Basic Rules of Furniture Arrangement

For many people, arranging furniture is not a simple task. We’ve tried to make things simpler with these basic rules on furniture arrangement.
(If you still have no idea where to start with your furniture, take a look at our three-step guide.)

Rules | Structure | Arrangement | Tips

Architectural Rules

To avoid overloading the room, it is necessary to look at the room’s architecture and volume. What is it composed of?


couch window
Avoid obstructing the windows. You can still place a sofa with a low back in front of them by keeping a minimum distance of 10 inches in-between (allowing you to add curtains).


door furniture
It is also vital not to block any doors. If you’re placing a table nearby, make sure there is enough clearance to open the door fully.


entry furniture
Similar to the doors, try to avoid compromising circulation by placing furniture directly in front of entryways or hallways. You can potentially put down a chair or couch in front of one, provided one can move around it.


hearth furniture
Given the decorative importance of a fireplace, the area needs to be prominently displayed with furniture around it. When it comes to large living room, it is critical that you may it your starting point for the room layout, and positioning of your furniture.

Room Structure

Long roomslongroom

To avoid emphasizing the length, furniture will be placed in contradiction to size. In other words, the larger couch will be positioned perpendicular to the longest wall.
If the room is extremely wide, but still long, you can divide it into additional areas, specifically designed for a purpose (e.g. a reading corner).

Square roomssquareroom

If it is small, furniture will be placed along the walls, in parallel. You can also try grouping furniture, and placing them either perpendicular (or also parallel).
If the room is wide, you can try moving the same furniture group around corners, thereby working off the angles.


There are many ways to place furniture around a living-room.
The basic rule is to form a main “island” to promote a central place where people can hang out together.

Perpendicular positioningperpendicularposition

Two loveseats (or sofas) are placed perpendicular to each other, at right angles.
Additional furniture (tables, chairs, etc.) can then be placed to support the couches, usually to build off the angles. You can also play off an asymmetry between the various components.

Parallel positioningparallelposition

Two sofas are placed face to face. One of them can also be replaced with two chairs side-by-side. A coffee table and/or rug bridges the gap.


  • Avoid overloading the room with furniture. Promote a minimalist approach.
  • Be careful not to align all the furniture to the walls, therefore leaving a large empty space in the middle of the room. Instead, group your furniture together and get away from the walls.
  • Plan ahead. If you’ve followed our previous guide, then you know what you will need. But it doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted by some impulse buys. If you have a crush on a beautiful couch, measure it carefully, and check that you have the room.
  • For those who want to redesign their room with existing furniture, try moving them around. If you can’t come up with interesting combinations, it may be because you have too many already.

One comment

  1. It’s good to learn that you should avoid obstructing windows when placing your furniture around your house. My wife and I are moving into a new house soon. I’ll be sure to place our furniture out in the open and not against the windows.

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