Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Arranging Furniture

Arranging Furniture

Great rooms don't happen by accident. Successful decorators and stagers know the formulas for arranging furniture to create an inviting space that will increase a home's value.

They can walk into any room, in any home, and quickly rearrange the furniture so that it looks bigger, more attractive, and more inviting.

How do they do it? They know the principles of design and how to apply them. And they know what buyers like and how to give it to them.

Image Pottery Barn

Guidelines for Rooms in General

  • Make each room (including hallways) look as large as possible. You should be able to enter any room (or walk down any hallway), without dodging furniture.
  • Make each room look as attractive and inviting from the doorway as possible.
  • Allow access to the windows and let in as much light as possible.

Guidelines for Placing Furniture in Each Room

  • Arrange your largest piece of furniture first (usually the sofa or the bed).
  • Position it so the buyer can see the best feature (focal point) in that room (staging a fireplace mantle).
  • "Build" out from that first piece of furniture.
  • Each piece should have a purpose. If you don't need it, don't use it.

Key Items for Staging a Living Room or Family Room

  • Sofa
  • Area Rug
  • Chair at right angles to sofa or diagonal to it. Help buyers imagine living in their dream home.
  • Coffee table
  • Side table to hold a lamp and/or a drink.
  • Lamps to provide ambient lighting.
  • Instant Living Room Makeover

Key Items for Staging a Dining Room

Key Items for Staging a Bedroom

  • Bed
  • One or two nightstands
  • Lamps on nightstands
  • Dresser (if space allows)
  • Bedroom Makeover

Suburban Ranch Living Room

The suburban ranch living room presents a unique challenge. The front door opens directly into the living room and there are usually several other doorways: to the kitchen, the dining room and a hallway. Where do you put the furniture?

Small Dining Room in a Suburban Ranch Home

Don't let small rooms scare you. There are ways to make even a small dining room look roomy and elegant. 

Working with a Large Sectional in a Small Victorian

A sectional sofa can be comfortable and very inviting. But these sofas are large, and may be a challenge to work with. Tips on arranging furniture in a small living room with a sectional sofa.

Buyers Love or Hate a Home Within Seconds

What do buyers see when they first walk in your home?

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Alex Hinst is the author of Home Decorating and Staging and owner of Alex Hinst Designs, located in Denver's Historic Highlands.

Alex Hinst Designs has hundreds of success stories in both private and investor home renovations and is dedicated to helping you create your perfect home.