How to arrange a room

Living room furniture

Every room has a focal point; in some rooms a central area already exists while in others you need to create the hub yourself. Focal points can be fireplaces, center tables, TVs, windows, couch set, etc. Creating conversation areas within the room is really important. Place furniture strategically so that people can easily look at one another and talk amongst themselves. In a spacious room more than one conversation area can be created. However, don’t cram objects only in one area and leave empty spaces at other places inside your room. Highlight good features of the room. Likewise, camouflage the not so good looking corners.

Difficulty level: Moderately easy

Time required: 4-5 hours

Resources required:

1. Paper for drawing blueprint

2. Tape measure

3. Art work

Estimate cost: Relatively cheap


1. Measure the dimensions of your room and chalk out a plan for the interiors on paper. You can use any scaling you want but a common one is 1 foot equals ¼ inch. Some points can obstruct placement of furniture and decor like cable plugs, electric sockets, telephone wires, window sills, etc. Mark these clearly on the plan. Then try different arrangements with furniture on the mock plan.

2. Arrange furniture around the focal point and make sure to add ample of lighting here. If you have a fireplace, then make it the central area. Other ideas for central areas are sofa set, couch with an eye catching wall design in the background, shelves showcasing collectibles, center table with a huge vase, etc.

3. Pieces of furniture should not have a dramatic variation in height and width. Low tables should be teamed with couches with a low height and vice versa. If you have a low settee with high chairs then hang some artwork just behind the settee to give an illusion of height. Tables should be low so that people can lean and place objects with ease.

4. Create conversation areas by placing two chairs near the couch or two settees separated by a low table. The sofa, center table and rug should be parallel to the wall. For walking comfortably, leave space about 18 to 25 inches in width between all furniture pieces. Allow people to walk smoothly without banging into anything or taking a long winding path. Make space for straight pathways that aren’t crammed.

Frequently asked questions

1. What should be the size of the rug and carpets?

The rug should be big enough to accommodate all the furniture. The room looks muddled if you have any furniture outside the carpet area. Diminutive furniture like settees, small chairs, and side tables appear ghastly when placed outside the carpet.

2. What are some good accessories to enhance the decor of a room?

Formal rooms can have artwork, paintings, sculptures and light fixtures. Potted plants, fresh or dried flowers give it a fresh feel. Use pillows and curtains in contrasting colors.

3. How many tables to place in the room?

Ideally, the number of tables depends on the seating area in the room. After all guests are seated, each should have a table near them to place drinks and plates.

Quick tips

1. Arranging furniture is not a task that can be done single handedly. Get help of a couple of mates, at least two people would be required to move around and lay out the furniture.

2. At every stage, take a step back and look at the room. Make sure it’s coming out first rate.

3. Position the large sized sofas and chairs first and then place rest of the small sized furnishing around it.

4. There should be enough tables or flat surfaces to keep drinks, plates and books when you use the furniture.

Things to watch out for

1. Some people place all the furniture against the walls thinking that this will make the place look roomy. However, nothing is further from the truth as furniture placed apart doesn’t create a good conversation area and leads to an awkward ambiance when you have company over.

2. All furniture in the room should be the right size, something either too big or small can mar the appearance of the room. Make a blueprint of the room and set paper cut outs of furniture in different places to understand what would work best.

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