Furniture arrangement 101: Welcome to your new home

Greg Armbruster
Published on February 24, 2020

Furniture arrangement 101: Welcome to your new home

If you’ve ever toured the model homes in a new home community, you may understand that interior decorating is an art. It’s not just the tastefully designed furniture and accessories, however, that create the perfect room. The placement of these elements has a great deal to do with the overall appeal of a design.

“Smart furniture placement can make a well-laid-out room even more appealing and functional,” claims Susan Yoder, a designer for Clayton Homes.

“Having so much space to work with can be intimidating, so it’s important to put some thought into how you’ll arrange things ahead of time.”

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your furniture arrangement.

Determine how you’ll use the room

What is the purpose of the room? Will the family use the living room to watch TV or will you save that room for more formal purposes and use the family room for the casual family get-togethers?

If you own a small home, without an alternative room, you may not have a choice. In that case, carve out zones in the room and arrange the furniture to delineate them.

For instance, orient the sofa to face the TV and create a separate area with comfy chairs, a small side table and lamp for those solitary moments you spend reading or conversing one-on-one.

Determine a focal point

Where is your eye drawn when you enter the room? This is the room’s focal point. Typical spots to create this point include a fireplace or large window with a view.

If the room lacks a natural focal point, create one by painting a wall in an accent color or using a piece of artwork or furniture, such as a bookcase.

Whatever you choose as your focal point, accent it with attractive accessories and then position the furniture so that it faces it yet doesn’t block the view from the room’s entry.

Create traffic flow

Professional designers say that one of their pet peeves is homeowners that neglect natural traffic paths in rooms and have a tendency to block them. “These paths will go between any entries into the room to any other entry into the room. People will instinctively take the quickest route, that being a straight line,” say the experts at Verona Interiors in St. Louis, Missouri.

Make sure you don’t crowd the entryways to the room with furniture pieces. Make it easy to enter and exit the room.

Once inside the room, there should be enough room to walk through it without bumping into or having to maneuver around furniture.

Keep furniture to scale

Oversized furniture in small rooms not only disrupt traffic flow, but may obliterate the room’s focal point, thereby making the room feel even smaller than it is.

The same can be said for large rooms with dinky furniture. The size of your furniture should match the size of the room. Yes, that sounds obvious, but designers say it’s a common mistake among homeowners.

Need more tips on how to arrange furniture in your new home? Pinterest offers lots of ideas as does Better Homes & Gardens and HGTV.

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