Whether you’re just moving in or deciding to redecorate, where to place your furniture can seem like a daunting task. Not only are you worried if the pieces you love will look great in the space, but also how to create a functional layout that will make your family and friends comfortable.
By doing a quick scan of decorating best-practices and taking into account how you want to communicate in each space in your home, you can find the furniture configuration that will make you, and your guests, feel right at home.
While each room in each home will require slightly different furniture layouts, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure your room flows and is easy to navigate – no one likes needing to crawl over the knees of a stranger to get up to use the restroom.
- Rooms are all about balance – be sure your furniture is “talking to each other” vs floating by themselves (that means no chairs alone in the corner!)
- Don’t feel like all your furniture must be along a wall- pulling it into a living space will create a homier feel
Now that you have some key planning ideas to keep in mind, figuring out how you’ll interact with guests in each room of your home will be key to determining what furniture you’ll want and how to arrange it all. Read on for some examples, as well as conversation starters you can use to get the discussion started!
1). Entertaining multiple guests in the kitchen
Plan on hosting dinner parties often? Make your kitchen an entertainment destination by orienting barstools to focus on the main cooking area. That way you can finish cooking up your signature recipes, all while starting a conversation with your guests and encouraging them to engage with each other.
Conversation starter for this room: If you could travel to one country you’ve never visited to try the local fare, where would it be? (Tweet this conversation starter!)
2). Dining with a group
While serving your entire dinner at your kitchen bar is completely acceptable when amongst close friends, when entertaining a group that isn’t all that familiar with each other, a circular arrangement is more comfortable. Studies have shown that, “circular shaped seating arrangements prime a need to belong while angular shaped seating arrangements prime a need to be unique.” By having everyone sit at circular table with no assigned seating, guests will all feel on par with each other. (Tweet this seating tip!)
Conversation starter for this room: What path did you take to end up at your job? How did you end up living in this city?
3). Entertaining new neighbors
It’s always a little unnerving when visiting a new place, so make your guests as comfortable as possible by allowing them to sit in a seat where their backs are not facing an open space or door, research has shown this position can help lower blood pressure and make people feel more at ease. (Tweet this seating tip!)
Conversation starter for this room: What’s been your favorite part of the neighborhood so far?
4). Personal conversations
Arranging seats side-by-side and slightly facing each other creates what is called “the co-operative position.” This arrangement allows for open communication where participants are likely to work together to try and accomplish the same task. Consider creating a small conversation area like this in your bedroom or other private area for sensitive topics of discussion you share with a loved one. (Tweet this seating tip!)
Conversation starter for this room: What is one thing that someone could do to help you get through the week better?
5). Turning solo-work into a cooperative effort
Need the kids to focus on homework? Consider creating personal spaces for them to concentrate on their own. Adding a chair with wheels also makes it easy for people to roll into the co-operative position when someone needs help or has a question.
Conversation starter for this room: What was most interesting thing you learned today?
6). Laughing with friends
Let everyone relax a bit in an outside space clustered around a focal feature. A fire-pit, whether it’s built-in or portable, is a great way to bring everyone together – the warmth and sound of the fire helps everyone lower their walls and open up. Arranging the seats in a circle and providing a footrest will further the relaxing atmosphere of the area.
Conversation starter for this area: What is the top item on your bucket list you want to accomplish? (Tweet this conversation starter!)
Do you have a room layout that works great for you? Show us a photo on Twitter (just tag us using @Shea_Homes), or, leave us a comment below with the tips & tricks that have worked best for you.