3 Tips for Arranging a Living Room

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Shannon at AKA Design.

Okay, so I’d like to talk about your living room for a minute, Organizing Junkies.

Yes, YOUR living room.

Have you ever visited a house (or maybe your own?) whose living room feels a bit like a bowling alley? You know, the room where all the furniture lines the walls and there’s a big empty space in the middle.

Um, you know that’s not the best way to arrange a space right?

It’s not quite the same as organizing a drawer or a closet. There you want everything to fit like a puzzle and be at right angles.

But not your living room.

A living room is completely different.  Here are 3 tips for arranging YOUR living room:

1.  Keep Foot Traffic to One Side of Room

If the room is a pass through type room (it leads to other spaces and you have to walk through it to get to them), keep the foot traffic to one side of the room. What I mean is, don’t line the walls with furniture, which forces people to walk through the middle. Keep the arrangement to one side with the opposite side open.

living room

In the photo of our living room above, all of the seating is on one side of the room. This leaves the opposite side (left) for foot traffic from the front door to the rest of the house.

2.  Use Angles

Place one or two pieces at an angle to help create visual drama and interest. If you put all of the furniture at right angles, a room can be pretty boring. Organized yes, but still not pretty to look at. And frankly I believe organized and pretty should go hand-in-hand!

paper mache pears on table old books

3.  Add a Storage Piece

Add a gorgeous case goods piece for storage and eye candy. The buffet below came from the Habitat for Humanity Restore and was in perfect condition. Even if you have to put in a little elbow grease, choose something with character. A pressboard Walmart bookshelf doesn’t count! (They can have their place, but that’s not what I’m going for here.) Look beyond the hardware on a piece too – we swapped out the handles and knobs on this dresser with something a little more our style.

buffet lamps

So, organizing friends, how is your living room doing? Does it resemble a bowling alley? Or have you mastered the art of styling your space, along with getting organized?


shannon Shannon Acheson is a passionate interior decorator, frugal DIYer, sometime graphic designer, wannabe writer, homeschooling momma and adoring wife. She is the co-owner (with hubster) of AKA Design and the main writer/designer for the blog of the same name. Shannon recently moved from a war-era bungalow to a cozy backsplit in Oshawa, Ontario with her husband and their three children, and during spare moments can be found scouring local shops for decor bargains, rearranging the furniture again, or scrubbing paint off her hands.




Linking up:

A Bowl Full of Lemons

36th Avenue

Somewhat Simple

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Living Room


8 Responses to 3 Tips for Arranging a Living Room

  1. 1
    Lisa says

    A definite bowling alley.

    • 1.1
      Shannon (aka design) says

      I should mention, there are no hard and fast rules. If you’re happy with it, it’s fine! But if you’re not, why not shuffle things around?

  2. 2
    Insurance Hunter says

    Keeping the foot traffic to one side is not something that I have ever thought about, but it makes sense. You don’t need to have people going back and forth through the space, especially if you are sitting there trying to have a conversation. Thanks for the tips Shannon!

  3. 3
    Bonnie says

    Oh, Shannon. I think I need your help! ;)

    Our “den,” which functions as the living room, is longer than it is wide, and is where everyone comes into the house, so there is lots of traffic. And I hate to ask this question, but my husband is a TV freak, so what do you do about that? I haven’t found a solution other than TV on one long wall, couch on the other. (I do give myself points for having the TV on an old dresser, even if it needs painting.). The door splits one of the short walls and built-in bookshelves topped by a narrow bar make up the other short wall.

  4. 5
    Shannon (aka design) says

    Well girls, let’s see…
    Bonnie, does it feel cozy? Are you walking through the conversation space? Or just past the tv?
    Claudia, what furniture is in the space?

  5. 6
    LaZBoy Tukwila says

    Good read. Keeping the foot traffic to one side of the room seems like a good idea. Thanks for posting.

  6. 7
    adrienne says

    So my living room is a bowling alley. however my front door opens into the middle of the living room and all other walls have doors leading to other areas. I have no idea how to arrange my living room!!


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