The living room is one of the busiest sections of the house next to the kitchen/dining area. Arranging furniture around a living room is an artistic challenge. Here are some tips to help you organize your living room.
- Measure your whole living area noting the height of the window sills, how many windows and doors there are and their distance from each other. Make note where the light switches and electric, phone and cable outlets are positioned. Use a graphing paper to draw your floor plan using ¼-inch = 1 foot scale. Make drawings or cutouts of the furniture you want to arrange.
- Select the area you want seen first. It maybe the main piece of furniture such as a home theater system, a fireplace, a window that overlooks the garden or a corner of the room where you can display some interesting pieces and arrange the rest of the furniture around it. Move your pieces around your floor plan so you can have different views of the whole arrangement.
- Once you are satisfied with the general layout then you can move on to the real thing. Select only pieces of furniture that will complement and also provide some contrast. You may be able to use all the furniture that you have right now when you rearrange. There should be no clutter and more legroom all around.
- Start with your main focus piece or area. Move the biggest piece of furniture into place. If this is your home theater system, then place the sofa directly across it. Other seats should be so positioned that everyone will have a view of the television with ease.
- Arrange a conversation area for visiting friends. It could be in front of a picture window. Distance should not be more than 8 feet for easy conversation. Making it too close makes your living room cramped. Provide a small table in between where you can place drinks and snack sets. The wall between windows can be used to display some art objects or an interesting furniture piece to break the monotony.
- Allow about 14 to 18 inches of legroom between chairs, sofas and coffee table. Make clear paths around the furniture and the whole room. You should be able to walk around the pieces of furniture and the whole room in general without bumping into a chair or table or any other piece of furniture. Furniture need not be pushed right against the wall all the time.
- The height of the side tables should be lower than the height of the sofa’s arms. The coffee table should be lower than a standard chair. Choose a coffee table that is one-half or two-thirds the length of the sofa.
- If your living room is small, choose pieces of varying heights and mass for visual balance but do not choose bulky pieces as these will take up too much space. Maintain one thematic scheme for a coordinated look. You can either go for the ultra modern pieces, the glass and stainless steel look, wood, leather or a mixed combination that will provide visual appeal.
- Take advantage of natural lighting for conversation areas or artificial pinpoint lighting to highlight some interesting pieces of art for a dramatic appeal.
When making your floor plan, consider who will be using the area, how frequent and the available pieces of furniture that you have. If you do a lot of entertaining, your living room area should have enough chairs and receiving tables to facilitate seating and places to put down food and drinks.