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How to Arrange Furniture

Position your furniture in a way that's fun, functional, and fetching.


  • Step 1: Find the focus Determine your room's focal point, which is the most dramatic thing in the room, like a fireplace or a bay window. Or you can make one yourself with a striking piece of art or a large flat-screen TV.
  • TIP: The ideal viewing distance between a sofa or recliner and a TV screen is three times the size of the screen.
  • Step 2: Form a U Plan your sitting arrangement in a U-shape around the focal point, so everyone has a view. This shape also allows for conversation, since everyone can see each other no matter where they sit.
  • Step 3: Keep conversations cozy Keep all sofas, love seats, and chairs within eight feet of each other.
  • TIP: The height differences between sofas and chairs should be no more than five inches to keep everyone on a relatively even level.
  • Step 4: Don't be distant Place coffee tables 14 to 18 inches from couches. Make sure everyone who is sitting is within reach of a place to set down a glass.
  • Step 5: Think outside the box Think outside the box. Despite their name, wall units do not have to be shoved against walls. They can be used to divide a long, narrow space in two.
  • Step 6: Check traffic flow Keep enough space for people to navigate the room easily. Traffic paths should be at least two feet wide and should not interrupt major furniture groupings.
  • Step 7: Don't overload it Don't overload rooms with furniture. Not only do rooms appear larger and cleaner when they're less cluttered, but studies show they make people feel more relaxed.
  • FACT: In feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of arranging space to achieve health, harmony and happiness, sofas should never face a bathroom door.

You Will Need

  • A focal point
  • A U-shape seating arrangement
  • And traffic paths

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