Psychological Interior Design Tricks of the Trade: How to Arrange Your Living Room Furniture in Such a Way That Will Make The Room Appear Larger Than it Is

The living room is the most frequented room in a home. Therefore, it is important to place your furniture properly. The proper placement of the room’s furniture goes a long way toward making the space feel welcoming. Nothing is worse than a living room (no matter how attractive) where people have to sit against the walls, or far from each other to have a conversation. Seating should be arranged in such a way that guests can actually have a conversation.

Where to position your furniture will depend upon the natural focal point of the space. In some rooms, this is architectural, such as a fireplace or a set of windows. In other living rooms, the focal point is a television. Once you determine this feature, orient the seating toward it. This feature now has the attracting qualities the walls used to.

Add flexibility to the room
How to arrange the living room furniture is up to you and your particular pieces. Most of us have a sofa and another chair or two, which we can position and reposition as often as we like. When trying out each new arrangement, make sure to allow enough space between furniture corners so people can move past in search of a comfy spot. And give everyone a reachable drink rest, even if it’s just a stack of books on the ottoman. 

Determine the focal point
The most basic and functional furniture arrangement is to place the sofa across from the focal point with all other pieces angled to face the same direction. This allows everyone a good look at the television or crackling fire. When entertaining, round the grouping into a conversational circle by adding ottomans or pillow poufs that face back at the sofa.

Allow space for guests to pass
For spaces with multiple doorways, draw an imaginary line that angles through the room from opening to opening, creating a straight trail between furniture pieces. This dynamic arrangement of furniture keeps the focal point in mind but also directs people through the space. Blocking the corners of the room like this can be helpful when you have children’s toys or hobby supplies you’d like to hide. 

Place the furniture around the sofa
When a sectional sofa is your primary seating, you might be tempted to push it into the corner of the room and call it a day. But this can feel claustrophobic, especially to those people seated on the deepest cushions. Pull it away from the wall to let light and air flow around it. Place a brightening lamp or slender console table at the back of the sofa.

Make sure everything is symmetric
A traditional and popular furniture arrangement is two sofas (or a sofa and a pair of chairs) sit directly across from one another, with the focal point at one end. Positioning the seating this way facilitates conversation because no one has a direct view of the focal point. It’s useful when activities such as reading, working on a laptop, or just simply watching the television.

2 thoughts on “Psychological Interior Design Tricks of the Trade: How to Arrange Your Living Room Furniture in Such a Way That Will Make The Room Appear Larger Than it Is

  • The best way to do this is to trick the eye. They say you should have 18 x 18 pillows for the sofa…a great trick is to use two 26 x 26 pillows and two 22 x 22’s. Using small pillows makes the sofa look small, thereby making the room look smaller as well. Use BIG pieces. I know it seems counterintuitive, but it isn’t.

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