The Six F’s of Arranging Furniture

    Form follows function when arranging furniture. (Photo: jade/ has been said that good design has visual appeal as well as function and comfort.  But how do you accomplish all three when arranging furniture in a new home?  Listed below are six commonsense tips to take the headache out of the process.

    FUNCTION: You must first determine how the room will be used. Will it be a media room where the family watches TV or will it be a recreation room where people play pool, board games, cards or puzzles? Perhaps the space will be used for a home office or a place where children to do homework. Whatever the purpose of the room is, select the furniture that will function best to accomplish that purpose. For instance, if the room is used to watch TV, a comfortable couch and chairs would be necessary or perhaps an ottoman or coffee table to put one’s feet on.  If it is a game room then a brio table and chairs might be nice because the height will enable you to see the action on the pool table and play cards or work puzzles. If the room is designated for a home office or homework, a desk for a computer and comfortable chair is the obvious place to begin.


    FOCAL POINT: Before you begin placing the furniture in the room you must establish a focal point. The main furniture pieces will be arranged around this. If the room has an architectural feature, such as a fireplace this can be the focal point. Perhaps there is a window with a desirable view of a pool or a lake; the furniture can be arranged facing the window thus determining the window as the focal point. When placing the furniture always think of hospitality & comfort. For example, if the room is for visiting then place the furniture so that the people can see each other and visit in a comfortable manner. In other words they do not have to twist or turn to have a conversation. In this case, the furniture would be arranged facing each other and the focal point would be the coffee table. If the space is designated to watch TV then most of the seating should be positioned to view the TV and thus the TV is the focal point of the room. 


    FURNITURE: Now that you have determined the function of the room and the focal point, the selection of furniture pieces naturally follows. To make sure that the space has good function you must determine the necessary furniture to accomplish the purpose of the room. Start by selecting from what you have this will not only save money but time as well. Place the furniture appropriately until you have exhausted your inventory. Next, simply make a list of what you need to purchase to finish the space and provide function and furnishings.


    FLOW: It is important to establish a traffic pattern whereby you can enter and exit the room easily and unobstructed, so position the furniture with an easy sensible travel path.


    FINE TUNE: At this point you tweak and adjust the placement of the furniture for optimal comfort and use.


    FINISHING TOUCHES: The last layer is accessories. Using what you desire out of your current inventory, first place the lamps keeping in mind that lamps for tasks like reading need to be at least twenty four inches high for effective lighting. Next place tabletop items and hang wall art. Lastly make a list of what you need to purchase to finish the room, always keeping hospitality and comfort for your family and guests in mind.


    This method is a natural progression and makes the process easy. If you follow these suggestions, the six F’s will take out the difficulty when furnishing a home.

    Lee Anne Culpepper is an Atlanta interior designer who works with Atlanta painting contractors and remodeling contractors

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