Where Should I Put My Couch in The Living Room? (Tips)

Furniture placement is causing us more hassle than it should now we’re renovating our house. So where should the couch go in the living room?

To find the ideal couch position, consider traffic patterns and the balance of your living room to find a focal point. This will take into account the room size and shape, other furniture, the size and location of windows, and the TV position. It may also take into account the rules of Feng shui.

Let’s dive down into the subject of positioning the living room couch in more detail, and discover what interior design experts say about locating the couch in relation to room size, TV position, and other considerations…

Where Should I Put My Couch in The Living Room?

How Should I Arrange My Living Room Couch?

Design experts say that to find the perfect couch location, you should consider traffic patterns and balance. Then, find your focal point.

First, don’t place the largest and heaviest piece of furniture in your living room where it blocks foot traffic. People shouldn’t have to walk around the couch.

Next, consider the balance between bulky, heavy furniture – like the couch or an armoire – and smaller ones, like accent chairs or end tables. Designers recommend balancing heavy pieces and light pieces. 

For example, don’t put all the bulky pieces along one wall. Put two small pieces, like accent chairs, opposite a bulky couch. Or, place two armchairs and an end table opposite a large armoire.

Next, find your focal point. If your living room doesn’t have an obvious focal point like a beautiful view, a striking fireplace or even a TV, then create one with a great piece of art. Locate the couch opposite your favorite focal point. 

Then, designers say to pull your couch away from the wall. In a small living room, you may not have much room for this.  But for a large living room, consider leaving at least three inches and up to a foot between the couch and the wall. 

Or, try “floating” the couch out in the room.

Arranging furniture in a standard room is relatively easy, but how about in an awkward room? There’s a website for that.

Which Direction Should Your Couch Face?

Feng shui experts say that the optimal direction for a living room couch is east or south, which is the best direction for early morning sunshine.

Designers say the best direction for your couch is facing your favorite focal point.

Where Should I Put My Couch in a Long Living Room?

Balance and traffic flow in long living rooms can be a real challenge. 

Ideally, a couch placed perpendicular to the long wall, floating in the middle of the space, will make a long room look wider. 

For this layout to work, however, you’ll need plenty of space to walk past the sofa. Measure the width of your room and your couch. Design experts say you’ll need another three feet for people to comfortably walk past the couch. 

If your room isn’t wide enough, you’ll have to put your couch along the wall. Try to pull your couch at least three inches from the wall. 

Then, locate your couch opposite a focal point. If the room doesn’t have a natural focal point, like a fireplace, hang a large piece of art on the wall. 

Add a rug to help break up the long room and help define the living room space.

Here’s a nice reference for those of you with long, narrow living rooms.

Does a Couch Have to Be Centered in Front of a Window?

Nope. But, it does have to be balanced with the rest of the furniture in your living room.

A good way to create a balance is to start with a rug to define the space. Living room rugs should fill almost the entire living room. Experts say to have six to 12 inches of floor between the edge of the rug and the wall. When in doubt, go big. 

A rug that’s too small for your space will make the space feel cramped and small. Ideally, all the furniture should fit entirely on the rug. If not, place the front two legs of chairs or the sofa onto the rug.

Place the rug in the center of the living room space. Then, place your furniture around it. Try to balance the large furniture with small ones. When the furniture is balanced, the window placement won’t matter.

Does the Couch Have to Face the Tv?

Sure, we all know that it shouldn’t be all about the TV. But, the fact is, the best angle for TV viewing is directly in front of it. 

If your couch can’t be directly in front of the TV, experts say that angles of up to 40° are still good for viewing.

How Far Should My Couch Be From the Tv?

Today’s TVs are all about pixels. If you have a newer TV, the rule of thumb is between 1.5 and 2.5 times the diagonal screen size. For example, if your TV is 70 inches wide (diagonally), then you should be sitting in the range of 105 inches (about 9 feet) and 175 inches (about 14 feet) away.

For those with 4K TVs, experts recommend sitting between 1 and 1.5 times the diagonal screen size away.

If you are thinking about having a TV in your living room, also consider the height. Ideally, the TV should be eye-height when you are sitting down, or around 42 inches high. This makes most TVs mounted above the fireplace mantel a little too high – you’ll be looking up at it all the time.

Living room couch

How Far Should a Couch Be From the Wall?

If you have the space, try to pull your couch one foot away from the wall. If your room is smaller, try for at least three inches.

Will My Couch Even Fit in My Living Room?

The rule of thumb is two-thirds. Your couch shouldn’t be longer than two-thirds of the wall where you’d like it to go.

For example, if your longest wall is 12 feet long, then you should shop for a sofa that’s no more than 8 feet long. 

What Can I Put Behind My Couch in the Middle of the Room?

The backs of sofas can be a little boring. If your sofa is floating in the middle of the room, you can liven up the back of it with a console table (aka sofa table). 

Before buying a sofa table, double-check that it is the correct height and length for your sofa. Then, decorate it with a vase of cut flowers or a piece of art. Remember the rule of three – only three things on any horizontal surface.

How Far Should a Couch Be From a Window?

Most design experts recommend that couches should be at least three inches away from a window. However, if you have full-length drapes, you’ll need at least a foot for the drapes to hang nicely.

Before locating a couch in front of a window, consider that windows are naturally inviting spaces for children and pets. Your sofa may get dirty – fast.

Can You Put a Couch in Front of a Fireplace?

A fireplace is a great focal point. If the fireplace is a working one, be sure to put the couch at least three feet away because the heat will damage any furniture. Also, you’ll need this space to walk in front of the fire safely.

If you don’t want to use the fireplace for a fire, consider buying an interesting fireplace screen that covers it up. Or, fill the fireplace with candles, or a large basket filled with pine cones.

If your fireplace is not a beautiful focal point, consider a makeover. A fireplace is a super fun, small project to DIY. 

Consider your options with peel and stick wallpaper or paint. Check out big box stores for faux finishes like brick and stone. Or, consider tile for a modern look.

Check out this video of an outdated brick fireplace made over with large tiles.

Final Thoughts

Positioning your living room couch is harder than you might expect – especially when taking into account the size of the room and other pieces of furniture.

It’s taken us ages and loads of different layouts to get it right, (and helped me get a workout in the process of moving everything around!).

And do you know what we ultimately did? We put it right in front of the TV at a good viewing distance so the kids can watch their favorite Marvel films. Who needs Feng Shui when you’ve got The Avengers?! 🙂