Steve Harper

Whether you’re moving into a new place or want to perform a mini-makeover on your current apartment, learning the basics of furniture placement can make your apartment space look – and work — better.


Here are a few tips to help you arrange furniture like a pro by creating a floor plan that’s both functional and comfortable.

It’s all about balance
Furniture arrangement is a balancing act. There are two kinds of balance you can achieve: symmetrical and asymmetrical. With symmetrical balance, placing two of a thing achieves balance in a room. For instance, two identical armchairs or two identically-sized pieces of art can be used to create symmetrical balance.

Asymmetrical style, however, refers to balancing unequal objects. For instance, if you have a giant sofa on one side of a room, you might mirror the sofa’s visual weight by arranging several small pieces of art on the wall above it. As long as the objects complement each other in size, shape and color, they can still create balance in a room without having to be exactly the same in size or number.

Consider groupings by furniture size
In any room, every object carries a visual weight. One way to make a room look serene and peaceful is to group furniture pieces of the same visual weight together. In other words, try arranging pieces that are about the same size and shape; the continuity feels comforting. On the other hand, mixing different size pieces can create energy in a room. Including one piece which attracts attention because of its size can have a dramatic effect on a space.

Don’t wall yourself in
When arranging apartment furniture, a tendency exists to stick larger pieces along walls. But if you’re working with an open floor plan, you don’t have to place everything up against the boundaries of the space. Try breaking the mold by floating your sofa or bed in the middle of a room, perhaps anchoring it with an area rug. You might also try angling furniture so it revolves around a focal point, such as a fireplace or large window.

Think vertically
Don’t forget to consider how the height of a furniture layout can affect the mood and functionality of a space. The goal of good space planning is to create multiple levels in a room. If you have short furniture, consider adding floor lamps or using artwork to bring the eye upward. Doing so elongates a room, making it feel larger.

Create a sense of space
Are the walls closing in on your small apartment? You can make it feel like you have more space by sticking to a neutral color scheme. A neutral palette lets the eye glide over a room, making it appear bigger. Keep in mind that lighter-colored pieces or pieces with legs (versus oversized, boxy furniture) feel “lighter” and take up less visual space, making a room feel more open.

Before you arrange a room
Now that you’ve got some tips for creating an attractive apartment floor plan, you can get to the fun part: designing! But before you do, you might want to get out a measuring tape. It’s helpful to know just how much space you have to work with so you can be sure furniture will fit!

That measuring tape can also come in handy when you’re considering traffic flow. Remember that you need to leave a healthy amount of space between large pieces — about two feet — so people can actually walk through a room comfortably. You’ll need to leave enough room for doors and drawers to open, as well.





About The Author

Steve Harper enjoys seeking out and writing about topics that matter to renters for the Apartment Guide Blog. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Find Steve on Google.