Furniture Arrangement #2: Creating Conversation Areas Worth Talking About

Think functionally about what you’ll need for

comfort and convenience

when arranging your furniture.

A Wall Unit is a ready made focal point

The goal is to combine functionality with visual delight.


The Living Room is often the most important room in the house because of its frequent use and multi-functions. Use the same “think it through” principle as detailed in Part I.  Think first about how the room is to be used, and then think through what’s needed to support those activities.

In your living room, (multi-purpose or not) you’ll want to create with a conversation area. Starting with the biggest piece, the sofa.  Have two chairs flanking or opposing and a coffee table in the middle close enough for everyone to set drinks or food.  A sofa and a love seat at right angles and a chair or two opposite can work as well.

The primary objective is to create a seating area that allows for comfortable conversation without having to raise your voice, or twist to make eye contact.

Keeping the sofa and chairs within eight feet of each other is a good measure.  Allow 14” to 18” between the coffee table and the front of the sofa for easier access.

Small tables as end pieces can be added. Consider next the light fixtures that will give you good general light, as well as whatever lighting best enhances the types of activities you’ll pursue in that area.   Sconces, table lamps and standing floor lamps are all good options.

Think of using the lights in pairs. Why pairs? Because creating a well designed space has to do with a look of balance, cohesion, and composition, as much as comfort and function.

Make use of focal points to position your furniture in the most interesting and attractive way.

Without a built-in focal point, a wall unit will serve well or try positioning the sofa on the longest wall away from the entry door

Though arranging your furniture around an end game of function and comfort is a great example of the practical application of home design, what about the rest of the furniture you want to have in a room?

Next Time: Furniture Arrangement #3: Seeing the Big Picture…

Related Posts

Furniture Arrangement #1: Form Follows Function

Furniture Arrangement #3:  Seeing the Big Picture

Furniture Arrangement #4:  The Plot and The Measure

Photo – Jack Lindholm – Decoding Decor Portfolio

This is one of several articles I wrote for publication on It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion, updates and commentaries…

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