So many people absolutely LOVE open floor plans, yet it’s not always the easiest task to figure out how to layout furniture. Especially when the space isn’t huge. In this post, I’m sharing how I’m tackling the layout for my new duplex.
Trying to conceptualize where to layout furniture in an open floor plan before being in a space can be a daunting task. In my case, my new apartment (half of a duplex) is under construction so I’m not living in there. That makes taking measurements and really getting a firm feel for the flow more challenging, but NOT impossible.
Here are some simple rules of thumb that you can use when you need to figure out where to layout your furniture with an open floor plan.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
First, don’t guess … get the measurments
If you know you won’t have ready access to your new open floor plan then be prepared to take measurements when you DO have access. Carry a tape measurer or even better, get a copy of the floor plan.
My new landlord was nice enough to supply me with this floor plan with all the measurements I need for the first floor.
Keep to the minimum for an open layout
As time goes by, we end up packing in more and more into space. With an open floor plan where EVERYTHING is visible from EVERYWHERE, it’s crucial to keep your furniture pieces to a minimum. Especially initially as you’re getting used to your new open layout. It’s also not so bad on the budget to just get the essentials, so win-win!
As you’re considering what to buy, consider these points:
- Keep flow and movement around the space. Ideally, that means at least 3 feet around everything although some flexibility depending on the location is possible.
- Use furniture to create “rooms” within your open floor plan.
- Leave room to add to the space as you live in it.
- Round pieces vs. rectangles and squares encourage flow and movement in an open floor plan.
- Allow some pieces to float in the room. They don’t need to be anchored to the walls.
Here is how I decided to use these points above as I went furniture shopping. I had the general open layout drawn so I knew exactly what I wanted to buy, which was:
- 8′ x 10′ Area Rug
- Console Table
- Dining Room Table
- Storage Cabinet
The things I’m holding off on include:
- Accent Chair
- Accent Tables
- TV Stand (I may be able to use one that I have)
- Cocktail Table
I want to live in the space and see how the open floor plan flows with the furniture I’ve selected so far before I decide if I need to add these pieces. Now let’s see my haul! Yay, this is the fun part.
Order furniture early, for open floor plan or not
To say I was shocked is an understatement when I discovered how much lead time is needed for a furniture order. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a newbie to buying new furniture but I’m not buying anything custom so I thought it would be able to come in plenty of time for my 3-4 week window. WRONG! COVID is also using its nasty hand to delay things. Arghhh.
So here’s a word to the wise: Order early. The furniture stores will usually hold pieces for a reasonable amount of time if you aren’t ready for them when they do arrive. Since my move was completely unplanned (I’ve finally stopped crying, well for today anyway, lol) I’m kind of at their mercy. But if you know you’re buying pieces for your new open layout nest, ORDER EARLY!
First find … the couch of my dreams
The first piece that I saw and loved instantly was a tufted couch. Sometimes a tufted couch can be uncomfortable and stiff but this one is totally comfy. Just wait until I add some of my throw pillows and a throw blanket. Perfection!
Unfortunately, this has the longest lead time but the salesperson, Kris, said he’s going to call to see if he can get it moved up since I’ll be basically sitting on the floor (haha) or at very least, see if they can get me a loaner until it arrives. And if you’re wondering, YES this is the color I ordered it in and YES I’m going to be figuring out pet hair as I go! Ugh, right?!
next up took a little more convincing
I went into the dining room table section and really didn’t see anything that caught my eye initially. There was a round table that I liked for its scale but the color wasn’t perfect and the chairs are upholstered. They kind of make me think of the chairs in a conference room that I used to do closing paperwork when I was a Real Estate Broker.
So I wandered and looked at prices. Chairs are extra and really add up. I came back to this round table and sat down in one of the chairs. They’re surprisingly comfortable.
After examining the table a bit more, I got used to the color and I like the lines of the base. Then the kicker … it was a discontinued floor model and the table and chairs were all one great price. DONE! SOLD! WRAP ‘ER UP!
Just to be sure, we took a chair over to the couch, since they’re in view of each other, and the colors work great together.
It’s also big enough so if I do have more people over to eat than the 4 chairs that come with it, I can pull up extra seating easily.
I also have a farm table, you’ve seen it in a few posts (How to Create a Fall Table Decor to Impress! and How to Make a Simple Christmas Table Set) that I don’t have room for in this place. I love that table so as soon as I’m out of a rental, I’ll be able to use my beloved farm table and then this round will be handy to have in a secondary area or for client meetings once I start taking more custom projects (yes, that’s coming so let me know if you want my input).
Third pick was tricky and had to be transitional
Knowing that I don’t want to buy any coffee tables or a cocktail table yet, I had determined that a console table behind my couch will be the place to set drinks when I’m binging Netflix, reading, or entertaining. The challenge is that the wood feet on the couch are different than the color of the table.
Don’t read this as a bad thing. Right now, we don’t want matchy-matchy pieces, yet they do need to be cohesive especially with an open floor plan.
The answer came from nature. I choose a live-edge console table that shows the crosscut of a tree allowing for the colors of the grains to shine through. Perfect to tie the two pieces together and, in my book, adding a little bit of a natural element is a HIT!
As a bonus, it’s price was WAY down so I win there too! Yay for my budget!
the last pick of the day … a cabinet
So here’s the lowdown of my purchases:
- A velvet tufted couch that blends traditional with a touch of glam.
- A round table with upholstered chairs that will look commercial if not handled properly.
- A live-edge console table that is an unexpected juxtaposition (I love that word) to the other two pieces.
So my question was, what do I get in terms of a storage cabinet. Believe it or not, I found it in the clearance room. That almost NEVER happens to me so I’m kind of proud of this fact. Ali is a bargain shopper! (or at least in this one case)
I found hidden in the back, a vintage cabinet with a glass-enclosed top and open shelving on the bottom. It looks like I found it at a flea market and will be another conversation piece that fits in but doesn’t “match” too much that my open floor plan looks like a showroom floor.
I even negotiated Kris down a bit on price (I hope he doesn’t get in trouble) since it was obviously just holding pillows and wasn’t really on display anymore. It was just waiting for me!
Oh, and this wasn’t planned
As Kris was writing up my pieces I was flipping through carpets. I had absolutely no intention of buying one at this furniture store. I actually love finding area rugs at Homegoods because they usually have some unexpected finds for great prices. Yet as I was flipping through, three caught my eye.
After learning the prices, I found that one was priced just as reasonably as I would find at Homegoods PLUS they’ll deliver it for me. Yay. It’s hard to see the pattern from this small square but it does have a pattern to it that is really subtle and includes many of the hues that I’m using in the room.
great pieces for an open floor plan
In addition, I have some puffs that are super easy to move around and I’ll be making lots of throw pillows (I know, you’re so surprised, right!?). I also have two chairs and two small side tables that I’m painting and re-doing the cushions so those pieces may end up on this floor but I don’t know yet.
There will also be, of course, a TV. Being newly single and living in an uber small town, I’m guessing I’ll have plenty of nights curled up binging and watching a show that I get to choose all on my own (that’s a perk). Not sure if I’ll mount the TV or use a piece I have as a stand (that might also look great in my bedroom) so you’ll just have to keep up with my posts to see how it all works out.
Do you like what I picked out for my open floor plan?
If you like what I picked out and want to see if you can get something similar for yourself, here are a few options that are inspired by my choices above:
If you want to see more ideas about decorating, check out these posts:
- How to Use Scandinavian Decor as Holiday Table Inspiration
- 5 Key Strategies for Decorating in Any Style
- Family Room Takes a New Look at Arts & Crafts
Still, want to see more? I have your back. Check out ASC’s Pinterest Boards, where there are always new pins happening! In fact, better yet, follow ASC on Pinterest so you know when I add more to my boards (I find great pins!).
Do you have a question or a suggestion? No problem! Email me with all of it and I’m happy to respond.
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Have a fantastic week! Namaste,