Arrange for Face-to-Face Conversation
Arranging the seating pieces to face each other over a shared coffee table makes conversation easy, and the table keeps drinks in easy reach.
See it in Action!
Find out what three things you need to consider when planning your furniture arrangement
Divide the Room with Furniture
Divide a large living/dining space into separate zones with furniture placement. A sofa facing away from the dining room defines the conversation area from the rest of this open layout.
Seat Four with Chairs
If you don't have room for the usual sofas and love seats, four comfy chairs will serve as well--or perhaps better. In this clean, crisp setting, matching white slipcovered chairs define an orderly, compact, yet welcoming seating group.
Pull Furnishings Together with a Rug
Use a large area rug to unify a seating group within a larger space. If the rug isn't large enough to contain all of the seating pieces, make sure that those farthest from the wall are solidly anchored on the "island."
Enlarge the Space with Diagonals
Placing the furniture diagonally gives a boxy room some flavor. The diagonal also creates a welcoming pathway into the seating group.
Use the sofa and coffee table to establish the diagonal axis and arrange additional seating on the same axis. To subtly anchor the seating group to the room's architecture, align the area rug with the fireplace wall.
Make Space for Lounging
In living rooms where lounging and TV-watching are the main activities, a sectional sofa offers flexible, comfortable seating. Sectionals come in a variety of units, from armless chairs to love seats, ottomans, and chaises that you can combine to fit your space.
The sofa in this living room is oriented toward the TV (not shown) and the extra seating is lightweight and can be easily rearranged to face the TV.
Divide Large Spaces with Seating
If your living room is the setting for large parties, bring intimacy and a comfortable sense of scale to the room by dividing it into two conversational groupings with a path between them. Placing one sofa with its back to this path underscores the separation between the two groups, as do the area rugs anchoring them.
Focus on the View
An effective room arrangement starts with the focal point, the cornerstone of your living room design. Typically a fireplace plays this role, but in this contemporary cottage space, the view out the French doors takes center stage instead.
Orient the main seating piece toward the focal point and arrange the secondary seating pieces around the main piece. In winter, the room could be rearranged to focus on the fireplace.
Create Order with Symmetry
Pairs of matching sofas, side tables, and lamps strike a perfect balance on each side of the fireplace in this contemporary living room. Symmetry imposes a sense of order on the space.
Create Activity Zones
In a large, open room, use furniture arrangement to divide the space into different activity zones. Here a table and chairs gather on one side of the room, providing a spot for informal meals or games.
In the center of the room, a sofa, chairs, and ottoman form a conversational cluster anchored by a rug.
Use Chairs Instead of Sofas
In a small living room, create a sense of greater space and openness with a collection of chairs instead of using sofas or love seats. The scale of these armchairs suits the smaller living room.
Set Aside a Sunny Corner
A pair of chairs with a set of stools converts this well-lit corner into a cozy spot for two. Whether you entertain large groups or small ones, providing guests with paired seating helps ensure that everyone will have at least one conversational partner.
Arrange in an L Shape
In this large living room, a sofa and a love seat form an L framing a large coffee table. This simple arrangement provides a convenient conversational cluster. A single chair at the other side of this group can easily be moved closer to the conversation grouping.
Create Quiet Spot in a Bay
Turn a bay window into a quiet spot for two with a pair of comfortable chairs and an ottoman. Provide the chairs with a table and lamp so you'll have light for reading and a place to rest a cup of tea.
Snuggle Up to the Fireplace
The fireplace is the natural focal point of a living room. Flank each side with seating, whether it's two sofa or a sofa and pair fo chairs, and place a large coffee table in the middle.
Offer Casual Seating
If you're more likely to lounge in front of the fireplace than sit on a sofa, keep a supply of oversize floor pillows and ottomans on hand. Ottomans can move where you need them for seating, or they can stand in as side tables.