Below are compiled a few go-bys for arranging furniture. These certainly don’t cover absolutely every situation, but they’re some great rules of thumb for arranging furniture!
We won’t claim to be experts, but we’ll boil it down to this: movement should be free through a room, and people should feel comfortable moving around. If that’s not true, make it true.
Face the view
Many rooms have some sort of view – a wall hanging, a window, a fireplace, etc. Furniture should be oriented to take advantage of that – now, that specifically doesn’t mean that all of the furniture in a room should face directly at whatever that focal point is, but it does mean that whatever the largest seating is should face in that general direction, with other seating oriented comfortably around it.
Your room isn’t an art gallery. It has a function, even if it’s just a comfortable waiting room. That function be the first thing to think about when arranging furniture, not an afterthought.
Balance the room. It doesn’t need to be fully symmetrical, but it does need to have some contrast and ideally splashes of dark/bright color should be at least somewhat balanced. Don’t use a color, particularly a bold choice, in just one spot.
Seating shouldn’t stand along. If you have a chair, there should be something adjacent – a small table, another chair, etc. Don’t let chairs sit alone in space: whoever’s sitting in that chair will feel uncomfortable.
Don’t push all furniture against walls
This is something we actually see too much of. Not every piece of furniture should be against a wall in most spaces. Give some pieces of furniture room to breathe. Your visitors will thank you for it.