How to Arrange Furniture

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Want to bring life to your rooms?

Your furniture will determine how people experience your home. For example, when you put a chair somewhere, you are essentially telling a person where to sit and what to look at.

So, think about what you want your furniture to do.  Then plan how you’ll arrange it before unloading it.

There are three major factors to consider when arranging furniture: functionality, direction and appearance.


You want you furniture to do what it’s designed to do. So, you want your bar stools to allow people to sit at a bar, and you want a bed to encourage sleeping.

But it’s more than that. You want your furniture to allow people to accomplish things as well. If you have a desk, you want it to be near an outlet, so you can plug in your computer and lamp. If you have a bar, it should be near some cabinets, where you can store your liquor and wine.

In sum, think about what a piece of furniture needs to do and look for a good spot to put it before simply putting it somewhere.


If you sit in a chair, you face a certain way. So, think about where you want your furniture to face before placing it. A good way to go about this is to pick a focal point.

Generally, a room should have one major focal point. However, you might want some minor focal points as well. Here are some common focal points:

  • Entertainment: TVs and games, like pool tables, can be great focal points, especially for loungey rooms.
  • Art: Paintings, pictures and other decorations can provide good centerpieces for a room, especially if you want a more-dignified vibe.
  • Windows/fireplaces: Windows with nice views and fireplaces can make cozy focal points for a room.
  • People: Placing furniture in a way that requires people to face one another can spark conversation.


No matter what the functionality or focus is, you will want your furniture to look nice. This requires thoughtful arrangement. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Color – Color can be liberating. It can also be, um, ugly. You have a lot of discretion when mixing colors, but do know that not all colors mix well. Be mindful of clashes.
  • Spacing – Good spacing depends on the room. However, any room should provide open areas for walking and furniture that is close enough to allow for conversation.
  • Sizing – Generally speaking, you want your furniture to be around the same height and depth. A big leather couch that dwarfs a skinny recliner won’t look right. Similarly, tables of different heights that are too close together will look awkward.
  • Texture – Mixing a wood table with plastic chairs isn’t advised. Neither is mixing two very different patterns (polka-dot rugs with hippy-swirly drapes is an extreme example). Try to maintain a similar appearance and feel with all of your furniture and accessories.

Check here for more ideas on how to decorate a new place.