Category Archives: Furniture Arrangement

Furniture Arrangement #4: The Plot & The Measure

No matter what room you are planning,

always place the biggest pieces of furniture first,


Always make the best use of any focal point in a room


because, they take up the most floor space.

Keep in mind too, how “traffic” will naturally flow around and through the room and plan for the “traffic paths” to go around the main furniture groupings, unless there is no alternative.  Good space planning takes into account human dimensions as well as the space needed for doors and drawers to open easily.  For that reason, allow at least 24 inches walking space.

In your dining room, allow at least 3 feet from the table edge to the wall.  Space is needed to pull out a chair and sit comfortably without feeling cramped.  In bedrooms, leave 24 inches between the bed and the wall, and at least 36 inches between the edge of the bed and any door that opens into the room.  If you have double beds, allow 18 inches between them.

Although you always want to make use of a natural focal point in a room,

sometimes, through no fault of your own,

the focal point includes a view of the radiator.

This vision is hardly “uplifting”. Move the templates on the graph paper to see if the furniture arrangement you have in mind, can be flipped so that a major furniture piece, the sofa for example, sits with the back to the radiator.  Pull it out about a foot for good air circulation, and arrange the other pieces around it accordingly.   If that doesn’t work, there are other solutions.  A draped table could work, perhaps with a large flower arrangement, or a lamp.  Folding screens are great.  They can hide so much, anywhere.

Speaking of focal points, a you might be using a wall unit with a TV for that purpose, or else have the conversation grouping just in front of the TV.   The best distance from the screen for comfortable viewing is 3 times the size of the screen (TV screen size is measured on the diagonal).  This means that if your screen is 30 inches, positioning the sofa 90 inches away is optimum.

When the room is large enough, the sofa and chairs that make up the conversation area can “float” as long as there is at least 3 feet behind the sofa for passage.  Or consider if the area can be placed on a diagonal.   This is sometimes an inspired solution for smaller rooms.

Related Posts

Furniture Arrangement #1: Form Follows Function

Furniture Arrangement #2: Creating Conversation Areas Worth Talking About

Furniture Arrangement #3: Seeing the Big Picture

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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