Arranging Furniture Made Simple for You!

create an inviting space with placement

Arranging Furniture

I often work with clients who ask, "How do I arrange the furniture in this room?"  It doesn't really matter what room or space in the home they are referring is a recurring question that tends to stump many people.

For some it is driven by the budget. They must use what they have and want to create some interest and new perspective into the place. For other clients it is a matter of bringing new pieces in, or perhaps the room is totally empty (that scares some people a lot!) and they don't have a vision of what it can look like.

No worries! There are some simple steps you can take with your room decor to change the overall design and give a fresh perspective to the area by arranging the furniture in a fresh new way, thus bringing a smile to your face. And there isn't a price tag that can be put on that!

Let's look at some images to see  tips for arranging furniture in the Living Room.

click on any photo to view them as a Gallery

Traditionally styled living room and furniture arrangement

1) Here is a Living Room in Traditional Style. Notice that every aspect of the room is balanced, right down to the lamps and decor on the mantel.

This is a spacious room for sure, so there is ample space for the furnishings in doubles...two sofas, accent chairs and ottomans. The design is linear, with all of the pieces facing each other into the center of the room.

Creative furniture arrangement in the Living Room

image source unknown

2) There are several aspects of this space that I love. First, note the color palette; red, tan and white. Very simple, with just one pattern that is shared by the ottoman and accent pillows.

The furniture arrangement creates some angles in the space, and I enjoy that look. The sofa is angled away from the french doors to allow access, but in doing that it creates a fresh dimension in the space.

There is a grouping of two smaller accent chairs by the fireplace, and we can see a glimpse of another chair that is angled toward the sofa for conversation.

source unknown

3) This image gives us a view from above, which is ideal for studying furniture arranging. Is any of the furniture placed against the walls?  No.

The mantel is the focal point of the space. The sofa is facing it, with two matching accent chairs placed to see conversation, mantel and the view of the outside.

A smaller accent chair is tucked into the corner area by the window with an ottoman nearby for footrest or extra seating.

Furniture arrangement in the living area using chairs only

4) When you place the furniture in your home, think about how the space is used, how you live, and who is in the home.

A living area doesn't have rules for furnishings, and this space is one example of that. No sofa here. We see four matching chairs of good size, with a coffee table (round makes sense here) in the middle.

I like it! I also like the use of white with just a hint of blue. Very clean and open look.

Family room furniture arrangement idea

5) Here is a casual and inviting family room. We can see the kitchen in the background.

There is a sectional placed at an angle, most likely facing other furnishings for ease of conversation, perhaps a TV, and/or placed to enjoy a beautiful view outdoors.

A large rectangular coffee table provides a place for resting your feet or holding a snack/beverage.

Contemporary living area with large sectional

6) This large living area holds a sectional that fits the size of the space. It might over power a smaller room, but is scaled nicely here.

A coffee table that is a solid presence (both in terms of fabric and size) compliments the sectional as well as the neutral color palette.

I like the linear feel of the space, with the simplicity that often accompanies contemporary styling.

 Arranging Furniture - the Basics

How to arrange furniture in the living area


Before you can successfully place the furniture in a room or space, always answer these questions. This is how I work with my clients or plan a home staging project:

  • How am I going to use this space? What is the function?This is a personal response. It doesn't matter how someone else may use the are YOU going to use it?
  • Who is going to be in this space on a regular basis? Do you live alone? Family? Small children? Pets? Elderly parents?  These are top priority considerations.
  • How does/will the room flow? Consider the traffic patterns. You don't want to place the sofa straight in the path of the doorway to the kitchen, for example, as it will make for a clumsy walk about.
  • What is the focal point in this space? Arranging furniture is, in part, about making the space itself the most beautiful it can be while highlighting it's best features and/or an exterior view. So, if your living room has both a custom fireplace and a gorgeous mountain view, for example, you want to arrange the furniture in a way that the occupants can enjoy both.

Okay so let's get to the actual furniture arrangement steps.

We are going to work with the thought that you will use what you have for arranging the furniture and not purchase anything new. So, it is truly a project with no expense other than some physical work and thoughtful planning.

Before you take any action, go into the your living area and assess the furniture arrangement and accessories that currently reside there.

Steps for Furniture Arrangement

Furniture Arrangement in the Bedroom

First: With pencil and paper in hand, make a list of the pieces that are critical to the room, starting with the largest pieces and working your way down to the smallest.

For example, your sofa, if you have one, probably needs to remain in this room, assuming you use this area for seating. Be selective as you make this list and think about the function of each piece before adding it to the list.

As your list is created you are most likely going to have some pieces that are not going to be listed, and those are the pieces that are expendable to the function of this room.

Most people are going to find that they have a chair, end table/coffee table, accent piece, rocker, etc that is not critical to the area and may in fact be taking up good space. You may ultimately keep these items in the room, but for now they are not on your list of 'keepers'.

Here's the next step for arranging furniture. Once you are satisfied with the pieces on your list, take everything out of the room that is NOT found on it,including lighting and accessories.

Physically remove them from the room. You should be left with the pieces that are critical to the function of the room.

Now comes the fun and creative part of this project, and that is to rework the placement of your furniture and arrange it in a new and different way to bring that fresh perspective into play.

Many times, furniture is placed in a room against the walls and stays in the same spot for years (for some, many years!).

Imagine that your room has a hexagon (six sided) shape around the perimeter of the area, so instead of the standard four walls there are six, smaller 'walls' or lines on the floor.

Take the focal point, windows, door openings and other pieces like TVs into consideration, and place your largest upholstered pieces on the hexagon 'lines'.

What you have just done is arranged your furniture at some angles and pulled it away from the straight walls, which can bring a totally different design look to a room, and give a fresh perspective to those seated in the room.

For the vast majority of folks, you have also placed the pieces in a different location than they were - you have found a new and unique way of arranging furniture!

You have also taken one, two or maybe more, pieces from the area to give it a more open and spacious look.

Arranging Furniture Made Simple


Once you are satisfied with arrangement of the larger pieces, start bringing in the smaller pieces and accessories that were on your list, with the goal of putting each piece in a different location than in the past.

Sometimes the function and size of the piece make it impossible to move, and that's okay. But your first plan of action is to find a new home for each piece.

Do the same with your accessories, and when you are finished, your room will have a new and fresh look! Have you spent any money?

Not a dime, which is inexpensive home decoration and arranging furniture at its best. Your Living Room has been thoughtfully rearranged and your home decor and design project is complete.

Need more guidance and details about arranging furniture or help with a decorating project? You'll want to learn more about Love Your Home!

At least for now, until the budget catches up with your home decorating goals. Enjoy your 'new' surroundings!

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