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Tips on how to Select and Place furniture in your room

Breaking the Habit

You know those areas in your home - the niggly bits that you don’t really know how to fix - it isn't comfortable to live with but for now this familiar uncomfortables has been placed in the 'too hard task' list.

Often the furniture is either too large, too small, uncomfortable or not fit for purpose. Or, the furniture arrangements may be a squeeze to walk between or lack the amount of space, seating, layoff space and/or or lighting to make for a comfort zone.

It often takes a renovation of your home to change the habit of a lifetime.

Once a plan and list of our real needs is put into place we can solve these problems in a methodical way.

Tip 1 Create a measured furniture layout / 3D drawing

To start the process it is a good idea to understand how the shell of your space can accommodate the furniture arrangements.

Interior designers create measured drawing with furniture plan layouts in order to


  • how the furniture fits into the space and

  • how best to plan the furniture arrangements.

Existing Layout

The first furniture layout will show the existing arrangement of furniture. This is important where we would like to make improvements.

Proposed Layout

The 2nd layout is a new proposed furniture layout. This allows one to view the new furniture in place and within arrangements and zones. With this layout we can also establish how existing pieces work within the new arrangement and if not or be allocated elsewhere.

Elevations and 3D drawings of the proposed layout communicate the height of furniture and how the each item sits adjacent to other furniture in the room.

For example, a sofa has a seat height, arm height and back height. This information is relevant in relation to other pieces in the room particularly the adjacent pieces such as side tables and coffee tables.

Also, the furniture item will be viewed in relation to architectural elements such as window sills and or ceiling heights.

Tip 2 Choose what furniture to keep and add to the room

It is only once we evaluate what we have and what we would like to add to the comfort and style of the space.

The goal is to enhance the look, feel and mobility within the room space. This will inevitably add to the comfort of your lifestyle.

Much of the uncomfortableness can be cured with good storage and layout but establishing what we have will clarify just what we need.

It is therefore important to begin with:

Evaluating Your Existing furniture:

  • How functional to the task is the piece of furniture?

Does your existing sofa, chair, bed fulfil the task?

  • How practical and comfortable are your chairs, sofas, tables

Is the item of furniture ‘fit for purpose’.

For instance, a growing family from children to teenagers will require more maintenance free finishes.

The furniture needs to stand up to their weight and size and the wear and tear of on the fabric and furniture .

  • How aesthetically pleasing is the furniture?

Does it enhance the room space or is it a sentimental piece?

With this evaluation you can compile a list of what furniture to keep and what pieces to add. taking into account superfluous, uncomfortable, too large, too small or not fit for purpose furniture.

And with the evolvement of time the choices of furniture differ. This may be due to an expansion of family, an added or new use to a room space or your taste has changed.

Whatever the reason you will be glad to have taken time to evaluate your real needs.

Tip 3 Review your furniture arrangement

Adding pieces of furniture and changing the room layout will not only refresh the look but also change the visual and physical comfort of the room.

As with the changing needs of a family, how we use a room space 15-20 years ago has inevitably changed particularly now that many households require space to work from home.

Technology has changed everything and will no doubt continue to be integral to our lives . This has affected the way we arrange furniture to include technology and incorporate into into our furniture.

Overall, it is important therefore to re-assess your furniture arrangements and be mindful that each furniture zone:

  • accommodates your needs.

  • serves the purpose of the space

  • allows easy and comfortable movement between both furniture and zones.

Tip 4 Revamp, Recycle or Replace

We are all in the habit of recycling our waste and so too we should be recycling our furniture.

Renovating your home is the opportune time to either revamp, recycle, replace and review your furniture.

  • Revamp your furniture by re-upholstering, painting or refinishing

  • Recycle your furniture by re-allocating to another room and/or for another use

  • Don't be afraid of mixing styles of furniture to create vitality

  • Replace your furniture with another piece

  • Review your selection taking into account comfort, purpose and aesthetics

Tip 5 Selecting Furniture

Time to go shopping!

Just remember to be objective and evaluate the purpose, comfort, proportion, practicality, and style of the item of furniture

For your handbag;

  • a tape measure and a floor plan with measurements

  • a photo of your vision board for colour, texture and style matching

Furniture Comfort

The comfort factor is a top priority when purchasing furniture including sofas, beds, chairs, bathroom & kitchen furniture. It is easy to love the design but comfort is the first box to be ticked.

  • Check the softness/hardness of the mattress, the comfort of the sofa or chair in sitting position and also getting up from the seat

  • Establish what heights for cabinetry and countertops are ergonomically comfortable for you.

  • Is the item of furniture comfortable for its purpose?

Furniture Proportion

Always consider how the item of furniture will add to the proportion of the room?

The glamorous proportions of this bedroom influenced the height and size of the bedhead which accentuates the height of the room with a textural softness.

In contrast, a high backed sofa in a low ceiling apartment would look out of proportion.

Balance is key when mixing furniture. The furniture's size and visual weight will impact adjacent furniture. The bedside lamps above were selected for their height and visual weight in proportion to the bedhead.

Note: it is important to check that your furniture will fit through doorways before you purchase so adjustments to the design of the furniture can be made if necessary.

Furniture Style

Every item of furniture should add to the beauty of a room in proportion, line, colour, texture and style.

Contrasts in colour, pattern, texture and line can create the design statement and add the wow factor to your scheme.

It takes courage to push the boundaries - just be sure it will add to the vitality of the room space and not detract from the theme or style.

A sofa may fit on plan but it’s’ style or colour and texture, together with proportion, needs to be in harmony with the scheme.

TIP 6 Mixing existing and new furniture

Mixing styles can refresh the scheme breaking from the traditional homogenous arrangements. Trying to find a common denominator with 3/4 of the furniture will give the scheme cohesion such as choosing similar leg type on a variety of furniture.

Zoning with Furniture arrangements:

Once the zones are in place the furniture can be arranged to achieve the most comfortable solution, emphasising the luxury of intimate zones rather than any apparent lack of space.

Creating groupings will not only create an easy flow through between furniture settings but it will also define the intimate zoning.

Always leave room for good circulation :.

For example a dining table setting will need plenty of space around the table for chairs to be pulled back

Allow for adjacent layoff space to seating

  • side tables for lamps

  • consoles for displaying items inclusive of lamps and/or defining zones and circulation paths.

Consider the Focal points within each zone.

It is a good idea to create focal points within the defined furniture zones.

This can be achieved by : i

  • using a statement piece of furniture positioned asymmetrically or at an angle to the arranged furniture.

  • creating emphasis with a piece of artwork or sculpture oradding a piece of furniture in a contrasting colour or style.

  • Considered lighting will also highlight architectural elements and zones

Plan your furniture arrangements around a focal point:

  • Living rooms have a natural focal point of either fireplaces, flat screens, central coffee tables and/or outside views.

  • Bathroom focal points can be directed to a pedestal bath or a wall mural.

  • Kitchen tile splash backs, pendant lighting over a dining island bench or colour contrasts can be incorporated to draw the eye.

Consider your Viewpoints

Take time to sit in the chairs, lie on a bed and walk around the furniture groupings to assess the furniture positioning. The ideal visual and physical comfort will take advantage of viewpoints:

In Living Areas:

  • if a dining table faces the wall add a piece of artwork to add interest.

  • Position the seating in the living room in line with the viewpoints

In Bathrooms:

  • Choose the furniture you would like to see if the bathroom door has been left open.

  • This could be a bath with a feature wall of texture, pattern or colour behind or the vanity furniture with a mirror that will expand the room visually and reflect an interesting wall or tile feature.

  • Place elements of less significance such as the WC in a secondary position.

In Bedrooms:

  • Place your bed head away from the door

  • Place a bed stool at the base of the bed to visually anchor the bed

Added to furniture:

  • Rugs also act as visual anchors to furniture.

  • Standing and table lamps will provide a diversity of height when lighting the room.

In summary:

Select your furniture for purpose, beauty and place!

  1. Select furniture that beautifies the scheme

  2. Select furniture to suit the purpose

  3. Consider the proportion and size of the furniture in the room

  4. Make sure the chosen furniture is comfortable in use and placement

  5. Use the furniture arrangement to create zoned areas

  6. Check your focal and viewpoints

  7. Check the quality and durability of the furniture

  8. Mix styles and/or upholstery to create vitality and interest

If you need further help visit :

Interior Statements Ltd

UK: +44 (0)7805 054 354


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