8 vital rules of living room furniture placement

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Park Slope Townhouse, Sarah Jefferys Design Sarah Jefferys Design Modern Living Room
Loading admin actions …

Has your living room seen better days in terms of style and/or layout? Is it a constant struggle just to get from one end of the room to another? Does it not provide you with as much style and comfort as you would like?

Fortunately, here on homify we always have a handy guide or 10 ready to help our readers achieve visual splendor back home. So, let’s see 8 important style rules when it comes to nailing your living room’s furniture layout.  

1. Function over form

Before you buy so much as a vase you need to be 100% sure of how you want to use your living room. Will it be for socializing? Watching television primarily? Think about what you and your guests will be doing in there, then consider what needs to be within arm’s reach, how much legroom you will require, etc. 

2. Focus on the flow

The potential of your living room might seem to diminish once you start adding furniture to the space. That’s why it’s important to properly map traffic routes, remember that less is more, and commit to at least 90 cm of “walking space” between furniture- and decoration pieces. 

3. Balance is crucial

Regardless of whether you prefer perfect symmetry or a more natural look, you need to achieve a sense of balance with your living room furniture. Consider visually counteracting a large sofa with two smaller tub chairs or a coffee table, for instance. Or balancing a tall floor lamp with a dangling pendant. 

Then start experimenting with colors and patterns to really get the fun going! 

4. Every seating spot needs something

Don’t give that cozy armchair (for example) a chance to feel lonely. Determine what that piece will be used for (see our first point), then consider how to enhance it such as adding a surface for a cup of tea or a glass of wine, a light for reading, or a matching chair so two people can comfortably carry on a conversation.

5. Set up various zones

In modern open-plan layouts it’s important to create zones to distinguish between the different areas’ functions and options. For instance, a colorful rug under a group of chairs can highlight it as a proper conversation spot. And a stunning chandelier dangling over a table instantly tells us that zone can be used for dining, working, conducting a meeting, etc. 

6. Give your walls some breathing room

Unless you plan on turning a very small living room into a dance floor there is absolutely no need to push all your furniture pieces up against the walls. Even as little as 30 cm of legroom between a sofa and a wall can help make a living room seem grander and airier than it truly is. 

7. Watch those windows

To increase a room’s sense of space it’s vital to keep the eyeline across the room clear. But don’t opt for low furniture pieces. Instead, just be careful about what you place in front of windows – does that fabulous couch block an even better view of your garden or porch outside? Keep playing with different heights to see how it affects your views inside (and outside) the room. 

8. Find your room’s focus

While it’s not important to gift every single room in your house with quirky wallpaper or an eye-catching art piece, making the best of your furniture and décor can really make a difference. This might mean keeping the view of your ornate fireplace clear, or arranging furniture differently to make that wall design (i.e. clad with stone, or painted in a striking color) part of the first thing one sees when entering. 

Just remember that although these rules are meant to gently shove one in the right direction, personal taste is still very much valid. That means feel free to break or bend a rule every now and again to make your home (and living room) flaunt your true, personal style with pride! 

From one room to another, let’s investigate 7 design pointers to decorate your dining room.

We’d love to know how you plan on zhushing up your living room’s look and layout!

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Highlights from our magazine