Couch Designs

Dos and Don'ts: How To Nail Your Couch Placement

Placing your couch in the exact right place be trickier than you might expect. We have a guide that will help you pick the best place for your new sofa.

Where not to place a sofa?

Unless you have a perfectly round couch, you probably don't want to place your big couch right smack dab in the center of your room. That's obvious, but what other places should you avoid when choosing the right spot for your couch?

  • Traffic trouble: Avoid placing a sofa in high-traffic pathways that disrupt the flow and create a human obstacle course. A human obstacle course doesn't sound like fun for anyone.
  • Don't get faded: Keep sofas away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and fabric damage. And remember, sunscreen is not a viable solution for this problem. Trust us.
  • Damp dilemmas: To prevent moldy mishaps, don't position sofas near sources of moisture. If you're the source of moisture, then please consult your doctor.
  • Electronics exile: Keep a safe distance from heat-emitting electronics that could damage your sofa over time.

Steer clear of these placement pitfalls and you'll live a blissfully pit-free existence. And isn't that what life's all about?

Do I have to put my couch against the wall?

Leather couches placed around the room in NYC apartment

When it comes to home decor, you don't have to do anything. However, there are certain things we'd prefer that you don't do (see above). Just because you own a Crate and Barrel couch doesn't mean you need to position it as if it's one of the many actual crates and barrels you have on hand. Why do you have all those again?

  • Design rebellion: No, your rebel couch doesn't have to conform to the wall. Embrace floating arrangements that redefine your space.
  • Room diva: Centering your couch can partition a room while offering a dynamic focal point.
  • Backstory matters: Consider the back of your sofa; if it's appealing, showcase it by placing it away from the wall.
  • Cozy corners: In smaller spaces, tucking your couch in a corner can maximize room and foster intimacy.

Your living space is your canvas—unleash your creative spirit and place your couch wherever it feels right!

Can a couch go in front of a window?

While it's not the perfect choice for sofa placement, sometimes the shape and layout of a room dictates that the couch will live in front of a window. But is it the end of the world? Nope!

  • Window wonderland: Yes, a couch can sit by a window, but consider the view, privacy, and practicality.
  • Frame the beauty: Positioning a couch by a window frames outdoor scenes and infuses your space with natural light.
  • Functional fusion: Make it practical by ensuring it doesn't block windows or access. Opt for lower backrests to avoid obstructing views.
  • Window treatments: Complement your setup with curtains or blinds that allow you to control light and privacy. If your couch is in front of a window then it's likely the window is creating a glare on your nice TV. Window treatments are essential so you don't ruin your YouTube TV viewing experience.

Enhance your space by pairing your couch with a window—creating a cozy nook that connects indoors with the outside world.

Should I put my couch at an angle?

If you're angling for visual interest and compliments, then by all means, please follow this advice for how to best angle your sofa! But we don't advise you to angle your furniture legs unless you like a wobbly seating experience (no judgment). Some legs are designed to be at an angle but let's leave that to the professionals, shall we?

  • Dynamic charm: Yes, consider angling your couch for a touch of dynamism and visual interest.
  • Room flow: Angling can break the monotony of straight lines, creating a flow that draws the eye.
  • Space perception: It can make a room feel larger by creating diagonal lines that extend the view.
  • Balance matters: Keep it balanced—angle it to enhance the room's layout, not disrupt it.

Adding a dash of diagonal can infuse energy and movement into your room's design. Just ensure it harmonizes with the space's overall vibe.

Can you put an L shaped couch in the middle of a room?

Depending on the size of your room, an L shaped couch can become the star of your space by placing it in the middle. But, like all good things in life, make sure it's balanced.

  • Bold move: Absolutely, placing an L-shaped couch in the middle of a room can create a striking focal point.
  • Open concept: It works well in open spaces, delineating zones while maintaining an airy feel.
  • 360° enjoyment: Allows for seating from multiple angles, fostering conversations and a cozy vibe.
  • Balance matters: Keep other furniture proportional to avoid overwhelming the space.

Putting your L-shaped couch center stage adds a touch of drama and invites everyone to gather around in style.

What is the best sofa position Feng Shui?

Yes, that's the proper spelling for "Feng Shui." But you might know it better from your internal pronunciation as "fung shway." Whatever you call it, it's an important element to consider when positioning your sofa. Even if it's just a lil' mini couch bedroom situation.

  • Commanding position: Place the sofa with a clear view of the room's entrance, enhancing a sense of control and security.
  • Back support: A solid wall behind the sofa provides support and symbolizes stability.
  • Balanced qrrangement: Position the sofa so it's not directly aligned with the door, promoting a balanced flow of energy.
  • Open space: Leave space around the sofa to allow energy to circulate freely and prevent clutter buildup.

Incorporating Feng Shui principles into your sofa's placement fosters positive energy flow.

How much space should be left on either side of a couch?

kids on couch

Your couch needs a little room to breathe. After the last few years, we can all relate, sofa. We can all relate. But how much is the proper amount of space your sofa needs to feel comfortable?

  • Balanced proportions: Aim for about 6-12 inches of space on each side of the sofa to prevent it from feeling cramped.
  • Easy traffic flow: Allow enough space for people to move comfortably around the sofa, about 18-24 inches.
  • Room for tables: Ensure there's ample room for side tables, ideally extending beyond the sofa's arms.
  • Visual harmony: Create a sense of balance by aligning the sofa with other furniture and focal points in the room.

Give your couch the room it needs and your entire space will look and feel better.

Which way should an L-shaped couch face?

When in doubt, go with the flow. That's not always the best advice in every situation, but for your home's decor it is. Consider how your space will be cut off or divided by the chaise portion of the sectional. Here are some other considerations.

  • Room flow: Consider the natural flow of your space. Position the longest section along the main pathway.
  • Focal point: Face the L-shaped couch toward a focal point like a TV, fireplace, or scenic window.
  • Conversational setup: Angle the sectional to encourage conversation while maintaining a clear view of the focal point.
  • Space utilization: Optimize your room's layout by aligning the couch with walls and other furniture.

The orientation of your L-shaped couch should foster a seamless flow, enhance conversations, and maximize your room's potential.

How to place sofa in L shaped living room?

An L shaped living room can always pose design challenges, but fear not! We've got some tips that can help you conquer any alphabet-shaped space.

  • Divide and conquer: Define distinct zones for lounging and other activities using your sofa as a divider.
  • Maximize corners: Tuck your L-shaped sofa into a corner to free up central space while maintaining an open feel.
  • Focal point alignment: Orient the longer section toward a focal point, such as a TV or fireplace, for balanced visual interest.
  • Flow and movement: Leave enough space around the sofa for easy movement and a clutter-free vibe.

With these tips your L-shaped space will feel as welcoming and beautiful as D shaped space. And that's a good thing.

Should the sofa face the window or away?

The direction your sofa faces depends mostly on your visual entertainment of choice. If you're a human you might prefer looking at a fireplace or TV. But if you're a cat then a prime view of the bird feeder might be ideal. Here are the pros and cons for which direction to position your sofa.

  • Facing the window: Embrace natural light and picturesque views by placing the sofa facing the window. It's an ideal setup for enjoying scenery and letting sunlight bathe your living space.
  • Away from the window: Positioning the sofa with its back to the window creates a cozy and intimate atmosphere. This works well if you want to focus on indoor activities or if your window view isn't particularly captivating.

Whether you prefer gazing outside or creating a snug nook, the sofa's orientation can enhance your living experience and reflect your personal style.

What is the perfect couch angle?

There's no such thing as a perfect angle. There is a right angle, but we'll leave that one to the geometry nerds. If you like the idea of an angled sofa, we've got some options to consider.

  • Invitingly angled: A slight angle, around 15-30 degrees, can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It encourages easy conversation and a relaxed vibe.
  • Straight and focused: A 90-degree angle is suitable for watching TV or focusing on a central point. It maximizes seating and works well for gatherings.
  • Laid-back lounge: An angle of 45 degrees strikes a balance between comfort and engagement. It allows you to lounge while staying connected with others.

Ultimately, the perfect angle depends on your space, preferences, and the activities you enjoy. Experiment with angles to find what feels just right for your couch and living room setup.

Can a sofa face a door?

In some situations it might be necessary for a sofa to face a door. Is it ideal? Not exactly, but it's usually unavoidable if it's happening. Let's see what can happen if a sofa is facing the door.

  • Welcoming vibes: Placing a sofa facing the door can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, welcoming guests as they enter.
  • Mindful arrangement: Position the sofa at a comfortable distance from the door to avoid a cramped feeling. Aim for a harmonious balance.
  • Privacy check: Be cautious if the back of the sofa faces the door, as it might create an exposed feeling or might serve to close off the space energetically. Consider placing a console table or decorative item to soften the view.
  • Furniture flow: Ensure the arrangement complements the room's layout and doesn't block pathways or disrupt traffic flow.

By carefully considering the room's layout, traffic patterns, and your personal style, you can create a sofa arrangement that balances comfort, aesthetics, and practicality.

How far to pull couch off wall?

Remember how couches need to breathe? This includes placing them against the wall. You always want to have a little buffer. That way you'll have space to access outlets, as well as protecting your wall from scrapes and abrasions.

  • Breathing room: Pulling the couch a few inches away from the wall adds visual depth and prevents a cramped feeling.
  • Functional space: Leave enough space behind the couch for cleaning and maintenance. About 2-4 inches should suffice.
  • Visual balance: Consider the overall room layout. Align the couch with other furniture and maintain a balanced arrangement.
  • Personal touch: Experiment with the distance to achieve the desired aesthetic and functionality while ensuring an open and inviting atmosphere.

Creating the right balance between aesthetics, function, and space is key. By adjusting the distance with intention, you can transform your living room into a comfortable and stylish haven.

How much space do you need for a sofa set?

Balance, balance, balance. You never want one element to feel like it's dominating the space. Here are some general guidelines for choosing the right size sofas for your space.

  • Room to breathe: To accommodate an average sofa or sectional, leave 2-3 feet of space around it. For example, a standard 3-seat sofa might need around 7-8 feet width-wise and 3 feet depth-wise for comfortable movement. If you have a sofa set i.e. a sofa and a loveseat or sofa and a chair try your best not to have the arms touching each other- a little social distancing never hurt anyone.
  • Traffic flow: Ensure there's enough room for easy traffic flow. Aim for pathways that are at least 3 feet wide around the sofa.
  • Table talk: If you plan to add a coffee table, leave about 18 inches of space between the table and the sofa. This ensures convenient access and a comfortable layout.
  • Visual harmony: Consider the overall dimensions of the room. A typical 3-seat sofa can vary in size, but as a guideline, it might require around 7-8 feet width-wise and 3 feet depth-wise.

Balancing function and style, these measurements provide a starting point for arranging your sofa set within your living space.

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Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
Alex Back CEO & Founder