10 basic rules to get your furniture arrangement right

Srijanaa Srijanaa
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We all love decorating our home! With a desire to create a beautiful-cosy space, we (I… and I am sure for many of you out there) continually tweak and change our home decor either by adding a few elements to the home decor, removing a few old ones or re-arranging the elements together. But, arranging the elements together for a flawless-stunning look can get tricky at times. Understanding the basic rules of furniture arrangement can aid you at times like these and transform a room into a beautiful and practical space that emanates style.

Making the right choice of elements, especially furniture, and its perfect arrangement pattern is most important and it depends on a myriad factors—the size and layout of the room, for staters—so, it is best to start by measuring out the space accurately (you can mark off the dimensions of a prospective piece using masking tape) for a better idea of what's going to fit where. This will allow you to conceptualize space better and design it accordingly. 

So, get the tape and measure out the room you want to re-decorate, and pen down your design by following these basic rules of furniture arrangement to create a ’Feels good” space that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Assess the Function

After having measured out the space and before you start out to pen down your plan, it is important to answer a few questions—questions that will guide space planning, questions like: How the room will be used and how many people will use it? Do you want a warm and cozy environment, or a trendy and modern space? The answer to these and many similar questions will dictate the amount of seating required and the furniture placement schemes that will work well for your daily living situations.

Scheme: In the plan, the furniture arrangement scheme splits the rectangular living area into two functionally different yet interacting zones—the living area and the dining area. With this arrangement, a cosy-conversation zone is created around the coffee table in the living area and also allows TV viewing while having dinner in the dining area. The another great advantage about this scheme is that the rectangular space can function as a singular unit if a dinner party is hosted by converting the dining table into a corner buffet table and using the chairs to seat additional guests. 

Therefore, it is essential to assess the functions that the space will cater to and then pen down the best plan possible in the available space.

Find a focal in the room

The first step when you start out to plan the furniture arrangement is to establish a focal point, it can be a T.V. wall, a fireplace, or large window. First identify the dominant wall (the wall you typically notice most when you enter a room) and place the focal point on it. After established the focal point you can arrange the furniture (particularly seating) either facing the focal point straight-on or angled-at.

Tip: In the living room, assemble the seating in the shape of a “U” to faces the focal point-the TV Wall. This will make TV viewing comfortable along with the possibility of some interactive conversations with the guests.

Prioritize the large piece

Space Planning-1:   by Srijanaa
Srijanaa

Space Planning-1

Srijanaa

Place the largest pieces of furniture, like the sofa in the living room or bed in the bedroom, first. It is recommended that the largest piece should directly face the focal as it will help create a visual balance. You can then, go-on and arrange the other furniture pieces around it to achieve the determined function of the room. 

Tip: Avoid pushing the furniture against the walls, even the largest piece, and leave some gap as this will make the room feel airy and more spacious.

Plan the layout

Furniture placement will also be influenced by the shape of the room and the aesthetic value of the possible options. Symmetrical arrangements work best for formal rooms and feels very restful , whereas, asymmetrical arrangements make a room feel more casual creating visual motion and some excitement in space.  

Scheme: Furniture placement can get a little tricky when decorating a small space or an oddly shaped room. For example, a long-narrow room pose a challenge of choosing the focal wall and arranging the furniture. Trick is to place the focal piece on the short wall to create a sense of visual balance and then split the long-narrow space into two functionally distinct zones separated with rugs or with furniture pieces. This will help you take the bite out of large rectangular room by dividing them into squares that feel more comfortable.

Create Ease of Movement

Be mindful while arranging furniture and avoid obstructing any entryways or movement paths.Take into account the traffic patterns in the room and arrange the furniture to create ease of movement. Instrumental to creating more movement space is to retain the pieces of furniture you require for comfort,  storage, and utility and removing the others.

Tip: Don’t block that path with any large pieces of furniture and allow 30 to 48 inches of width for major traffic routes and a minimum of 24 inches of width for minor ones.

Float Furniture

Placing furniture along the perimeter of a room creates an unattractively stagnant look, so pull the furniture 3''-4'' away from the walls and add a console table in the gap. This will not only make the space seem larger, but also more balanced. Pushing all the furniture up against the walls isn't the way to make the small room appear larger, so, make some space behind your sofa and let it breathe.

Tip: In a modestly sized room, locate the large piece (e.g., the sofa) against the wall and float the smaller pieces—like a pair of comfortable armchairs—in the middle of the room.

Maintain Comfort

Create a layout that is comfortable and justifies the function of space. For example, place a coffee table at a reasonable distance from the sofa, as well as within reach of the other seating pieces because it is the centerpiece of the conversation area and holds the functioning of the space. If it is too close to the sofa, your legs will hit it and if too far then you cant reach for your drink.

Tip: In the living area, make sure the chairs are not more than 8 feet apart to facilitate conversations, and the coffee table is located at 14 to 18 inches from the chairs for a comfortable access and adequate legroom.

Similarly, the height of coffee table, the height of the side tables, their ratio to the sofa size, height of the TV and distance of sofa from it, etc, are very important aspects each consequential towards designing of a comfortable and balance space.

Split lighting

If you have just one source of light in the room, it will be wise idea to add more light sources. An overhead light fixture should to be layered with some task lighting such as a floor lamp or lamp on a side table, and further accentuated with wall sconces or down lights or spots.

Good lighting can make a lot of difference in how the room feels and can make the room seem larger.

Hang artwork lower

Good artwork will always make way for a unique and stylish home decor. It will give a crisp and elegant touch to the overall theme. And for it to be really impact-full, the trick is to hang it right! When hanging a artwork make sure the  center of the image is at eye level. In the living room, where people are usually sitting, the eye-level will be lower and so, hang the artwork lower than usual. 

Tip: A good way to ensure you're placing artwork at the right height is to hang it one hand width above the sofa. Also, hanging the artwork/photos lower than usual  creates an impression of a higher ceiling.

Exercise Balance

Play with heights in furnishings to create some interest in the room. You can do this by creating a balance between the tall pieces and the short ones by placing a tall and a short piece next to each other. For example, if you have a low back sofa then add a piece of furniture that is tall like a shelf or side-tables with a table lamp next to it. The same rule works well when accessorizing, too. 

Tip: Use the ratio of 3:1 and group three vases of varying heights together and balance it with a single larger decor object on the opposite side of the shelf.

Balance the heavy furnishings or decor with something on the opposite side to put the eye over and around the room. For example, if you have a heavy sofa against one wall, pair the wall opposite to it with another foundational piece of furniture.

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