Even the top designers take a great deal of care and attention when choosing and arranging the furniture in any given room. The scale and proportion of the individual pieces should not only complement one another, but they should also not interfere with the traditional traffic patterns from room to room. Here are a few of the basic tips for furniture arrangement from the leading interior design professionals.
Map out the normal pathways of each room. Then allow approximately 2 to 3 feet of aisle space as a good starting point. Add more if you need to, keeping your family and friends in mind at all times. Coffee tables are typically placed between 13 to 18 inches in front of the sofa. For homeowners using ottoman style coffee tables for putting your feet up, use a spacing closer to the 13 inch range. More formal living room areas would usually require more space. And every piece of upholstered furniture should have its own side table, even if it is just a short, 12 inch stool.
Placement of the Bed
The guidelines of interior design always change a bit for homes with children. For kids’ bedrooms, it is perfectly acceptable to place the bed against a wall. But for the bedrooms of parents, each spouse usually wants their own side of the bed with their own nightstand for personal items, books, and medication. A recommended 20 inches minimum walkway around the entire bed is a good rule of thumb.
Kid-friendly Living Rooms
For families with small children, the importance of having enough floor space for playtime is always a key factor in the interior design of the living or family room. As a result, many parents choose to arrange the furniture against the walls, creating an expansive amount of space in the center of the room for the children’s games and toys. A secret tactic of top professional designers is to angle a beautiful area rug in the center of the room. This “trick of the eye” helps to minimize the wide open spaces in the middle of the room.
Some of our newer homes can have some rather large formal living rooms, but a good rule of thumb is to contain the conversation areas to a maximum of an eight-foot diameter. This is a good standard of distance to provide a friendly and inviting atmosphere without intruding on a guest’s individual personal space. Spreading the furniture out over greater distances than the eight-foot diameter can make the conversation area seem less intimate and friendly.
Choose Furniture to Last
Interior designers always recommend purchasing a high quality sofa and loveseat combination with a coordinating chair and ottoman from a reputable furniture manufacturer, especially for new families just starting out on their own. The individual pieces should of a design that you love, neither too small nor too large, made with a durable upholstery, and usually in a modest earth tone of browns, beiges, golds, yellows, or greens. Buy high quality furniture that lasts and that can be used in multiple different homes means that you save money when moving from place and place in the future. It is also extremely environmentally friendly as well.
What additional furniture placement tips do you use for your house? Share in the comments below.