8 Furniture Arranging Mistakes

What NOT to Do When Arranging Your Furniture

Furniture Arranging Mistakes
Country living room decor. Mel Curtis / Getty Images

Decorating mistakes are easy to make, especially when it comes to arranging furniture. When a room is completely empty it can seem overwhelming, and knowing where to put everything doesn't come naturally to everyone. But when you know what not to do it makes the task seem a whole lot easier. Here are eight furniture arranging mistakes to avoid. Once you know these the rest will seem like a snap.

Pushing Furniture Against the Walls

If you want your room to look bigger, pushing all the furniture up against the walls isn't the way to do it.

When furniture is pushed up against the walls it doesn't give items any breathing room and it can make the area in the middle feel cavernous. Pulling the furniture away from the walls will make conversation areas more intimate and will create a better sense of balance. Even in a small room you can pull them away ever so slightly.

Not Considering Conversation Areas

Speaking of conversation areas, they're hugely important in living rooms. No one should ever have to shout, lean forward, or crane their necks in order to have a regular conversation. So when arranging furniture keep in mind that sofas and chairs should face each other to some degree. In large rooms this can sometimes seem difficult, but keep in mind that you can create more than one conversation area in a single room. 

Ignoring Practicality

Are you the kind of person who likes to put your feet up on the coffee table? Do you ever eat a meal while sitting in the living room?

How about sit on the couch with a glass of wine or coffee? It is imperative that you arrange the furniture in such a way that you have easy access to tables so you can put up your feet, or put down your drinks.

Decorating Around More Than One Focal Point

Every room should have a focal point because it anchors the space and creates a natural area to put furniture around.

Sometimes it occurs naturally in the room and sometimes you have to create it yourself. But the most important thing to remember is that you only want one of them. Rooms with more than one focal point become visually cluttered and can be confusing to the eye. In order to create a serene and balanced space one focal point is the way to go.

Ignoring the Importance of Traffic Flow

When you're arranging furniture you should never forget about how people will get to and around all of it. No one should have to climb over or trip over one piece of furniture in order to access another. They should also be able to pass through the room without having to take an awkward, zigzag route. Make sure you've left room for clear walking paths.

Lack of Balance

Putting too much furniture on one side of the room makes everything feel tilted and off-balance. In order to avoid this furniture must be distributed evenly throughout the space. This doesn't mean that rooms have to be perfectly symmetrical, however it is important that some type of balance is achieved. So for instance, if you have a sofa on one side of the room you should balance it with something of an equal visual weight on the other. It could be another sofa, a pair of chairs, a dresser or buffet - whatever makes sense in the room.

Blocking Windows

Natural light is important in any room, and usually the more windows the better. As a general rule you want to avoid putting things in front of windows as much as possible. When the light is blocked it makes the room feel smaller, more crowded, and dingier. However, if you have floor to ceiling windows this can be tricky. If you absolutely must place furniture in front of windows make sure you maximize what natural light is left through clever use of mirrors, reflective surfaces, and a smart lighting plan.

No Activity Zones

A big, but common mistake is not considering different activity zones when arranging furniture. If your household is like most, your living room is used for more than just one thing. It might be used for watching TV, doing homework, paying household bills, or even art projects.

When arranging furniture make sure you set things up according to each activity's specific needs so that there's appropriate seating, lighting, space, etc.