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5 no-fail living room furniture arrangements

Your living room is an important place in your home because it’s usually the first area guests see when they step inside, and you spend a lot of time there, as well. If you’re struggling with arranging furniture in an awkwardly shaped or small room, or you’re just trying to figure out how to arrange furniture, these tips should help. These five no-fail living room ideas will help get started.

Woman sitting on a sofa near a coffee table
Westend61/Getty Images

Two large sofas opposite each other with a coffee table in between

This is a classic arrangement that works best in spacious rooms with ample space behind two sofas. Choose matching pieces in neutral colors with patterned cushions. Place a long coffee table in between the two and place a flower vase or other accents on it.

This layout is a traditional favorite because it creates an inviting atmosphere for guests. You can reproduce the same symmetry throughout the room with matching end tables, table lamps, and potted plants.

One large sofa facing two armchairs with a coffee table in between

If you want to break out of the traditional custom while keeping its core principle intact, this is the way to go. Here’s the unconventional part: The armchairs don’t have to match, though they should ideally be the same style or size.

For example, you might choose two barrel chairs in different upholstery fabrics — one velvet and one linen. You might also choose a graphic print for one and a solid color for another.

One loveseat with an ottoman and an armchair, a coffee table in between

Setting up a living room can take several attempts, so you might start by experimenting with a loveseat opposite an armchair and an ottoman. The great thing about an ottoman is you can move it around as needed, whether you need to improve foot traffic in the living room or bring in additional seating.

A sofa sectional with one armchair and a round coffee table

If you want commanding furniture, go for an L-shaped sectional. Try something simple and low-profile like a single-color velvet sofa with pillows and cushions. If that’s not enough seating, an armchair across from a round coffee table would help.

The round table breaks up the squareness of the sofa and the armchair while giving you storage space.

A sofa, an armchair, and a loveseat with a coffee table in between

If you’re looking to maximize space while trying out all kinds of different seating, this might be the layout for you. Keep the sofa and loveseat perpendicular to a rectangular table and leave the armchair at a diagonal angle to the table. It’s a simple layout that works.

How do you arrange furniture in an awkward living room?

An awkward living room has an irregular shape or is too large or small of a space. Here are some scenarios and answers that might help:

  • For imbalanced focal points, move different centerpieces around to avoid putting too much emphasis on one side of the room. For instance, a large mounted art frame and a fireplace on the same wall might leave the rest of the room looking understated. Rearrange pieces to face different angles and install other interesting visual points.
  • For awkwardly shaped or small rooms, take advantage of the coziness by arranging armchairs, loveseats, and sofas close together. If possible, create other areas in the room by using functional furniture like narrow desks. Don’t resort to placing all seats against the walls. Instead, make a floating seating arrangement to give the illusion of space.
  • For open-floor spaces, place the back of a sofa or loveseat against the edges of the dining area. Alternatively, place a screen or other room divider to designate separate areas.
Large living room with sofa and chair
Kara Eads/Unsplash.com

How do you arrange furniture in a 12 by 12 room?

A small 12×12 room will look its best with petite furniture pieces, such as a comfortably sized loveseat and a minimalist ottoman. Pay attention to foot traffic and arrange furniture in a way that getting in or out of seats isn’t a hassle. It might be necessary to remove a coffee table and use an end table that’s out of the way.

How do I move furniture around my room?

First, you should have an idea of how you’d like to arrange the furniture in your room. Take measurements to ensure the pieces will fit where you want to place them. Next, purchase furniture sliders and shoulder dollies or straps — equipment that will save you from back pain afterward. Moving furniture with someone else is ideal, but if you have to move them by yourself, these items will help big-time.

Is there an app that helps you arrange your room?

There are plenty of apps that help you visualize your dream room. Some ideas are Planner 5D, amikasa, and magicplan. All three work for both iOS and Android smart devices. They all have unique features that help you rearrange furniture without doing the heavy work.

Are you ready to revitalize your common spaces now that you’ve learned about setting up a living room? With five main pieces — sofas, armchairs, ottomans, loveseats, and coffee tables — there are numerous arrangements that work well in most living rooms. Other important elements to incorporate are color, material choice, pattern, feng shui, and of course, your own personal flair. It’s your call.

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Tom Warnick
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Tom has worked been a writer and editor for several years, working at the Starlog Group, Billboard, Bed Bath & Beyond…
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