The Secret To A Successful Home Decor Traffic Pattern

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A great way to ensure your home is open to happy vibes is to create a successful traffic flow throughout your rooms. You may be asking what exactly is traffic flow and why on earth does it matter. Traffic flow refers to the way rooms allow people to move around the room. This movement can change how we feel in the space. When rooms are cramped, full of furniture, or contains furniture that isn't placed well it can leave us with an uneasy anxious feeling. Taking a better look at your home decor traffic patterns will help you to have a happier home. 

The benefits of a happy home decor traffic pattern

  • looks good

  • works better

  • easier to maintain

  • will make you happier

Unhappiness can happen with bad home decor traffic patterns

  • Bowling alley effect

  • overcrowded or too much furniture

  • doesn't function well

  • hard to move around in


The bowling alley effect as I like to call it typically happens when we create what looks like a bowling alley in the room. Okay, what am I talking about what is the bowling alley effect? Um, basically this is when we take our furniture, and we line the walls with all of our furniture. When we do this, it creates a hollow feeling right in the middle of the room. When this bowling alley effect happens it will cause us to just walk straight through the room.  You don't really, appreciate what's in the room because it's almost like you have blinders on and you're just kind of walking straight through and you're not really paying attention to the surrounding.

When bad flow happens it shows up as if the energy is stuck and it's not moving around the room. This can be caused by too much furniture in the room, which is caused when our room is totally crowded with furniture or the furniture blocks access to several of the areas around the room. Imagine having a bookcase and you can't get to it because there's a piece of furniture in the way.

What we want to do is to create a healthy flow and get the energy flowing throughout the room. So how do we go about creating a healthy flow throughout the room? When you think about the bowling alley effect you're thinking of straight lines all your furniture is kind of lined up around the room. But when we want to create a happy flow around the room we will have a more flowing pattern where we're going to be able to walk around different areas of the room.

The Goal:

  • multiple routes through space

  • no blocking windows

  • no blocking doors

  • curve throughout the room

  • able to reach all the corners

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You should be able to curve yourselves through the room from piece to piece, and you should be able to reach all the corners in the room. Now that doesn't mean every single corner, because sometimes you may have a table, that may be blocking the actual corner area, but we want to be able to at least get to the table in the corner. What we don't want is furniture double stacked or to be blocking other pieces that can actually be behind it.

Your goal here is to create multiple traffic patterns multiple routes throughout the room, especially if you have more than one doorway. Now, if you're wondering how to identify those home decor traffic patterns easily you can look at your flooring. If you have carpet an easy way to spot traffic patterns is to look for a worn carpet. Think about how you come in and out of the room. What routes do you take most frequently? These traffic patterns show up around your sofa, back and forth through your doorways, back and forth to your bathrooms, down your hallways, and around your bed back.

We want traffic flow to happen without being blocked by other pieces of furniture. The other thing we don't want to do when we're creating these traffic patterns is blocked your doors and you definitely don't want to block your windows. Now I know you can go over and flip on Pinterest and you will see lots of beds posted right smack dab in front of a window. But I would encourage you to avoid placing your furniture in front of them if at all possible. 

If it's truly the only place you have to place your sofa your bed, and you feel as though you must place it in front of the window. I would say, then you have to. However, I am a big advocate of making sure whenever you must place items in front of the doors or windows makes sure they are easily movable.

You don't want to create a fire hazard. If your house were to catch on fire and you were stuck in the room you need to think about -can I get out of this room, easily? That's why I never block windows with big heavy pieces of furniture, ever. It is a safety issue, it's a practical issue it's not about being beautiful at this moment, it's about being safe.

Now, with that being said, I'm going to say - all homes are different. So, your traffic patterns aren't going to be the same as everybody else's. There are truly some awkward spaces out there. There are lots of L shaped rooms that can get kind of complicated on how exactly you're needing to lay out your furniture, and there's a lot of small spaces.

When you have those small spaces, what do you do?  Don't panic! There are some simple rules to help you create this traffic flow in the room.

Bedroom home decor traffic pattern

The easy way to make sure you have a good traffic flow in the bedroom is to make sure the bed is running perpendicular to the walls. You want a bed in a place where you can reach the nightstands, and walk around the bed freely from side to side. There are some rooms that are small and some beds that are big and so you may have no other option than to push the bed against the wall. When this happens you just want to make sure you are creating as much easy flow as possible so you can reach all areas of the room. 

Living room home decor traffic pattern

In the living room, we want to make sure again we are not creating the bowling alley effect. Pull your furniture out from the walls. You may even be able to create another wall with the sofa. This is a great way to divide up a large space or to create an invisible wall. 

One of the things you want you to try to avoid is what I call pack rat syndrome. We don't want the room packed full of furniture you can't move through the room. This may require you to actually get rid a couple of pieces of furniture, consider what you really need and what maybe you don't have the have in the space.  If you have furniture blocking traffic flow then get rid of it or if you have furniture sitting in front of other furniture pieces then its time to throw out a few things.

Create home decor flow in the dining room

Moving on to the dining room, make sure your dining table isn't touching any of the walls. You want your company can walk all the way around the table, freely and ensure the chairs can be pulled out without hitting the walls. This may require some crafty measuring to make sure you're getting the right size table for the space you're using. Check that you're not running into other pieces of furniture that could be behind the table like a buffet or hutch or a china cabinet. You're also going to have more seating at the table as a bonus when you don't place the table against the wall. 

Home decor traffic pattern in the kitchen

Now, I know the kitchen isn't as movable as the other areas. It's pretty easy to move the bed, dining table or sofa however you can't move your kitchen cabinets unless you are building a new home.  But if you are working on a new construction house or remodeling your kitchen, you are going to want to consider the placement of your appliances, you need to look carefully at where you're choosing for those pieces to go. Make sure your flow allows you to open doors in the kitchen area. Make sure you can get in and out of those areas easily.   


Consider how you're going to move about from the stove to the refrigerator, able to access the dishwasher and to sink. Usually, a triangle effect when we're looking at those areas will really help you to keep the flow, you don't want so much space in there you can't get from one area to the other quickly especially when you're trying to cook - that can be really annoying. However, you also don't want your cabinets so close to the appliance door that when you try to open it, that you literally can't open the door.

 I recently worked on redesigning a kitchen for a guy named Josh. Josh literally could barely get in and out of his refrigerator. He had an island area that came out into the floor and when the refrigerator door was open, he could barely get into the refrigerator.

 This was a huge house but it was almost like they built the house and then was like hey we forgot to put the kitchen in here. And so they stuck this little kitchen in, and he could hardly move around in the kitchen space it was so small. He could not stand in front of the refrigerator with open the door and still be able to stand there because the door and the cabinet would hit. So you want to make sure you're doing your space planning efficiently, and you can get in and out of your appliances easily.

These are just a couple of pointers of things to keep the flow going in your house because when you can move through the room, easily, you're going to be a lot happier than when you're falling over furniture, or when you're trying to get to something and you just can't reach it, you're going to be unhappy when it happens - and we want happy homes. So, let's work on creating a good traffic flow in your room. If you need help, you can go here to see which of my services can serve you best.