How to Arrange Living Room Furniture Around a TV

How to Arrange Living Room Furniture with a TV

To determine how to arrange living room furniture with a TV, you must first determine what the purpose of the room is.

Now-a-days open concept is all the rage, however there are still designs that include separate living rooms and family rooms.

Here are Three Fundamentals to Follow When Establishing the Purpose of Your Living Room:

  1. Is it a family room or tv room with it’s specific purpose being to watch TV?
  2. Is it a formal living room to have a tv, with watching tv not it’s main purpose?
  3. Is it a combination open area with a conversational seating area as well as a tv area?

Once you know ‘the why’, ‘the how’ becomes clearer. Let’s start with number one.

Arranging Furniture Around a TV in a Family Room:

Patterned Couch and Rugs - How to Match Them
Here’s a long narrow room, with a couch on each side. On the opposite wall that you can’t see, there’s a fireplace and small reclining wing back chair. All the furniture is positioned with the TV as the focal point. The TV was positioned in front of the window, because there’s a view of lovely trees you can enjoy while laying on the couch and watching tv. The decision was made to view the tv and the trees at the same time, versus having your back to the trees with a tv mounted about the fireplace located on the opposite wall. Also, a smaller tv was chosen to avoid blocking the yard view.

A family room that’s designed specifically for watching TV is probably the easiest room to arrange. Since rooms come in every shape and size, for the purpose of this article, we’ll talk generally about layouts.

  • Knowing you want the TV as the focal point, look around your room and visually establish which wall the TV or TV unit could go on where every seat in the room can see it. This is the most important first step, so give it some thought.
  • Next, if you’re working with existing furniture, or if you’re buying new furniture, decide which works best on the walls in the room; couches, love seats or chairs. Take note that longer walls generally work better for couches than trying to cram a large couch on a small wall
  • Don’t block the walk-through areas. Clear flow is important. In other words, don’t position furniture so that as soon as someone walks in the room they have to walk around it to proceed further. Keep ‘flow’ to the doorway open.
  • Also, don’t feel you have to put a TV above a fireplace if that layout won’t work for your room.
  • If your room is long and narrow, with two long walls, try one couch on one wall and another couch on the other wall, then position chairs according to the couches.

Arranging Furniture in a Living Room with a TV that’s Not the Focal Point

  • You’ve established the room’s purpose: It will occasionally be used for tv watching.
  • Determine where the TV could go so that people could see it from the sofa and or chairs in the room.
  • You can also position the TV away from the seating area and place chairs or other types of seats (bean bag chairs) where the TV is.
  • If you have a long wall, that connects one doorway to another in the space, consider wall mounting the tv on that wall and positioning furniture opposite it. A walkway wall is generally not a focal point wall, thus featuring the TV on it de-emphasizes the TV. Also, don’t put bulky furniture, or any furniture on that wall. Hide all the TV cables inside the wall. There’s nothing that will ruin the look of a room faster than ugly cables hanging out.
  •  House a TV in a cabinet with doors. You’ll get a double benefit from your new cabinet; it’s both decorative and practical. Three examples of TV Hiding Wall-Units are featured below:

A Conversational Sitting Area with a Separate TV Area all in an Open Concept Living Room

  • Look at your space and decide if you can define two separate areas within it; one for conversation and one for watching tv.
  • If you can have two spaces defined separately, there are a couple of standard ways to create the illusion of two separate areas. One is to use a ‘Chaise Bench’ as the catalyst that joins the rooms together. In other words, the bench sits in the middle of the room with furniture for watching TV on one side of the room, and furniture for wine and conversation on the other. The chaise bench allows people to sit on it facing either way. Here are three examples of Chaise Lounge styles for you in the photos below:

  • Area rugs, yes area rugs are the next easiest way to define spaces in an open concept room. Arrange your TV area furniture around the TV and place a large area rug under the furniture. Then on the other side of the room, place another large area rug to designate your conversation area. Take note; use large rugs, 9ft by 12ft, or 8ft by 10ft. The furniture does not have to completely sit on the area rugs. Most of the time, just the front legs of the furniture are on the area rug. However, you can place all the legs of your furniture on the rug if both your room and rug are large enough.

Featured Below are Rooms with Area Rugs that Show how Furniture Can be Arranged:

Happy Decorating!

About Barbara & Funkthishouse

Barbara is a home decor rebel who blames her decades in the real estate industry for her love of color! Since leaving neutral behind, she's built Funkthishouse.com, a place where souls once trapped in neutral-decor-world roam free and funk'n love it!
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6 thoughts on “How to Arrange Living Room Furniture with a TV”

  1. This is terrific advice, Barbara! My husband and I went through exactly this mental exercise when we redecorated our living room, which is long. We wanted a room where the TV wasn’t the focal point when we had guests over, but where it could easily be watched from any seating. We also wanted to be able to enjoy not only the TV and the fireplace (without having to keep our heads turned) but also the long wall of nearly floor-to-ceiling windows looking out at a “wall” of trees. Those West-facing windows have a beautiful view any time of year. Our house is on top of a hill and has an above-ground basement, so the backyard is one story lower than the front yard. In the winter, when the trees are bare, the gorgeous sunsets with the dark silhouettes of the trees and bare branches in front are just breathtaking! We ended up putting a long sofa on the wall opposite the long “wall of windows” so we or visitors could comfortably enjoy the view; two comfy recliners with simple, clean lines in a light, warm, vanilla-y beige leather that don’t take up too much visual space; and a comfy, teal velvet armchair at one end of the “wall of windows” angled toward the coffee table and sofa. The best of all possible worlds! 😀

    • Margaret, your living room turned out stunning as well. Your area and view sound spectacular!! The detailed thought you gave to laying out your space has paid off in spades. So smart to consider the incredible view and seating in relationship to it. What an outstanding location for your living room to overlook! Your goal of not wanting the tv as the focal point was the best place to start your project. Once you have that point established, you simply work out from there as you did. If I decide to rearrange a room, I think about it for weeks, even months. When my husband sees me standing in the doorway of one of our rooms and looking around, his first response is ‘oh no she’s thinking’ lol.

  2. We are lucky that even though we are in an apartment now, we have a separate TV room. I like my living room to be a place of conversation and no distractions. These are all great solutions though. Thanks!

    • Olivia, it was very common in my years of growing up to have that conversation room completely separate, with usually just a stereo for music. I grew up that way. In fact I have my living room set up that way right now. The only difference is that my kids grew up with TV’s in their rooms where I didn’t. My mom’s house is still set up with a formal living room and no tv, lol, things stay the same.

  3. Unfortunately, the location of our television was determined by the cable installers before we ever moved into the house. It is in the most central point of our den. That would make sense for people who love television, or use the room mostly for viewing TV and that is not us. I ended up putting the little used television in a cabinet that I could close so we are not constantly starring at the ugly black screen. That cabinet is a unit, similar to the one you have featured, that has shelves on either side of it. That is what worked best for our household. We still have a television, but it is not our focal point in the room, even though it is in the central location.

    You always has the best advice!

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