Space Planning: The Struggle

Ever have a hard time deciding where to place your furniture or have awkward spaces that you don’t know what to do with? People ask us all the time to help with space planning and we hear from many about the struggles they have deciding where to place their sofa, or they have large windows they love to look out of or they would like their fireplace to be the focal point in the space.  Hopefully this blog will help you in making these decisions a little easier. Here are some tips to follow when deciding on a layout that works best for you and your family.

Tip #1: Emphasize a focal point

Decide what you will want to look at, whether that is your fireplace, television, the beautiful view of the outdoors; this should be your starting point. Once you have an idea of the area your want to focus on, you can begin laying out your furniture.

Tip #2: Keep in mind traffic flow

The way you move through a space is very important. Our minds are set to walk through a room, not around it. You do not want to block a walkway that you would naturally think to walk through. Instead, move your sofa up and create space to walk behind it. You should have at least 3’ of walking space between your sofa and the wall.

Tip #3: Consider functionality

How do you want your room to function? Do you have kids? Is this a formal space or casual space?

Tip #4: Allow for conversation

Do not put everything up against a wall. Allow your guest to sit next to each other and allow for conversation. They do not want to have to yell across the room.

Tip #5: Create visual balance

Your space can have symmetrical balance or asymmetrical balance. Symmetrical is typically more for formal settings (formal living); asymmetrical is more casual (family room). The way you create balance in your space can really affect your mood and the way your space functions (more on that later).

Below is a living room that had some of the same issues you might be having when deciding how to lay out your space.

We considered that this family wanted a space to watch television and sports, have friends over, and a space for them to play with their child. They wanted the space to feel complete and inviting but still be practical for everyday activities.





Here is the before picture of this family room. Everything is against the wall and there is no clear focal point. When walking through the space, you would have to walk in front of someone and the guests would have to sit far away from one another.

Here is the finished space. We created a focal point with the television. Dressed out above the entertainment unit to emphasize the focal point. We designed drapes to add softness and pattern to the room. We added a rug to provide texture, to pull the space together, and to weigh the sofas so they do not seem like they are floating in the space. We brought both of the sofas forward, creating an L-shaped layout.

This allows for better conversation and traffic flow through the room. They had an empty corner in the space, which we nestled a chair and ottoman for extra seating and to balance the room. The coffee table is great for the kids to play games or building puzzles. This was a casual family room that needed a punch of fun and FUNction, which was achieved by using these few tips!



For more ideas on how to style your bookshelves or how color and spaces affect your mood, check out some of our other posts here on the Brew Blog!