How to Arrange Furniture in a Living Room and Better Utilize the Space in Your Home

Cluttered furniture with no traffic flowI have a very interesting layout in my home. It basically consists of one big living room that is opened up to a kitchen and eating area, and a hallway with three rooms and a bathroom attached to it. I’ve never really seen a home like it before, and it is part of the reason why we love it so much.

However, having a home that consists of one big room is not very practical once you throw some furniture into the mix. We struggle with how to split up the space while encouraging flow between the areas.

Do you have this problem as well? Does your home feel disjointed? Here are some ideas on how to improve the traffic flow of your home.

Improve Your Home Traffic Flow

1. Remove Blockages

When walking into a room, you don’t want to walk into the back of a couch, for example. There shouldn’t be anything blocking your way in or through. Here are some ideas on how to fix the situation:

  • Try various layouts. People tend to get stuck with the original layout that they came up with for a room. Draw the area out on paper, and see what ideas you can come up with.
  • Get creative. Could you put some of your furniture kitty-corner? Moving my couch kitty-corner really opened up my main room so that it was easier to walk through.
  • Just start moving stuff. Move furniture to a new layout and leave it there for a few days. Even if you think it looks weird, the layout may be very practical and grow on you. When I recently moved furniture around in my house, my husband thought it didn’t look good. But after a few days, he grew to really like the new setup.

Layout tips: You want to make sure you have at least 2 feet to make a walkway. Have some seating close together so that people can sit down to have conversations. Also, make sure that the traffic flow does not go in front of the TV or other focal point!

2. Remove Furniture

If you cannot improve the flow of your home by rearranging the furniture, try removing some furniture. Perhaps you don’t really need a coffee table or so many chairs. Removing a piece or two of furniture can really give you more space and layout options, and it might help you make some extra cash with a garage sale. Avoid the temptation of constantly buying new furniture.

3. Add Transitions

Sometimes you want two areas to remain separate, but still feel connected. To do so, try using a transitional item, such as a rug or small side table.

4. Remove Clutter

This may be the most difficult tip to put into practice. We all have stuff, and we all have limited space. Downsize as much as you can and find a way to store what you need or want to keep.

Take Care of the Clutter

How can you remove the clutter? Here are some unique storage tips and ways you can start downsizing your home.

1. Decorative or Functional Containers

Try to have containers that match the decor of your room so that they blend right in. Or perhaps you want to use your existing furniture to store your stuff. We have bookshelves in our living room, and when we had our son, we removed the books and used the bookshelves to store his toys. Bookshelves can also be used to store clothing in bedrooms or closets. You can then either sell or recycle the books and invest in an electronic book reader like the Amazon Kindle to save space.

Additionally, if you have an old trunk, it’s a household item that can be reused to make a really great ottoman or coffee table.

2. Cycle Things In and Out

You do not need to have everything out all the time. You can cycle things in and out of an area as a way to remove the clutter. Going again with the example of my son, we cycle his kids toys in and out of our living room and store the rest in a closet. He doesn’t need everything all the time.

3. Wall Baskets

Decorate your walls while creating storage at the same time! The possibilities are endless here, but one idea would be to paint or decorate cleaned out tin cans and hang them on the wall in some sort of pattern. You can then use them to store remotes, toys, dog treats, or even spare change.

Final Word

If you’re really having a difficult time with the layout or flow of your home, ask for help. Invite some friends over and see what ideas they may have. This would be a cheap and fun activity, and you may get some great design ideas.

What tips do you have for improving the overall flow and function of your home?

  • Steven Marlo

    Your ideas on removing clutter are nice, but I will say that wall baskets, too, can get in the way. Removing clutter is important, but I really feel that in some ways, wall baskets take away from the spaciousness that one should have in their halls.

    • Casey Slide

      Perhaps if they were placed over furniture they would be more out of the way. I think placement of the wall baskets is key.

  • Stephen Obrien

    If you base what you do on inaccurate information, you might be unpleasantly surprised by the consequences. Make sure you get the whole Furniture story from informed sources.

    Now you can be a confident expert on Furniture. OK, maybe not an expert. But you should have something to bring to the table next time you join a discussion on Furniture.

  • Furnish 123

    These are great tips! Thanks for sharing! When you buy furniture for your space (especially one that is oddly shaped), make sure that you buy pieces that will help with the flow of the room and not hinder it. Someone at the furniture store should be able to help you with this since they have experience helping many people with similar problems. Best of luck!