Whether you’re moving into a new home or just looking to refresh your space, figuring out how to arrange a room with sliding doors can be a decorating puzzle. But with some planning and a few layout tips, those beautiful sliding doors that connect your indoor and outdoor living areas can become a stylish centerpiece.
Let’s walk through how to place furniture in rooms with sliding patio doors, glass doors, or even interior sliding doors. With ideas for both small and large spaces, maximizing views, creating flow, and more, you’ll be ready to transform the way your room functions. Arrange wisely and soon you’ll have a welcoming, livable layout focused around those versatile sliding entryways.
Take Stock of Your Room’s Size and Usage
Before plotting out where to place every piece, step back and assess the room’s existing dimensions and functions. Evaluating the size and purpose of the space before diving into furniture arrangement is key for optimizing the layout.
Grab your tape measure and sketch out a basic floor plan indicating the sliding doors, windows, built-in architectural elements, electrical outlets, and any other permanent details. Having this bird’s-eye view makes it easier to visualize furniture placement. Don’t forget to measure and mark any existing walkways or entry points too.
Then consider how you intend to use the space. In your living room, will it be an entertainment zone with a TV for family movie nights or a quiet reading nook? For bedrooms, identify what activities need to happen there and how much floor space those require. Activities dictate the furniture pieces needed, so list must-haves like seating, beds, entertainment centers, and desks before mapping their positions.
Cut cardboard templates or use a home design app to indicate the footprints of essential furnishings. Move these outlines around on your floorplan to experiment with different arrangements. This lets you test options risk-free before committing to a layout. Evaluate if each furniture constellation leaves enough open floor space for necessary activities and routes throughout the room. Accessibility and traffic flow are top priorities for rooms with sliding entryways, so mark these clearly on your sketches.
Making the Most of Small Square Footage
For bijou spaces, sliding doors can be a blessing and a curse. While they don’t require clearance for swinging open, they still need access space in front of them for use. When dealing with a pint-sized room, a few adjustments help maximize every inch:
- Stick to just the essential seating pieces, like a sofa or loveseat plus one or two chairs. Multiple seating zones just gobble up precious real estate in a small room.
- Position the main sofa facing the sliding doors or perpendicular to them rather than at an angle. Angled furniture is a shortcut to eating up floor space.
- Place the television, media console, bookshelves, or other entertainment unit against the wall adjacent to the sliding doors. This utilizes the necessary access space efficiently.
- If the view outside the sliding doors is lackluster, consider hanging a lightweight curtain or placing a folding screen over them. This transforms the doors into usable wall space for positioning more furniture.
Getting creative with compact furniture shapes, like nesting tables and convertible ottomans with hidden storage, also helps maximize every inch in a pint-sized space with sliding doors.
Creating Defined Zones in Open Floor Plans
For more spacious rooms, those fabulous sliding doors present the opposite challenge: all that open floor space can be overwhelming! Without partitions, it’s tricky defining specific functional zones within a cavernous open area.
Luckily, sliding doors naturally lend themselves to carving out individual activity pockets connected by open walkways. Here are some tips for dividing and conquering an open floor plan:
- Treat the space in front of the sliding doors as a main traffic lane or passageway between zones. Float furniture perpendicular to this pathway to designate one area from another.
- Capitalize on any existing architectural features to anchor different functional areas. For example, build a media zone around the television and a conversation circle around a fireplace.
- Incorporate versatile, modular seating pieces, like ottomans and nesting tables. These make it easy to rearrange configurations for seasonal changes or special events.
With smart furniture placement and a little creativity, you can craft multiple inviting spaces perfect for different occasions, even in a sweeping single room.
Direct All Eyes Toward the View
When those sliding doors provide a jaw-dropping outdoor panorama, transform them into a dramatic focal feature by arranging your furniture to fully spotlight the view. Since the vista outside the glass will be the star of the show, consider omitting a television or placing it in another room to avoid competing focal points.
Angle the primary seating to face the sliding doors head-on. Complementary accent chairs can be tucked perpendicular to the main sofa or clustered around a central coffee table. Float all pieces slightly away from the surrounding walls to enable easy circulation from every seat.
In a bedroom, position the head of the bed directly across from the sliding doors to ensure you wake up to that inspiring outlook every morning. Shift nightstands, dressers, and additional furniture to the adjacent walls so the doors take center stage.
Drawing the eye towards the doors and what lies beyond them further amplifies the view as your focal point. Try framing the doors with floor-length curtains, low planter boxes, or cascading wall art. The goal is directing every glance to that breathtaking exterior panorama.
Other Ways to Emphasize the View
A few simple upgrades emphasize the views from your sliding patio or garden doors even further:
- Select glass or lucite furniture, like a coffee table or open etagere bookcase. These see-through pieces don’t obstruct the outlook, keeping it the focus.
- Hang mirror panels around the room to visually expand the space while reflecting and multiplying the lovely vistas.
- Incorporate blue and green accents in your wall paint, pillows and decor which connect to colors found in appealing outdoor scenery.
Your sliding doors offer the ultimate tap-in to gorgeous outdoor views. With strategic interior design choices, you can infuse any room with the beauty of nature found right outside.
Blurring the Lines Between Indoors and Out
Another approach for spotlighting a sensational sliding door view entails extending your interior decor to your exterior spaces. By transforming your patio, porch or deck into an extension of the living room, you can immerse yourself in the view from both sides of the glass.
Some ideas to blend indoor and outdoor areas include:
- Arrange matching patio seating in front of the doors to make your deck an al fresco family room.
- Integrate weatherproof accent pieces like planters, sculptures and lanterns to add interest right outside the sliding doors.
- Install screens or movable glass walls that fully retract, opening the room to fresh air and your fabulous view.
When interior and exterior design details mirror each other, visitors will want to flow seamlessly between your indoor room and the outdoors through those handsome sliding doors.
De-Emphasize Doors with Just OK Views
Not every sliding door showcases an awe-inspiring panorama, though. If your sliders simply provide some extra light or quick backyard access, don’t worry! You can still downplay ho-hum sliding doors in your layout.
The key in these situations is drawing attention towards more attractive focal points in the space, like a stately fireplace or large picture window. Arrange the seating area around your preferred alternative focal point rather than the sliding doors.
In a living room, position the main sofa facing the superior focal feature. Set complementary accent seating at an angle that encourages conversation between pieces while also enjoying the preferred view. Don’t be afraid to float furniture away from the walls surrounding the sliding doors to diminish their prominence.
Conversely, hiding sliding doors fully behind furnishings like a console table or desk is generally a no-go since this blocks their functionality. But installing unobtrusive window coverings like breezy curtains or bamboo shades can subtly mute their presence when closed.
When deprioritizing sliding doors, experiment with furniture configurations to find a layout centered on your room’s most pleasing elements. The doors still enable convenient access outside without stealing the spotlight.
Smart Living Room Layouts
Here are some living room layout solutions for downplaying average sliding doors:
- Position the sofa facing the fireplace as the anchor, then angle side chairs toward the warmth of the fire and the view outdoors.
- Float the couch centered in the room to enclosure the space and reduce emphasis on the perimeter walls hosting the doors. Angle surrounding seats inward.
- Place a compact desk or console table directly in front of the sliding doors to obscure them. Float additional seating toward the opposite wall.
Bedrooms That Diminish Lackluster Doors
For bedrooms anchored by sliding doors with no view, a few adjustments make the doors fade into the background:
- Situate the bed on a perpendicular wall to the sliders, but leave a route to access them.
- Add window treatments in a solid, light-blocking material or blackout shade to minimize their presence.
- Mount a large piece of artwork or wallpaper mural on the wall directly across from the bed. This becomes the new focal point.
- Arrange a tall bookcase, room divider screen, or floating shelves perpendicular to the doors to hide them when closed.
With the right positioning of furnishings and decor, sliding doors with marginal views won’t detract from the rest of your gorgeous bedroom retreat.
Prioritizing Accessibility and Flow
Regardless of whether you want to highlight or downplay sliding doors in a space, ensuring good traffic flow and accessibility should take top priority in any layout. Leave ample clearance in front of the doors – at least 24 to 30 inches – so they can be opened easily without squeezing behind furniture.
Identify key circulation routes through the room and to exits that will see the most foot traffic. Float furniture out of high-traffic zones and use area rugs to define walkways instead of blocking them. Position seats at an angle rather than flat against walls to keep passageways open.
Look for chances to multitask circulation spaces by placing storage benches, console tables and drop zones for keys and mail in transitional areas. This way, high-traffic patterns in your home also support organization.
The area immediately around any entryway, including sliding door access points, merits special consideration:
- Console tables provide a perfect landing spot to toss keys, sunglasses and handbags when entering a home.
- Coat hooks, racks and benches make it easy to drop outerwear when coming inside without cluttering up space.
- A mirror near the entry lets you give yourself a final check before heading out the door to greet the world.
- Shoe storage like a cabinet, rack or cubby bench corals messy piles of footwear.
By turning the high-traffic zone in front of sliding doors into a functional mudroom, you create order instead of clutter.
Defining Clear-Cut Traffic Lanes
For wide open floor plans, thoughtfully plotting traffic patterns is essential. Here are some tips:
- Map out major walkways through the space connecting seating zones and exits. Mark these clearly on your room sketch.
- Arrange furniture seating areas perpendicular to these main circulation routes so the paths remain open.
- Float pieces like side tables and ottomans away from sofas and chairs to maintain adequate clearance between furniture.
- Use distinctive area rugs or changes in floor materials to demarcate pedestrian highways without closing them off completely.
Building awareness of traffic patterns into your layout keeps the room accessible and welcoming instead of like an obstacle course.
Start Arranging Your Room Around Sliding Doors
Ready to start transforming your room with stylish sliding door decor? By tailoring your layout to your unique space, view, and lifestyle, those doors can become a stylish centerpiece. Remember to:
- Evaluate the room’s size and functions to pick ideal furniture. In small spaces, stick to minimal multipurpose pieces.
- Make the most of magnificent views outside glass sliders. Angle furniture inward to focus on the outdoors.
- Downplay average sliding door views using alternative focal points and strategic furniture placement.
- Maintain walkways and circulation room around doors, even if hiding them.
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to arrange an Instagram-worthy space centered around your sliding doors! Feel free to get creative with furniture placement and decorative details to develop a layout that’s just right for your home and family. Happy arranging!