The Art of Placing Large Furniture

The Art of Placing Large Furniture in Your Living Room

The grandeur of a sprawling living room can be a decorator’s dream. The canvas is broad, and the possibilities are limitless. Yet, when it comes to choosing and positioning large furniture, even seasoned decorators might find themselves at a crossroads. The challenge? Ensuring that the room doesn’t feel overwhelmed or cluttered, even with significant pieces of furniture.

1. Understanding the Room’s Flow

Before buying or placing any furniture, it’s crucial to understand the room’s natural flow. Which direction does the foot traffic move? Are there focal points like fireplaces or large windows? Positioning a bulky sofa right in the middle might disrupt this flow, making the room feel smaller and less functional.

2. Use Furniture to Define Spaces

In expansive living areas, you can use large furniture pieces like sectionals or bookcases to demarcate specific zones. For instance, a plush sectional can help define a cosy conversation nook, while a tall bookcase might set the boundary for a reading corner.

3. Scale and Proportion

Remember, it’s not about how big the furniture is but how it fits in relation to the entire room. A large sofa might look perfect in a furniture showroom but can dwarf other items in your living room. Ensure other pieces around it, like coffee tables or armchairs, balance the scale.

4. The Rule of Thirds

A design principle borrowed from photography and art, the rule of thirds, can be applied in room layouts. Divide your room mentally into thirds and place the primary furniture in two-thirds of the space. This allows for open areas, ensuring the room doesn’t feel too crowded.

5. Maintain Negative Space

It’s tempting to fill every square inch, but resist the urge. Spaces around furniture, known as ‘negative space’, can make a room feel open and inviting. Think of it as visual breathing room.

6. Experiment and Adjust

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment. Move pieces around, try different angles, and see what works best for the room’s layout and your lifestyle. Sometimes, the most unexpected arrangements can be the most effective.


Incorporating large furniture in your living room doesn’t mean compromising on style or functionality. By understanding your space, playing with scale, and choosing the right pieces, you can create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing living area, perfect for relaxation and socialising. Remember, it’s about making the furniture work for the room, not the other way around.