Should I Put a Couch in Front of a Window?

Written by kristen hamlin
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Should I Put a Couch in Front of a Window?
A couch should fit underneath the window to prevent blocking light and the view. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

The way you arrange your living room furniture can make a big difference in the room's appearance and comfort. Some living rooms--especially those in apartments and small houses--present a challenge. Windows, doors and the placement of electrical sockets can limit the options, so you may need to get creative with the furniture placement--and consider placing the couch in front of a window.

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Design Principles

In general, it's fine to put a couch in front of a window, as long as the couch back is lower than the window sill, or no more than a few inches above the sill. You don't want to block the view from the window or prevent light from coming into the room. If your windows are low, or you have floor to ceiling windows, try to find another location for the couch. In that case, placing the couch in front of the windows should be a last resort, used only because the couch either doesn't fit or looks odd in another location. If your living room has an impressive view, don't block the windows with the couch; instead, place the couch so you and your guests can see the view while seated.


Over time, sunlight streaming in through your windows is likely to fade an upholstered sofa--and that process speeds up if the sofa is right in front of the window. Assess the amount of sunlight that comes through the window each day before you arrange the furniture. A room with a southern exposure tends to be brighter and warmer throughout the day than one that faces north, so your upholstered couch will fade faster. You can prevent fading and other damage by using a slipcover.


Putting your couch in front of a window can be trouble if you have pets. If Chances are your cat or dog will be drawn to the back of the sofa to look out the window and bask in the warmth of the sunshine. Expect to clean a lot of pet hair and stains from the couch. The possibility of pet damage also increases, especially if you live in a busy neighbourhood. Fido may get a bit excited when the neighbours walk by or squirrels play in the yard, and will scratch or chew your sofa in excitement. If you have a very expensive couch, or it's especially delicate, place it somewhere else so pets are less likely to ruin it in their quest to get to the window.

Feng Shui

The Chinese principles of feng shui, which involve arranging your home for the maximum flow of positive energy, caution against placing a couch in front of a window. According to feng shui principles, energy flows from the window, and you don't want to block energy in any way. At the same time, you don't want positive energy to flow straight from the windows and out the doors. Place the couch at an angle, ideally one that faces the door and doesn't block the window. Such an arrangement will keep positive energy flowing.

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