How To Do A Proper Living Room Furniture Arrangement

The living room furniture arrangement is the biggest problem most of my clients have when decorating a room.

Take a Look at Olga's and Lou's Living Room Furniture Arrangement

Can You Tell What's Wrong With It?

Here's what's wrong:

  1. The love seat and the sofa are on the same wall
  2. No conversational seating arrangement
  3. There is too much dead space in the middle of the room
  4. There isn't an area rug to ground the space
  5. The focal point is not highlighted
  6. Inadequate furniture 

This great couple had been living with the same boring living room for years. They have a beautiful home in the suburbs but their living room furniture arrangement as well as most of the elements in the room were in desperate need of attention! 

The walls were a drab slate green in a room with very low light to begin with. It was depressing!

They had minimal furnishings; a sofa, loveseat, dark, poorly hung  drapes, and a TV tray for an end table. I thought they had just moved in when I first visited. 

When I asked her why they never decorated. She told me she never knew where to start.

She would go to a furniture store and get so overwhelmed that she had to leave. Her husband finally begged her to please get some help. In came me:)

I was delighted to take on this project knowing that the results would dramatically impact their lifestyle. 

I would be giving them a new space with the proper living room furniture arrangement and all the elements they'll need to bring them comfort, and a place to gather with friends and family for many years to come. 

God, that's so rewarding to me!

So Here's What We Did:

  • Centered the sofa (because it's the longest piece) on the longest wall (the window wall)in front of the window.
  • Formed an "L" shaped grouping with the love seat and places a sofa table in back of it so you just weren't seeing the back of the loveseat when you entered the front door.
  • Grounded the area with an area rug
  • We placed a coffee table in front of the sofa and an end table between the sofa and loveseat If there is more than one function or furniture grouping in your room, use an area rug to delineate the spaces. 
  • We Highlighted the fireplace (the focal point) with art and accessories
  • Created a seating arrangement and conversation area around the focal point.
  • I Made sure there was ample space around all furniture pieces for ease of access.
  •  Ottomans can double as a table as the one above can , use throw pillows on the floor or a bench under a sofa table. Here, I put an ottoman for a foot rest in front of the arm chair which will double as additional seating (and storage). 
  • Only 2 to 3 people will sit on your sofa at a time, a love-seat, one to two, so make sure there is extra seating... 
  • Two comfy chairs  share a lamp.
  • Put a sofa table in back of your sofa and put a couple of lamps on it, or one larger one.
  • Floor lamps are great too, especially if your low on space
  • Provide a light to read by for most seats, if you can.

 Are You Guilty Of These Living Room Furniture Arrangements  No No's?

  • Your furniture is pushed up against your walls.
  • You don't provide a table to place a drink or book by your      seating.
  • There isn't enough comfortable seating.      
  • There isn't any task lighting near any of your seating.    
  • The area rug isn't large enough. Or worse, you don't have        one.
  • The room is large and the furniture is scattered all about.
  • Your furniture looks mismatched instead of eclectic.
  • There is too much or not enough walking space around your    furniture.
  •  You don't know what a focal point is.
  • Your furniture is blocking a doorway, window,or blocking a      walkway.

In A Nutshell

  • Don't push all your furniture up against a wall.
  • I see this rule broken all the time. Think conversation when arranging furniture in a room.
  • Don't place furniture so far away that you have to yell to have a conversation or put your glasses on to see the person you're talking to, bring it closer together to evoke conversation.
  • Always have some form of a coffee table in front of a sofa and or an end table or two.
  • If possible always provide something to place a drink on next to each seat in the room, whether it be a tray on an ottoman, or a small occasional table.
  • It should be within arm's reach, you should not have to get up to put your drink down.
  • Provide enough seating no matter how small the room is. 
  • Provide ample lighting for every seat.
  • Use a rug to ground your living room furniture arrangement and define the space.
  • If there is more than one function or furniture grouping in your room, use an area rug to delineate the spaces.
  • Your area rug should be larger than the coffee table and in a perfect world all the furniture should be placed on it, leaving a border of flooring around the room. However, larger rugs are more costly so as long as it is large enough to cover the inside parameters of the grouping it will look good. Want to know a money saving trick? Tape two rugs together using carpet tape.(the stuff works great!)  Or  use carpet squares to form an area rug.
  • Place the furniture grouping in front of the focal point of the room. ex.fireplace or TV. 
  • Establish your focal point. If you have a fireplace and a television, the fireplace trumps the TV (unless it is in a very specific media room) of course you will want to view both so put the TV on the fireplace wall, and arrange the furniture grouping around the focal points.
  • This was not possible in this space, so I created a grouping for the fireplace and another for TV viewing.
  • Unite your living room furniture arrangement using color.
  • A color and/or pattern in a living room furniture arrangement should be used 3 times around the room to create rhythm. Do this by using accent pillows, window treatments, throws, and other accessories.
  • When arranging your living room furniture don't block the traffic flow or windows or doorways. It is a design no-no!
  • Leave at least an 18" space around furniture to walk around it.
  • Enjoy your space, It's your home...

Back To Living Room Designs from Olga's LIVING ROOM FURNITURE ARRANGEMENT 

Back To The Decorating Forum

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