Friday, February 17, 2012

Move away from the wall

One of the most common conversations I have with my clients is furniture placement. My goal is always to make the space feel warm and inviting. Quite often people make the mistake of pushing furniture up against the walls,  or lining furniture up against every bit of open wall space. Which only serves to make the space feel scattered and unfocused.  By floating your arrangement within the space,  your eye is drawn “through” the furniture to the walls and windows, focal point!

FYI A conversation grouping of floating furniture should be about 12 feet from the back of one sofa or chair to the back of one sofa or chair.  And you need some circulation space (30inches or so) around that area so the furniture can “ float”.  These design rules are some times dumbfoundedly questioned ? I usually reply with,  “ We must follow the rules or they might send the decorating Police after us lol !!!!”

Seen below living room designed by Candice Olson

A beautiful area rug over dark wood floor anchors the whole area.

SHNS photo courtesy HGTV

A great layout for a smaller space is this living room ,  the door opens right into one side,  and a console table keeps you from walking straight down that side.  But because the furniture has been placed in a nice conversational grouping in one corner,  people can easily walk through. Keep in mind ( for a small space) you can place the front your coffee table approx 18” from the front of the sofa,  any less is a bit crammed. For larger space 24” is adequate  from the front of the sofa.  If you don’t have the space flexibility,  try reducing the size of your coffee table. As shown below with this round ottoman.  You could also use two 24” x 24” cube ottomans side by side.

South Boston Living Room contemporary living room

  This designer brilliantly used every bit of space in this room. As long as you have a place to set that martini down,  you can even make do without end tables!!!! 


Light saturated living room  living room

The same principle applies to other spaces in your home,  seen below furniture placement video for a home office.



Simple sketch of floating furniture grouping,  notice how the sofa is pulled away from the wall.

make sketch to analyze furniture placement


Finally,  if you really want to create an open elegant room,  try changing your arrangement to create intimate seating and a sense of airiness.

Thank you for visiting! I feel blessed to have you on board!



  1. Laurie, thanks for the information. I'm not a professional but I do love re-decorating a room and furniture placement is one thing it seems people really don't understand. Love your blog.

  2. Hi Laurie, I haven't visited for a while and glad I did. This was a great tutorial. I am learning to create more "conversation" areas. I always learn something new. Thanks for all your help.

  3. I just plan to have a house just like yours, so maybe you can give me some advise.
    And in return, i'd like to give you Leather shoulder bags at and really great, hope you like them!

  4. Yes , trying changing your arrangement to create intimate seating and a sense of airiness,creating an open elegant room,


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Laurie Blaswich