The Top 3 Ways to Layout a Room Using Zones


Today I want to share with you how to get the most out of the space you have by creating a layout using “zones.” I’m sure you’ve heard many times before that you shouldn’t push all your furniture up against the walls of your room. Easier said than done. It seems almost natural to want to capitalize on all that space—bigger is better, after all, right? While a big, open room is nice to have, it isn’t always the best use of your space, for two reasons.

#1: Arranging all your furniture on the perimeter makes a room seem emptier than it actually is. Unless you’re practicing wrestling or gymnastics, you don’t need to have vast expanses of space in the middle of the room. Bring it in, be close to your people, have a conversation. Not only will this help to fill in your room, but it will also allow the outlying areas of the room breathe. It may seem counter-intuitive, but arranging all the furniture on the edge of the room can actually create a claustrophobic feeling in the space. Instead of lining everything up, allow some wall space without anything on it. Those blank spaces act as breaks for the eye, allowing you to draw people’s focus to certain areas of the room.


#2: Having furniture lined up around the room makes interacting more difficult; moving it away from your walls will allow different “zones” to be created. These zones are where the magic happens in a room. Have you ever noticed how you could have a giant couch that could easily seat 8 people, but maybe only 5 people will sit on it? This is because most adults don’t want to be sitting right next to someone else. When you create seating zones within a room, you allow people to have the personal space they want, but still have good interaction with each other.


Zones can mean different things within a room too. In the basement I’m sharing here, there are several different possibilities with the arrangement of the room. There is a distinct space for watching television; the tall sofa table will allow for extra seating to watch t.v., be used as a workspace, or people can turn around on the stools and interact with the seating area behind; and the separate area in the back functions as a quieter space for people trying to have a conversation while louder activities are happening in the front of the room.


The ultimate benefit of creating zones within your room is that you’re making a space where multiple people + activities can be present, all while interacting with each other.  Also, you’re allowing the most benefit to come from your space and encouraging more people to use it because you’ve provided several different areas to serve varied needs. Growing up, my house was always where people came to hang out. It wasn’t a big house by any means, but it was warm, cozy, and inviting. The main level of the house functioned as a “great room,” before those were really a thing. My mom would cook dinner, my sister and I would sit at the counter and watch or do homework at the dining table, and my dad would be watching t.v.  We all had different activities we were working on, but we could still be in the same room because there were a variety of zones that connected us.


My favorite “zone” in this basement project is where I used a gorgeously-chippy antique bench. I created a ‘welcome area’ for the space, as well as, a little more seating. The more places folks can sit and be comfortable, the better!

If you try your hand at creating zones in one of your rooms, I’d love for you to share—tag  H.Prall and Co. on Facebook or @hprallandco on Instagram!