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When arranging furniture in the living room, the key things to keep in mind are flow, function and focal point.

Flow: Furniture should be arranged to facilitate traffic flow. Think of the pattern that foot traffic takes, and arrange the furnishings for the best use of that space. Can you get in and out of the seating area with ease? When walking through the living room to get to another room, is the furniture in the way, or can you move about easily?

Function: What function does this room serve? Is it a place to simply relax? If so, purchase furniture that will be comfortable for you and your family. When you’re shopping for new furniture, sit in the chairs and the sofas to be sure they meet your height and comfort requirements.

If the room is mostly for socializing, create cozy seating areas with accessible tables to hold drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The seating should be arranged in groups of two to four seats. If the room is primarily a place to watching television, then it’s obvious: The furnishings should be oriented toward the TV.

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Focal point: Whatever the room’s main purpose, the design should take into account a focal point. If watching TV is the goal of the room, then the TV is the focal point — but some rooms have the advantage of a fireplace and/or a great outdoor view.

If it is not possible or practical that all the furniture be oriented toward, say, the fireplace or the view, then put at least two chairs facing that focal point while the other furniture faces the TV. This way, the room serves as the best of both worlds.

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