Good Questions: How To Arrange My LIving Room?

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Hello AT,

I'm a long time reader and big fan from Melbourne, Australia. I've attached a photo of my small living/dining room (sorry about the blah-ness, we're still searching for the perfect rug and artwork for the room). The other photo is the reverse angle looking back towards the kitchen/doorway. I've never been 100% happy with the layout - it's uninspired and feels like a shrine to the TV...

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The power sockets are where the TV is so it wouldn't be convenient to move, but everything else can be shuffled around. I'd love to make a bigger feature of the chair in the corner but it's an unwieldy size and only has that sculptural shape from the front. All in all the movable furniture consists of:

- couch
- 6 ottomans
- wooden chair
- writing desk
- dining table

Please suggest a layout for my living/dining room that's stylish and cozy without looking crowded (also, any colour suggestions for the rug?).

Thanks, Kaye

Dear Kaye,

You've got a tough layout to work with, and we think your sofa and television are on the proper walls so far.

Right now you basically have one good seating position (the sofa) which is facing the tv. You want to complete the seating triangle by adding two more positions that will allow guests to face back to the sofa.

If you can pull back your dining table to get a bit more room by the bottom of the stair, you could place a seat there and then move up your interesting chair so that it sits up closer to the sofa and really becomes the other point on that triangle.

A real coffee table would also help or at least a hard surface on the ottomans you have so that it appears more table-like.

As for the rug, you want contrast, so go for a light color or a white to get the biggest pop.

Anyone else??

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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