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The Basics of Arranging Furniture

Updated on July 10, 2014

New Space

You have just bought a new home. Everything is brand new and you’re starting from scratch. You have some basic ideas for what each room will be and how you want to decorate it. Most rooms are pretty easy to take care of but you’re missing a few furniture pieces and the ones you have do not seem to fit properly. You have a few options to fix your problems. For one, you can hire an interior designer to help decorate certain areas of your home or the whole house. Second, you can order custom furniture from that interior designer if you have a very specific idea for a piece in mind that cannot be found in stores. Third, you teach yourself some basics of decorating. Or fourth, a combination of the previous steps. I think the fourth option is best so here, you learn the basics of furniture arranging so you can move in your custom pieces with some help from your interior designer. The following information gives the basics of arranging furnishings within areas of your home.


Before you buy anything, measure everything. Take a basic measurement of the room to avoid overcrowding within a small room. Also, measure the doorways. It is an awful feeling to find the perfect couch and then realize that there is no way to get it into the room. Be sure to get exact measurements of the stairways and hallways as well the doorways. The measurement of the room can be a close estimate, unless an exact measurement is needed.

Mix it Up

Combine different size furnishings in a room to add visual interest. If you are looking for an easy going, relaxed feeling to a room; keep most of the furnishing smaller but make them different. This variety can come in the form of different colors or patterns but be careful to not make the room too busy. It is best to keep the variation of furnishing to their size.

Create a Balance

While it is great to create visual interest in your room, you need a sense of balance within the room as well. The best way to achieve this balance is by using scaled furnishings that often come in sets. This creates a symmetrical atmosphere in the room because there are an even number of certain objects. One way to achieve this by having the same size and color frame on a wall arranged in symmetrical rows and columns. This can balance the variety of furnishings within the room. An interior designer can help you narrow down your options and find the balance between variety and symmetry as well.

Give the Room a Sense of Depth

This is a trick which is often used by painters in their artwork. They create a foreground, mid-ground, and background. These areas of interest can be achieved within a room of your home as well. The best way to find and place furnishings in these areas is by standing in the threshold of the room and placing your furnishings while paying attention to the furnishings around them. For example, you can place a side table closest to you, foreground, a sofa next, mid-ground, and then a painting in the background. You have just created depth in your room.

These are a few basic tricks and ideas that should be kept in mind when furnishing each area of your home.


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