Excel at Extra Seating: Living Rooms With Perfect Pouf Placement

published Jul 22, 2016
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(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Poufs, floor pillows, low ottomans and small stools—these are all great decor elements to add to a living room whenever you need extra seating or more softness. But it’s not always crystal clear exactly where your newly purchased or DIYed pouf or floor pillow should go. In the place of side chairs? As a coffee table? Kind of floating off to the side? Personally, I have a small round upholstered stool that I move around my living room no less than 10 times a day trying to find the spot that looks the best. If you’ve ever wondered about the perfect pouf (floor pillow, stool, etc…) placement in a living space, check out these 14 rooms that are getting it right.

I’ve noticed four different types of pouf placements that seem to work in a variety of living room sizes and decor styles. Find the placement style that works best for your room, your tastes and the way you’d like your poufs, floor cushions and stools to function:

Instead of a side chair

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to use a floor cushion or pouf instead of a side chair in your living room furniture arrangement. You might be going for a more bohemian look in your home, or you might simply be low on space—using a low pouf or floor cushion will provide seating without crowding the room or blocking the flow of traffic. Some great examples:

(Image credit: Abe Martinez)
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)
(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

Off to the side and at the ready

Not all poufs, floor pillows, stools and extra soft seating have to be right in the middle of the action—or taking the place of some other furniture piece. These small seating elements are versatile and can fit off to the side, ready and waiting to be pulled up to the conversation when needed. But how do you arrange it so that it doesn’t feel like a pouf is just kind of floating alone in space? The trick is to place your extra soft seating next to other decor elements; fold floor cushions and poufs into vignettes so they feel connected to the room. Examples of rooms that do this well:

(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)
(Image credit: David Telford)
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

As a sofa-cessory

Another great option for pouf, stool and cushion placement is what I’m calling the sofa-ccessory. Use your extra soft seating almost like you would a throw pillow on top of your sofa—place it next to or in front of your sofa to create a layered effect with decor. Not exactly touching the sofa, but not miles away, this type of pouf placement can work with just about any size of living space. Use this placement option with a small coffee table or no coffee table. See how this idea is illustrated in the variety of living room styles below:

(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Put your feet up

You can always use small extra seating as a foot stool in front of a side chair. It’ll not only look great, it’ll greatly increase the comfort of the chair! These three rooms show how it’s done:

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

More rooms that get it right: