Ideal living room arrangement

BY: Raphael Langdon

Please Sir, help me to understand a few things my designer suggested. He thinks that our living room is overstuffed and that we should remove some of the furniture and probably use it in other rooms. But all the items in the livingroom  were made for each other. We actually bought them in sets.

Sir, he said so many things that make sense but I find it difficult to implement. Is there an ideal arrangement for living rooms, like standard number of seats etc.?

 I think your question and answer style is helpful to some of us. Thank you

Nana Takyi, Tema New Town.


 Dear Takyi, There can be a situation of overstuffing of living rooms. There is overstuffing when there are too many items, furniture, accessories and gadgets.

The term overscaling is used when the items are bigger in size as compared to the size of the room and other related items in the room.

 Generally, when choosing living room furniture, scale is important. One must take note of the space as small furniture can be swallowed up by huge spaces while larger ones can look unpleasantly positioned.

Other than buying a full comfortable living room furniture, having just enough seating is better. To have more space in a living room, we usually suggest placing the seating furniture along the room’s perimeter if there is enough open wall space.

Other useful pieces of furniture that look less bulky like Ottoman, upholstered or padded footstools are rarely used for feet nowadays.

These footstools act as seats as a last resort aside being used as side tables sometimes. In this case a large square ottoman may function as a coffee table.

A practical way in living room furniture arrangement for two conversational areas, is to place a pair of large sofas back to back usually similar in scale, with their matching pairs of chairs opposite each sofa.

This adds to the room’s neatness, creates ease for entertaining, allowing occupants to move from one conversational group to another.

 On the other hand some designers may create two more seating arrangements in the form of cozy islands in one room, if it is large enough, rather than a single conversational area.

Rugs and coffee tables are used to define such demarcations making them little oases of seating areas without breaking the sense of space.

There is a point of order that is worth noting, most designers do advice that it is better not to place sofas and armchairs right against a wall; though in most cases it is a practical way to create more space in the centre of the room.

Incidentally, such always has the tendency of making the living room look filled-up and less spacious. The beauty and  function of the  living room furniture is appreciated most when there is ample space around them.

One  can let picture windows, garden views, daylight or the natural light entry point guide one’s placement of the living room furniture.

One can position sofas and chairs to take advantage of natural light and the view.

Television and other pieces of interest may be included in the focal point. For focal points that need no direct illumination, appropriate window treatments must be applied to manage the inflow of natural light.

The living room is a hub to the entire household, a well-decorated and amply furnished living room brings general comfort and appeases functionality.