Experts explain how to arrange living room furniture well


How we arrange living room furniture is key to creating a welcoming and functional space, as too many pieces put together with a haphazard approach can result in a room that is a bit unbalanced.

The best living room layout for your home will ultimately depend on the furniture you install. You’ll want to know where to place your TV, the all-important sofa, the coffee table, and more. And, your arrangement will of course need to take into account how you and your household are using the space.

How to arrange living room furniture well

There are many ways to arrange furniture, and the shape of your room will naturally guide how you go about it.

At the end of the day, the lounges work hard to feel comfortable when needed and welcoming when we receive. Our expert advice will inspire you to have fun in your own living room so that you can create an elegant floor plan that suits you best.

1. Always start at the beginning – with the sofa

gray painted living room with bay window, blue sofa and armchair, orange armchair, floor lamp, table lamp, blue carpet, modern chandelier, glass coffee table

(Image credit: Pooky)

The sofa is the main piece of furniture and its placement is essential. In front of a large bay window is a nice position and as if it fits, push it back into the bay to have more floor space to play with.

If this is the only sofa you have, add a few armchairs on each side, with a coffee table in the center. Choose seats of a similar style, these three pieces presented here all have curved lines that bring more harmony to the space.

2. Make symmetry your best friend

living room with blue sofa, patterned rug, leather ottoman, shelves on either side of the TV

(Image credit: House of Jade Interiors / Lindsay Salazar)

The best living room TV ideas will let you enjoy the big screen, without affecting the final look of your living room. This space is designed to perfection.

“One of the challenges of this space was getting adequate seating to watch TV. The space between the kitchen and the living room was tight and we didn’t want to eat too much in the walkway and the circulation space. We decided to make a long sofa on one side of the TV and two blue swivel chairs on the other. The chairs are super comfortable and the swivel function allows you to watch TV optimally!

When designing our #ridgerunner project, our goal was to transform the house into a modern farmhouse that leans more on the modern side, ”says Kirsten Krason, co-owner and lead designer of Jade House Interiors.

pale gray living room with fireplace, alcove bookcases, bay window with blinds, sofa, coffee table, carpet

(Image credit: Sharps)

If you have a living room that has an open door to another room, don’t block it with another sofa, keep it open. If you need extra seating, either place another sofa directly in front of the fireplace or a few good-sized armchairs.

Keep side tables near the sofa so the door isn’t cluttered and add a simple coffee table that won’t distract you, this white top table is perfect.

3. Let your carpet guide the layout

white living room with neutral furniture, glass coffee table, checkered rug, white shelves

(Image credit: House of Jade / Travis J Photography)

Use unusual living room furniture to add both interest and function:

“The living room is the beating heart of this house. It has dizzying ceiling heights and incredible views of the Utah Valley. The acrylic lamp, chair and glass coffee table allow your gaze to wander the room, ”says Kirsten Krason, co-owner and lead designer of Jade House Interiors.

4. Accent furniture can be both decorative and practical

pink living room with gray sofa and chair, black floor, golden coffee table, bar cart, pendant light, striped carpet

(Image credit: Habitat)

Along with the main pieces like sofas and armchairs, there are also the smaller living room furniture to consider like consoles, coffee tables and side tables – not to mention a bar cart for special occasions.

They provide these additional surfaces for lamps, coffee table books, candles, vases, and ornaments. Place them within easy reach of sofas and armchairs so that they can also be used for drinks. Ideal when working with small living room layouts in particular.

5. Low furniture creates a casual look

black and cream living room with black marble wall and black low armchairs, gray footstool, gold wall lights, black console and mirror

(Image credit: Maestri Studio / Nathan Shroder)

If you prefer a more modern, low-hanging feel, the same ‘rules’ apply, but also opt for lower coffee tables – or a footstool so that the proportions harmonize perfectly with the chairs.

“We wanted the furniture to be comfortable and casual without removing the fireplace as a focal point,” says Eddie Maestri, Principal Architect of AIA and Creative Director and Owner of Maestri Studio.

6. Create an L-shaped layout, without an L-shaped sofa.

blue and cream living room with white walls, blue sofas, light wood coffee table

(Image credit: Living with Lolo / The created life)

“We had so much fun creating this home for our clients,” says Lauren Lerner, Founder and Senior Designer of Living with Lolo.

“They asked us for a modern farmhouse vibe and we pushed them outside their comfort zone to add more modern elements. They love the result! “

We love how Lauren used two sofas to create an L-shape in this living room and then placed the two wood upholstered armchairs on the right side which is great for chatting as well as watching TV.

7. Keep furniture well spaced in a large living room.

yellow living room with black and white artwork, leather sofa and armchairs, wooden coffee table and patterned carpet

(Image credit: Barker & Stonehouse)

The beauty of a large living room is that you can be generous with the way you position your furniture. While a large space is always welcome, it can seem intimidating to arrange it. Here, the large 3-seater sofa is set away from the wall and a large armchair on the left, with a smaller chair on the right, all perfectly placed to fill the space. A rug is in the center with the coffee table positioned in the middle. The matching leather also creates a cohesive look.

8. Keep it compact with smart designs

white living room with open space, gray sofa, coffee table with stools, blue carpet, white floors, black console

(Image credit:

When space is at a premium, opt for living room furniture that is smart in terms of space and storage.

There are four key elements here: the sofa, the decorated console, the wardrobe, and the coffee table that doubles as a seat. Due to their slim nature, they all fit into a relatively small area, but the coffee table can be extended when needed.

9. Create a visual balance for two

white living room with gray floor, modern coffee tables and matching shelf, black floor lamp, black mirror, cream sofa

(Image credit: Barker & Stonehouse)

Living room storage may be more essential to your space than seating, if so, choose pieces that match visually like those two side tables and that shelving unit. Their see-through design makes them ideal for a modern living room and note how they are positioned – the two side tables are placed together and the unit behind the sofa, this creates a unified look that is both simple and efficient.

10. Create an L-shaped relaxation area

living room with yellow sofa, round side tables, textured rug, shelving, open plan feel

(Image credit: Furniture Village)

Although this sofa is not technically L-shaped, you can build a makeshift one with a normal 2-3 seater and an ottoman and then create a comfortable seating area. Pair it with a rug and a coffee table for a zoned space that will work well in an open plan living room. Add paint in matching colors and you have a stylish, contemporary and smart seating area.

12. Double if you prefer sofas to armchairs

neutral living room with two sofas and large square coffee table, bay window

(Image credit: Fritz Fryer)

If your living room is big enough and you prefer the comfort of sofas to armchairs, then go for two sofas. These two are similar in size and shape although different fabric choices, but are tied together due to the neutral colourway. They also create a square shape which is imitated in the coffee table.

Where to place my sofa in the living room?

Where you place your sofa is key to the overall look of your living room. If you are successful, your other pieces will be easy to place. After all, it’s usually the biggest item you’ll have in there.

First of all, you need to establish the focal point of your living room – is it the fireplace? Or the TV? In addition to being able to see these elements, you may want to create a space where conversations take place, so that one sofa facing another or two armchairs can work well. If the fireplace is your focal point, place the sofa in front, but with a coffee table on a rug in between. Depending on the size of your space and your family, you may need more than a sofa or a few comfy chairs to create a cozy atmosphere.

How to properly organize my show?

The key to successful living room organization is having the right proportions. If your space is small, choose furniture that fits visually – a 3-seater will take up too much space, for example. A smaller sofa combined with a hug or two will look a lot nicer. The same goes for side tables and coffee tables, keep them under size control, one solution is to look for dual-purpose pieces – a nest of tables or a coffee table with storage for stools in below. Consoles are a great option, they can sit behind a sofa and are used for table lamps and ornaments.

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