Whether you're moving living room furniture into a brand new space or wrestling with an existing layout, mindful placement can set or revive the mood of the room. While several combinations are possible, you can maximize the harmony of your arrangement by keeping a few tenets in mind: simplicity, function and balance. Place the most important furniture first, and make sure that it defers to the most worthy focal point in the room. Your choices should also serve your particular needs and comfort and adhere to the scale of your room.
Integral to capturing your room's perfect layout is identifying its focal point -- perhaps a fireplace or a floor-to-ceiling window with a terrific view. Furniture should organically cluster around this beauty mark. For a generic room, create a focal point with a large painting or your collection of wall-mounted antique china plates. Televisions do not have to upstage the architectural charm of a room; you can sideline or camouflage them so they don't take center stage. Another consideration for furniture placement is how the living room appears from any entrance -- in other words, its first impression. If the back of an armoire with television cables first greets your guests, relocate it.
Moving is an ideal time to perfect your living room furniture placement. If you are already living in your space, completely empty the room -- and clean and freshen paint if you can -- to gain an unbiased perspective. Focal point in mind, place your largest, most essential furniture first, starting with your couch. If you opt to put the couch against the largest wall, leave a space between the wall and the back of the couch to inject a bit of intimacy. Edit out leftover items that no longer have an intuitive place, creating more space and that exciting, just-moved-in feeling.
Let go of expectations and make sure your living room works for you; understanding what you need from your individual space creates a sense of comfort. Leave an unimpeded aisle for traffic instead of taking up space with never-used pieces, such as decorative armchairs. Place a small drinks table or low bookshelf within reach of your favorite chair. With a small living room, place only a few comfortable chairs or a loveseat instead of a traditional couch. To break up a large space, place the couch in the middle of the room parallel to the farthest apart walls and set up armchairs behind it facing the opposite way. This creates two definite seating areas, perhaps one for reading and one for television viewing.
Respecting the scale and symmetry of your living room will avoid either an overcrowded feeling or a bowling alley vibe. Large coffee tables are suited to large or long couches. By the same token, pair loveseats with shorter coffee tables or even a serviceable flat-topped trunk. Setting an armchair at an angle to the sofa can facilitate conversation, and another chair mirroring it will guard against a haphazard look. Adding an end table with a lamp, floral arrangement or an architectural element at either end of a couch will promote a symmetrical look.