Before you spend an afternoon rearranging the furniture (or invest in a new set), do a trial run with a set of paper templates -- no heavy lifting required. Measure dimensions of each piece, then transfer them onto kraft paper. Cut out the templates, label them, then lay them on the floor in the intended spots. If you feel like leaving the templates for a few days (to ensure that the new arrangement flows well and is practical), stick them in place with safe-release painter's tape.
Martha Stewart Living, September 2006