By Jennifer Adams
THE LIVING ROOM is
the most hardworking, all-purpose room in your
home. It’s where everyone
hangs out, starts homework, plays games, watches
TV and catches up on the
How do you arrange
the furniture to allow for all
these daily activities? Choose flexible pieces
that give you a lot of options, depending on
what’s going on, and arrange them to make it
easy to see your family and their activities.
Even if the TV is the primary focus of the
entire room, it’s not hard to arrange the furniture to do everything. Here’s how.
Anchor the room with a sturdy, comfortable and durable sofa or sectional. The sofa
can face the TV; in fact, it should. Keep the
entire arrangement open.
Armchairs placed at an angle to one
another are social and inviting, perfect for
conversation or TV, especially if they face into
the main seating area. Don’t point everything
toward the TV. That makes it too difficult to
talk to one another without turning awkwardly or straining your neck.
Sectionals are versatile, especially when
you have a large room. With a chaise or a
matching ottoman, your guests can easily
adjust positions, depending on where the
action is. Deep corner sections are perfect for
people with longer legs. And you can move
the pieces around to customize your look.
Consider using sofas with an arm on one
side only. These function as a comfortable
sofa as well as a bench or ottoman. Customize
them with an oversize scarf, fuzzy throw or
beautiful pieces of fabric to add personality.
Don’t forget a coffee table. A big, sturdy
table can be extra seating as well as a game or
art table for kids. An ottoman with trays for
beverages and books is also nice. Pushing
three or four smaller tables or stools together
works well for families, as sometimes you
might want to move the coffee table to make
floor space for dancing or playtime.
End tables provide important places for
everyone to set their drinks, a snack or a
book. Put one between two armchairs and on
at least one side of the sofa. Choose smallish
tables if you want to move them around a lot.
Small cigar tables are the new TV tray.
They are lightweight, attractive, fun and usually don’t cost a lot. They’re very portable—
perfect for laptops, drinks or even a meal.
Use your accents
Fill in with lightweight, versatile pieces
that can be moved around easily, even by
your kids. Smaller accent chairs, floor pillows,
poufs, ottomans and benches can be stacked,
moved aside or used as footstools. Plus, these
can be inexpensive, so updating your look as
these pieces wear out will be easier.
An area rug helps set the tone and anchors
the furniture in a way that continuous flooring
just doesn’t. Carpeting provides warmth; an
area rug pulls together the design. C
Jennifer Adams (askjennifer@jennifer
adams.com) is a nationally syndicated
interior design expert. Costco.com carries a
variety of Jennifer Adams Home products.
THROW PILLOWS MAKE a room feel lived
in, comfortable and complete. Let your
creativity fly with these designer secrets.
; Create interest and variety with
color and texture by choosing several
coordinating fabrics and use them
throughout the room.
; Odd numbers look best, such as
two pillows on one side of a sofa and one
on the other.
; Mix and match sizes and shapes.
For example, a large pair of pillows looks
great when you add one smaller pillow.
Squares, rectangles and circles are all fun.
; Place more pillows—five or seven—
on larger pieces such as sectionals.
; One low rectangular pillow on armchairs adds a modern touch.
; Large pillows—22-inch or even
24-inch—are very popular now, especially
for larger-scale furniture.
; Pillows with a boxier profile will
slide around less on smooth fabrics and
Arranging your family room for
TV, conversation and more
Arrange your living
room for style and
© PICS721 / SHUTTERSTOCK
The Costco Connection
Furniture, such as sofas, sectionals, chairs,
ottomans, tables and more, is available
seasonally at Costco warehouses and year-round on Costco.com.