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January 20, 2022 4 min read

A couch is usually the largest furniture piece in a room and placing it correctly is essential if you wish to create a comfortable living space. Here are some tips to help you choose the best spot for a couch in your living room. 

General Sofa Rule

Every living room needs a focal point. Whether it’s a large piece of art, a window with a view, a television, or a fireplace, this is where your eyes land when you enter the room. As a general rule, the couch should always face the focal point of your living room. 

Read on to find out what are the ideal placement options for a couch. 

Good Placement Options

Regardless of the size of your living room, the right couch placement will make the space more enjoyable. On the contrary, if it isn't placed correctly, the space may feel off-balance and unattractive. Here are some of the best spots to place a couch in a living room.

In front of a window

Your living space will often dictate the furniture layout to go for. In small rooms, putting a couch directly in front of the window is a good choice, and sometimes the only option you have.

A clear advantage of placing a sofa in front of a window is that you’ll have a natural source of light right by the seating. However, in a restricted space the couch is inevitably going to take center stage so make sure that its design complements the rest of the space.

On the other hand, a sofa placed by the window may block some of the natural light and increase the risk of the fabric fading over time. If you choose this alternative, you also need to make sure that the couch is at least a foot away from the window to allow room for the curtains to close properly.

Across from a window

If you are fortunate enough to have a spacious living room with a large window, you can place the couch across from the window. This type of arrangement will allow you to take advantage of the view both during the day and at night when you’re relaxing or entertaining.

Facing the mantel

If a fireplace is the main focal point of your living room, you should orient the couch towards the mantel. This layout will give a cozy and warm atmosphere to your space. 

The seating should ideally be placed at least two feet away from the fireplace, so that you can safely enjoy the warmth. Keeping enough space between the sofa and the mantel will also emphasize the fireplace as the focal point in the room. And if you can't decide between placing your couch in front of the fireplace or the TV, simply mount the TV above the mantel.

Other Ideas When Deciding Sofa Placement

Room balance

A sofa is often the main furniture piece in the room as well as the largest one, so it is essential that it is in balance with other furniture. For a classic, symmetrical layout, arrange two sofas facing each other in front of a focal point such as a fireplace. 

However, achieving balance doesn't mean that furniture has to be completely symmetrical. Another easy way to balance the visual weight of the sofa and maximize seating is to place two chairs across from the couch. If you’ve got plenty of room, you can opt for a couple of deep armchairs instead, or a love seat on one end of the sofa and two chairs on the other.

A different way to bring a sense of scale and balance to your living room is to place another large piece of furniture on the opposite side of the room. This strategic furniture arrangement will make a spacious room feel cozier.

Traffic patterns

In addition to considering the balance of the furniture when deciding on your couch placement, you need to think about the traffic flow in the room. You should never have to awkwardly step around furniture pieces in order to pass through a room. 

Make sure to keep the couch out of the way of the door so you’re not blocking the entry for anyone coming into the room. Leave at least 30 inches between the sofa and other furniture to allow for movement into and out of the seating area. You should also maintain 14-18 inches between a sofa and coffee table to keep drinks within easy reach.

Purpose of the room

When looking for the best spot to place your sofa, it is also important to take into consideration the way the room will be used. For example, if your family likes lounging, relaxing, and reading, center your sofa and surround it with chairs and cushions to create multiple seating areas that you can enjoy together. Additional small seatings are also easy to move around, allowing for more flexibility in your living room design.

Breathing room

Placing a sofa up against the wall is a common choice in many homes. While this may be necessary in smaller rooms, it is usually preferable to pull the sofa away from the wall and give it some breathing room if your space allows for it. 

Lining the couch up with walls or angles within the room will create a formal atmosphere. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a softer, more casual feel, you can arrange the couch at a slight angle away from the wall. For example, place it diagonally facing a corner with a tall plant to add interest to the room.

Alternatively, place your couch, along with any additional seating and a coffee table, in the center of the room to create a cozy and intimate conversation area. You can frame the space with other furniture positioned around the perimeter of the room. This arrangement will give your room a relaxed feel and encourage socializing.

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