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How to Arrange Living Room Furniture: Top Tips and Things to Know

Written by Zain

If you are having trouble arranging the furniture you bought for your living room, you should click here for some tips on how to arrange living room furniture.

Did you know that the TV show “Fixer Upper” is the most popular TV show in four states? America is captivated by home design TV.

So, why do we struggle so much at decorating our own spaces?

It’s probably because most of us are dealing with medium and small-sized spaces on limited budgets (not made for TV).

Unfortunately, a lot of living rooms we experience are underwhelming when it comes to design. We know that something isn’t right, but we can’t pinpoint what exactly is wrong.

Here is our guide for how to arrange living room furniture to fit your style and needs.

Choose a Focal Point 

The focal point sets the stage for your room design. If you choose a focal point, you’ll be able to arrange a room with a lot more purpose instead of scattering pieces haphazardly around a space.

Consider choosing something that makes a statement and sets the tone for the room. You can choose a painting, sculpture, light fixture or even an entertainment center.

Before you move on to the other tips, establish a focal point first. You will plan out your furniture layout based on the location and size of the focal point. You will also need to arrange your furniture strategically, based on a few other design best practices.

Don’t Forget the Human Element

The people who will be living in and visiting the living room should be the main priority in designing a space.

There is a general three-foot rule that says that there should be about three feet of space around a room. This allows for a comfortable traffic flow and drawers that open without bumping into anything or anyone.

You’ll also want to consider how people will gather in the room. You don’t want to put the only seating options on opposite ends of the room.

You want to create a space that encourages togetherness and conversation. It’s also important to keep entryways unobstructed and walking paths clear.

The Basics of How to Arrange Living Room Furniture

Before we breakdown how to organize each essential piece of living room furniture, there are a few basic “philosophies” to know.

First, even though so many people do it, don’t push furniture against the wall. Even if you’re working with a small space, you can afford to pull items at least an inch or two away from the walls.

Adding space around the walls can make small rooms feel larger. This tactic also pulls the room (literally) more together. There is less unused “middle space” and people are forced to sit closer.

Another key to a functional and stylish living room is creating balance.

It’s important to mix-up the sizes of pieces of furniture. Integrate small and large items together throughout the room, verses grouping similar things together.

Also, experiment with different shapes, include ovals, rectangles and any other interesting shape you can find.

Arranging Furniture 

You’ll want to set-up the seating concerning the focal point. It’s very important to measure your room before you buy couches and chairs.

It’s best to draw out the room and have a general game plan for the room layout before you start shopping.

Establishing the living room blueprint will put into perspective what you need.

A lot of people think they need more than they do when they shop only to find that when they bring the items home from the furniture warehouse, the room doesn’t flow or is overstuffed.

A coffee table can be a good anchor for the room, that connects the room.

Most designers will opt for a large coffee table or two smaller tables put together. Leave at least two feet between the coffee table and other furniture. Make sure the coffee table is at the same level or lower than the rest of the furniture, not higher.

Every piece of seating should be within an arms reach of the coffee table or some other type of table.

When you test your layout this way, you’ll be able to tell how many additional side tables you need. Buy tables that are the same height as chair arms to make this easier and more comfortable.

Choosing the Right Lighting 

Lighting is so important to setting the mood, and the functionality of a room. It’s often a neglected feature that can make a major difference in space looking professionally designed, or thrown together.

Think of the memorable spaces you’ve experienced.

Maybe they are hotels, restaurants or a spa. One thing all these spaces likely have in common is their use of lighting. The best living rooms have a variety of lighting.

Consider how you can integrate overhead, floor and table lighting.

Place the floor lamp first, it usually works beside or behind the seating. Floor lamps can also sit where a side table might go, but only in areas where access to another table is still available.

Table lamps are usually placed on side tables, but can also be used on shelves and other surfaces.

Just make sure that they fit and aren’t oversized. If outlets are scare in your space, consider utilizing lanterns or creative candle holders and using battery-operated tea or string lights.

The key to great lighting is to have balanced light throughout the room.

You don’t want a chandelier that hangs down to the same level as your floor lamp. There should be lighting at every level of the room and throughout the space.

To Rug or Not to Rug? 

Do you need an area rug in your space? Most of the time, yes.

A rug creates warmth in a room and another opportunity to showcase your unique style. It’s also another element that helps solidify the seating area.

When it comes to area rugs, make sure they are the right size.

You’ll want a rug that will comfortably fit under all of your seating, leaving a few extra inches to extend beyond the legs of the seating.

Designing the Perfect Living Room

By following this fail-proof guide, you’ll take the guessing out of how to arrange living room furniture.

A simple rearrangement of what you already have, along with replacing an item or two can make a huge difference. If you’re not gifted when it comes to colors and patterns, stick to neutrals with a few pops of color that are monochromatic to each other.

Include an interesting pattern or two and a few different textures to elevate your space.

Need some design inspiration? Look through our gallery of living rooms to find something that you love!

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