Written by Jaymi Naciri
You think finding the perfect home is a challenge? Just try fitting your existing furniture into your new living room. How do you create symmetry in an asymmetrical space? How do you handle multiple focal points? And most importantly, where do you put the TV?!
“Where you place your furniture in a room will instantly set the tone for how you’ll live in that room,” said HGTV.
And yet, “most new homeowners – when presented with a bare room – are overwhelmed with possibilities and insecurities of furniture arrangement,” said Budget Decorating.
Here are a few solutions that will help you lay out the furniture to maximize utility and enjoyment of your living room.
Small space, no TV
We don’t personally understand the “no TV” part, but we can all relate to a small space and the seemingly limited options for arranging furniture in a way that still seems looks chic.
Create an intimate space with pieces that coordinate and complement instead of reverting to matchy-matchy. The mix of colors and textures, plus a smart use of window coverings that accentuates the ceiling height, create a lovely room.
A cocoon with a TV at the head
Now this we understand. A cozy seating arrangement that creates multiple conversation areas plus lounging space for catching up on National Geographic is right up our alley. It’s sophisticated, but still useful.
Creating a focal point
This is often a problem in homes where there are potential focal points on opposite or adjoining walls.
“Identify the room’s focal point – a fireplace, view, television etc – and orient the furniture accordingly,” said Houzz. “If you plan to watch television in the room, the ideal distance between the set and the seating is three times the size of the screen (measured diagonally). Therefore, if you’ve got a 40-inch set, your chair should be 120 inches away.”
Here are some more tips from Houzz:
“Place the largest pieces of furniture first, such as the sofa in the living room or the bed in the bedroom. In most cases this piece should face the room’s focal point.
Symmetrical arrangements work best for formal rooms. Asymmetrical arrangements make a room feel more casual.
Think about the flow of traffic through the room—generally the path between doorways. Don’t block that path with any large pieces of furniture if you can avoid it. Allow 30 to 48 inches of width for major traffic routes and a minimum of 24 inches of width for minor ones.”
All TV, all the time
Let’s face it. Today one of the biggest decisions regarding furniture placement is where to put the TV. Sometimes a decision about whether or not to buy a certain house swings on the fact that there is no space for a giant flat screen.
“Today, the television has become the focal point,” said Better Homes and Gardens.
Ideally there’s a fireplace with a lowish mantel and it’s right in the middle of the room with a parallel wall where you can put your couch and you can hang the TV above the fireplace in direct line of sight of everyone watching and all is happy in family land. If that doesn’t work or if you abhor the prospect of your TV being the focal point, you can get more ideas here.