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What is floating furniture? 2 meanings

If you like interior design, you have probably come across the term floating furniture. But did you know that it actually has two meanings?

Of course, neither of the meanings is related to gravity. No matter what kind of furniture it is, it surely does not float - but why is it called floating then? In this article, we reveal the two meanings - it might be possible that both will match your home style.

floating TV console
a floating TV console

Floating furniture meaning #1: a type of wall-mounted furniture

The term floating furniture, by its primary meaning, is used for a category of furniture. If you know our brand, you know this type well: a piece of furniture can be called floating if the following two conditions apply:

  • it has to be wall-mounted

  • its mounting has to be invisible (hidden)

It means that not all wall-mounted furniture are floating - only those can be called this fancy way, that have a hidden mounting system - so it looks like nothing hold them.

Types of floating furniture

Using the hidden mounting, many pieces of furniture have their floating alternatives - for example:

… and so on

floating dressing table
a floating dressing table

The only limitation is the size and weight of the furniture - this is why it’s better for a bed or a large dining table to stand on the floor. But for small/medium size tables, shelves or drawers, the floating design offers an efficient way of space-saving: not just physically freeing up floor space, but enlarging the interior space optically as well.

The key is the tricky mounting

Depending on the size and type of the furniture, it can be mounted to the wall in various ways.

Shelves usually slide onto metal mounting brackets - that are available with various shapes and strengths:

Larger pieces, like cabinets (floating nightstands, tv consoles, etc.) can be mounted either directly (simply drilling through the back panel, screwing it directly to the wall), or using the french cleat method.

French cleat is a piece of wood cut in a special 45° shape. To use a french cleat, you will need two pieces that fit into each other: one as a part of the furniture, the other mounted to the wall. It’s only two steps to mount such furniture: first, you need to mount the french cleat on the wall to make sure it’s stable, then you just need to hang the furniture onto it. It’s not a fixed mounting so if you need to take off the furniture, it’s just a simple movement - but you can secure it to the wall as well if you need.

If you’re interested in learning more about french cleats, take a look at this article:

Floating furniture meaning #2: a type of furniture layout (in a room)

Apart from the mentioned pieces of floating furniture, the term also refers to a type of furniture arrangement. In this case, floating means that the furniture stands on its own and is not pushed up against the wall - it can be in the middle of the room. The term is used for sofas and armchairs most of the time, also for desks, etc.

floating furniture arrangement
floating furniture arrangement

The floating layout is preferred:

  • in smaller rooms, to make it look more spacious and give a sense of depth to it - it may sound strange, but if everything is pushed up against the wall, we easier get a small-space / closed feeling

  • in larger rooms, to avoid unused spaces and to create a great flow in the room

  • in irregular room shapes, when it would be impossible or strange to have the furniture next to the wall

  • it’s also a great way to divide to space into smaller parts to create a cosy dining area or a workspace.

Later, we plan to elaborate this topic in a separate article, going into the details room by room - so stay tuned, and if you don’t want to miss our next articles about interior design, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

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