Could Your Living Room Be Better Without a Sofa?
Do you have a living room where it seems impossible to place a sofa? Lately it seems that even in large homes the formal living room is getting smaller. Many of them are designed so that all four sides of the room have either an entrance, a window, a fireplace or a television making all options poor placement for a sofa. Open floor plans complicate things even more so that a sofa almost always has its back turned on something important.
And have you noticed that when guests come over, most people seem to prefer sitting in a single chair? I know I hate being the one in the middle of the sofa being jostled from both sides. Give me my own cozy chair with plenty of elbow room!
The good news is that there is no interior design law that requires your living room to contain a sofa. The photos in this ideabook all show great living rooms where the designers created beautiful, inviting and functional furniture arrangements without a sofa.
In this living room, the unusual combination of a daybed and two armless chairs face each other over a narrow coffee table. The daybed gives you room to lean back against an arm and stretch your feet out toward the fire. It also assures that whether there is another entrance to the room on that side or a window, the furniture won’t have its back to it.
This classic arrangement of four armchairs placed on the diagonal around a circular coffee table is one of my favorites. I’ve recommended it many times to clients who have difficult living rooms, but find that people are often afraid to try it. It is amazingly functional. The fireplace, window and entrance are all clear.
A square cocktail table turned on the diagonal works well with these four luxuriously proportioned chairs. The side tables offer a great spot to place lamps for flattering lighting without blocking anyone’s view of the others seated there. One advantage this type of grouping has over a sofa is that it is easier to face each other than when you are seated side by side on a sofa.
I always think a room feels so unfriendly when you enter it and are faced with the back of a sofa. Here we see two daybeds placed so the entrance doesn’t feel blocked. These daybeds are a great choice to make this compact room feel very open.
In this long, narrow space, the diagonal grouping of four chairs avoids the bowling-alley feel that a sofa facing the fireplace would have created.
If you decide to go with four chairs, they don’t all have to match. Changing up the style of chair and fabric adds flair to this grouping.
Okay, I’m sure this isn’t the living room of this gorgeous home, but I think most people would have put a sofa against the wall under the art. This pair of elegant chaise lounges creates an intimate and relaxing spot for two people to stretch out and enjoy the view.
The furnishings used for this living room include a daybed, upholstered chairs, a sleek banquette with dining table, a bench, ceramic stools and an upholstered ottoman … but no sofa anywhere. The designer wrote in her description that the living room has been transformed into a “sophisticated salon suited to reading and reflection, intimate dinners and cocktail parties.” I’m a big fan of furnishing a room to support the way you want to live in it.
One more view of this great room. Oh, yes — add cushions on the fireplace hearth to the seating choices. Still no sofa.
This beautiful room foregoes the traditional sofa in favor of a piano. I can imagine these homeowners enjoy many hours enjoying music and don’t miss the sofa at all.
Looks like more than one person has decided that a piano is a better option for their space than a sofa.
Piano music, a spectacular view of the ocean, and your own comfortable chair to enjoy it all with friends.
Who needs a sofa?Would your living room be better without a sofa?
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