What exactly is flow, and more specifically, traffic flow, in a house or a room?

Simply, it’s the ability to walk easily from room to room in a house as well as through the room without bumping into furniture or coming upon an empty space.

Studies show that homes that have a good traffic flow sell faster than those that do not.

But even if your home is not on the market, you still want to maximize flow.

A couple of important “rules”:

1. You should be able to walk freely between rooms such as the dining room and kitchen, for example. This rule wouldn’t apply to private spaces, like a bedroom.

2. You should be able to walk from an entryway into a room without bumping into or having to walk around something

3. You should be able to walk freely around and in front of furniture, except traffic should not flow through a conversation area

4. Having too much furniture in a room will inhibit flow

Here’s an example of improper flow. In order to walk to the patio doors from the doorway, you would have to walk through the conversation area by maneuvering between the coffee table and the couch, and then around a chair.

In the layout below, you can walk from the doorway to the patio doors without going through the conversation area.

What furniture layout situations have you encountered, good or bad?