This is the third article in a series on furniture placement. Last week’s post focused on placing furniture in a rectangular room and the first post, Furniture Placement Tips, provided an overview of furniture placement tips you could apply to any room shape. Today’s article focuses on furniture placement tips for a square room. For the purpose of simplified illustration and universal application the room layout does not include any doors, windows or architectural features.
Placing Furniture in a Square Room
Next to rectangular, a square room is the second most common shape. Typically a square room is smaller than other shaped rooms and tends to serve one activity – such as a den, a bedroom or, in an older home, a dining room or parlor. You’ll notice a lot of similarities between placing furniture in a square room and placing it in the seating area of a two purpose rectangular room.
In a square room there are generally two ways to place furniture - following the lines of the walls or angling all of the furniture to the walls. I personally like angling the furniture because, for me, it adds interest and a bit of the unexpected to a small space but some people prefer the more traditional placement following the walls.
Here are the two primary furniture placements for a square room – notice all seating is in the same position in both designs but simply angled off the walls in the second floor plan:
How to create either of these floor plans in a square room:
1 Decide which layout you prefer and then place the largest seating piece (usually the sofa or loveseat) 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).
2. 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 plants 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.
Now It’s Your Turn
The illustrations above indicate a starting point for placing your furniture in a square room. Obviously your actual furniture provides 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 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, and don’t dump plants into the corners – integrate them with the furniture arrangement.
As with a rectangular room, 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.
Give it a try and let us know what you like and dislike about placing furniture in a square room. 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.
Next Thursday we’ll take a look at placing furniture in an oblong room, you know the one that feels like a bowling alley! Don’t despair, there IS an answer to furniture placement even in an oblong room.