Design Dilemma: Furniture Placement

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Recently, I had a friend email me about her new home. They were having trouble figuring out where to place the furniture.


I need your opinion on how and where to place some furniture for our den and formal dining….. We haven’t bought furniture yet… But should I do a round dining table to rectangle table? For the den should I do one couch and two chairs or a sectional? Not a lot of space to work with in the den that’s why I don’t want to put too much! It’s overwhelming!!!


a.w. 1 a.w.2 a.w.3

With a few short steps, you can figure out the best placement for your furniture.


1. Figure out traffic patterns: “Where are you going to walk”


Look at the empty room and decide the way you would normally travel from door to door, area to area, etc.. Try to keep those paths (or similar) when you layout your furniture. Otherwise, over time you will get frustrated by having to walk around furniture.

AW traffic patterns

(This is my revised traffic pattern. Once I had a general idea of where furniture would go)

3. Plan furniture placement.

AW Options

For this particular question, the tv went over the fireplace.

  • Knowing that tv was the main focal point for the seating layout, we decided to put the largest “seat” across from the fireplace.  The additional seats went around the room to create conversation areas and reading nooks.
  • By using smaller “apartment” sized furniture, they can get the most seating that will fit and look proportional to the room. Yes, apartment sized furniture is something that you can shop for- it can also be called “mid-size”.
  • By adding built-in bookcases  (on one or both sides), they can have storage, place for all the media equipment, and places to show off “pretties” and pictures.
  • While a round or rectangular table would work, we liked the round. It helps keep the walk space open and not feel as tight. Although, if the client is going to be moving a lot, a rectangular table is usually easier to incorporate in most places.
  • Having large rugs for each space will help define the spaces in the open floor plan and help with noise reduction and protection of the wooden floors.
  • By adding chests and tables around the room, it gives the client more storage, display area and chance to add sconces or lamps.

CONGRATS A.W. on your new home! Please send us updated pictures once you put your personal touches in the rooms, we would love to see how it turns out.

Which is your favorite layout?

If you still need help, please let me know and you can be on the next Design Dilemma!



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