How To Set Up More Clearly-Defined Areas in Living Room?

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Q: I became a first-time homeowner recently, and am not quite sure how to set up my living room. The room is 19 x 13 feet in size and sort of a rectangular shape. There is no fireplace in the room. Currently, I have a rug but lack a coffee table (if you have any thoughts on that, feel free to share!).

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There is a smaller sofa along one wall, a black/white rug, and two club chairs on the other side of the sofa. The main focal point right now is probably my IKEA Expedit Bookshelf along the wall opposite the entrance to the room (though to be honest, I'm not quite sure if there is a clear focal point in the room). I also have a small console table and brown Barcelona-style chair (as you enter the front door of the house).

I feel like the arrangement of the furniture might be too open, and that there is no clear entryway into the room (i.e. you sort of just fall into the living room). I'd like to know if people recommend a different rug size (perhaps a smaller one under a coffee table?) or moving the chairs so that they flank the bookshelf to create a more enclosed seating area. I am also wondering if the sofa should be pulled away from the wall and/or how to better place the Barcelona-style chair.

On a side note, I have a dog and a cat, so any rug solutions that work with pets are welcome. Though you can't currently see it in the pictures, the rug I have is frayed on all four edges due to my dog/cat chewing/pulling out the threads. I do have some throw pillows, but I only generally put them out when guests come because my pets tend to chew on them.

I feel like the room generally looks "coziness" and feels rather cold. I don't really spend any time in this room and I think it's because it doesn't really "flow" or feel welcoming. Help!

Thanks in advance for any assistance that you can provide, and please be kind! It's my first time doing something like this.

Sent by Norma

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(Image credits: Norma)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.