5 Tips for Arranging Living Room Furniture Like a Pro

Couple moving a sofa

Whether you’re deciding where to place a new couch, or you’re simply ready for a change, arranging your living room furniture doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Simply follow these five tips to create a space that is both welcoming and functional — no design degree or geometry class required.

Leather sectional and coffee table in living room

Start in the middle
In this design strategy, begin by placing a coffee table in the center of the room, then arrange seating around it. In a rectangular-shaped or especially large living room, you can create separate seating areas around two center points. Either way, be sure to let your furniture “float” by placing it at least 12 inches from walls. A large, empty space in a room can make it feel cold and uninviting.

Sofas, coffee table, bench, and TV in living room

Get Focused
Another option is to arrange furniture according to the room’s focal point, such as a window, fireplace, accent wall, or large piece of art. This is what people will first notice when entering the room, and although furniture doesn’t have to necessarily face the focal point, consider arranging it so that you can enjoy the warmth of a fire or view of the backyard from several vantage points.

Sofas facing each other in a living room

Create Balance
An easy and fail-proof approach involves dividing your room into sections and then evenly distributing furniture throughout. Placing pieces opposite each other, such as a couch across from the fireplace, creates a visually calming space that feels comfortable. Even if your furniture doesn’t perfectly match, mirroring pieces this way creates soothing symmetry.

Sofa and loveseat in living room

Room To Move
No one wants to walk into the back of a couch or navigate through a jumble of foot stools when entering a room. A welcoming room is one that’s easy to move through.

Arrange furniture to allow clearance in entryways, as well as about three feet of walking space around the room. Create natural paths that lead to other rooms, and don’t forget that furniture with drawers or cabinets will need extra space to open.

Interior of a living room with fireplace and TV

Function First
Your living room can look like a feature from a magazine, but if there’s nowhere to place a glass, or the couch is facing away from the TV where you watch football every Sunday, it’s not going to work. When arranging furniture, think about how you and your family use the room.

If everyone gathers for movie night, you may want extra seating facing the TV, or if game night is popular, the center point could include a larger table with easy-to-move chairs. In short, the room needs to work for your purposes. Ask yourself if the room is doing everything you need it to.