4 new ways to arrange your living room for conversation


By Jane Abbott

We all love cosying up and chilling out in our living rooms, whether it be with family at the end of a long day at work or with friends on the weekend. Either way, creating a space that focuses on interaction with others and engaging in conversation or activities other than just watching TV makes for an inviting space that is enjoyable to spend time in. Moving the focus away from the TV and on to the other occupants of the room or surrounding spaces opens the living area up as the social hub of the home. Use these ways to turn your TV room into a ‘living’ room! Face each other Often, when arranging furniture in a living or lounge area, all of the seating is arranged for optimal viewing of the TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love to sit down in front of the box myself and get lost in a good series or movie. But why not try arranging furniture so that sofas and armchairs face each other, while still allowing all the occupants of the room to see the TV if they wish. Positioning chairs opposite each other will encourage the occupants of the room to engage in conversation and may result in a delay to turning the TV on… if indeed it gets turned on at all. Play some games Nothing reminds me more of fun family times when I was younger than all of us gathering around a board game in the centre of the living room. Arrange seating around a centrally located coffee table and use the table to store board games. Having the games on view, or at least close to hand, will result in them getting much more use than if they are stored away in a play room or cupboard. Another great idea is to keep a board game ready to play at any time on the side table. This well-positioned chess set also acts as a decor item in this cosy living room. Create a cosy nook This deliberately designed cosy seating nook encourages relaxing evenings with feet up in front of the fire. This space creates the perfect balance between gathering together to enjoy a good movie and interacting with others in an intimate U-shape setting. Cosy up the space with plump cushions and layers of throws as well as fluffy blankets for cooler evenings. Also position a deep-pile rug or carpet underfoot to keep feet toasty. Moving furniture into a corner also helps to create an intimate and cosy space. Try to maintain a maximum distance of 2.1 to 2.8 metres between where people’s heads will rest for comfortable conversation. Encourage song and dance We don’t all have space for a grand piano in our living room, but we can still focus our attention on music in some shape or form. The orientation of the sofas in this living area opens the space up to the dining area and the piano, encouraging conversation, or song in this case, to flow easily between each zone. This is a space everyone will want to hang out in, and guests will instinctively gravitate towards it after a dinner party or family gathering. Leaving instruments that kids or other occupants of the home like to play lying around will encourage impromptu music sessions. If instruments are not your thing, however, invest in a good sound system and load it with your favourite tunes to fill the space with music instead of watching TV. Lose the TV I’m not sure this one would go down too well with my husband and son, but the complete absence of a TV in a living area will undoubtedly encourage occupants to converse with each other, or at the very least enjoy the comfortable silence between them as they read or simply chill out. Break the silence with some music and consider bringing the earlier mentioned board game idea into this space. In a family home where space is plentiful, consider having one dedicated living space for TV watching and a separate area for more social interaction.