Here are some practical furniture arrangement factors to consider:
- If you are arranging furniture in a room used for social occasions (be they social gatherings or simply visits from family) aim to place seats no more than eight feet apart. This encourages intimate conversation where everyone can be seen and heard, but still maintains the ever-important “personal space”.
- You should consider these recommended general dimensions for spaces between furniture items and the people who will interact with them. These aren’t unbreakable rules, by any means, but they may be helpful if you’re having difficulty arranging your furniture. If someone who lives in your home is larger or smaller than the average person, make adjustments to these measurements.
- traffic lanes around a room 24-36″
- knee space between a sofa and coffee table 9-18″
- depth for knees under a table or desk 21-21″
- height difference between an end table and a sofa arm + or – 1″-2″
- height difference between the knees and the underside (apron) of a table 6-7″
- distance between chairs at a table 12-18″
- distance between place settings at a table 20-30″
- distance allowing for a chair to be pulled back from behind a table or desk 24-36″
- width of a doorway 24-36″
- height of a doorway 80-84″
- clearance for the arc of an opening door (equals the width of a door) 30-36″
- If you are decorating a room that will be occupied primarily by men, selecting large furniture pieces is practical and also creates a more masculine design environment. Conversely, smaller-scale furniture pieces are more feminine in nature and may be more comfortable in a space occupied primarily by women.
- An L-shape seating arrangement is a tried-and-true method for placing furniture. Place any combination of a sofa, loveseat, or chair(s) in an L-shape, with a coffee table in the middle, as shown in the family room pictured here (upper right). This structure is an all-around winner because it is pleasing to the eye, and it also promotes easy conversation and activity.
- Another popular arrangement that is both practical and attractive is the H-shape, in which any combination of a sofa, loveseat, or chair(s) are placed across from one another, with a large coffee table in the center.
The H-shape lends itself to comfortable conversation and relaxation in this a traditional romantic sitting room.