We have lots of people ask us how we do what we do, so we thought we’d round up some of our insider knowledge to help you with your impending sale or just to try in your own home for fun. This weeks edition is about maximising the space in your living room.

2. Living room furniture placement

Your living room is one of the most used spaces in your home, so it’s important to create a cohesive environment that everyone can enjoy. It’s just as important that the room promotes good traffic flow, allows you to move around freely and unobstructed but also serves the purpose of being able to comfortably live in it. Your furniture placement is the key to functionality as well as presentation.

From experience we can tell you that no two living spaces are the same. Even with our experience we occasionally think we’ve nailed the layout in our planning only to get to the property to find we have to change things around in order to get it just right.

We often tell people to style with the ‘rule of three’ as it creates visual interest, however this does not tend to apply to furniture (except perhaps bar stools which sometimes need more or less). Your furniture layout should have balance, which in design terms implies that one side is the same ‘visual weight’ as the other, even if the furniture is different. For example, a sofa on one side and two armchairs on the other. Keep in mind that dark colours and patterns carry more visual weight.

One big misconception is that if you have a large living area your should push all your furniture up against the wall. If there is space, bringing your sofas and armchairs closer together you can create a cosy atmosphere that enables everybody to converse with ease.

Conversational living room arrangement Lounge_1

Whilst it’s important in most households to be able to watch TV comfortably from the sofa, this should not be your rooms focal point (a big black screen is not very pretty, is it?!). Instead try to draw the eye to a piece or artwork or an architectural feature like a bay window or a fireplace (most older properties were not set up to view a TV they were instead centred around the heater with the back to the view). With our styling, we always try to maximise being able to enjoy the view, the TV and the heater where possible (not always an easy ask).

When arranging your living room, the orientation of your furniture will depend on the focal point. Have your main sofa facing towards the focal point with your armchairs facing in a conversational manner towards the sofa over a shared coffee table.

Important tip: When looking for furniture to purchase keep in mind size and style. What may look great on the huge showroom floor may not look so good in your more modest living room space. Measure your room carefully and if need be, get the dimensions of the furniture and mark it out on the floor using masking tape. Take particular care with the depth of furniture as this can chew up significant space in your living room very quickly.

Tie the space together with a large area rug which will help create a ‘zone’ within your room as well as softening the space. See below for examples:

TV is the focal point in this living room The view is the focal point in this living room

The focal point of this room is the view and TV Sofa chairs enjoy the view while the sofa maximises TV viewing

A coffee table and side table are not only functional for drinks but they create an elegant balance in the room too and can be used to add additional accent colours or items from a collection that assist bring the whole room together. A stack of nice hard cover books or greenery in the form of a plant adds extra life.

We always love the feeling of a floor lamp in the corner too as it adds an element of height to the room, but also adds mood lighting in the evenings. If there is no room for a floor lamp, a table lamp on a console table or side table works just as well.

Don’t forget that sometimes less can be more in the living room so don’t overload it with unnecessary furniture items or accessories.

From here, look at your cushion placement and start styling the space to match your personality.

Our next edition will go into more detail on how to style your coffee table and dining table.

The Shift Team

Missed part 1 on how to style with cushions?? Read it here