Step 4: Plan your space and place your furniture

How to place your furniture in a room.

Do you sometimes wonder how to place your furniture in a room? Think of the last time you were in an antique or collectables shop with a narrow pathway that leads from one room to the next? Did you notice how difficult it was to focus on a single object and how it seemed a little chaotic? Somehow it is quite fun… but maybe not for everyday in your own home. Decorating your living space requires technical considerati0ns together with creative thought. Let me give you the 4 major aspects to consider to help you arrange your furniture and objects.

Area traffic

We are creatures of habit and each day we follow certain patterns as to what we do and how we move within a room. Our homes have certain physical elements which should direct our movements in that space. Whether the space that you are decorating has only one door or more, like in a railroad apartment or an interconnecting flat, you want the traffic to flow from one door to the other, or flow from the door to the window or sitting elements, and be free of obstacles that restrict movement.

Distance between furniture

When placing furniture you should consider the distance between furniture and walls, doors, windows and walls. Depending on where you live, you might not always have the physical space which provides the ideal distance required between your pieces of furniture. These are just general guidelines I would recommend:

  • Furniture to furniture (seats, sofas) – 1 to 3 meters (40 to 120 inches)
  • Sofa and coffee table- approximately 45 cm (18 inches)
  • TV and seating furniture- 2 meters (80 inches) however, this depends on the size of the television display.

Again, these are only general indications however, look for greater detail in a separate article on this topic in the near future. 

The Focal Point

When entering the room our eyes will automatically search for a focal point, a central focus of attention. In a living room this can be the sofa. In the bedroom it could be the bed, head board or perhaps a piece of art. The focal point should be oriented such that it can immediately be seen when entering the room. The focal point should be complemented by objects to create a visual balance.


Balance can be created several ways, for example, you can place two similar lights on both sides of a sofa or a chest to create a symmetrical arrangement. This is a very classic arrangement style which is ideal if you want to create a peaceful atmosphere. You can also have an asymmetrical visual arrangement by placing objects of different weight. For example, a big light placed on one side of a drawer and on the other side a pile of beautiful illustrated books together with other decorative objects. Each style offers balance in the space. 


A well-arranged space makes living in a room welcoming, comfortable and practical. Depending on your budget you may decide to purchase more appropriate pieces of furniture or you may consider used furniture as an option.  This could be a favorite piece of furniture you currently own or second-hand furniture that could be beautifully restored by a trusted craftsman. For how and what to consider, look to Step 5 for my tips to find your most suitable solutions.

Do you need to check the previous steps? Step1 , Step2 or Step3

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