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10 Ways to Arrange the Furniture in Your Living Room

There’s more than one way to layout your living room, so which permutation will work best for you?

Houzz Contributor. I’m a London-based journalist with years of experience writing… More

How you arrange the furniture in your living room will depend on the shape and size of your room, the items you need to arrange, the number of people in your household, and the position of doors, fireplaces and windows. If you’re having trouble deciding where to place everything, here are some options for inspiration.

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Opt for opposites attract
This is the classic living room layout – two identical sofas, with space in between for a coffee table. It’s relaxed and sociable, and it allows a view of the TV or fireplace in the middle. For extra seating, consider placing a footstool at the side of each sofa, which can be brought out when guests arrive.

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Harness the power of two plus two
This is a twist on the two sofas layout, with two extra armchairs brought into the mix. It’s a good way to ensure you have enough comfortable seating for guests, or if your two sofas are on the compact side.

In this open-plan space, the square layout helps to create a cosy seating area, but the two armchairs work well as they break up the perimeter.

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Pop in a sofa and two chairs
Two sofas can make smaller or slimmer rooms feel swamped, plus you may not want the expense or commitment. And while one sofa can be butted up against a wall, having another too close to a window can be impractical.

It may make sense to pair one sofa with a couple of slimline armchairs.
This duo are Scandi-style, featuring minimal wooden frames, which allow for a sense of space and light.

If you want a feeling of unity, a large rug under the sofa, table and armchairs is a clever way to pull all the different elements together.

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Mix and match
Here, a sofa has been matched up with three other armchairs. Several separate chairs may be a good choice in households where not everyone wants to be squashed up next to someone else. Smaller seats also give you more flexibility as you can easily move them around to try out new positions.

If you’re uncertain about how the layout of your living room will work in practice, use paper, an app or an online room planner to sketch a floor plan. Think about different items of furniture – those you already own or are planning to buy, and factor in crucial elements, such as where the TV and shelves will go.

Read about how to use the Houzz Sketch tool

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Banish the sofa
Sofas tend to rule in our living rooms. But you could eschew a sofa altogether, or let it take a back seat, as they’ve done here. In this stylish reception room four elegant armchairs take centre stage, along with a footstool. The plus side? A sense of airiness and space that’s lost when the bulkiness of a sofa arrives. The downside? You won’t be able to sprawl out in front of Netflix.

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Maximise the corner
A corner sofa is a great way to provide the luxury of lounging, even if your room isn’t massive. It also solves the problem of how to lay things out as it does most of the work for you. This chic grey model sits right up against the wall, but doesn’t swamp things as the dimensions match the room.

Inevitably, a corner sofa will become the focus of your living room, so think hard about the colour, shape, size and number of seats before you commit to buying one. In this compact, but stylish space, it works well with an ottoman in place of a more traditional coffee table.

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Go on the long and narrow
One ultra-long sofa may be enough to ensure you don’t need any other bulky items of seating. In this room, the sofa sits opposite a built-in storage bench unit, with just two smaller easy chairs providing extra seats.

This layout is a good solution in a long slim room like this one – common in Victorian terraces, where two smaller rooms have been knocked into one. Too much furniture can make a narrow space quickly feel cramped.

Find out how to choose your forever sofa

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Fit in what you can
Often the living space you have will dictate the layout you go for. Our homes are getting smaller, so we need to be more creative. In this compact room, a built-in sofa utilises every inch, and eliminates those dusty, wasted gaps between skirting and sofa-back. Integrated bookcases and a wall-mounted cabinet similarly keep everything off the floor, for a sleek and tidy space.

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Factor in a bookcase
If you’re a book lover, chances are you don’t want to keep all your favourite novels out of sight. Including space for a bookcase in your living room can make sense in many ways. Books add a creative warmth and character to rooms, and shelves solve the storage problem. In this lovely light-filled room, the designers have fitted in the bookcase by building it into the wall behind the sofa. They’ve positioned the couch parallel to the wall with a handy path between the two elements.

Discover ways to decorate with books

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Spread out
OK, this layout is really only for those with the luxury of space. But there’s no law that furniture has to be clustered together round a low table. You might prefer to have ‘breakout’ seating zones. Here, each seating option sits in its own ‘island’, but they are tied together by tone and materials.

How have you arranged your living room furniture? Share your ideas and experiences in the Comments section.
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