Big, small, square, long, curved, grand and just plain awkward. Rooms come in all shapes and sizes and there’s usually very little (aside from wielding a sledgehammer) that we can do to change their physical shape. But the way you arrange the seating in a room can make or break its appearance and usefulness. It’s no good having a beautiful lounge that no one ever sits in because they can’t talk together. Or arranging some cosy, intimate sofas and seats, only to be distracted by the fact that your guests’ heads are framed by a flickering TV.
This is one of those those issues that seems to divide
people into two distinct groups: those who think the
TV should be the focus, and those who don’t. Decide
on the focal point of your room: if it’s the TV, then you
want to make it comfortable for the whole family to
watch. If it’s not, ensure: there is another focal point (usually an architectural one such as window with a view, or a fireplace); the TV is played down (a flat screen on a swing out arm that can be flattened against the wall for instance); and the couch is aimed away from the TV enough to ignore it, but still towards it enough to allow
for comfortable viewing when it’s required. If you’re lucky enough to have a separate TV room, so much the better; if not, see if you can divide the room - perhaps with a chaise longue or corner group that comes out across the room - to create two distinct areas.
Regardless of the television, it’s still wonderful to be able to divide up larger or longer spaces with a sofa to create two separate ‘rooms’ with differing functions. Maybe you could have a cosy, evening area near the fireplace and a light and airy daytime seating area by the bay window. It’s important to decide on the main function of the room and use the furniture to enable this to happen. Usually this means placing larger pieces first so that you can get the maximum space out of the room for other pieces. Again, decide on the focal point and be sure that the seating brings it into focus.
Don’t clutter up the rest of the room with too much furniture. It can make it difficult to walk through and make the room plain annoying. It also makes it difficult to bring in anything new without it potentially getting in the way or sitting somewhere out of place. A few key pieces are coffee tables or an ottoman, that can be used to put drinks or tired feet on, and lamps to cast a soft glow in the evening and provide enough light for reading by. And if the room is simply a nightmare to arrange, consider a bespoke sofa design to fit in with the space you have and maximise its use.