If you’re feeling the pressure to design a perfect living room, here are some tips to help you choose the best furniture for your living room…

Good living room furniture is a considerable investment, so here are some tips to help you avoid making mistakes when choosing it.

1. Draw a floor plan

“Don’t listen to what anybody says – when it comes to furniture, size matters,” says Claire Gibson from a furniture manufacturer, La-Z-Boy.

She says that you can avoid the mistake of buying pieces that are too big or too small by measuring your living room and drawing up a floor plan of the room before buying anything.

“Sketch the room on a piece of graph paper, and cut out square blocks that are the same size as each piece of furniture that you want to purchase. Move them around and see where they will be best placed. This way, you can be sure that the pieces fit in the room.”

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2.  Be practical

When choosing the size of the sofa, you must consider the size of the room, but you also need to consider whether they will fit through the doorway leading into the room.

“Often people will purchase a large corner unit, for example, only to find out when it is delivered, that they can’t fit it through the front door,” says Gibson.

When it comes to comfort, you can’t go wrong with reclining motion furniture. For smaller living rooms, you can invest in inclining motion furniture. Gibson explains that unlike a recliner, where the back of the seat reclines, the seat of an incliner moves forward to make space for the back to recline. This way, an incliner does not need extra space for reclining, and it can be positioned close to a wall.

A simple guide to arranging your living room

3. Make coffee dates comfortable

According to Gibson, the height of a coffee table should be slightly lower than the seating surrounding it and should be approximately one-and-a-half, to two-thirds the length of the neighbouring sofa. To ensure you can comfortably move around coffee tables, allow for 35 to 45 centimetres between a sofa and a coffee table.

4. Rugs for more than warmth

Rugs not only help warm a space up, but they can also be used to define seating areas and dining areas.

The main mistake many people make is to include rugs that are too small for the space. When choosing a rug, Gibson says that a good rule of thumb is to ensure it is large enough so that all the furniture can sit on top of the rug. However, if this is not possible, then she says that you should at least ensure that the front legs of all upholstered pieces rest on top of the rug.

5. Something in the side

Side tables can be a useful addition to a living room, but the number of side tables will depend on the amount of seating that you have in your living room.

“It is advisable to include one on either side of a large sofa, or between pairs of chairs,” says Gibson, “Generally speaking, they ought to be about the same height as the arm of the chair or sofa they are next to.”