The 6 Elements to an Irresistibly Inviting Seating Arrangement

published Dec 14, 2014
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Want your guests sinking into your living room furniture cushions to soak up each other’s delightful conversation instead of crowding in your kitchen or awkwardly standing around? Focus on your seating arrangements and add these six elements to make future entertaining in your home smooth, cozy and natural.

1. Easy access

Guests don’t want to shimmy through tight squeezes or step over stools to get to seating. They want it to feel like getting cozy is natural and easy to find. So keep that idea in mind as you arrange your seating arrangement in your living space, especially if you live in a small space.

2. Different levels and types of seating

Different people prefer different seating types and heights, so it’s best to have an array of seating for guests to get comfortable in different ways. Look for a variety of seating choices like snugly sofas to more formal chairs to low stools and even lower floor cushions.

(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

3. A connecting design element

Making someone comfortable in a seating arrangement involves an element of cozy, and one way to add to the cozy feeling is to use a design element, like a rug, to connect all the seats and make the whole area seem grounded. Using other elements like storage, shelves and plants can further define a seating area (and make it feel a little enclosed, too).

4. Low, flattering lighting

People feel comfortable when they feel like they look good, so lower that light and add candles to flatter skin tones. You’ll see guests getting cozy and the conversation flowing in no time.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

5. Stuff to look at, touch and talk about

An interesting design element or art piece can draw guests into a seating arrangement and give them something to talk about, sparking conversation and keeping interest. Consider even pulling out board games and cards and placing them in the area, in case that inspires a guest (or you!) to suggest some activities.

6. Clear and open eye-lines of communication

While it’s great to decorate any tables in your seating arrangement or surrounding room, don’t get so overzealous that you bring in accessories or elements that will have your guests peering over and around to try and talk to each other. Keep the conversation air clear and open so chatting flows more freely.