From family game nights to book club gatherings, the living room is a social hub. The proper placement of the room's furniture goes a long way toward making the space feel welcoming. Nothing is worse than a living room -- no matter how attractive -- where people have to perch against the walls, as if stuck there by magnetic force. Rather, push seating together so everyone can sit close and converse comfortably.
Where to position this grouping depends on the natural focal point of the space. In some rooms, this is architectural, such as a fireplace or a set of windows. In other living rooms, the focal point is a television. Once you determine this feature, orient the seating toward it. This feature now has the attracting qualities the walls used to -- let the furniture gravitate there.
How to arrange the living room furniture is up to you and your particular pieces. Most of us have a sofa and another chair or two, which we can position and reposition as often as we like. When trying out each new arrangement, make sure to allow enough space between furniture corners so people can swish past in search of a comfy spot. And give everyone a reachable drink rest, even if it's just a stack of books on the ottoman.
The most basic and functional furniture arrangement is to place the sofa across from the focal point with all other pieces angled to face the same direction. This allows everyone a good look at the television or crackling fire. When entertaining, round the grouping into a conversational circle by adding ottomans or pillow poufs that face back at the sofa.
For spaces with multiple doorways, draw an imaginary line that angles through the room from opening to opening, creating a straight trail between furniture pieces. This dynamic arrangement of furniture keeps the focal point in mind but also directs people through the space. Blocking the corners of the room like this can be helpful when you have children's toys or hobby supplies you'd like to hide.
When a sectional sofa is your primary seating, you might be tempted to push it into the corner of the room and call it a day. But this can feel claustrophobic, especially to those people seated on the deepest cushions. Pull it away from the wall to let light and air flow around it. Place a brightening lamp or slender console table at the back, and put any other seating in position to see people seated at both ends of the L.
A traditional and popular furniture arrangement is the face-to-face stance. Two sofas (or a sofa and a pair of chairs) sit directly across from one another, with the focal point at one end. Positioning the seating this way facilitates conversation because no one has a direct view of the focal point. It's useful when activities such as reading, working on a laptop, or listening to music are just as important as watching television.
Get a perfect furniture arrangement before even moving a single piece with our online Arrange-a-Room tool.
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