How to Position Sofas in Living Room

Updated March 23, 2017

Some people place a sofa against the largest living room wall and forget about it. The way you position sofas in the living room, however, defines the space. Some people prefer intimate conversational seating areas with sofas near other seats, while others use a large sofa as a room divider. Try your sofa and other living room furniture in a few arrangements to determine their optimum layout.

Study your living room floor plan. Take into account spaces you often overlook, such as the indentation under a stairwell, vertical space, the strip of wall below the window or the area above a door frame. All of these areas can provide potential storage space or surfaces for accessorising, which can free up more floor space for your sofa arrangement.

Determine the focal point of the room. Many people want living room couches to face entertainment or media centres while others want to emphasise a fireplace or a wall featuring a large work of art. Do not feel restricted by your living room's focal point, however. While your sofas may provide a view of a television screen or a bank of windows, they may do so from an angle rather than directly facing them.

Check the evenness of the flooring where you want to place your living room sofas. If your floor changes from hardwood to tile or has an area rug, make sure all four legs of your sofa stand on the same material. If you have multiple sofas or a sofa and love seat combination, stand one piece on a rug and another on the bare floor.

Arrange living room sofas to maximise their functionality. Two sofas or a sofa and an armchair in an L-shape formation provide an ideal vignette within the larger space, allowing people to gather to converse. Place a low, square table between two large sofas to afford space for playing games, eating and drinking without blocking views. Stand a large sofa in the middle of an open floor plan, dividing the living room area from a dining area.

Position living room sofas to allow traffic to flow easily through the living room space. Avoid blocking doorways or passageways between rooms. Keep sofas far enough from the wall so that people can walk behind them. Your sofa decor scheme should include complementary seating, tables, ottomans, pillows or throws to make the living room comfortable.


Don't worry about pairing two different colours of sofas in a living room layout. You can use surrounding textiles, accessories and art to unify the look.

Things You'll Need

  • Seating
  • Pillows
  • Throws
  • Ottoman
  • Tables
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About the Author

Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.