Furniture Placement and Floorplans

I have been doing a lot of design plans recently. These typically include paint color, flooring, lighting selection, sometimes countertops, cabinets, and accessories.

Rarely does a client ask me to place furniture for them. I’ll admit, this seems like it should be easy. I mean, most rooms are just a box and most people can figure out where to put a couch or table, but there are rare occasions when the room is either really large, really small, or oddly shaped and they require a little more thought.

This brings me to my most recent client. She has a condo with a living room that is just large enough to cause issues because if you push the furniture against the walls (and this is the default for many people) then you will be yelling at each other across the room to have a conversation and the traffic flow brings you straight through the seating area.

Floating furniture is not easy but with today’s open floorpans it is essential. Taking down walls to create open spaces requires you to create “rooms” with furniture placement. This can be a little daunting at first but if you look at the space with a critical eye towards where people would naturally walk to get to a hall, doorway or another room (say, the bathroom or kitchen) then you will start to see where the furniture should go.

This is the furniture placement currently:

And the proposed change:

As you can see, floating the couch further into the room creates a pass through to the adjacent TV room and tightens up the conversation area.

Here is another floorplan that required a little bit of thought. Many of us have kitchen workspaces that open up into a larger eat-in/living space. Kitchens are not just for cooking anymore, so how you place furnishings is very important to the function of the space.

As you can see from this rendering the workspace is at the top and there is an entry on the right. This area opens to a large space with a fireplace and a double door to the outside. The natural traffic flow moves from the entry to the kitchen out through the sliders, so it is important not to block that flow. Usually a fireplace is a focal point and, therefore, seating would be placed in front but if you did this you would block the natural traffic flow.

I had a kitchen in Arizona that caused me so much angst that I rearranged it about a hundred times and I still wasn’t completely happy with it. It was too large a space (I know that does not seem like it should be a problem). We already had a dining room so we didn’t need another huge table and a smaller one just didn’t fit the space so I tried to give it other functions and none of it really worked. In the end, we put a small round table there  with a buffet and a desk and called it a day!

My point, and I know I tend to ramble, is that furniture placement is more important than we think. It can definitely mess with your feng shui if it’s wrong and you won’t even realize what’s bothering you. Before you invest in furniture pieces make sure you know where they are going and how they will affect your flow and space. It will save you a lot of money in the end.

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.