The options for how to place furniture in a living room are nearly endless. The best way to position your sofa, chairs, accent tables, and more generally depends on the shape of your room and what it's used for.
How to Place Furniture in a Living Room
When arranging your living room furniture, start with the largest piece first. This is usually the sofa, or in some cases, an armchair. Orient the piece toward the room's most prominent feature, which could be a TV, fireplace, gallery wall, or window. If possible, avoid placing the sofa directly in front of a window, as this might block some of the natural light. Next, position smaller seating options, such as chairs or love seats, opposite or adjacent to the first piece. Finish by filling in with accent furniture, including ottomans (like this Better Homes & Gardens Round Tufted Storage Ottoman, $78, Walmart), coffee tables, end tables, and lamps. Make sure each seat is within reach of at least one tabletop surface.
Small Living Room Layouts
Contrary to common belief, pushing all your pieces against the walls is not the best way to arrange furniture in a small living room. This creates an awkward space in the middle and highlights the room's cramped dimensions. Instead, pull furniture toward the center to create a more open feeling.
Flexible Living Room Furniture Arrangements
Grant yourself the flexibility to switch your living room furniture arrangement to match the occasion. Fill an empty corner with a lightweight chair that can be pulled easily into the sitting area if needed. Add in pieces like ottomans or stools that can function as side tables for drinks or serve as seating for guests.
How to Arrange Furniture on a Rug
Use a large area rug to unify a seating group within a larger space. As a general rule, all key pieces of furniture should fit on top of the rug. If the rug isn't big enough to contain all of the furniture (like with this 5x7-foot Better Homes & Gardens Arches Hi Low Area Rug, $96, Walmart), at least ensure the front legs of each piece are on the rug.
Large Living Room Layout Ideas
Strategic furniture arranging can make particularly long or large living rooms feel cozy and intimate. Bring a comfortable sense of scale to the room by dividing it into two conversation groupings with a path between them. Placing one sofa with its back to this path underscores the separation between the two areas.
Arrange Living Room Furniture for Conversation
If your living room is frequently used for chats with family and friends, choose a furniture layout that facilitates conversation. Pull the seating pieces close to the middle of the room and position them so that they face each other. Place a coffee table in the middle to keep drinks within easy reach for both sides.
Furniture Arrangement for Lounging
In living rooms where lounging and TV-watching are the main activities, a sectional sofa offers flexible, comfortable seating. Sectionals come in a variety of configurations, including ones that feature armless chairs, love seats, ottomans, and chaises that you can combine to fit your space. The sofa in this living room helps divide the larger space while offering cozy seating for several people.
How to Place Furniture in a Living Room
Planning the ideal furniture arrangement requires careful consideration of the room. As you position the pieces, pay attention to how traffic flows through the room and where the focal point is. Learn more about how to arrange living room furniture in this video.
Symmetrical Living Room Layouts
Symmetry imposes a sense of order in living rooms. To achieve an attractive balance, try arranging identical sofas or chairs opposite each other. If your furniture pieces aren't an exact match, you can still achieve a symmetrical look by arranging pieces with the same proportions on both sides of the room.
Focus on the View
An effective living room arrangement starts with a focal point, which serves as the cornerstone of your design. Typically, a fireplace plays this role, as in this colorful living space. Orient the main seating piece toward the focal point and arrange the secondary seating pieces around the main piece. In the summer, the room could be rearranged so the view out the French doors takes center stage.
Open Living Room Layout Ideas
In an open-concept living room, use furniture arrangements to divide the space into different activity zones. Here, a table and chairs gather on one side of the room, providing a spot for informal meals or games. On the other side of the room, a sofa and chairs form a conversation cluster around the fireplace.
Divide a Living Room with Furniture
Divide a large living and dining space into separate zones through furniture placement. A sofa facing away from the dining room defines the conversation area from the rest of this open layout. Arrange living room furniture closer together to make a spacious room feel cozier.
Small Living Room Layout Ideas
Scale down the size of your furniture choices when decorating a small living room. For example, you can create a greater sense of space and openness with a collection of chairs rather than using sofas or love seats. The scale of these armchairs suits the smaller living room, while petite stools take the place of bulkier ottomans.
L-Shaped Living Room Layout Ideas
Position a sofa and a love seat around a large coffee table to form an L-shaped arrangement. In the corner where the two pieces meet, fill the space with an end table (similar to this Better Homes & Gardens Round Marble End Table, $98, Walmart) or a table lamp. A single chair on the other side of this group can easily be moved closer to the conversation.
Diagonal Living Room Layout Ideas
Arranging living room furniture diagonally gives a boxy room more dimension and creates a welcoming pathway into the seating group. Use the sofa and coffee table to establish the diagonal axis and arrange additional seating along the same axis. To subtly anchor the seating group to the room's architecture, align the area rug with the fireplace or another focal point wall.
Living Room Layout Ideas for Chairs
If you don't have space for the usual sofas or love seats, four comfortable chairs can work just as well in a small living room. Try laying an area rug and positioning a chair in each corner. This living room layout creates an orderly look that welcomes conversation.
Furniture Arranging for TVs and Fireplaces
If you have both a TV and a fireplace, your placement options can go beyond having both on the same wall. But if you're stuck on which one your seating should face, the right layout can solve your dilemma. Maximize your enjoyment of both with these living room layout ideas.
Cozy Living Room Layout Ideas
Consider your home's architecture when deciding how to arrange living room furniture. An expanse of south-facing windows, for example, makes a sunny, inviting spot for a seating area. A pair of chairs with a set of stools converts this well-lit corner into a cozy spot for two.
Layout Ideas for Bay Windows
Turn a bay window into a quiet spot for two with a pair of comfortable chairs and an ottoman. Provide the chairs with a lamp table, so you'll have light for reading at night and a place to rest a beverage. If possible, position the arrangement within the pop-out area to distinguish the seating from the rest of the room.
Living Room Layout Ideas for a Fireplace
The fireplace is the natural focal point of a living room. Flank each side with seating, which could be two sofas or a sofa and a pair of chairs, and place a large coffee table in the middle. Leave the side opposite the fireplace open to allow entrance into the seating area.