Furniture arranging can be so hard, especially in your own home. Here are a few hints and tips for living rooms that have worked well for me.
* Like all of my projects, my first suggestion is to take everything out of the room except for your largest piece of furniture, usually the sofa. That includes everything- area rugs, pillows, tables and accessories. (And not just to the opposite side of the room- all the way out!)
* The focal point is chosen by what you will be using the room for. If the living room is for watching TV, that is the way to face the furniture. If you have a beautiful fireplace you want to share with friends and family, the furniture arrangement should be facing or perpendicular to the fireplace. In the example below, the sofa is placed perpendicular to the fireplace.
* Instead of thinking ‘furniture arrangement’, I like to call it a seating area, or where can people sit? I start with the sofa and then bring in more ‘seats’. Two of the same or similar chairs is my favorite combination to use. You can place them next to the sofa, across from, or many other combinations:
* After the seating arrangement is set, next I would bring in a cocktail table or ottoman to place in the middle of the seating area to tie the area together.
* I suggest using an area rug whenever possible. This will help define your area and anchor the area. I wrote here about using an area rug over carpet and how well it works. An area rug is also a perfect way to bring color into the room.
* Go large with your area rugs. A too small rug will make your room appear smaller and look awkward. Here is a chart that is a good rule of thumb for the correct size rug with furniture placement:
I know that not everyone has the luxury of a large space. If you can not pull all of the furniture away from the wall, try putting the sofa against the wall and floating your chairs, tables and rug in front of it:
* If you do have a large space, try not to line the furniture up against the wall. I pull out at least 12” which will make the room look more inviting and cozier instead of having a large empty space in the middle of the room.
* If your room is overlarge, (over 20 x 28 ft.) treat it by designing several small ‘seating areas’ in the room. A seating area can be made up of a sofa and chairs, two sofas, four chairs or two chairs. An ottoman or bench also works great as a seating piece. Or even just one chair. I love using a single chair to make a cozy corner which I wrote about here:
* If you have a long and narrow room, I have found if you place a seating area at the far end, facing into the room, it is visually inviting and appealing.
* What to do when you have more than one focal point in the room? First try to make two separate seating areas around each, ( for example TV and fireplace). If that is not possible because of space, then one focal point will have to be chosen.
* Once all of your seating is positioned, check that every seat has a table/stool to put down a beverage.
Everyone’s space is different and what works for you is best. Do not compare your room to the fashion magazines because those rooms are styled for looks only, not to actually be used. There is no right or wrong way to arrange seating as long as you pay attention to the focal point.
I hope this has helped you. If you have questions, please comment in the section below and I will be sure to answer.