Where to Put Living Room Furniture
Whether you’re newly moving in or merely moving things around, your living room’s function
is only as successful as its layout. Here are some ideas for making the most of your furniture
based on your entertaining goals.
Written by Nate Sverlow
When arranging furniture for your living space, it’s important to consider what the focal point will be. The focal point can be determined by a variety of factors, including clearance, architecture and the desired purpose of the space.
But, no matter what the deciding factor may be, you should figure out what you want to look at before you figure out where you are going to sit. This may seem like common sense, but it is often forgotten in the excitement of filling a new space or rearranging an old space.
The following are a few living room furniture configurations based on different focal points that can help you get the most out of your space.
Let’s Watch Some Television
One of the most common uses of a living room is to watch television, and so it is important to orient your furniture in a manner that gives everyone a comfortable viewing experience. Cindy Warnock, former director of design at Western Contract in Sacramento, insists that, “With the television up against the wall, it’s good to have a lot of cushioned seating surrounding it, like recliners, L-shaped sofas and maybe a loveseat. A cushioned coffee table is also a good idea, so you can put your feet up if need be.”
The room shown echoes this point, featuring a sectional L-shaped sofa, a pair of cushioned chairs and a cushioned coffee table/ottoman, all of which face the television and are adequately spaced from the wall for convenient walking space.
While some people enjoy the perpetual flicker of a flat screen television, others would rather spend their leisure time in conversation with friends and family. For a more social space, it is a good idea to place your furniture with people as your focal point, i.e. in a circle or parallel setup where everyone can see each other.
Shea Homes, an online furnishing resource adds, “Make your guests as comfortable as possible by allowing them to sit in a seat where their backs are not facing an open space or door. Research has shown that this position can help lower blood pressure and make people feel more at ease.”
To do so, include a series of comfortable chairs that face away from the walls and toward each other, with a modern coffee table at the center. To maintain that sense of ease mentioned by Shea Homes, this configuration is ideal for spaces that have a single entry point, with all sofa or chair backs positioned safely against walls and corners.
Let’s Enjoy the View
For those blessed with spacious or vaulted windows, it might be a good idea to have accommodating furniture in order to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Much like the television setup, this arrangement calls for comfortable seating around a singular focal point: in this case, the view. Each chair or couch should be placed in a semi-circle or perpendicular fashion so as to provide a clear view of the window and of the people in your company.
In these cases, Warnock recommends versatile furniture, touting the convenience of an adjustable recliner or an ottoman, which “can serve as a place to put your feet up or act as extra seating as needed.” If you take a look at the examples, you’ll see the furniture in a perpendicular orientation, sufficiently spaced from the wall as to provide comfortable walking space while simultaneously drawing your attention to the window.
Before you break a sweat arranging and rearranging furniture, it is crucial to have a furnishing plan in mind. And, while this plan is entirely up to you, you’ll have a better chance of success if you establish a clear focal point. This can be anything that strikes your fancy: televisions, windows, fireplaces, even people. Once deciding this, the placement of furniture and the different types of furniture needed will become exceedingly clear, saving you hours upon hours of stress and back-breaking work.