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Arranging Living Room Furniture

Getting great ideas for arranging living room furniture is something of a lost art. At one time, living rooms were the formal entertainment spaces, akin to parlors back in the Victorian age. It was used mostly when guests and visitors came by.

Today’s living room is much more multipurpose, especially with modern open floor plans where the living room is often connected visually with the kitchen, dining room and perhaps even a family room.
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As such, thinking up smart ideas for arranging living room furniture is a bit more challenging as it must not only serve in a more formal role, but be useful day in and day out for the family.

But getting ideas for arranging living room furniture isn’t as hard as it seems. The first thing you want to do is decide if your room has a strong focal point. It could be the fireplace or a view window, but just as likely these days it’s a large screen plasma or LED TV with a home theater system.

If your home has such a TV, then you will start by arranging living room furniture so that everyone who comes over for a movie can see the screen. You really can never go wrong with centering the sofa or sectional right in front of the TV. If you have occasional chairs, you can add them to the mix by placing them between the sofa and the TV, setting them out a bit so views aren’t blocked. If they swivel, so much the better so you can switch between conversation and movie watching.

But what about ideas for arranging living room furniture when you have a sofa and a love seat? The traditional solution is to place them facing each other. But if you have a strong focal point you may want to place them in an L configuration instead, with the sofa on the long end and the love seat at a 90-degree angle. If you have a TV you may want to angle them a bit so all the seating faces the TV.

Ideas for arranging living room furniture don’t end with the sofa or sectional, though. Few living rooms are so austere as to have just a sofa, a sofa and love seat or a sectional to consider. There are chairs and end tables to factor in as well as a coffee table and entertainment center.

So, what are the ideas for arranging living room furniture when you have a lot of pieces? The goal is to not make the room too cluttered. While it’s tempting to use all the furnishings you have, you want to start from scratch, building from your largest piece set to showcase the focal point and build from there.

One of the important ideas for arranging living room furniture is to have defined traffic patterns. You want to have at least two major entry/exit points for your furniture grouping so that guests can come and go easily. Nothing’s more maddening than having to make people get up or tuck in their feet every two seconds so someone can squeeze by. These major traffic patterns should be three feet wide. The lesser spaces around furniture can be 18″ wide, such as the space between the coffee table and sofa or the space between occasional chairs and the coffee table.

As noted, the best way to arrange the room is to start with the largest piece and let it focus on the focal point. Then you build around it with the next largest piece, then the next. Finally you add in the smaller tables and chairs, ensuring that you allow plenty of space for traffic patterns. From there, use your judgment. You’ll know when the room is right because it will look right. It’s as much a feeling as it is a science.

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