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5 items to put in front of your sofa and let the room flow

  • by harmati home

The living room is an integral part of any home, and while different pieces of furniture go into it, a sofa is usually the largest piece in the room. However, while a sofa can provide the comfort of sitting and relaxing, it requires another piece to complement its purpose in the living room.

When you sit on your sofa, you want something where you can put your magazines or drinks. This piece must be close to your sofa so you can easily reach your items when you need them. This poses the question, what should I put in front of my sofa?

Though a traditional coffee table may first come to mind, there are many other options that can serve the same purpose. 

Here, we discuss a few pieces of furniture to consider placing in front of your sofa.

What to Have In Front Of Your Sofa

Coffee Tables

A coffee table is the first option that comes to mind when thinking of what to have in front of your sofa. What makes this option a great choice is its availability in different sizes and materials. Coffee tables can be made of metal, glass, or wood. For example, our Atelier Coffee Table is made of natural material (solid wood and rattan) with brass metal feet. Since coffee tables are generally available in different designs, you will always find one that suits your taste and interior design.

However, proper care should go into choosing the right size of coffee table for your living room. While there is no one-size-fits-it-all formula, the right size should depend on the room size and sofa to complement. For example, when choosing a coffee table for a large square room, it is wise to choose a large coffee table. Needless to say, small tables look great in a small living room. 

Before setting out to buy a coffee table, ensure you know the right size for your room. Some general tips that can help you find the right size coffee table for your space are:

  • Height: Your coffee table should be about 1- 2 inches shorter than the height of your sofa’s seat cushions.

 

  • Width: The ideal coffee table is 2/3rds the width of your sofa. For sectionals with a chaise, then the table should be 2/3rds the size of the sofa portion only.
  • Distance to sofa: The distance from the front of the sofa to the coffee table should be between 12 and 18 inches.

 

  • Depth: If you have a sectional sofa with a chaise, then the coffee table should not stick out into the room farther than the chaise.

 

 

Coffee Table Ottomans

Another furniture piece that could work in front of your sofa is a coffee table ottoman. While having a coffee table in front of your sofa means you have a place to put your drinks and magazines, you may also want a place to rest your feet, and this is what coffee table ottomans offer.

A coffee table ottoman is the combination of a coffee table with an ottoman. With this combination, you can place your drinks on the tabletop and rest your feet on the ottoman cushion pulling out from below the tabletop. 

The design is also great to enhance your interior design allure, making your sitting room the center of attraction.

Large Ottomans

Instead of considering a coffee table ottoman, you might decide to go for a large ottoman. While a coffee table ottoman means a combination of two pieces of furniture, a large ottoman provides you with enough space to also serve as additional seating for guests.

A large ottoman has both a soft top to place your feet and upholstery fabric for decoration purposes. The upholstery fabric comes in different colors to match your choice of color in the room. There is also an option of a large flat top where you can place your books and tray.

Small Tables

Putting a pair of small tables in front of your sofa can also be a good fit. Note that a matched pair might be a better choice than a mismatched pair, as a matching pair offers a more uniform look. If you own a mismatched pair, but with the same height, a matching top will help bring them together. 

A Piece of Glass on a Base

The next option is a bit more creative. One way to express your creativity is to combine a base with a top in front of your sofa. There are different options to choose from as your base, including a pair of cement columns or a large pot. The top is usually glass with ½ inch thickness. 

However, note that the glass top should be cut to the right size according to the available space in the room. Also, keep in mind that a large glass top will be heavy, requiring a sturdy base to carry the weight. 


Living Room Layout Tips

Now that you’ve figured out what to put in front of your sofa, it’s time to plan the layout of your living room. It is key to know how to arrange the sofa and other items in the living room, ensuring you can bring out the best of your living room. 

While you might have arranged your living room furniture and be comfortable with it, you can throw in some tricks and twist things around to make the room cozier. 

Planning 

This living room layout guide will put you in the right direction to bringing the best out of your living room. However, some planning should go ahead of rearranging your furniture, as this will help ease your job.

  1. Work on the Traffic Flow

Your first job of arranging furniture in your living room is to define the traffic flow in the room. Questions to ask yourself include: How do people walk in and out of the room? How many doors lead to the room? How do the doorways communicate? Your answers to these questions will help envision the parts of the room to leave open. 

While it is obvious that people will move from one door to the other, people will also move between other parts of the room, such as a fireplace and a built-in bar. Hence, remember to put this into consideration while working on the room traffic flow.

Your aim here is to enhance traffic flow by not placing any pieces on doorways. 

  1. Identify the Focal Point

Before going any further, you must decide on the focal point of your living room. Most homes choose the TV as their focal point, while others opt for a fireplace or beautiful artwork. The point is to have something that provides people with an interesting view.

Though you should only have one focal point at a time, you can make exceptions for a second focal point, which you can switch to depending on the current season on occasion. For example, if you have a large living room, you can choose your TV as your regular focal point but with plans to easily switch to a corner fireplace as an alternate focal point. 

A typical home would have a large window as its focal point during the summer and a fireplace as the focal point during the winter.

  1. Sketch out the Arrangement

Though many people don’t consider this necessary, it goes a long way in envisaging what your living room finally looks like after the furniture arrangement. While you can do this on a piece of paper, ideally a graph, there are apps to help with the drawing. 

If you choose to do this on paper, choose an ideal scale and measure the room and the furniture to go into it. According to your chosen scale, draw the furniture on the graph in the right sizes. With this, you can change your mind on where each piece should go, without the stress of moving your furniture around in the real room. 

Even if you don’t buy into the idea of choosing a scale, a rough sketch can still help get the job done adequately.

Arranging Furniture in Your Living Room: Tips

Whether you draw a picture of your furniture arrangement or not, here are a few tips to help you get started with your living room furniture arrangement.

  1. Consider Large Furniture First

Your first consideration should be large furniture, as they can only fit into limited places in the room. While small pieces, such as stools, can find multiple spots in the room, your sofa and couch might not find more than one place. 

Also, a large armoire may only find a big enough wall to sit in an open concept room, necessitating that you consider them first.

  1. Decide On Where the TV Should Go

Next is to determine where you want the TV to go. Ideally, regardless of what focal point you opt for, the TV should be placed within the vicinity of the focal point. This is to ensure people can see both at the same time. 

However, proper attention should go to where you position your TV. You don’t want to place it directly across from a window, which will cause a reflection on the TV.

Also, you want to pay attention to the height at which it is mounted – it shouldn’t be too high or low so viewers can use it with utmost comfort.

  1. Work on Conversation Areas

One major purpose of a living room is for members and guests to converse. Hence, you want to create conversation areas where people can sit and talk, enhancing the ease of conversation. 

The conversation area should be arranged to orient around the focal point. This is more important if you have a TV as your focal point, meaning that as people converse, they can still see the TV. 

This shouldn’t be too difficult to decide on. The easiest way is to arrange the sofa to face the focal point, while other pieces in the conversation area form a U-shaped arrangement.

Another piece of furniture to consider in your conversation area is a bunch, such as our Monty Bench.  

  1. Arrange Tables and Other Accessories

After arranging your sofa and other big pieces, the next step is to add tables, rugs, and other accessories. 

Arranging tables in a living room shouldn’t be a hard-to-crack nut. The key point is to provide all chairs with a table where people can put down their drinks. However, proper spacing should be applied between the seats and the tables, ideally 14’’ to 18’’.

Also, note that square tables are not ideal if they are too close to the walkways. Instead, when choosing tables to arrange with your sofa in the living room, choose round tables to prevent being banged into. Our round Atelier Coffee Table is great for this. 

It is also worth mentioning that the pieces you choose for your living room should correspond with your sofa, in terms of color and design. 



There are many different options to choose from when it comes to what to put in front of your sofa. While a coffee table might sound like the best choice, a few other pieces, such as ottomans or small tables, will play perfectly into the purpose. Your choice should depend on what is most suitable for your style.

Also, after you’ve figured out which option works best for you, how you arrange the sofa and other pieces in your space will determine your overall living room appearance. We hope this guide puts you in the right direction for how to plan and arrange your living room.

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