Three Keys to a Well-Designed Living Room

Whether you're staging your home to sell or just want to maximize its potential, every homeowner can benefit from smart design when it comes to arranging their furniture. Perhaps in no room is this more important than the living room, where you and your guests are most likely to spend the majority of your time. Because a home's living room is generally a blank canvas, there are nearly limitless options for how you can place the furniture within it. Luckily, you can achieve a space with plenty of form and function by following just three simple rules!

Rule #1: Create a focal wall

An eye-catching focal wall will not only increase the aesthetics of your living room, but also provide a visual and functional anchor around which you can arrange all of the room's furniture. The focal wall will usually be the one with the fireplace and/or TV on it, since these are two of the items inside any living room which command the most attention from occupants. Take extra care to make sure that the decorations and surfaces on this wall are clean and neat. Additionally, you will want to angle any seating to at least partially face this wall.

Rule #2: Everything should have a purpose

Many homeowners make the mistake of cramming unnecessary pieces of furniture into their living room in an attempt to fill space. Rather than improve the room, this strategy will only make it feel cluttered and cramped. Instead, every piece should serve toward fulfilling one of three purposes: seating, storage, or surface. Identify any furniture which isn't actively contributing toward these goals and remove it. For instance, an empty corner might seem like a reasonable place for a small table, but if the surface isn't actually needed for anything, then it simply represents a trap for dust and clutter.

Rule #3: Prioritize the couch

Now that you've identified your focal wall and removed excess furniture, it's time to arrange your seating. The largest and most important piece within almost any living room is the couch, and therefore it should take priority over any other item. Start by placing the couch into a spot where it both fits and faces the focal wall. Next, arrange any medium-sized seating, such as love seats, around the couch. Make sure to maintain a spatial relationship between these items and the couch as you place them by giving them views of both the couch and focal wall. After all, the people in these seats will want to either face people on the couch or face that wall! It might sound obvious, but many homeowners still insist on placing seats in far-flung corners or in totally pointless directions. If you have small seating elements such as individual chairs, they should be placed last, as they are the most flexible due to their reduced bulk.

There you have it! By following these three basic steps, you should be able to greatly improve the flow and feel of your living room. You can read more about this topic at