How Things Flow No living room sofa or chair should be an island of its own. When people sit down, they almost always need a place to put a drink or book, as well as light to read by. Place a coffee table or end table within easy reach of each seat, along with a table or floor lamp.
No one wants to stub a toe on a chair leg, so you’ll also want to ensure there are clear walking paths through the living room, and that no furniture blocks part of a doorway or makes it necessary to squeeze by.
Will your living room have a TV?
If so, plan for a wall mount or a media unit to hold it, as well as a path for cables that won’t be unsightly.
Do you plan to host buffet-style dinners? If so, a credenza or sideboard near the dining table will allow you to serve in one space rather than having guests traipse through the kitchen.
A living room with hardwood floors but no rug looks naked. For visual and literal comfort, add a rug.
There are three common strategies for doing so:
- A room-filling rug. Install a rug that covers almost the entire floor of the room, leaving a border or just a foot or two at the edges. This usually works best in smaller rooms.
- Seating area rugs. Break a larger room down into multiple seating areas by using rugs to visually hold each group of furniture together. Or, in an open-concept space, use a rug to hold the living area together, while allowing the dining area to sit directly on the wood floor.
- Layered rugs. Pile smaller rugs on top of a larger one to create extra visual interest while reinforcing the layout of the room.
Be generous when selecting sizes. A small rug under the coffee table that doesn’t reach the legs of sofas and chairs will look like a raft lost at sea. The rug should extend about halfway, or fully, under the furniture at its edges.