How to arrange living room furniture.
Last week we got you all jazzed up about buying new furniture, but that's only half the story! A lot of thought (and measuring) should go into determining what pieces you need and how you are going to arrange them once they arrive BEFORE you buy anything.
Although this may seem like a daunting task, we have lots of tips to make it easier for you. When working with clients I like to consider these three things:
* Activities - what types of activities will take place in your space? Work (or homework), TV watching or conversation (i.e. do you entertain often)
* Focal point - is it the fireplace, the tv or a really great view?
* Traffic flow - consider how the traffic will flow in, out and around your room.
The first step in determining exactly what you need is to determine exactly how you want to use the room. That way you are sure to purchase the pieces you need. Then you will be able to arrange your new furniture according to your needs.
And remember, just because you've always done something a certain way, doesn't mean you have to keep doing it that way!
Once you have determined how you want to use a room you may want to create "zones", especially if your room will serve more than one purpose or if it's a large space. For example, you may want a family gathering area for TV watching and playing games. A cozy spot to curl up and read a book or have a quiet conversation. Or you may need a work area for homework or perhaps you work from home.
You can use area rugs to unify a seating area and to distinguish different "zones". Ideally all of the furniture should fit on the rug, if that's not possible, at least the two front legs should be on the rug.
I like for there to be lots of seating options. If you are a large family, or one that entertains often, consider doing away with the big sectional. Try more flexible seating. I love a strategically placed swivel chair that can be turned to watch TV, or to partake in a more intimate conversation. A sofa with two or even four chairs offers lots of seating options and no one is left standing!
However you decide to arrange your seating be sure that there is a table within reach! Use nesting tables for added flexibility.
Four chairs around a round table is a great design for entertaining. Keep some extra ottomans near by for additional seating when needed. Or, if you have comfy dining room chairs, they can also be brought in for extra seating!
Two couches facing each other is another nice option that provides a lot of seating. Place the couches no more than eight feet apart for easy conversation. You should have between 14-18 inches between your coffee table and your sofa. Keep in mind that your coffee table should be no more than 3/5ths of the width between the arms of the sofa and about 3 inches below the height of the cushions.
As tempted as you may be, you don't always have to push your furniture up against the wall. Try floating your pieces in your space, anchored by a great area rug. In-floor electrical outlets make this type of furniture arrangement really look great!
Be sure that you allow at least 30 inches for walkways around your furniture pieces. And keep in mind that round tables are a little easier to navigate around than square or rectangle.
Oh and one more thing to keep in mind: be sure that your TV and computer are facing away from sunlight so that you are able to see the screen!
If you are still not sure how you should arrange your living room, try using Arrange A Room by BHG to help you plan your room layout or ask your favorite designer for help!