Too much symmetry and your living room may feel more like a place of formality – which is fine if that's what you're going for. But for most, the living room is where you should feel comfortable kicking your feet up in your PJs. Using angles to arrange your furniture asymmetrically can help to make the room feel easier on the eyes, and not so rigid as you glance around the room. Leaving a little room between different items of furniture (and space between furniture and walls) will give more of an illusion of space, rather than squeezing everything together. You might be able to “fit more in” but you do this at the risk of making the space feel cramped which in turns make the room look smaller. Empty space contributes to the illusion of more space.
Side Tables - Side tables tend to be an afterthought but they're actually very important. The number you need will depend on how much seating you have. Everyone should be able to comfortably set down a drink without having to get up and walk over to a table. Try to have one on either side of the sofa (unless there isn't enough space – in this case people can use the coffee table), and between pairs of chairs. The key is to have enough surface space without overcrowding the room. The tables should be approximately the same height as the arm of the chair or sofa they're next to. From family game nights to book club gatherings, the living room is a social hub. The proper placement of the room's furniture goes a long way toward making the space feel welcoming.
If you watch TV in the living room, choose the surrounding lights carefully to avoid television glare. It can be distracting to have a bright overhead light above or in front of a TV set, so ensure ceiling lights are dimmable, or use offset wall sconces or floor lamps instead. Specific task lighting, such as reading lamps, are important if you read frequently, have low levels of natural light, and especially if you ever work in your living room. A floor lamp spaced between two armchairs can also count as task lighting, as conversation is a task, too (at least in living room terms). Low-level table lamps and floor lamps help to create a cozy atmosphere in the living room, especially at night. Evenly space these throughout the room, usually toward the walls, to create an even, warm glow that bounces inwards. Think creatively about this type of lighting: groups of candles even fairy lights count.
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