When it comes to arranging furniture, there's definitely more than one way to do things, but that doesn't mean you can't make mistakes. Home decorating is a recognized art, requiring careful calculation of both the space's needs and the host's tastes.
While experts agree the surest way to a flawless room is trial and error, there are a few rules to keep in mind as you design your setup.
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.
Around the Corner
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.
Space around couch
Placing a couch even a few inches away from the wall will create a little breathing room and make a space seem larger. If you can't pull it away from the wall because of space restrictions, move chairs or side tables a few inches out to open up the room.
If you're working with a big room, feel free to put the couch in the center facing a set of windows or a fireplace to break the room into two separate spaces.
Light the room
Lighting is one of the most important elements in a space. And placement should maximize light in the room. Spread light sources around a space, she explains, and make sure every corner gets equal attention.
If you have a lamp next to your bed, place two more strategically in the room to create a triangle of light. Choosing a taller lamp to emphasize—or create a sense of—a high ceiling.
Find the focal point
Is it your fireplace? The view outside? Most homes will have one focal point and this doesn’t mean that all the furniture will face it.
The focal point is what you want the eyes to find first upon entering the room; it’s the part of the room you want to show off.