6 Smart Ways to Arrange Furniture in a Small Space

Make a couple of adjustments to create a spacious and airy home

Original Article: Kat Patino-Marquez Photography: Kurt Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions and Jilson Tiu (Main Photo)

Arranging furniture in a small home can be grueling for many reasons. One main obstacle is how to incorporate all functioning pieces without cramping the space. Not to mention, how to make the whole place look good after everything has been crammed inside. Although there are many tips that you can follow to be able to deal with all the possible difficulties, it’s best to keep in mind that not all compact homes are made the same.

Here are some basic things to consider when you’re arranging furniture in your small space:  

1. Don't crowd your entryway. 

To avoid making your small home feel too crowded, avoid placing furniture near your entryway. It is incredibly uninviting when you open your front door, only to be greeted by a sofa or a dining set. This immediately sends signals that there is absolutely no room to move around.

If your space is that limited, just ensure that you place heavy objects or large furniture pieces far away from your front door as possible. By removing large objects from blocking your view, your eyes are able to scan the expanse of your space when you walk in. 

2. Arrange pieces by function. 

In small homes, creating a separation between the living and sleeping areas can work wonders. Try placing the sofa and the bed on opposite walls so you're home won't feel like a box. 

This trick helps define the two spaces, and eliminates the cramped feeling that comes from sitting on a sofa that's right next to the head of your bed. It also gives you a lot more freedom when it comes to decorating the free space with interesting pieces. 

3. Consider the movement around your space.

What’s the sense of making your home look nice if you can’t move around? Making sure there is an easy flow through your home is still the best way to make it feel less confined.

If you’re bumping into table corners or decor, then you might want to reconsider your arrangement. Visualize how you would move around the space, and possibly how others would, to see how you can best arrange everything. 

4. Try placing furniture away from the walls.

When you have a small space, it just makes sense to push all your furniture against the walls so you can have more room to move around.


What most people don’t know is that this actually gives the appearance of a tighter space because you immediately see where the room starts and where it ends. If you leave just a little bit of room behind a sofa or have your accent chairs away from the walls, your eyes get a sense that the space is roomy and airy. 

5. Incorporate storage into the decor. 

It's essential to maximize storage in a small space but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice beauty. Don't be afraid to modify storage bins, boxes, baskets or furnishings to make it more visually appealing—arrange it around furniture pieces as if you meant to put it there for aesthetic purposes instead of function. 

For example, you can use wall-mounted wooden crates or old filing cabinets to build a fabulous vintage look for your living space while creating lots of room to store your everyday must-haves. 

6. Push for balance. 

Do your best to distribute the visual weight of everything when you’re arranging your furniture. You don’t want one side of a room to look and feel heavier than the other. 

Although this may be difficult in limited spaces, you can make substitutes for when everything just won’t fit. Think about it this way—if you can’t place another accent chair, why not go for an ottoman? Achieving balance gives your space an organized look.

This story is based on a previously published article last May 2015.

More on

5 No-Fail Solutions For Small Living Areas

5 Compact Furniture Pieces For Small Spaces

Space-Saving Furniture Ideas for Tiny Homes


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