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How to Make Your Living Space Work for You and Your Gatherings

Play with your furniture arrangements.

Try to arrange your space to provide conversation clusters or spots for reading, visiting, dining and watching television. The furniture can enhance the style of the space and compliment the architectural features of the home. The furniture arrangement creates the overall desired mood and style of the space. The goal is to arrange a space that is aesthetically pleasing while being functional.

Sofas & Sectionals

Sofas and sectionals aren't just for sitting. Your sofa can enhance your home's style with a sense of coziness, elegance or even sleek modern styling. Choosing the perfect sofa or sectional for your home can be quite the task. There are dozens of styles, fabric and leather options to choose from! Choosing between a sofa and sectional can be a big decision. There are advantages and limitations to both arrangements.

If you like to rearrange your furniture often, it can be more difficult to accomplish this with a sectional. Due to the size of the room, television, traffic flow and door openings are all factors to consider and may limit you to one option for furniture layout.

When you like a variety of fabrics and textures it is easy to accomplish this look with a sofa in one fabric (often a texture) and a pair of chairs in another fabric (solid or print). A third fabric or accent print can go on an additional piece like an accent chair or ottoman.

A sectional can seat a lot of people but the corner seat is often lost and isn't a very comfortable seating option. A sectional comes in three shapes, the U­shape, L­shape and semi­circular shape. Modular sectionals allow for creative configurations that can enhance your space. A sofa or love seat married to a chaise is a perfect solution for watching television. A cuddler allows a couple to cuddle while watching television. Though a rounded or wedge corner takes up more space than the typical corner, this allows someone to use that space as a seat. A sectional can create a nice space to view the television with numerous seats, especially in a smaller room. Sometimes it is the best choice for the shape of the room. It is often easier to accomplish a clean uniform look with a sectional. Many people do feel that a sectional is not as formal as a sofa or love seat.

Sometimes, two matching sofas, or a sofa and love seat are a nice alternative to a sectional. Combining two different styles can be accomplished easier with a pairing of sofas and chairs verses one sectional. This allows you to rearrange furniture and gives room for an end table for people to put drinks on. An end table also allows for task lighting with a table lamp for activities like reading, paper work and laptop or tablet use.

If upholstery durability is a concern, due to children, pets and spills, fabric selection is key. Fabric properties are based on the fabric content. There are various types of textile fibers found in the market today, some are natural and some are synthetic fibers. They have different physical and chemical properties. Synthetic fibers like polyester, Subrella fabrics and Crypton fabrics are more durable and used in multi task, heavier used areas. Synthetic textiles are widely used in everyday life. Natural fibers are comparatively less durable than synthetic fibers. Natural fibers like cotton and linen tend to fade in the sun. With that being said, natural fibers are more environmentally friendly. If you want the feel of a natural fiber but are concerned about wear, a slip cover might be a plausible option. Some furniture companies make slipcovers for their sofas, like Four Seasons, an upholstery manufacturer we carry at Stewart & Company.

In deciding between a sectional and sofa it’s a matter of preference for the look and function of the space. If you're combining styles, the decision can be even more challenging. Combining styles tends to be more challenging with a sectional verses a pairing of sofas and/or chairs. Often the size and shape of the room dictates this decision. This can be a challenge for many people and often a designer can help solve the problem with some measuring, furniture layout options and floor plans. Stewart & Company offers a complimentary design service that allows a designer to creatively problem solve through space planning.

Accent Chairs & Arm Chairs An accent chair is a great addition to your space. It can complete a living room setting with a pop of color or with an accent print. There is a large variety of chairs, including armchairs, swivel chairs, recliners, gliders and stationary chairs. A room may look much bigger if the chairs are on exposed legs verses a fully skirted chair. The appearance of a pair of sofas and chairs feels lighter and less compact in spaces verses a solid sectional. The footprint of the sectional may be larger and therefor the room will feel fuller. A pairing allows for more versatility and for the feel of a more open grouping. To tie in the chair with the sofa or love seat, often people match the print of the pillows on their sofas or sectional with the print of the fabric on the chair. A cohesive design can be achieved nicely through an accent chair or a pairing of accent chairs.

Ottomans Ottomans are versatile pieces of furniture with multiple purposes. They can be utilized as a footstool, coffee table and storage container and even additional seating. Ottomans sometimes are available on casters for the ease of mobility. They are available in a variety of heights, sizes, shapes, colors and patterns. Ottomans can add that unique touch of character to your room!

The seating in a space is key and the furniture selection and layout are crucial for conversation clusters and gathering and watching television. The uses of the space, room dimensions and the individual style are all important factors to consider. Size, comfort, aesthetics and function all come into play when deciding on furniture arrangement in a space. Don't be hesitant to change up your living space with a new furniture layout!


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