With some good living room seating ideas you can easily make the best use of your space, whatever shape your room. In fact, the ways in which you can arrange your sofa and chairs are endless – from a smart symmetrical layout to grouped-together seating, you can not only maximise your living space, but also create the ambience you're after.
Looking for a cosy vibe? Go for a sociable setting with sofas and chairs within close proximity of each other. Prefer something worthy of a show home? Then use chairs and accent pieces like side tables to create a more balanced setting.
Living room seating ideas
It's likely that your room shape will dictate your living room seating layout to some degree, but contrary to common belief, when it comes to living room sofa ideas the traditional against-the-wall format isn't always the best arrangement, even in a compact room.
If you have space or your living room is a tricky shape, it's worth looking at other options – and we've got a few to whet your appetite, whether you're lucky enough to have a large open-plan space or are looking to maximise a smaller room shape.
Read on for the best living room seating ideas to suit any space…
1. Pull furniture away from the wall
Pushing all your seating against the wall isn't always the best way to arrange living room furniture, as it can create an awkward space in the centre and bring focus to the fact it's not the largest of rooms. Instead, try pulling furniture in towards the centre to give the area an open feel and create an illusion of more space – plus it offers you the chance to introduce other furniture behind, such as a sideboard or console.
2. Mix it up
In a large space you can afford to have a variety of seating, from a sofa, loveseat, armchair or even a chaise longue or recliner. Space the seating out, with each piece facing inwards and a coffee table taking the centre spot for a balanced feel.
If you're worried that by mixing different shapes and sizes it could look a bit mismatched, keep one element the same in each, whether it's a similar colour, fabric, or shape, and use a large rug to unify the seats, with all key pieces having at least two legs on top of the rug.
3. Switch a sofa for armchairs
Having trouble fitting a sofa into an awkward-shaped room? Or maybe you're worried a sofa will take up too much space? Swapping a sofa for armchairs can provide a good alternative, but before you buy it's worth considering whether you want two identical chairs, or ones in different sizes and materials.
Large, roomy armchairs, such as this boucle design above, make the ideal snuggle spot, while the smaller black armchair echoes the curved design and fits perfectly into the monochrome scheme.
Buy now: Arlo Boucle chair, £349, Dunelm
4. Create a focal point
Whether it's a TV, fireplace or feature wall, direct your main seating towards a focal point to give your living room a sense of direction – a cornerstone, so to speak. This is a quick living room layout fix to make a space feel happier and more welcoming.
Angle other chairs or seating in a similar direction to create a cocooned feel – perfect for cosy nights watching a roaring fire, a new series on TV or taking in a scenic view.
5. Make it multifunctional
Our living room seating can do so much more than just provide a place to sit on, so consider adding in pieces that have more than one use. For example, a sofa bed is ideal for when you need an extra sleep space for guests, while ottomans make a handy coffee table and can double up as extra seating when needed.
6. Group seating together
If you want your living room to have a relaxed feel, then place your seats so they're angled towards each other for a super-sociable space where you can converse easily. Give yourself the flexibility to be able to move your seating around to suit the occasion and amount of guests by opting for lightweight living room accent chairs and footstools that can be pulled in and out when needed.
Here, the bamboo coffee table and armchair bring a laidback, retro feel to the scheme, while the mustard-coloured sofa adds a bright burst of colour.
7. Add curves
On a scale of one to 10, this beautiful and shapely design is a solid 12 and up there with our pick of the best sofas. Roomy and luxurious, its undulating curves echo the shape of the window arch and are duplicated in the two armchairs opposite, adding visual appeal and a softness to the scheme.
Note how the coffee tables and sideboard also have a circular shape, while a globe-style pendant lihttps://www.idealhome.co.uk/buying-guide-reviews/best-sofas-242350ght overhead brings yet more curves, breaking up the tall ceiling and large expanse of space.
8. Welcome a flexible fit
Even the largest of living rooms can have areas that can be hard to find a sofa for, and if you're struggling to find one that works, it's worth checking out a modular design. The beauty of this style of sofa is that you can arrange it as you want, whether you have two seats or 10, a left or right chaise, and should you change your room or move to a new house, you have the flexibility to rearrange your modular sofa to suit.
This neat, square-shaped design is ideal if you're after grey sofa living room ideas and the deep seats offer plenty of room for stretching out on.
9. Keep seating symmetrical
Sophisticated, neat and pleasing to the eye, a symmetrical seating layout can bring an orderly, well-proportioned feel to your living room. Choose between placing two sofas opposite each other, with a coffee table to separate them, or a sofa with identical chairs at both sides, facing inwards, as shown here in this scheme by interior designer Shalini Misra.
Have a look at some living room cushion ideas for an extra hit of symmetry and follow up with a neat grid-like feature wall above.
10. Maximise seating
When lounging and TV-watching are the main activities, opt for a corner couch for the ultimate slouch! Where a couple of sofas may be too bulky, an L-shape design can maximise the space and fit neatly into a tricky corner.
How can I maximise my living room seating?
Kelly Collins, interior designer and head of creative at Swyft Home, recommends using the full scope of your room when working with a small living space. '
Push the sofa against the wall, swap wall lamps for standing lamps and use every square inch of floor that’s available,' she suggests. 'Try to avoid leaving any dead spaces in the room, as this will only eat into the useful area and make your living room feel smaller.'
How much seating should a living room have?
This really depends on the size of your living room, says Dani Burroughs, head of product at Snug. 'It’s important to make sure that your home works for you, rather than you working for your home,' she says.
'Comfort is king when it comes to seating. Whether you want a large squishy corner sofa with deep hugging seats, or a compact two-seater that fits like a glove into an alcove or smaller, awkward area, it’s all about using the space available – and, of course, personal choice.'
'Ideally you want enough seats for each member of the family to have a place to sit back and relax, but if space is tight, a great alternative is a 1.5 seater snuggler that offers all of the comfort of a regular sofa,' Dani continues. 'Another great option is a footstool, as it adds extra comfort while doubling up as an additional seat when guests come to visit.'
How do you maximise seats in a small room?
'Small spaces require a little creativity and versatility, which is why modular works best,' says Dani. 'Look for a sofa that grows with you and your lifestyle as your needs change. This will mean you can turn your two-seater into a three-seater sofa or change it into a corner sofa, all in a moment’s notice by simply adding new pieces with zero fuss.'
Kelly Collins at Swyft Home agrees and suggests looking at the rest of your furniture, too. 'Although it may feel counterintuitive to add more furniture to your small space, introducing an armchair or footstool can help to make your living room more functional and more attractive,' she says.
'One of the most effective modern small living room ideas you’ll come across is using oversized furniture. Though it may seem surprising, using large pieces of furniture in a cosy space can actually work really well, as long as other clutter and furnishings are kept to a minimum.'
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Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk
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