How To's

How to Arrange Furniture in Every Room

A new season, a change of lifestyle, a new find from YLiving (wink), or a new home inspires us all to want to update our furniture.

Out with the old and in with the new is something most of us can get behind every once in awhile. But if you’re not in the market for brand new furnishings, you can still make your space feel new with a little bit of creative arranging.

A fresh and proper set-up of your existing furniture can create the perfect balance and best showcase your personal style. Let’s review for a few key rooms in the house:

Living Room

The arrangement of the living room starts with a focal point like a window, fireplace or media stand. Because the living room is an area where we gather, it’s also one in which socializing and entertaining will take place. Use your living room seating to create conversation areas, so people can socialize without straining their necks or yelling. This includes keeping the furniture within close proximity and, if the space is large enough, away from the walls to create added pathways and improve the flow of the space.

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Here are some tips on how to arrange furniture and complementary furnishings in the living room:

Sofas + Chairs: Seating is placed facing toward the focal point of the room, like a fireplace, works of art, media center or picture window. A living room with a TV requires an 8-12 foot maximum viewing distance, and the viewing angle should be no more than 30 degrees. Armchairs and chaises fall on either side of the focal point to create a sense of balance in the seating area.

Rug: Area rugs naturally go with the placement of your sofa’s and chairs. They are a fantastic way to designate seating in any room. To make the most of your area rug, place it 24 inches away from the wall and under all the central furnishings. If this isn’t a possibility, make sure that at least the front legs of a piece of furniture are on the rug.

Coffee Table: Found in the center of conversation areas, coffee tables need 14-18 inches of leg room between seating and other tables, and placed close enough for people to place or pick up a drink.

Side Table: On either side of the sofa or between a pair of lounge chairs are the ideal locations for a side table. This puts it–and any drink or book placed on it–within easy reach.

Dining Room

The right arrangement of dining room furniture is an especially rewarding feat when you are entertaining or enjoying a large feast. Again, you have to consider the dimensions in the dining room and make sure that chosen furnishings are to proper scale.

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Dining Table: You need enough space between the wall and table so that there is room to walk behind chairs while others are seated or to open a door. At least 36″ between the dining table and surrounding walls or other furnishing allows space for maneuvering to and from the table in a comfortable manner.

Area Rug and Table: An area rug in the dining room should extend at least 24 inches all around the dining table, which allows for seating to be pulled out and still remain on the rug.

Between Chairs: Each person at the table needs 24 inches of personal space between them to prevent collisions and unexpected elbows.

Bedroom

It’s in the rooms where we get our beauty sleep and prepare to conquer the day that furniture arrangement is greatly influenced by our morning and night routines.

In the bedroom, or any room really, it’s essential to place the closest piece of furniture at least three feet away from the door to create a clear pathway. (Especially in a space like mine, where I can only utilize my petite desk in my bedroom. I’ve chosen to place my desk against the wall behind my bedroom door. The three feet rule has made it a breeze to navigate in and out of my bedroom without bumping into the flimsy work desk I assembled myself.)

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Bed: Arranging furniture in the bedroom starts, of course, with the bed. Most tend to place the bed in the center of the wall across from the door. Because of a bed’s natural placement in most bedrooms–and size–it inevitably becomes the focal point of the room.

If your bed doesn’t fit on the center of the door’s opposing wall, you can always place the bed on one of the other walls of the room. Wherever you put it, your bed should always have at least two feet of space around it to accommodate making your bed and moving around it.

Dresser/Armoire: Similar to your bed, a dresser or armoire needs at least two feet of space in front of it. This allows for opening and closing dresser drawers or the doors to other storage. Yet placing these furnishings in front of your bed can create complicated scenarios if you stick to the two feet rule. Try adding another two feet of space, if possible, so you can move between the dresser and bed even when drawers are open.

Workspace: If you have the space in your bedroom, a desk and seat goes well in a corner or against the wall. Add 18 inches of space behind the desk to allow for a chair, and you have a comfortable area to work.

Accent Chair: A nice touch to the bedroom, accent chairs are ideal for reading or putting on your shoes. Two feet of space is all you need around a single chair.

Arranging furniture can feel complex in the beginning. But following the spatial requirements in each room will give you a fresh perspective of your home and make furniture arrangement a breeze.

Tonye Doukpolagha

Tonye Doukpolagha

Tonyé is a Senior Product Content Publisher at YLiving who dwells over the way modern design transforms customary furniture and accessories. She began her career in the Furniture Industry at the San Francisco Design Center and has not turned away since. In her free time she enjoys volunteering, adding images to her incomplete inspo board, obsessing over different ways to refresh her apartment, immersing in the East Bay Art & Culture scene, and never turning down brunch with friends.

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