Good decisions come from wisdom.
Wisdom comes from experience.
Experience comes from Bad decisions.
Good furniture arrangements come from
Once you have created an outline of which furnishings you will need per area, per function, it’s time to consider placement.
Not sure how to think through what you will need? GO HERE .
Make sure all the furniture in each area serves a purpose before you start “making arrangements”. 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 develop the best plan is by either using graph paper and templates or any one of a number of online furniture planners available. Show where the doors, windows, radiators, and fireplace etc. are positioned. Draw in the electrical outlets too. Create templates of furniture to scale on paper or again use the options available in your online planner to simulate the intended furnishing. It’s very helpful to add color to each item too. The reason for this is explained HERE.
Where the rubber hits the road. It should be obvious but it’s often overlooked. Your furniture plan should relate to the architecture of your home and use it to best advantage. What are the best features in the room and how can they be used?
Focal point? In practical terms, a focal point is where your eye first lands when you enter a room: the center of interest in other words. In design terms, a focal point can be your best friend because if you position your furniture and accessories to highlight that area it almost guarantees a foolproof great result. Without a built-in focal point, a wall unit will serve well. Otherwise, try positioning the sofa on the longest wall away from the entry door.
No matter what room you are planning, always place the biggest pieces of furniture first because they take up the most floor space.
Whichever way you position your arrangement, it should look inviting. You don’t want to obstruct the entrance of your room with furniture. The traffic paths coming into the room should be able to flow around the area, and not through it, 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 every instance.
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.
Give me some space. 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.
The original version of this article was published on Hamptons.com. It’s presented here as a foundation for further discussion.