniture. Consult an interior designer to help. Most will consult on an hourly basis. Barring that, you can use an online floor planner or old-fashioned graph paper to sketch out your floor plan – Good luck!