Arranging Furniture to Fit Your Space

Finding the right furniture arrangement for a room takes time. Just when you think you have found the right furniture arrangement you may realize it is wrong. How can you arrange furniture to fit your space?

MEASURE YOUR ROOMS. According to interior designer Mark McCauley, author of the article “The Art of Furniture Arrangement” on, “Most homes are filled with furniture arranging challenges.” Space is one of them. Before you start to arrange your furniture measure the room. Measure again to make sure the numbers are correct.

CHECK DOORS. Couches, sectionals, chairs, and tables are larger today than they were a decade ago. You may not be able to get large furniture into an older apartment, condo, or home. Measure your doorways and note which way they swing. Are there corners to turn? Will you be able to open drawers? Your furniture arrangement depends on the answers to these questions.

THINK ABOUT SCALE. Large pieces, such as a media cabinet, can dominate a small room and make it seem smaller. Similarly, a small area rug looks like a postage stamp in a large room. Making a room plan will help you match the scale of your furniture to the room. Planning kits are available from decorating stores and the Internet.

DIRECT TRAFFIC. “Arranging Furniture,” an article on the Lowe’s Web site, says you should allow a minimum of two feet for traffic routes. You should have 14″ to 18″ between a table and a couch. Do not block doors or egress windows with furniture.

PLAY UP FEATURES. Do you have a spectacular view? Position your dining table and chairs, or your couch, so you can enjoy this view. If you are fortunate enough to to have wood floors do not cover them up with a huge area rug. Instead, play them up with paint colors and furniture choices.

CREATE CONVERSATION AREAS. “How to Arrange Living Room Furniture,” an article on, says living spaces should have cozy conversation areas. You may create a conversation area with two chairs and a low table. Separating modular furniture may also create conversation areas.

SEE THE BIG PICTURE. Mark McCauley, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, thinks furniture arrangements should have totality or form. “Humans tend to feel more comfortable and less formal in square furniture arrangements vs. rectangular,” according to McCauley. Use a couch, bookcase, or table to divide a large space into small ones.

ADD COLOR WITH FURNITURE. Renters are often prohibited from painting their walls, but you may add color with furniture. A red side chair may be just the thing you need to liven up a room. You may add even more color with accessories.