For a faster, more profitable home sale
The open concept plan floor plan is a greatly desired feature in home design at this time. Buyers are looking for the spacious feeling that long sight lines and an open floor plan delivers.
Often called the great room, the open concept plan typically encompasses two to three rooms having no separation between them; a living room, kitchen and dining area.
Arranging furniture for open concept living can be a bit tricky. How do you define each separate area, yet tie it all together?
Using the right color combinations, area rug placement(s) and proper furniture arrangements, you can achieve a unified look.
Keep reading to learn how you can improve the look and feel of your open concept area by highlighting focal points and architectural features, while also improving the flow of traffic.
If you have a house for sale, highlighting the positive features will also minimize the negative aspects you wish you could hide.
The shape and architecture of your rooms can also guide you to successfully arrange furniture in your home. See space planning for furniture placement ideas for different room shapes.
Before you begin moving furniture around, consider what activities you and your family will be doing in that space.
Use furniture that suits the needs of each space to make your space functional.
Perhaps you have an extremely long room and would like to have a game room, TV area, or a child's play area on one end.
Also, determine whether the room has one or more focal points. Some rooms will not have a focal point, so you may need to create one.
Start arranging your furniture by placing the largest piece first. This is usually a sofa. Face it toward a focal point, like a fireplace or a view.
If you're missing an architectural focal point, build your own by using an armoire, a console table with a striking painting over it, or bookcases filled with handsome books and decorative objects.
Build your seating around the sofa to create a conversational grouping.
If your open concept space is overwhelmingly vast, perhaps a bit of separation is needed between the zones.
Every home has certain features that make arranging furniture a challenge.
In my last home, many of my design plans were foiled by baseboard heaters and an ugly metal spiral staircase located smack dab in the center of the living room! The baseboard heaters didn't allow me to hang the coveted ceiling to floor draperies I desired and the spiral staircase made arranging furniture a special challenge.
In your home it may be a fireplace, an angled wall, inconveniently located doorways or windows, built-in bookcases, an air conditioner, a bulky radiator or floor vents. Before you begin arranging furniture, you need to consider the following details:
Fireplace - A fireplace is such a wonderful focal point and provides a comfortable place for reading and visiting. Avoid placing furniture closer than 3 feet from a fireplace.
Baseboard heaters, radiators and vents - All heat sources need at least 6 inches of space to operate effectively and safely. Don’t allow furniture or window treatments to touch radiators and baseboard heaters and keep floor vents clear as well.
Put vent deflectors over inconveniently located floor vents. These deflectors direct the air flow out and across the floor rather than up toward the ceiling. Look for floor vent deflectors at your local home improvement center.
Air conditioning wall units - The front-air blowing units need 6-8 inches of space to operate efficiently. Don’t shove furniture up against an air conditioner.
Windows - Furniture should be a least a foot away for easy access to open and close.
Doorways - Make sure that you establish the “traffic patterns” of each room when arranging furniture. You don't want to be weaving in or around furniture as you enter or exit a room.
Traffic pattern is the natural flow of people moving through a space, the paths in and out of a room and the areas where you walk the most.
In carpeted rooms, you will often see a lot of wear in the carpet where the traffic patterns occur. With proper space planning, there should be enough room for to travel comfortably in and around the furniture or through the room.
It’s important to establish your traffic pattern before you begin arranging furniture. Watch out for door swings and windows; you will need room for opening and closing them. You should have a comfortable 24” of space in which to maneuver in and around furniture.
Updated September 18, 2023