What Is The Best Way To Arrange My Living Room Furniture ?

Posted by Michael Foran on Tue, Jul 08, 2014 @ 04:00 PM
Michael Foran

How can I arrange my furniture for beauty and function?


Where do I  start with my living room furniture arrangement? Do I start with the rugs? Do I start with the seating? Or do I start with the wood furniture (the casegoods)?


The best place to start with your living room furniture arrangement is with a good floor plan that is drawn to scale.  You need to know how much room you will need to walk thru and to get from one side of the room to another side of the room.  If there is no plan, costly mistakes can be made.  A professional interior designer will always start with a floor plan even when decorating a small room.



  • What is the first thing I should do before arranging my living room furniture?  

  • The first thing you should do is determine your focal points

  • What are your focal points? 


Is it a fireplace, a  TV, an outdoor view or something else?  Unless you have a very large room, it is best to group your focal points together (like the TV next to the fireplace).  The TV can be next to the fireplace or as we have done in many new homes with gas fireplaces (not natural wood burning), you can place the TV over the fireplace.

Next you can start with your furniture arrangement.

Now that we have our main focal points grouped together, we can start with our furniture arrangement.  We must consider traffic flow from nearby rooms, how we get into the seating grouping and how much space we need to walk around in the room.

Before you figure your living room furniture arrangement, draw some light lines on your floor plan to show necessary traffic flow.  Now that we know that we need our grouping to face our focal point and we know where our traffic patterns are, we can go ahead and start looking at different possibilities.

Things to avoid

Angling furniture just because you think it will look better is not always a good idea. What will look better is a grouping that is functional.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes angle grouping is what is needed, but only when it is functional.  

Functional furniture arrangement

With this client I designed the fireplace with an inset to hold the TV. The focal points which were the TV, the view and the fireplace were all kept together because of this arrangement.  This room was also arranged for great conversation.

Avoid Stress

Stress comes if you have a bad floor plan.  You will feel stress if you have to side step around furniture rather than being able to walk freely through a room.  Good groupings are set up for better conversation.

Look at the areas that are left.  Think about what you and your spouse want to sit in?  a Chair?  A Sofa?  A recliner?

Is there room for a sofa?  There may be space along a wall or floating in the room.  Two sofas may work or a sofa and 2 chairs.  Sectionals are great for maximum seating but you do lose an end table.

Sofa and chairs should not pass each other (see below) because you don’t want to be looking at the back of someone’s head.

Groupings should have an easy way in but you should not be able to walk through them.(see below)

Furniture arrangement

I arranged this room for conversation.

Rearranging Your Room

Here is some more professional advice about rearranging your furniture in your living room.  Many people like to change their room around over and over.  That may be because they didn't have a good grouping to begin with.  Usually there is only one good way to arrange a room and when you set it up right, you won't want to change it.  Of course, sometimes there is a way to rearrange the same furniture and sometimes a change is welcome.



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Topics: avoid decorating mistakes, Furniture, Space planning