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How To Arrange Living Room Furniture With TV

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The TV is a staple for a living room, but obstacles might make it difficult to arrange the space comfortably. Your TV should be easy to view, without losing the flow of the room. We carefully researched ways to arrange living room furniture to accommodate common TV setups.

The best way to arrange living room furniture with a TV is to select the focal point, the main purpose of the room, and plan for foot traffic. There are several options that may fit your living room and TV setup:

  • U-Shaped Furniture
  • L-Shaped Furniture
  • Segmented Furniture and Wall Mount
  • Conversation Area
  • Perpendicular Layout

While many living rooms suit specific layouts, it’s important for the television and furniture to meet your personal preferences. Keep reading to learn how different layouts will suit you, how high to hang a TV, and how far the couch should be from the television.

Gray and white living room with wooden furniture's and wooden flooring and a fireplace with TV on top, How To Arrange Living Room Furniture With TV

U-Shaped Furniture

This is one of the most traditional layouts in a large or mid-sized living room. It places all the attention on your television, rather than the furniture.

It basically makes a home theater, allowing everyone an equal opportunity to see and hear everything comfortably. However, it may disrupt the flow of a smaller living room.

White stone cladding on the fireplace with a TV on the fireplace mantel

Arranging your furniture into a 'U' shape around the television can prevent tidy lines for anyone to walk directly through the area. There must be enough space for foot traffic around the furniture.

L-Shaped Furniture

A comfortable modern living room condominium apartment decorated in contemporary design

Use this ideal layout for smaller living rooms, which are more common in apartments, studios, or townhouses.

With an L-shaped arrangement, it allows free lines of sight with the television. And it opens up an easy path for entering and exiting the area.

Also, this arrangement takes up two-thirds as much space as a U-shaped layout. And it places less focus on the television.

Anyone who would prefer to read or talk can relax on furniture set perpendicular to the TV, without directly facing the media. It is a good compromise for those with roommates and fits any mood.

Best of all, an L-shaped arrangement is perfect for TV setups in a corner pocket of the room. So, some furniture can be dedicated to the television completely, while the rest serves as traditional living room fare.

Segmented Furniture and Wall Mount

Using a wall mount for your TV raises the lines of sight. This way, you can comfortably sit multiple sections of furniture that all face the same direction, without anyone losing their view of the television.

Click here to see this TV mount on Amazon.

Similar to the U-shaped arrangement, it makes your TV the focal point of the room. However, it allows for breaks in the area, so foot traffic can easily slide between the furniture.

Choose this layout for narrow and long living rooms, which don’t use as many add-ons like side tables or coffee tables. Usually, in these situations the TV is above the fireplace. Segmented furniture can add more viewing positions. 

Since the furniture doesn’t face each other, this works almost exclusively as a home theater. But this arrangement may conflict with most interior designs. However, it’s fantastic for anyone with a daily or weekly tradition of streaming shows.

Conversation Area

With this arrangement, the furniture faces each other, while only half includes direct lines of sight for the television.

Usually, the couches face the TV, while individual chairs sit underneath the television and face the opposite direction.

While this won’t fit some smaller living rooms, it is a great option for mid-sized or larger areas. It would be easy for anyone to cross the room, and it still maximizes the space.

Often, this layout is the best compromise for repurposing a living room, so the television and furniture share an equal amount of attention. It is more flexible and creates opportunities for conversation without losing an easy way to watch TV.

Perpendicular Layout

Ultra luxurious modern living room

Using this arrangement means that all the furniture is placed at right angles to the television. Most of the time, you raise the TV using a wall mount in this situation.

The perpendicular layout is ideal for small living rooms, which often feels too cornered or narrow. It is very easy to pass in and out of a room with furniture that is well placed.

A perpendicular arrangement focuses on the furniture rather than the TV, creating a casual style. The result can feel similar to a nook for breakfast or reading.

Also, this placement is ideal for anyone with frequent guests or parties. It should serve anyone who simply uses TV to pass the time, and would prefer conversation or other activities instead.

The layout may also resemble something like a bar. So, it is often neat for sports fans, who enjoy watching the game as much as discussing and eating during an event.

How Far Should Couch Be From TV?

Woman watching TV in her apartment living room

There are many assorted rules for determining this distance. Specialists such as TVs Guides suggest you consider both the size of the television and the resolution.

They focus on picture quality, advising that you can sit closer to a higher resolution TV without noticing pixels and ruining the illusion. For example, for a 50-inch, 1080p TV, they suggest sitting 7 feet away.

However, you might also want to consider how this would affect your eyes, especially if you spend more time watching TV.

Experts like, Very Well Health advises viewers that some eye care professionals multiply the size of the TV by five, to determine the distance between the TV and the couch.

Others suggest multiplying the diagonal size of the TV by 1.5. Or, you can apply an 8:1 ratio, sitting one foot away for every inch of the TV’s total size.

Broadly speaking, most couches will sit around 6 to 8 feet away from the TV. You should also consult your manufacturer, as they might consider more specific details about your model.

Should A TV Be Centered On A Wall?

A wide screen TV with wooden speakers

Using careful symmetry looks cozy and proper, so it’s often best. But it isn’t always necessary to center the TV perfectly on a wall.

Instead, the placement should create comfortable lines of sight for you and your layout. As long as the television has a clear, balanced relationship with the furniture and room, adjusting a TV across the wall can still look tidy.

Can You Put A TV Behind A Sofa?

Although this is rare, it is possible for unique furniture layouts. For example, if you have two couches, the TV can sit behind one to maximize space.

You might also have a circular furniture arrangement, where a smaller television could be less intrusive in a conversation area. Since sofas are larger pieces of furniture, using a small TV, is better than trying to shoehorn a larger model above the sofa.

For even more creative arrangements, read our post 15 Family Room Ideas With A TV You Have To See.

What Is The Proper Height To Hang A TV?

Wooden panel theatre room with black leather sofas and wooden flooring

The height of a TV is one of the most crucial factors in deciding your layout. It should properly meet the demands of the room's purpose and maintain fair lines of sight for everyone.

The height should also be comfortable to view for extended periods of time. So, you’ll have to consider the size and angle of the TV, as well as the size and height of your couch. The size of the room and distance between the television and couch will also play a large role. 

You may also have to consider obstacles in the room, such as radiators or fireplaces. You can read our post How Much Space Between Electric Fireplace And TV? for tips on keeping that relationship safe and balanced.

Experts like Mantel Mount suggest that a 55” TV should sit around 61” from the floor to the center of the screen, while a 42” TV should sit about 56” from floor to center screen.

It’s simply best for the TV to remain at eye level for maximum comfort. So, if you can measure for the average eye level height of everyone in the home, that’s how high your television should be. You may use a laser level for accurate measurements.

Click here to see this laser level on Amazon.

Summary

Gray and white living room with wooden furniture's and wooden flooring and a fireplace with TV on top

Your furniture and TV have a close relationship in the living room, so it’s important to understand, which one you want to give priority.

Now that it’s clear how different layouts will shift the focus of the room, you can create a balanced living room that comfortably suits your personal needs.