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Decorating & Furniture/living room furniture placement


I have lived in this home 15 years and have never been happy with my living room (20x30).  I would like to have a comfy, functional room to relax, visit with company and watch tv

There are four doorways into this room. The long wall that you face as you enter from the entryway has two bay windows with a fireplace in the middle and a door to the sunroom.  On one of the short walls there is a small built in desk, with a "bar" pass through and oversized doorway into the breakfast room.  

I can not afford to remodel but it is extremely hard to place furniture in this room.  I have tried all combinations of furniture, grouping into different conversation areas and I am just lost as to what else to try.  I currently have available to use in this room any of the following furniture:  1 loveseat & matching oversize chair with ottoman, 2 recliners (same style -- 2 different fabrics) and 2 oversize chairs (same style -- 2 other fabrics), 1 cocktail table.

I would appreciate any suggestions you may have.  Thanks!


Thanks for writing. As furniture placement is one of my favorite things to work on as a designer, it is always difficult for me to tell people where to put things if I cannot see the room.

From the information I gathered I will try my best to give you some general tips that I hope you can then apply to your room.

#1 is if you are currently using all the furniture you have listed, you need to get ride of about 1/2 of it. I see a problem here of trying to fit way to much into this space. Instead try using the love seat, matching oversize chair w/ ottoman, cocktail table, and maybe one or two oversized chairs if there is room.

Next, you need to decide what is going to be the focal point of the room. To me the wall with the fireplace and large windows on it sounds wonderful!

Now you need to start thinking outside of your four walls and pull furniture away from the walls more twords the middle of the room facing the fireplace wall.

Maybe try putting the two chairs on either side of the fire place and then across from the fireplace, put the love seat on center with the side chair and ottoman off to one side slanted inward. Cocktail table will go in the middle of all this and walla, you just made a perfect sitting group.

Another arrangement that may work would be to keep the love seat and cocktail table on center in front of the fireplace and put the two side chairs on each side of the love seat facing in tword the cocktail table, then put the oversize chair and ottoman in a slant next to the fireplace...another perfect sitting arrangemnt.

Other suggestions to help a small budget: buy a nice area rug to pull everything together, paint the walls, add new throw pillows and lamps, and/or put a soaf table in back of your love seat. I love a sofa table and it makes a great place to put a lamp. Another idea for a sofa table is to buy a drop leaf sofa table and leave 1 of the leafs open and pull a chair up to the table to double as a writing desk.

I hope I have been some help to you. Good luck and as always, I encourage you to send pictures of your completed project to anytime.

Thanks again.


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Benjamin Cottrell


I can answer any questions on interior design including color, room arrangment, floor and space planning, lighting, fabric, furniture, and where to buy home decorating products.


Residential design and Architecture as well as landscape design, visual merchandising, and sales.



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