It's the question on everyone's lips when purchasing furniture: how should you arrange it? Figuring out where to place key pieces can be tricky, but when done correctly, can optimise a space in so many different ways. Here are 10 commandments to furniture arrangement you’ll forever swear by.  

1. Thou shalt use various light sources

Good lighting means having pools of light coming from various sources such as lamps, ceiling pendants and floor lights. This effectively creates even balance and is a great way of showcasing your favourite furniture. To draw attention to statement pieces, place light sources directly above them (or below them if you fancy a modern twist). 

Modern flat

2. Thou shalt take a strategic approach when placing a mirror

Arranging mirrors requires a strategic approach ; this means placing them in relation to other pieces of furniture. Doing this will help to put the spotlight on key fixtures. It’s also a good idea to hang a mirror opposite a window to increase light. For maximum effect, orient the mirror lengthways - this is a clever way of making your space look taller.

Mirror and vase of flowers

3. Thou shalt hang the curtains high

There's more to hanging curtains than one might think. Other than getting the measurements right, it's important that you hang them as close to the ceiling as possible – this will make your windows seem taller and the room more expansive. Make sure the curtains are long in length too, the closer they reach the floor the better; ideally touching the floor for full effect. No-one likes a half-mast look.  

Modern living room4. Thou shalt place the dining table centrally, under a light

Dining tables look best when placed centrally in the middle of a room, ideally under a light fixture if possible. This is a great way of keeping your table well lit whilst you eat. If you have an area rug, always make sure you place the dining table on top to prevent the area from feeling disjointed. 

5. Thou shalt place the bed in a good viewing spot

As the main piece of bedroom furniture, the bed naturally steals the limelight, which is why it’s so important to arrange it correctly. In most houses, the bed is placed centrally in the room or against the wall furthest away from the door, this is so you can catch a good glimpse of it when you walk in. Make sure the bed is not obstructing any walkways and do not place it in front of a window if you regularly leave it open. A bed can be used to accentuate key pieces too, so if you’ve got any eye-catching furnishings you want to show off, arrange these around the bed to give them more focus.


6. Thou shalt not block pathways 

When arranging important pieces of furniture such as seating, always direct traffic around it rather than through it. Don't block pathways or windows either, sofas and chairs should be given plenty of breathing space. Generally, sofas should be placed 8 feet apart from each other to facilitate conversation.

Modern living room

7. Thou shalt hang artwork low

Hanging artwork low can give the impression of taller walls. Try to make sure that the main focus in the picture sits at eye level. For example, in the dining room, you might want to hang the painting as low as the table so that people have something nice to look at whilst they're eating. 

8. Thou shalt create balance with a chest of drawers

The perfect spot for a dresser is up against a main wall. It should never be placed in a corner as this can make it look lost and also wastes space. Try to place it centrally against the wall and add another piece of furniture next to it for even distribution. 

9. Thou shalt not leave the TV on its own

To arrange a TV effectively, pick out the main talking point in a room and centre the TV around it. Try to group it together with other flagship furniture such as the fireplace - this will create a fabulous focal point.  

10. Thou shalt place area rugs underneath furniture

The general rule of thumb with area rugs is that they should be large enough to sit underneath a group of furniture in order for the room to look unified. The furniture should also sit on the rug in some way or another - either partially or entirely. You can find out more tips on rug arranging in our how to place a rug guide

Turquoise living room Check out our living room furniture and bedroom furniture for more inspiration on how to arrange your furniture.