Common furniture mistakes to avoid
Furniture layout can be a daunting task if you are not a professional interior designer, especially if this is your first time designing your space and arranging large pieces. Hence, it is important to seek ideas from professionals.
The first thing a professional is likely to notice about your home decoration are mistakes about your furniture arrangement. Though you might have got it right in all other aspects like color scheme, the bug might be in your furniture layout, disrupting the whole job.
How did you arrange the furniture? Did you squeeze too much furniture into the space? Is the scale ideal for your room? What spacing did you adopt? These and many others are common questions a professional interior designer would ask you about your furniture arrangement.
This post looks into common furniture arrangement mistakes to avoid in different rooms. We compiled ideas from different professionals to help you with your furniture layout.
Common Furniture Arrangement Mistakes to Avoid
- Off-Scale Furniture
The first factor to consider when arranging furniture in your room is the allocated space for furniture. The space should determine the dimensions of the furniture to use. If you are decorating a small room, it is wise to choose smaller furniture to complement the room size. Also, if there is enough room to accommodate larger furniture, selecting skinning furniture will ruin the job.
- Too Much Furniture
One important question to ask when arranging furniture in a room is how many pieces of furniture are ideal for the room. You might spoil the fun by choosing too many pieces for a small space. While you might think you need many pieces to fill the space, you might end up crowding the space.
Instead of going for many pieces, have your eyes on a few quality furniture of low profile that will leave enough space between items and for other activities.
- Not Considering Height
One common furniture layout mistake people make is to neglect the heights of each piece. Each piece height should communicate with one another. For example, the height of the center table should correspond with the height of the sofa. The coffee table should also match the height of the top of the couch cushion. The end tables should be of the same level as the sofa arms, so users can easily access them. This arrangement makes navigating from one piece to the other easier for everyday use.
We recommend that you consider our coffee table and side table for their eye-catching look to complement other furniture in your room.
- Pushing Furniture Close To the Wall
It might sound like a great idea to place your furniture close to the wall in small spaces, but moving the furniture away from the walls can actually make the area look bigger. Pushing the furniture close to the wall in a large room might result in shouting across the whole room during a conversation. Hence, it is better to bring the pieces together with decent space between them.
When arranging furniture in the living room, it is ideal to place the sofa in the middle of the room, close to the fireplace, and facing the chairs. This helps create a cozy conversational area, ensuring the room functions better.
- Beds Covering Some a Portion of the Windows
It looks odd to have your bed close to the window while it peaks over the window frame. This exposes your bed to the street and lets your bedding fabric fade.
However, if this is the only ideal spot to place your bed in the room, there is still a hack to corner the awkward situation. Invest in floor-length curtain panels, hanging them to fall behind the headboard. This helps block the back of the headboard from the window.
You can also consider installing top-down, bottom-up shades, which let light in through the upper part of the window but block the protruding headboard edges.
If you think this will disrupt your design, you can choose a platform bed with a low-enough headboard that doesn’t protrude above the window frame.
- Avoiding Smaller Furniture
Smaller furniture aids flexibility in furniture arrangement. While you might want to go for bigger furniture to quickly fill your space and serve your purpose, it is a bad practice to eschew smaller furniture totally. For example, a bulky sofa can only fit into one place in the room, but a smaller version can be flexible for multiple places in the room.
- Mistakes in Narrow Rooms
It is often challenging to arrange furniture in long, narrow rooms. While it is easy to allocate a place for each piece in a regular room, knowing where to place each piece in a narrow room can be overwhelming. The best idea is to divide the room into zones: the conversation area, a work zone, and a game zone.
Arrange the sofa and the chairs in the conversation zone for ease of conversing. Place a desk behind the sofa to establish a work zone. You can also use the space behind the sofa to create a homework zone by arranging a small table or desk and two chairs.
If creating a smaller secondary seating area is rather your priority, place a side table and surround it with two or three smaller chairs behind the sofa.
- Poor Rug size
Another common mistake people make with furniture layout is with rug placement. How you arrange your furniture on the rug speaks volumes about your design. The idea is to have all the legs of the furniture on the rug. However, if the rug is small and doesn’t cover the whole space, ensure the front legs are on it.
While this adds to the beauty of your layout, it also ensures users can place their legs on the rug when using the furniture.
- Eliminating Zoning
Zoning is not only ideal for narrow rooms but also large, open rooms. Since a large room might have more than enough space for just an activity, it is wise to divide the space into zones, each for a specific activity.
The most important zone to have is the TV-watching or a conversation zone, which should contain a sofa and a few chairs. Other zones include a project or homework area and game zones.
The point here is that rather than sticking to the conventional setting, think outside the box and design your space according to your activities and what suits you best. This idea lets you maximize your space.
- Not Considering the Available Space
The rule of thumb in furniture layout is to manage what you have. It is not within your reach to add some extra square feet to that space overnight. You should rather manage what you have there. Realizing that you must work with the little space you have lets you choose the best furniture size for the room.
Hence, take a look at your room and come up with a layout idea that suits it most.
- Sticking to Conventional designs
When choosing the best arrangement ideas for your furniture, you will come across some common ideas, which have been adopted repeatedly even by professionals. This doesn’t mean you should stick to them under any condition.
While adhering to conventional designs means you are not breaking the rules, you might miss some advantages. For example, most designers will have an oblong dining table in the middle of the room, leaving just a little space for other activities.
You can decide to flip the table to one side of the room to create more space for other activities. This helps have more space for storage and aid traffic flow without disrupting the purpose of having the table in the room.
- Not Considering Convenience
Convenience is a key factor to consider when arranging furniture in any room. The first step is to think about the activities that are likely to happen in the room, followed by the best arrangement ideal to encourage the activities.
For example, when arranging your living room furniture, place a coffee table and the side tables at convenient locations where all seats can easily access them for placing drinks. The television should be positioned in the background, and the sofa and chairs arranged to face each other for ease of conversation.
- Not Balancing Room with Furniture
It is usually not ideal to focus the furniture on one side of the room, which is a common furniture arrangement mistake today. While this doesn’t mean you must be completely symmetrical, balancing each side of the room with the appropriate furniture is important.
For example, if you are assigning a love seat to one end of the arrangement, you can balance it by sitting two chairs at the other end.
- Inappropriate Starting Point
Every furniture layout and arrangement starts with a starting point. Knowing where to start the arrangement is key when arranging your furniture. When arranging furniture in your bedroom, the common idea is to start with the bed placement since it is the most important piece in the room.
Once you find a decent spot for your bed, you can forge forward to allocating spaces for other pieces.
- Neglecting Traffic Flow
It is one thing to think about relating the furniture pieces; it is another thing to consider the traffic flow. Since people will be entering, exiting, and navigating the room, it is wise to consider the impact of the arrangement on traffic flow.
Ensure people can easily walk out of their seating position without stepping on or disturbing other people or disarranging any piece in the room.
Arrange your furniture in a manner that doesn’t interrupt traffic flow. If there are different entries and exits to your room, ensure they are well connected, such that the kitchen is connected to the living room.
- Not Considering The Purpose of the Room
Some rooms are meant for different activities, and these activities determine how they are used. It is your duty to plan ahead of the possible activities in the room, the situations that may accompany them, and how occupants will use them.
Though there are unforeseen circumstances you can’t plan for, thinking of the day-to-day activities is a simple trick to the game.
For example, when you arrange the furniture such that you can easily walk from the dresser to the bed, consider what happens when you open the drawer to fetch your clothes. Do you have to step aside to open the drawer and stretch to access your clothes? If so, it is best to review your arrangement and come up with a better idea.
- Thinking Only About a Single Function
It is a common furniture arrangement mistake to think of a single activity when arranging furniture in your room, especially in the living room. A variety of activities can take place in the living room, making it key to plan for them ahead. If you have a small room with little space to accommodate enough furniture, it is best to consider versatile furnishings.
For example, a pair of stools or a Monty Ottoman bench can be a great piece to add to your furniture. These pieces come in handy when hosting a large group of people without enough chairs to accommodate them. Guests can also use stools as end tables around the conversation area during a cocktail party.
- Not Considering the Light Fixtures
It is a bad practice to arrange the furniture in a room without considering the light fixtures. For example, when arranging the light in the dining room, ensure you center the furniture around the chandelier or light fixture.
If your current light won’t align with your arrangement idea, it is best to hire a professional who relocates the light and center it on the furniture arrangement. You can also hang a light fixture with a chain at the center of the furniture if you are considering DIY.
- Exposing Furniture Backs
Have you walked into a room, and the first thing you noticed was ugly furniture backs? If you keep any piece with an uncovered back, you give visitors a bad first impression of your design. Hence, consider reupholstering the furniture, so the backs are covered with eye-catching fabric. Alternatively, you can take the furniture to a corner of the room where the uncovered backs are unnoticed.
- Not Having an Inspiring View
Every furniture arrangement must have a focal point, either a fireplace, a window, or an opening into another room. The most popular idea today is to arrange furniture around a TV or fireplace while the sofa is placed to face the focal point.
However, if there is nothing but a blank wall to take as a view in the room, consider placing a bookcase with an attractive display of books. You can also stage a gallery wall and have a console table below the art arrangement.
Arranging furniture in your rooms shouldn’t be a headache. With the right guide and ideas, you can achieve an excellent furniture layout that communicates your style, even without prior knowledge of the task.
Following this guide will help put your feet on track when arranging furniture in any of your rooms.