Planning is the key

Arranging living room furniture need not involve moving furniture around for days on end, trying out the new arrangement to see what works best. There are a few useful guidelines you can use, and most rooms have at least some features to help you.

Furniture arrangement is an important part of your home decorating. It can be great fun, and with a little thought you can vastly improve your room.

On this page you'll see a typical plan for arranging living room furniture, together with computer generated views of how it could look.

First make a plan of your room

This one suggestion can save you hours of work and frustration, not to mention wasted energy in moving furniture around needlessly. You can make the plan on plain paper, graph paper, or use your favorite drawing program on your computer.

If you're using paper, then it's helpful to make cutouts to scale of your furniture. You can then easily move them around on the plan.

We've used a computer program which allows us to draw the plan and then produce computer generated views. This living room is about 20'0" by 23'0" (approximately 6.0 metres by 7.0 metres).

living room plan


living room cgi

This view is looking into the room from the bottom left of the floor plan


living room cgi

This view is looking into the room from the top right of the floor plan


Use the existing features

The focal point is obviously the mantle or fireplace. In many rooms this would be the central point for arranging living room furniture, providing just one group. But this room is large enough for more than one group of furniture. It was decided not to include a TV, as the intention was to use the room for people to interact with one another.

So two seating areas were arranged as shown, allowing suitable access from doors, and adequate space for people to move around.

(For more information go to the living room furniture page, and then return here.)

Make your own spaces

So that the room wasn't just one large area, the two seating areas were also indicated by the use of two oriental rugs which lie underneath the two coffee tables. These also give some color and definition. It's always a good idea to think in terms of 'groups' when arranging living room furniture.

If all the fabrics used on the furniture had been the same, it would have looked ok, but perhaps a bit ordinary. By using different but coordinating fabrics a much more interesting but coherent effect is achieved.


You'll normally find picture lights used in a room such as this. But here we've illustrated another way of doing it. By fitting lights into the ceiling above areas where pictures will be placed, the pictures are nicely lit and the walls are kept clear of light fittings.

Advantages and disadvantages of computer generated views

The computer generated views are very useful to see how different items go together when you're arranging living room furniture. In other words, you can see how space is used.

But don't rely on it for color. Yes, you can see how the room might look if you use red as opposed to yellow. But don't take it too far.

The subtle shade variations you get in different lighting conditions, the way different fabrics of similar colors reflect light - these and other factors mean you shouldn't expect too much. Use it for guidance only, then make your final decisions with real samples of fabric, carpet, rugs, etc seen in different lighting conditions.

If you're interested in computer generated views there are a number of products you can use. Some you buy and install on your computer, others are web based and you pay a small fee to use them.

The advantage of using a web based product is that you are always up to date with the latest improvements and additions. But whatever sort of software you go for, you'll need to check it will run on your operating system or web browser.


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