The Role of Each Furniture Piece in the Living Room

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How to choose the perfect living room furniture piece

Professional decorators understand that every piece of furniture and every space that furniture fills, speaks to the person entering that room. Living rooms are empty canvasses that can present beautiful pieces of furniture in a way that works together with everything else.

To understand the purpose of each piece of furniture in your living room, let’s break down the various common furniture types and how they fit into your living room as a synchronised unit.

The Basics

Before you look at each piece of furniture individually, remember to consider some of the basics of living room decorating.

Your Focal Point

Every living room should have a focal point. For most, it’s the television or a fireplace. For others, it may be a bookcase or a piece of art. Your furniture and décor elements should always point your guests to that focal point, so decide what it is before you begin.


Light can be obtained from windows, lamps or ceiling lights. The way your light flows through the living room will create an ambiance, so be sure to arrange your light elements accordingly.


Traffic flow and the general utilisation of space should be considered before placing furniture around your living room. Interior decorators agree that using space wisely is one of the biggest parts of any living room design strategy.

Now let’s take a look at each piece of furniture and see how we can implement these design rules with individual design elements.


You’d do well to get at least two types of tables in your living room. One large coffee table in the center of the room is always a beautiful touch, because it creates a conversation area for you and your guests.

Coffee tables also house vases, flowers or art pieces, which will direct your guests attention to that point when visiting, and encourage them to sit down with a cup of coffee while they chat.

A large coffee table will create a temporary focal point for guests without blocking your main focal point when the family gets together for a movie or a cuddle in front of the fire.

Smaller tables are there to house lamps and flowers, but be sure to keep these clutter free. Keep your lighting intentions in mind before placing your tables, as the lamps upon them will influence the ambiance you’re trying to achieve.

Sofas & Chairs

Chairs and sofas provide seating for you and your guests, which is why they should surround and face your focal point. Home decorating always holds to the idea that the way a sofa or chair is facing will define the loving room for anyone who uses it.

Be sure to space your sofas and chairs away from the walls and apart from each other so that movement within your living room is comfortable. Pushing a sofa against your wall is a big no-no in the home decorating world!


The purpose of your lamps is to create light. But it’s not that simple. You want to determine how much light a lamp should be giving off, so the shading and positioning of each lamp is of utmost importance.

Self-standing lamps can be a nice touch to your living room if you’re going for a more modern design. Lamps on tables will create a cosier, more classic feel, so decide what style you’re going for before buying and placing lamps.


A living room rug adds a much appreciated warmth to any living room. The rug you select should compliment the rest of the furniture, and must be placed in a central position to highlight your focal seating area.

Choose the colour, size and style of your rug carefully to ensure a matching effect with other furniture pieces. If you’ve opted for a rustic style living room, consider leaving the rug out completely, especially if you have wooden floors. 

Art Pieces

Home decorating should always feature at least one beautiful art piece. If this is a painting, make sure it’s in the line of site for anyone sitting down during conversation. If your art piece is a piece of furniture on its own, then be sure to make it visible without a clash with other furniture pieces.

Art can be displayed in a living room, but prefers to stand alone as a solo piece, so space it well between your sofas, tables and focal point elements.

Final Thoughts

The living room is the heart of the home, and should speak to your family as well as your guests. For more tips on how to arrange your furniture to create a warm, homely living room, chat to one of PopUp Design’s home decorators. Modern influences will go a long way to get your living room appropriately speaking the message you want it to.

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