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Furniture Placement Around Windows and Doors

Welcome to part four of small space living! Living in a smaller home can be cozy, but comes with challenges with things like living room furniture arrangement and keeping a good traffic flow in a room. Open concept can be a challenge and so can seating arrangement in windows and doors are oddly placed. You sometimes have to use a lot of creativity with furniture layout. This is a four part series,  You can start the first day here where we talk about how we use our spaces.

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!

Black wall living room with wood fireplace surround and plants

There are many creative 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. Though, 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

Living room before real estate staging
Boho inspired small house living room

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

In this image from BHG it can 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. 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 many times sectionals work better in a room that is more a a rectangle for increased seating for that cozy living room feel.

Leather couch in living room makeover light white curtains

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

 By pulling the two settees into the middle of the room from Style at Home for the room’s layout onto the rug, it makes it feel cozy and useful and creates a focal point of the fireplace. It also creates a conversation zone.

Living room with floating couches
Great ideas for a smaller room

The couch is in front of a window in this image from Birch Lane image, but pulled out slightly and away from the windows to be the room’s focal paint…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

4 club armchairs are a great option for arranging living room furniture in an adult setting in this image from BHG. It creates a nice conversational space for a living room layout. And the fireplace and mantel decor becomes the room’s focal point.

furniture arrangement in small space living

Here is a great image with a sofa and chair from HGTV with a great use of floor space. Furniture pulled from the walls and angled furniture. A  loveseat could go where the stadium seat are placed in front of windows, but it would block the door, and I do love the addition of the way the stadium chairs look. 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 from BHG is great too because it shows  that a large ottoman could also be used as extra seating or storage.

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. πŸ™‚

    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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