Category Archives: Furniture Arrangement

Furniture Arrangement #3: How Does This Look

Good decisions come from wisdom.

Wisdom comes from experience.

Experience comes from Bad decisions.

A tape measure, graph paper, and templates are your furniture arrangement best friends
A tape measure, graph paper, and templates are your furniture arrangement best friends

As such, you can take my word here.

Good furniture arrangements come from good planning.

Developing clear “To Do” goals for your furniture scheme is a logical beginning, but what about the rest of the furniture you want to have in a room?

First, make sure all the furniture serves a purpose.  Slackers (that means the odd, seldom used piece that provides no accent, interest or sentimental value) should be required to leave the room.  Rooms with too much furniture feel crowded, because they are.

The easiest and most effective way to arrive at the best plan is by using graph paper and templates.  Draw a floor plan on graph paper using one or two graph squares to represent one actual foot of space.  This represents quarter inch or half-inch scale.  I usually use half-inch scale as I find it easier to work larger.   Show where the doors, windows, radiators, and fireplace etc., are positioned.   Draw in the electrical outlets too.

Using the same scale as for the floor plan, measure, draw and cut out the major pieces of furniture too.  Using markers or crayons, color them as close to reality as you can.  One of the most important pieces of information you’ll get about how the completed room arrangement will look, is whether the colors of the room are spread around in a balanced way.

You don’t want to wind up with all the big brown pieces

on one side of the room.

You’ll get the best effect by mixing color and pattern, as well as by mixing the tall and/or big pieces with smaller pieces throughout the room.  Be mindful of furniture scale.  Don’t put a dinky table next to an over-sized chair.  However, two small armchairs and a small table can be grouped to balance a larger piece like a sofa.

As a general statement, creating warmth and intimacy in a room combines many factors,

but meeting scale with scale is key.

Balance the scale of the furniture with the scale of the room.  You can however investigate the idea of using only a few large pieces of furniture in a small room.  This gesture can actually make a small room seem bigger.

Create more visual flow, floor to ceiling,  by varying the elevations of the different pieces furniture you are using.  The exception to this is that it’s best to keep most of your light sources at relatively the same height to prevent a “carnival light” effect.

Related Posts

Furniture Arrangement #1: Form Follows Function

Furniture Arrangement #2: Creating Conversation Areas Worth Talking About

Furniture Arrangement #4: The Plot and The Measure

Small Space Solutions #1: Fooling the Eye

Small Space Solutions #2: Multi-Task Mantra

Photo – Jack Lindholm – Decoding Decor Portfolio

This is one of several articles I wrote for publication on It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion, updates and commentaries…

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