It may seem like a natural process for some but space planning can be difficult for many people. If you are moving in to a new space or just rearranging a room, there are steps you can take to make the process less confusing.
The first step will be to realize the function of the room. Is it a formal sitting room with no real function other then to simply relax and visit with friends or is it a hang out room for great movie watching? Does it serve more than one function? Some rooms need be good for a family gathering area but also need to include a computer desk for work. Realizing the function will help you decide what pieces you need to incorporate in the room to make the functions possible.
After deciding what absolutely need to be in the room, choose a focal point. A focal point is what your eye is most drawn to in a room. A focal point can be an architectural feature of a room or may be the television, if that is the main function of the room. A focal point may also need to be created if there is not an obvious one. Here are some examples of focal points.
In this room the focal point it mandated by the architecture. A fireplace will almost always be the natural focal point. It could be a secondary focal point if this room were to have and entertainment center on another wall. In this room they have enhanced the focal point with prints, accessories and in the way the chairs are arranged around the focal point.
The focal point in this room is easy to find. This room did not have a natural focal point so one was created by using an interesting shape and a color that really adds a punch to the room.
Focal points can also be created with your furniture. Selecting a color that pops or using and interesting texture will draw your eye to your furniture. In a bedroom, the bed will almost always be the focal point.
If the focal point requires the furniture to be arranged around it, start with that. For example most families want the bulk of their furniture to face the TV for optimal viewing.
It is helpful to locate traffic pattern before placing your furniture. Remember that you will need a minimum of 3 feet for any main flow of traffic. Some rooms are called dead end rooms like in example 1; others may have more than one traffic pattern like in example 2.
After the large items have been place you can start filling in with the smaller items.