Project Description



In this article, the team at Style Plus | Renovations Auckland explore different home furniture placement options.

We hope after looking at what the Style Plus team has come up with, it will inspire you when it comes to placing furniture in your own home.

The Style Plus team looks at how to create a successful layout in your home:

  • Balance.
  • Furniture Arrangement.
  • Furniture Dimensions.
  • Furniture-Arrangement-1a
  • Furniture-Arrangement-1b
  • Furniture-Arrangement-2a
  • Furniture-Arrangement-2b


When it comes to arranging furniture in a living room, most people really don’t think much about balance and that sofas should talk to chairs. Furniture is placed in the room with no thought about making it easy for seated people to have conversations. The two topics covered in this article are about grouping furniture and balance.

When you place something on one side of a room, you should aim to counterbalance it with some other elements that together are about the same height, width, and visual weight on the other side of the room opposite it. Let’s say you have a 2.3m sofa. To counterbalance it, directly across from it, you could place another 2.3m sofa, that would be equal balance. You could also counter balance the 2.3m sofa with two club chairs and an end table between them that together measure about 2.3m.

Image 1A shows 2 three cushion sofas counterbalancing each other.

Image 1B shows a 3 cushion sofa being counterbalanced by 2 club chairs (or other styles of chairs) with an end table and lamp between them.

In image 2A you have a “U” shaped arrangement of furniture facing a fireplace. A 3 cushion sofa counterbalances the hearth, and a 3 cushion sofa on the left is counterbalanced by two upholstered chairs with end table placed between them.

Image 2B is a compressed version of 2A. In 2B you have the 3 cushion sofa that anchors the grouping (it is the largest piece). The sofa is flanked on both its left and right by upholstered or occasional chairs. Two other chairs, or even upholstered benches or stools are across from it.

In the groupings just shown, notice how the furniture is placed close together and sofas and chairs are facing each other, one way or another. The different arrangements would make it so seated people either faced each other, or were along side each other for easy conversation.


People often place sofas and chairs too far apart and often everything is placed around the walls of the space with an empty center. With furniture placed like that, seated people have to raise their voice to be heard from one side of the room to the other.

In Illustration 3A we are starting to expand on and add more chairs to the first grouping (1A and 1B, 2A and 2B). In Illustration 3A the two anchor pieces are the 3 cushion sofa and 2 cushion sofa. Notice how to the right of the sofa, in front of the fireplace are two chairs and an upholstered bench; those pieces counter balance the 2 cushion sofa and chair and ottoman opposite them, at the far end of the room. Now look at the 2 cushion sofa. It is flanked on one side by a round ottoman used for seating, and the ottoman is then counterbalanced by a chair. The different groupings in this space provide a more initimate seating for just 2 people and can cater for many more when needed. If a person is sitting on the sofa or 2 cushion sofa, another person has a place to sit close by on a chair right up next to them.

Illustration 3B is an expanded version of illustration 2A. 3B shows 2 three cushion sofas that are anchoring the room, by a fireplace. The sofa opposite the fireplace is being counterbalanced by the fireplace with two chairs either side. The sofa to the left is counterbalanced by the two chairs and end table on the right.

Illustration 4A is an expanded version of illustration 2B. The anchor is the sofa with two upholstered chairs flanking it on both the left and right. An upholstered bench which counterbalances the sofa was added next to the coffee table for extra seating.

In Illustration 4B I have left out any kind of sofa or 2 cushion sofa. Four upholstered chairs are placed in the center of this space in front of a fireplace. This kind of grouping would be perfect in a small living room. The grouping of 4 chairs would also work well as part of multiple seating areas in a large space.

We have tried by providing a variety of configurations to get you to think about making groupings of furniture in a room conducive to good conversation.

  • Furniture-Arrangement-3a
  • Furniture-Arrangement-3b
  • Furniture-Arrangement-4a
  • Furniture-Arrangement-4b


Finally before purchasing any furniture for your home (sofas, chair, etc) acquire the dimensions of the pieces for height, width and depth. The furniture store will provide you with the dimensions.

Take those measurements (width and depth) and create paper templates showing the size of the sofa or chairs exact dimensions. Lay the templates on the floor where you are thinking about putting the furniture to see how it fills in the floor space. Alternatively, mark out your floor with masking tape.

A sofa or chair that looks average sized in the cavernous furniture show room might look enormous in your house. Also, get measurements so you can see if the furniture you want, fits through doorways, can make it around corners, or can fit in an elevator if you live in a high-rise.


Neutrals as always are the balance. The backdrop to the brights, your favourite accessories, the respite from busy life and the soft cocoon you can use as a launch pad as you progress down the path to bolder choices. Blackened neutrals such as the Resene Black White and Resene Alabaster colour families are on the upswing and work well with the deep grey accents.

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