How to fit more seating in your living room

Birley Chesterfield Italian leather sofa

From large families to parties, there is always one issue that causes family arguments and discomfort for your guests: lack of seating.

Get it right, and your living room is the epitome of style, comfort and ample seating. Get it wrong, and it will either look like a waiting room or a case of musical chairs at every sitting.

Modern furniture offers fantastic solutions but just as important is making sure that you have the right seating, in the right shape and form.

Size and Dimension

Firstly, take note of your room, its shape and size. Think about what would look great in that space. For example, a longer, leaner, narrower room would look fantastic with a longer, leaner sofa.

Contemporary furniture offers many solutions, such as the L-shaped sofa that looks fantastic across the corner of a living room.

Don’t forget ad hoc seating solutions for short term seating – armchair and footstool combinations provide two seats at a party, with someone perched on the footstool being the perfect solution.

Placement, Placement, Placement

To stop the ‘waiting room’ feeling you need to think outside of the box and not just assumed that the only rightful place for a sofa is against the wall.

If your living room has a view or a large bay window, for example, make the best of that. Place a sofa opposite the window with a garden view so that when people lounge of the Italian leather sofa, the vista is framed perfectly.

Armchairs provide much needed extra seating and because they are easier to re-position that a large sofa, they can be moved as and when needed. But keep the placement of the sofa in mind and make sure that they don’t block the view.

Mix Colours, Materials and Finishes

We are often taught that to get cohesion in a room so that the brown leather sofa connects with the armchairs and the footstool is to stick with one colour, one material choice and one colour.

However, you can mix and match – and you can certainly do this within the confines of any style.

For example, a ‘traditional’ appeal of a brown leather sofa such as a Chesterfield works well with the grandeur of a winged armchair. Or mix fabric armchairs with a leather sofa.

Or, get super-creative and bold with a sofa and armchair that incorporates both leather and fabric in their design, such as Harris tweed and Italian leather sofa or leather and wool seating.

Or Opt for One Colour

You can sink back into a comfy sofa with a same colour comfortable armchair. This works well in a smaller room where you need plenty of seating options. Break the monotony with a throw or two in different colours, and don’t forget the power of the scatter cushion for adding a zing of colour or an interesting pop of a pattern.

Top tip – creating cohesion with many separate pieces of contemporary furniture such as footstools, armchairs and sofas can be rough, even for experienced interior designers. That’s why designers always say to match in pairs – so, think sofa with two contrasting armchairs.

No longer will family members have to have first dibs on the comfy sofa now that there is plenty of choice of comfy seating.


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