Furnishing your home is one of the best parts of being a homeowner. The worst part is, of course, hosting your inlaws. But getting to design the look and feel of your home is an activity you should take pride in. It is a way to let your personality shine through and, when properly done, can make any sized house or apartment the envy of your friends and family.
Once you have nailed your aesthetic, you have to decide how it will all come together. Think of your home floor plan as a gallery of artwork; would you place the Mona Lisa in the back corner of The Louvre? Or the Statue of David on the front lawn? How you arrange your furniture pieces should be intentional and functional (with a dash of inspiration).
Every room should be done with equal care, but few rooms will get more visitors than your living room. Arranging this area with our tips in mind will make your living room will make it a place where everyone wants to, well, live!
Fun With Feng Shui
Feng shui is a Chinese philosophy regarding the practice of arranging furnishings, buildings, and room layouts in a way that creates harmony and balance with the natural world.
The idea of feng shui comes from the Taoist belief in “chi.” Chi is believed to be the life force that inhabits all things. Like the yin and yang, chi is about balance. Feng shui is the practice of balancing yin and yang to improve the flow of chi in a room.
To do this, you must move and arrange furniture in ways that will allow chi to flow through a room so it can create positive energy that will benefit your health, improve your luck, and improve your relationships.
The practice of feng shui dates back thousands of years. Some point to ancient Chinese gravesite placement as an example of feng shui. Today, people incorporate feng shui when decorating and arranging their homes. Rules of feng shui dictate where to place fixtures in relation to doorways or openings to make sure chi has the ability to enter and exit a room.
Feng shui has essential principles: the commanding position, the Bagua, and the five elements.
Your Wish Is My Commanding Position
The commanding position puts you in a position to readily deal with whatever life throws at you. Translation: you can easily see the entry to your room. This is the spot that is furthest from the door and diagonal to it. Incorporating this in a room would mean that wherever you spend the most time in your room, that should be in the commanding position.
Paper or Plastic Bagua
Bagua means “eight areas.” A Bagua energy map helps divide your space into zones that represent different life circumstances such as wealth, family, and career. You can use a Bagua map to analyze your home and make decisions on your room arrangements.
Earth, Wind, and Fire (and Wood and Metal)
“Do you remember the 21st night of September?” Probably not unless something awful happened. The easiest way to change the feng shui in a given room is to incorporate one of the five elements or remove one. Each element invokes a different mood, and balancing these will improve the flow of that much sought-after positive chi.
It might be tempting to just order all the things you need ahead of time and figure it out when they all arrive, but try to resist the urge. The best thing you can do for yourself is taking the time to plan ahead and really think about what pieces of furniture you need and, more importantly, how you will be using your living room.
Will you be hosting often, or will you be raising your kids here? Is the room for lounging with a book or the ultimate media viewing experience? Really think about the furniture you will need in here before settling on the ones that you love.
What should the space feel like? Should it be cool and elegant or playful and cozy? All of these questions are important to consider before you start piecing together the living room layout and arranging your furniture. Once you have them answered, it’s time to choose a focal point.
Be Vocal About Your Focal
Every room has a focal point. It might be a high ceiling with a chandelier or a fireplace; whatever the case may be, your eye will be drawn there. If you have a natural one, great. If not, create some visual interest with your TV or an area rug if you are choosing to keep your entertainment room separate.
Don’t Be Averse To Converse
Much like your focal point, the conversation area of your living room is central to its seating arrangement. Any time you host, your living room will be the main point of conversation for you and your guests, so you want to make sure it is conducive to conversation.
A sofa with two accent chairs and a table in the middle is a classic setup or just four accent chairs grouped around a table. A sectional sofa that is big enough for a half dozen people will also work well to maximize comfort, especially if you still want a TV focal point that people won’t have to crane their necks to see.
If your living room is larger, you might want to consider two conversation areas or one conversation area and one TV area.
When it comes to arranging the living room, you want everything to be N*SYNC. But seriously, balance is key when arranging your furniture. You need to take into account the size and placement of all your pieces. You want a variety of sizes, and you want to place them in a way that promotes symmetry.
Always scale your pieces to the size of the room. Furniture that is too big in a small room or vice versa will absolutely throw off the chi. Make sure your patterns and texture match, too. It can help to pull out some graph paper and a pencil to create a fully accurate living room furniture layout.
Try creating symmetry with the seating area. A mirror image look with two identical sofas or a loveseat will draw people in. If that isn’t an option, go for counterbalancing by placing two small armchairs opposite the couch or a properly sized coffee table.
Go With the Flow
You have to consider the traffic flow of your room when arranging the furniture. Think hard about the way people are going to be moving through this space. Keep in mind the entrance and exit and make sure there is a clear line between the two.
The space between the couch and coffee table should be at least two feet. You don’t want it to block off movement and don’t want people tripping when they move through the space. For the areas without furniture (thoroughfares), allow for three feet of space.
The Space Between
Leaving space between your wall and your furniture can create a sense of intimacy and actually make the room look bigger.
Of course, this won’t work if your living room space is very limited, but if you have the ability to create some room, take it. It will allow for great chi flow around your furniture.
If you have a narrow living room or a small living room, think about storage solutions to help create more open floor space while still providing enough sitting area for your guests. Floating shelves can take items off the floor. And ottomans with removable tops can hide board games and blankets.
Choosing the right art for your living room is a crucial part of arranging your living room. This extends to mirrors and sculptures, too, not just posters and prints. Take into account the available wall space at your disposal and begin thinking about what size pieces will fit where.
Always match the proportion of your furniture. If you have a long couch, you will want to match it with a wide portrait or print. Make sure the art is showcased by the correct lighting. This could include sconces, tall floor lamps, or even a full moon lamp.
Never Table the Discussion
Make sure you have tables in arm’s reach of every seat in your living room. Whether it is a side table or your coffee table, you and your guests should never have to stand up and walk to reach their drinks or food.
You want an end table that is almost the same height as the chair it is closest to. If that is not possible, at least make sure that it is lower than the furniture. The coffee table should follow the same rules.
Bulbhead’s Bright Ideas
No matter how you decide to arrange your living room, Bulbhead is your home for bright ideas. We have everything you need to make your home the place to be and the envy of your friends and family. From a chair support cushion to cleaning supplies, Bulbhead has it all.
Check us out for more tips, tricks, and products!