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17 September 2014
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Mark space on the floor

Furniture placement

When planning a redesign of a room, try to break old habits and do something new.

Experimenting with furniture layout will help create an interesting yet practical room.

Furniture from elsewhere in the house may work well in another room. Equally, items that have traditionally been in a room don't necessarily need to stay there.

Scan your home for furniture swaps. Make a list of the items you want or need in your room.

Use the room plan technique to see how different furniture groupings might look on paper before moving heavy items.

Here are a few tips:

  • Balance - a room where most of the furniture is squeezed into one area looks un-balanced. Draw an imaginary line through the room and balance the furniture placed in each half.
  • Symmetry - this can help bring a designed feel to a room. For example, if an armchair is placed to the left of the fireplace, position another to mirror it on the right hand side. You may not have the space, furniture or inclination to follow this rule completely, but it can inspire.
  • Traffic - consider the most frequently used items in a room and the ease of access to them. In a kitchen, this principle is known as the 'golden triangle' and decides where to place the cooker and refrigerator in relation to the sink. The TV, sofa, door and fireplace can create similar traffic paths in a living room.
  • First impressions - it seems odd to consider that inanimate objects can create a welcome, but it's true. If the view from a door way is predominantly of the backs of chairs and dresser sides, a visitor won't be tempted in. Similarly, rows of furniture pushed against the walls seem uninviting, while angled groups look cosy.
  • Convenience - a room must ultimately be adequate for the function it performs in the household and be comfortable for its residents. It may be the ultimate style statement, but if you can't see the TV or eat comfortably at a table, something has gone wrong!

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