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Effective Living Room Furniture Arrangements

If you’ve ever walked into a space and hovered at the doorway, not quite knowing how to proceed (or even not knowing if you were welcome to proceed at all), then you have an idea about how important the layout of a room is. How we choose to arrange furniture in a space is a significant indicator of what we value and how comfortable we want our guests (or family members) to be.

As the traditional gathering mecca of households (aside from the kitchen, of course), the living room’s furniture placement is particularly critical. Here are some ideas of effective living room layouts with a variety of furniture combinations:

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Two sofas – The architecture of this room is unique and fantastic, involving lots of corners and some non-right-angles. Using two identical sofas, the homeowners here wisely brought down the large space into a smaller, cozier seating area. Set at right angles to the main walls, the sofa placement highlights the 45-degree-angled fireplace, which also helps to make this space feel warm and inviting. Easy walkways to the right or left allow visitors to access the seating. Ottomans under the sofa table are also available for extra seating when needed, which is another nod to the “welcome, guests” feeling.

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Sofa + two club chairs – Although the fireplace is obviously unused here, it’s still an architectural focal point of the room. Therefore, the furniture is arranged to this end. As the largest and most prominent furniture piece, the sofa faces it directly, while the pair of club chairs cozy up the conversation space by enclosing it visually. This arrangement is ideal when both fireplace and window views are offered – each seat has a lovely view and equally pleasant involvement in the room’s activities.

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Loveseat + two club chairs – A neutral cream loveseat with classic lines is framed neatly by the beautiful bay window in this space. (The loveseat is an excellent choice of furniture here, as a sofa would have cut off not only the physical pathway but also the visual lines of the bay window feature.) Similarly covered wingback chairs are angled and facing the loveseat to maximize the conversational area. All seats have great access to the fireplace.

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Sofa + one club chair – A rare combination because of the obvious size imbalance, a sofa-plus-chair arrangement is sometimes necessary in smaller spaces. When done correctly, like in this room, the pairing seems natural and lovely. This warmly toned room is full of detail, and it’s furnished fully and beautifully, so keeping the arrangement classic and simple is sufficient. The beautiful curved legs of the coffee table are the focal point, to me, and letting those shine draws us in.

fireplace-arrangamentView in gallery


Chairs only – In this small living room, a sofa or loveseat would have uncomfortably dominated the architecture. Four matching wingback chairs, angled in each corner toward a round coffee table, is a lovely way to draw visitors in. (Two sets of club chairs would also have looked well.) The furnishings also provide just the right amount of comfortable informality here. The room’s focal point is still the fireplace and, indirectly, that magnificent crown moulding, and the furniture arrangement facilitates sight lines to those areas with dignity.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

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Posted in Furniture on December 23, 2012

About the author

Brittney Smart
Brittney is a wife, a mom of four young children, a writer and editor (B.S. degree in English/Technical Writing), and a lover of interior design. She thrives on finding inexpensive ways to DIY her own home into a stylish yet family-friendly space.

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