How to Arrange Furniture in Your Home

An overhead view of a living room with two orange accent chairs, a gray sofa, a black and white ottoman, and a white coffee table

Arranging furniture is like solving a puzzle, where the pieces are sofas, chairs, tables, and more. How you place these elements can significantly impact the functionality and aesthetics of your space. Whether you’re moving into a new home, redecorating, or just looking to give your space a fresh look, this guide will help you arrange your furniture with finesse.

Last Updated: October 4, 2023

Plan and Measure

Before you start moving furniture around, it’s crucial to plan and measure your space. Consider the following steps:

a. Measure the room: Measure the room’s dimensions, including the length and width, the height of the walls, and any architectural features (like windows and doors).

b. Create a floor plan: Sketch a floor plan of your room, including doors, windows, and other permanent fixtures. This will serve as a visual reference for furniture placement.

c. Identify focal points: Determine the room’s focal points, such as a fireplace, TV, or a picturesque window. Your furniture arrangement should revolve around these focal points.

Young couple moving in to new home together. African american couple with cardboard boxes.
Image by prostooleh on Freepik

Create a Layout

Once you have a clear understanding of your room’s dimensions and focal points, it’s time to choose a furniture layout. There are several common layouts to consider:

a. Symmetrical layout: In this arrangement, furniture is evenly balanced on either side of a central point, creating a formal and harmonious look. It’s ideal for traditional and classic interior styles.

b. Asymmetrical layout: An asymmetrical arrangement is more relaxed and eclectic. It involves mixing and matching furniture pieces of different sizes and styles while still maintaining balance through careful placement.

c. Floating layout: In smaller spaces, you might opt for a floating layout, where furniture is placed away from the walls to create a sense of spaciousness. This can be great for open floor plans.

d. L-shaped or sectional layout: If you have a sectional sofa or a larger room, consider arranging furniture in an L-shape or sectional configuration. This creates an inviting conversation area.

Keep Function in Mind

The function of the room should guide your furniture arrangement. Consider the following tips for different room types:

a. Living room: Arrange seating to facilitate conversation and ensure everyone has a clear view of the TV or other focal points. A coffee table or side tables can provide surfaces for drinks and snacks. Depending on the size of your living room, you can either be limited, or unlimited with your arrangement options. These images show some examples:

b. Dining room: Ensure there’s enough space between the dining table and chairs for comfortable movement. Be mindful of lighting, as a pendant or chandelier above the table can set the mood. Again, your arrangement possibilities can be either restricted or boundless, depending on the size of your dining area. See these images for some arrangement options:

c. Bedroom: Place the bed as the focal point and arrange other furniture, like nightstands and dressers, to maximize space and comfort. Adequate lighting near the bed is essential. How you arrange your bedroom furniture is certainly dependent upon the size of your bedroom. For some examples of various bedroom sizes and arrangements, see these images:

d. Home office: Position your desk to receive natural light, and ensure ample storage and organization for work-related items. In this case, the room and its furniture are exclusively geared towards functionality. Create a layout that is comfortable enough for you to work in while also serving the purpose of providing a work area for you.

A woman working from home in her home office
Image by Freepik

Consider Traffic Flow

Efficient traffic flow is crucial to prevent a cluttered and chaotic space. Keep these points in mind:

a. Leave enough space: Maintain clear pathways through the room, ensuring enough room to move around comfortably.

b. Avoid blocking doors and windows: Furniture should not obstruct doors or windows, which serve as both aesthetic and functional elements of your space.

Balance and Scale

Balance and scale are key to a well-arranged room. Here’s how to achieve them:

Mix Furniture Sizes

Brown leather reclining sectional sofa with a coffee table, two end tables, and a matching chair

Combine small and large pieces to create visual interest. Avoid overcrowding or overwhelming the room with oversized furniture. In the example in this image, you can see how a large sectional is complemented by smaller side tables, a coffee table, and a reclining chair.

Use Symmetry Strategically

Indigo colored living room furniture set including sofa, loveseat, chair, and ottoman.

Balance out asymmetrical layouts with carefully placed symmetrical elements, such as matching lamps or artwork. In this image, for example, you can see how the coffee table complements the living room furniture set despite it having a different shape and color scheme. The side tables are the same way.

Experiment and Adjust

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different furniture arrangements. Sometimes, you might need to try several configurations before finding the one that works best for your space. Remember that furniture placement is not set in stone; you can always make adjustments to suit your evolving needs and preferences.

A faux leather upholstered sleigh bed in dark brown with medium brown wood bedroom furniture to match


Arranging furniture is an art and science that can transform your living space. By planning, measuring, and considering both functionality and aesthetics, you can create a harmonious and inviting environment that reflects your personal style. Be patient, be creative, and don’t hesitate to make changes until you achieve the perfect arrangement for your space. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to arranging furniture like a pro.

Read this article from Southern Living on Arranging Mistakes to Avoid, According to Designers.

Need Additional Assistance?

You can contact one of Gardner White’s experts at (248) 481-2208, chat with one online, or visit one of our local Michigan stores.

Dave has been in the furniture industry in one capacity or another for the last decade. When not writing about furniture he enjoys cooking for his family, guitar playing, oil painting, the Detroit Tigers, and the comedic antics of English Bulldogs.