This is the second article in a series on furniture placement. The first post, Furniture Placement Tips, provides an overview of furniture placement tips you could apply to any room shape. Today’s article focuses on furniture placement tips for a rectangular room.
Placing Furniture in a Rectangular Room
A rectangle is the most common room shape. Most any house or apartment includes a rectangular room and it often acommodates multiple functions. Today we’ll examine furniture placement techniques for a typical rectangular room – without consideration of focal point, windows or doors. Use the general techniques and tactics provided for this room shape and adjust them to suit the specific traffic flow and focal point(s) of your rectangular room.
If you ever scratch your head, wondering how to place your furniture or improve the usability and traffic in your rectangular shaped room just follow these steps in the order provided:
1. First consider the size of your rectangular room and the activities your room must accommodate. If your rectangular room is large enough to house multiple activities, will it be a living/dining room combo (typical of many rectangular rooms in condos and apartments), do you need a conversation area and an office/work space or do you just need a lot of seating area for entertaining and conversation?
2. After deciding the activities for the room, place the largest seating piece (usually the sofa in a living or family room – the table in a dining room the table – or a bed in a bedroom) directly across from the room’s focal point (the fireplace, the window, the TV, the art wall, etc.). Next place additional seating pieces at a 90 degree angle from the large piece (usually a love seat or two chairs in a living/family room).
3. Now place additional seating diagonally across from your first “L” grouping.
4. After placing your seating, fill in open spaces around the room starting with your largest pieces of furniture. Be sure to consider the size and shape of the open space and the furniture pieces you still need to place. This is the time to consider television placement if there will be one in the room (unless you’re doing a family room and it is your focal point so furniture is already placed around it.)
5. Next place smaller pieces of furniture such as end tables, sofa tables, ottomans and such so they relate to the seating areas. You may find you need to move your furniture closer together to cozy up the conversation area or you may need to move the seating pieces out in order to enlarge the seating area enough to accommodate the tables.
6. Use area rugs to anchor furniture groupings or extend furniture pieces.
7. Place any large trees or potted plans so they tie into the furniture arrangement – don’t isolate them by relegating them to empty corners of the room.
8. Now add table lamps and floor lamps to your room – aim for a 3-point or triangular light placement so you have an even spread of light to anchor each furniture grouping.
9. Double check your furniture placement – make sure you are not blocking any doorways or passageways. Can people walk through the room without cutting through the middle of your conversation area? If not, reassess your placement decisions and alter them as needed. Make sure your lighting creates a triangular or diamond pattern and that good lighting is available in areas that you expect to read or do things like needlework, knitting or computer work.
Here is what your furniture arrangement might look like for a rectangular living or family room:
Here is what your furniture arrangement might look like for a rectangular living and dining room combination:
Here is what your furniture arrangement might look like for a rectangular bedroom:
Take It From Here
The illustrations above indicate a starting point or template you can use as a springboard for placing your furniture in a rectangular room. Your furniture will obviously be a different mix, your activity needs may vary and the focal point and traffic patterns of your room will impact your final furniture placement. The main things to consider, however, are to balance the length of the room by placing secondary seating diagonally from the largest seating piece grouping, keep furniture away from the walls when possible, keep your lighting in a triangular pattern, don’t dump plants into the corners – integrate them with the furniture arrangement.
Once your furniture is in place move on to the art and accessories – remembering to visually connect them and layer them so they relate to the furniture you have just placed!
Have fun and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear about your trials and successes with furniture placement. Leave a message by clicking on the Comment link at the end of today’s article or send an email (and photos!) to firstname.lastname@example.org.