This Styling Trick Has the Most Impact on Living Room Furniture Arrangements

Updated 11/01/18
living room design ideas
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

The living room is the centerpiece of your home. It's one of the first things guests see when they enter and where they're most likely to spend the majority of their visit. Through design and décor, you help communicate a message—and through the arrangement and functionality of the furniture, you help facilitate communication. Encourage the company to gather and pass the time—and make the most of your space—by implementing a straightforward styling trick that has the most impact on living room furniture arrangements.

You know what they say: Two’s company. Most living areas fall back on the traditional model of having one couch act as the centering object of the space. But we urge you to consider mirroring a pair in your floor plan—space and budget permitting, of course. This symmetrical living room furniture arrangement (and sofa layout) may not seem profound, yet it's an instant game changer for a number of reasons we detail below.

Symmetry

living room furniture arrangments
Douglas Friedman/Trunk Archive

The thing about “perfect symmetry” is, well, perfection. If something feels off about your interior, it may very likely be the layout of your furniture. The simplest way to remedy that is to introduce a little balance. Having symmetry in your home—be it a pair of matching sofas facing each other or a set of pendant lights framing your bed—allows you to be more playful and off-kilter with your arrangements of other art, accessories, and accent furniture. Anchor your living room with two sofas, and then you can feel free to be adventurous elsewhere. If you have a fireplace in your space, center your sofas around it, and you’ll create a beautiful sense of symmetry.

Mirroring your sofas instantly creates a focal point: you and your guests.

Serene Sofa
West Elm Serene Sofa $1399 $1119
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living room layout
Alyssa Rosenheck ; DESIGN: Amanda Barnes Interior Design

Focus

small living room furniture arrangement
Michael Wells

Aiming your sofa at your flat-screen makes perfect sense in a TV room or den, but in formal living rooms and other sitting areas, something on the wall should be the point of focus. Mirroring your sofas instantly creates a focal point: you and your guests. This layout encourages socializing better than most; accent the sofas with an armchair or two, or opt for smaller love seats as the furniture item that's mirrored, and you’ll have a lively cocktail hour in no time.

Having fewer large furniture pieces will also streamline the look of the space, offering a cleaner aesthetic that feels less cluttered (even though it accommodates more guests).

CB2 Gwyneth Boucle Chair $899
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living room—sofa layout
Katie Martinez Design

Scale

large living room furniture arrangement—sofa layout
Amber Interiors

Decorating an expansive room? If you fill it with multiple pieces of seating, you can easily lose its wonderful sense of scale and create clutter. If you often entertain large parties, multiple small seating arrangements can benefit you, but if small groups are your thing, a living room furniture arrangement that comes together around one central sitting area of two mirrored sofas is your best bet.

West Elm Lily Sofa $1299 $909
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living room design
Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Katherine Carter

Space

narrow living room couch arrangement
ACP/Trunk Archive

If no other reason than to seat more guests in your home, consider an additional sofa. In the space where two armchairs and a side table might sit, you can easily fit a second sofa that makes room for three or four (or more) guests instead of just two. Having fewer large furniture pieces will also streamline the look of the space, offering a cleaner aesthetic that feels less cluttered (even though it accommodates more guests).

Looking for stylish sofas that stay within a budget? Here are 15 insanely stylish couches under $900.

Pottery Barn Soma Brady Slope Arm Slipcovered Sofa $799
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living room layout ideas
Katie Martinez Design

This story was originally published on August 21, 2014, and has been updated.

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