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Small space living pt.4-furniture placement around windows and doors

Welcome to part four of small space living! You can start the first day here.

small space living part four

One of the challenges of living in a smaller home is finding ways for  furniture placement around windows and doors, and either the lack of electrical outlets, or outlets in the wrong place.

According to the National association of home builders, in a house that is less than 2,000 square feet, the average living room is 256 square feet. My home is 1,100 square feet and my living room is 15 x 11. I am a  bit below average by almost 100 square feet… as many of us are!

But,there are solutions for living in a smaller home and getting all of your furniture in!

The first thing is to live by the tape measure and really see what fits and doesn’t. A 9 foot sofa just isn’t going to leave much room in a 9 foot room to actually walk around.

But, sometimes were are jut stuck with the space we have, the furniture we have and have to work with it!

But there are a few things that you can do to help maximize your furniture placement, make your space look visually more appealing, and work around those things like pesky doors and windows.

A.Angle your furniture

B.Slightly pull it away (forward) from a door or window

C.Use chairs in place of a love seat

Boho inspired small house living room

1. However, you can cheat space by angling furniture and pulling it away from the walls. Just because we are in a small square/rectangle room doesn’t mean we have to have everything line the walls. In fact, having angled furniture can make a room look more visually interesting to the eye.

Angling furniture is one way to cheat some space


Not only can it make use of a dead corner, but it can give us a bit of hidden storage space behind it. I noticed those baskets which make great extra storage!

The easiest furniture items to angle are chairs. And it can make a window that is smack dab in the middle of a room not such an obstacle.

Couches can also be angled, but work better in a room that is more a a rectangle.

Angled chairs at Sothern hospitality blog


For instance, in this picture,it could make sense to put the chair at a right angle to the couch, however a window in that space makes it a hard placement.

2. But, by pulling the furniture slightly away from doors and windows in the below picture, angling the chair just to the side of the window and putting  a small table underneath actually opens up the room a little.

Angled chairs-furniture placement for smaller rooms


 It would be awkward if it was straight on, but by slightly pulling them forward turning them in slightly towards each other, it gives room to move into the room behind the chair.Living room before real estate staging

What I like about this image below  is it has a lot of great ideas for a smaller room.

Great ideas for a smaller room


The couch is in front of a window, but pulled out slightly and there is a really useful storage trunk!

Vintage mcm chairs in boho mid-winter living room

3. Ditch the loveseat with your couch and use two chairs instead.

There is nothing wrong with loveseats. I have one I love, but when you are talking about seating in a smaller room they aren’t as versatile, that’s all.

It sounds weird., but let me put it to you this way. You go to a friends house. They invite 5  friends over. You don’t know any one. There is a couch that 3 people sit on, then a loveseat. It’s you and some guy you don’t know.  Do you want to awkwardly sit elbow to elbow with some one you don’t really know?Do you sit on the floor? Now picture the same scenario with 2 chairs instead which take up just as much space… Exactly. Chairs are much more space-friendly in  a small room and much more guest-friendly.

So if you are thinking about a furniture revamp for space, it’s something to consider.

space friendly chairs


Though I wouldn’t necessarily do all chairs because now you are limited to only seating 4 people,total.

Here is a great image with a sofa and chair.

furniture arrangement in small space living


Furniture pulled from the walls and angled furniture.A  loveseat could go where the stadium seat are, but it would block the door, Another chair actually could fit in that same space with out blocking anything.

Small home your, Make your basement family room cozy and welcoming

 This one is great too because it shows  that an ottoman could also be used as extra seating.


Unless we custom build a home, we kind of have to work with what we have, windows and doorways don’t necessarily have to be so intimidating , we just need to use a few simple tricks to make it work!

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  1. Our living room (the only living space we have) has 4 windows, 3 doorways and a fireplace, and it’s 15 x 12! Add to that the fact that there are 7 people living here – so we need at least 7 seats and can you say trouble area? I’ve moved the furniture around so many times I can’t remember. I actually have 7 seats in there right now (a sofa and 4 chairs), but it’s so very crowded and cluttered looking. I was going to try slipcovering everything so it at least looks uniform, but I’m not looking forward to slipcovering a sleeper sofa. 🙂

    Thanks again for this series. It’s so nice to read a design blog by someone else who actually lives in a small house. You get it, you’ve lived with the problems, and you’ve conquered them. That’s what I call inspirational.

    1. That’s hard when you lose a wall to a fireplace even though they are nice to have. i say go for a large blanket instead of a slipcover!

  2. Thank you so much for this series, it has given me some good ideas. I downsized from a large 4 bedroom house to a small “duet” with two bedrooms and one living space…few closets, lots of windows and doors and all the rooms are small. My main problem is avoiding the heating/ac vents in the floors under the windows. It seems right where I want to put something is where it would block the air flow. Most of my furniture is large too and just doesn’t fit in these smaller areas…but you have given me some new ways of looking at them. Thanks again.

    1. We actually bought soemthing on line that is like a tunnel that fits under your furniture and redirects the airflow. Those might be a good option for you.

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