How to Define a Space Using Your Furniture


Alyssa Arnelle

Do you have one room in your house that’s randomly filled with furnishings because you have no idea what to make out of the room? Do you have more furniture than space or more space than furniture with nothing clearly defined? Well, there are many ways to create different spaces in a home and I’ll guide you through the process with some very creative design tips.

I’ll first tell you what it means to define a space and then give you some practical applications to put these design tips into good use.

“Defining your space” means creating “invisible” boundaries that act as walls around an area. It’s really not “invisible” because the space, when composed correctly, is very clear to see. It’s the “walls” that are invisible. For example, imagine a furniture show room. It’s all one big room with minimal walls yet, each “room” or setting is very easy to see.

Take that same idea and apply it to your home. Sure they use partitions, which are not very portable but there are plenty of other furnishings that you can use that are very portable just like they do.

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Here’s an easy way to make a space. Choose a particular spot in your room and designate it as “center” and make sure to provide enough room for furnishings. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the center of the room, just the center of the space you want to create. Once you do so, position your furnishings around that point so they all face toward that “center” you chose. When done properly, everything will be in relation to each other and the center point.

You can place your furniture in a structured grid pattern, in a curved radial pattern, and even in a free-formed cluster pattern. As long as the furniture somehow relates to the center point you chose, you have created your new space correctly.

How to Use Furniture to Create Social Environments

The furniture and how it’s placed in your space is what gives your area shape and definition. To establish a social environment, group your furniture in sets of two or three or more, depending on your needs for the space. Angle the pieces at around 90 degrees as this makes a very comfortable place to socialize. For example, arrange your sofa and chair(s) or loveseat in an L-shape or U-shape configuration. You will now see that the backs of the furniture are the borders of the space.

Adding occasional tables for your functionality needs can be done as well. To create a height boundary, add table or floor lamps or plants. You can also use a wall hanging or window for this purpose if your space is near a wall.

Using an area rug in your space will lay out the perimeter as well. With the many shapes of rugs to choose from, you don’t always need to go square. But if you choose to use a rectangular rug, you can skew it to break up any monotony. Same goes for any piece of furniture in your space. So if you want something original, try putting one piece of furniture “out of place” (so to say.)

Using Furniture to Create Intimate Settings

How you place your furniture in an intimate setting is different than how you would in a social scene. You can use less furniture since this space will only to used by one or two people at a time. To create this intimate scene, place furniture in pairs.

For a setting for two, you can use two chairs and a small end table between. You can place this setting by a window, fireplace or other place of interest. Angling these pieces again at around 90 degree angles will make a very cozy environment.

For a single setting, you can use a chaise lounge or a chair and a small table for a lamp, picture frame or book. This again can be placed by any place of interest, i.e. outside on your patio or by a window in a sitting room. As long as the two pieces chosen are grouped next to each other, your cozy space will be clearly defined.

Again for this intimate space, you can use an area rug to create the outline on the floor. For a setting for two, use a square or round rug but remember to rotate the square rug for more creative flow. For the single setting, use a runner parallel to your chaise lounge or even a mat under the table or in front of the chair you choose.

Now you can see how easy it is to define a space with furniture, no matter what size room you have to work with. Keep these great design tips in mind and try a few the next time you want to change up your furniture arrangements.

Author Alyssa Arnelle is a practicing Designer with a background in Interior Design. Her goal is to provide excellent home decorating ideas that are easy and effective. Visit

for many ideas to beautify your home.

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How to Define a Space Using Your Furniture


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