The living room is one of the most versatile rooms in a home. A kitchen is used to cook and a bathroom is used to get ready to face the day, but a living room is used to live, which can mean different things to different people. Making sure your living room is designed to fit your definition of living is the most important step in improving your living room.

Choose a Focal Point

Is there one thing in your living room that you want to be the focus of the room? Whether it’s your fireplace, a picture window overlooking your wooded yard, or an oil painting of your beloved canine companion, plan to have your furniture face this focal point.

If you are using a TV as your focal point, which is perfectly acceptable, make sure your furniture is the right distance away and that the majority of your seating is at the proper angle for viewing. If there isn’t a focal point in your living room, make the people seated in the room the center of attention by turning furniture pieces to face each other.

Size and Space

Many living rooms run the entire depth of a house, making them too large to have just one seating area. Other living rooms are barely large enough to serve one function.

To determine the best arrangement for your living room furniture without moving it multiple times, draw a diagram to scale on a piece of paper (graph paper works great). Include the location of outlets, vents, doors and windows, as well as your focal point. Cut out paper replicas of the furniture you’d like to use and arrange the seating pieces first so they are aimed toward the focal point and aren’t covering any windows or vents. Next, add coffee tables, end tables, ottomans, floor lamps, etc.

Once you have an arrangement that seems to work, move your actual furniture and check for the following items:

• Tables should be close enough to couches and chairs to allow guests to set down a drink or pick up a magazine without having to get up.
• Floor lamps should be near seating areas without a table lamp or ceiling lighting.
• If access to an outlet is an issue, see if the power cord can be run under a larger piece of furniture to the closest outlet.
• There should be at least 30 inches in between furniture pieces where people need to walk.
• Seating should be close enough to allow for comfortable conversation. If guests will need to shout to be heard, move everything closer together.
• Walls should not be lined with furniture. Larger pieces like armoires or entertainment centers can stay on the walls, but smaller ones need to be brought toward the center of the room.

Asking for Help

Have you diagrammed your room, placed your paper furniture, moved the real thing several times and still just can’t get it to work? Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. At Beginning to End Interiors, we not only help customers select custom furniture, we also help them place it in their homes. If you want to improve the living room in your Sarasota, Florida home by rearranging the furniture, call us to schedule an in-home consultation.