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12 Common Furniture Arrangement Mistakes You Could Be Making

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If you feel that something doesn’t feel right when it comes to the room’s décor style, it’s likely that you’re facing a furniture arrangement issue. An awkward layout can have a big impact on the overall atmosphere of the room. Many homeowners focus on choosing the right furnishings and décor pieces as well as balancing colors, textures, and patterns. However, some simple furniture arrangement mistakes can sabotage the entire space resulting in that odd feeling that something feels wrong about the look of the room.

Take a look at the most common furniture arrangement mistakes you can make to better understand how to avoid them.

1. Excess Furniture

Having too much furniture is a common problem with room layouts. While you don’t really need to become a minimalist, it’s important to avoid clutter in your living space. An excessive amount of furniture can give the impression of a cramped room when you’re sitting together with your guests. This is something that you should avoid when organizing the furniture layout. Consider maintaining proper circulation paths and sufficient distance between objects to ensure the best level of comfort.




A notable example when it comes to this mistake is the location of the coffee table that’s often flanked by one big sofa as well as multiple chairs. It should be positioned adequately from the edge of the couch, ideally not too far away but not too close. Preventing this kind of problem starts by not having too many furniture pieces in the first place. Cut down on the clutter because all that extra furniture makes the room overcrowded and contributes to a constricted flow.

2. All Furniture Placed Against the Wall

This is a classic mistake done by many homeowners who find it very intuitive to push all the furniture against the wall. There are some problems with this kind of approach. Instead of enhancing the sense of space, such a layout might have an opposite effect. Your sofa and chairs can appear cramped when they’re so closely positioned to the walls. Sure, you end up with one big space in the middle of the room but that’s not very practical. It’s recommended to maintain conversation areas intimate, and this can only be properly achieved by balancing out the distance between furniture pieces.




Interior designers everywhere advise against placing furniture against the wall. The dead space in the center has a negative impact on the entire vibe of the space. Fixing this mistake is relatively easy by focusing on creating an inviting sitting area in the middle of the room. Give up on furniture wallflowers and regain that sense of intimacy that’s highly sought after in any living space.

3. Awkward Height Clearance

If you don’t want to constantly deal with floor screeching and scratching at the dining table, it’s highly recommended to take into account the height of the chairs. This means you need to consider using chairs that feature appropriate arm and leg heights to provide sufficient clearance to the underside of the table. The same idea is applicable for other furniture pieces such as the height of the coffee table that should be proportionate to the size of the couch. Try to avoid setting up the seating area with a coffee table that’s too low.



4. Not Having a Single Focal Point

There’s a good reason why most designers recommend having a central focal point in the room. It helps a lot to keep the rest of the furnishings properly grounded by arranging them around the centerpiece of the room. Focal points can arise spontaneously when including a large piece such as a bold upholstered sofa or a colorful art hanging on the wall. If you’re out of inspiration, try to figure out what kind of item will naturally draw the most attention as you step into the room.




When there’s not a clear single focal point but many areas or pieces that attempt to grab all the attention, the result can feel a bit overwhelming. Multiple focal points can create an unbalanced look and put you in a difficult position when you’re planning your decorations. Furniture should be arranged organically to complement the style of the room’s focal point. Stick to a single one to avoid confusing clutter while introducing a sense of serenity.

5. Ignoring the Flow of Foot Traffic

Any kind of furniture arrangement layout should be made with careful consideration to the needs of the people living in the home. It’s quite frustrating when furniture pieces are positioned similarly to an obstacle course. Notice the flow of foot traffic to ensure that all walking paths are clear and easy to use. Nobody likes the idea of going around indoor roadblocks and taking awkward turns around a piece of furniture just to reach another. It’s safe to say that ignoring the importance of traffic flow represents a common mistake that should be avoided when arranging furniture.



6. Unsuitable Furniture Dimensions

The size is one aspect that often gets overlooked when arranging furniture. Large pieces can fit awkwardly in a small room. The same can be said if you have generous available space in the living room yet use furniture that’s too small. Pay close attention to the dimensions of the room to figure out a balanced furniture layout. For example, if you have tall vaulted ceilings, it’s recommended to use furniture pieces that scale properly with the height. Similarly, compact rooms look better when you don’t have a huge sectional sofa taking up a big chunk of the space.

7. Blocked Windows

Whether we’re talking about the living room or the bedroom, it’s essential to allow natural light inside without any furniture obstructions. The mistake of blocking windows can be particularly noticeable if the room features lots of windows. Darker rooms tend to appear smaller and overcrowded. Letting as much natural light in represents a good rule of thumb to improve the style of any room and make it feel more inviting. Floor-to-ceiling windows are usually more challenging to work with when arranging furniture. Consider optimizing the lighting in the room with mirrors or reflective surfaces if you plan on blocking this kind of window.



8. Matching Furniture Sets

Although it’s not a huge mistake to have a matching set of furniture pieces in your living room, the general visual impression provided by this kind of design approach feels quite underwhelming. It just appears as if not much thought has been put into the room’s layout. Many interior designers recommend avoiding matching furniture sets because the low-effort look makes the room resemble a showroom. Infuse some character into the area and personalize it with your own style by choosing different colors and textures when arranging the furniture.

9. Bad Rug Placement

Sometimes little details can have a great impact on the overall style of the room. A good example is the placement of an area rug. This is a commonly used accessory that adds a pleasant textural feel to your feet while also complementing the look of the furnishings. Avoid the mistake of not having all the legs of the furniture on the rug. That’s not always achievable but you should try to position the sofa and chairs so that at least the front set of legs sits on the rug. Alternatively, you can move away from traditional aesthetics and opt for layering multiple rugs.



10. Creating Imbalance

If you don’t pay attention to the balance of the room, the resulting look will be disappointing even when using stylish furniture and elegant decorations. All the elements of the room should be distributed evenly to avoid making one area of the room feel empty and desolate. Keeping the space balanced doesn’t necessarily suggest that you should focus on perfect symmetry. Just consider the visual weight of each furniture piece and make some proper adjustments to prevent glaring imbalances. The room can feature quirky furniture arrangements to show off your sense of style but shouldn’t feel randomly designed with too many odd proportions and strange placement choices.

11. Lack of Activity Zones

Most households feature at least some rooms that cover different purposes. The best example is the living room which can be used for entertainment, work, or various hobby-related activities. Considering the versatility of this room, it makes sense to reflect the needs of these activities in your furniture arrangement approach. Create separate activity zones to allow the room to accomplish different purposes according to the needs of the household members. For example, you can set up a conversation area in the living room separate from another zone dedicated to your art projects.



12. Giving Up On Practicality And Comfort

There’s nothing wrong with putting a strong emphasis on aesthetics when arranging the furniture in the room. Maybe you wish to show off your personal style through elegant furnishings and bold decorations. That being said, it’s also important to avoid getting carried away and ignoring practicality and comfort. This is your home after all, not some designer’s showroom. Making the place practical to live in should take priority.

What if you enjoy eating a meal in the living room? Arrange the furniture accordingly to allow you to set up a table quickly for this purpose. Minimalism is fine but lacking any place to put down a glass would be a big turnoff for your guests. You might be proud of your industrial-style metal dining chairs but the reduced comfort will probably make you reconsider this furniture choice. It’s a good idea to see your living room from the perspective of a guest. The furniture choices should feel welcoming and enjoyable to spend time in the room.

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