The designers at Gary Riggs Home know it takes more than furniture and décor to make a house a home—it also involves satisfying the human psyche. Studies show that we feel happier when surrounded by symmetry, and we gravitate to spaces that are isometric and balanced.

The designers of Gary Riggs Home have come up with some ways to create a living room environment that will help you relax and reenergize.

Size It Up

How you place furniture and other items in a living room determines whether the space is comfortable or disconcerting. A cluttered small room can seem too intense and over-stimulating, while sparse, open rooms can feel sterile and ominous.

To think as a designer would, look objectively at the whole room and ask yourself:

  • What is this room used most for?
  • How easily can I move through this room?
  • What is the first thing in the room that my eye is drawn to?
  • What can be moved and what is permanent (or can’t be moved without a great deal of extra work)?
  • What are the sweeps (space to open doors) in the room?
  • Where are the power outlets and utility hookups in the room?

Finding Balance

Meeasure the room and draw a to-scale floor plan of the room, or use an online tool like RoomSketcher.com or FloorPlanner.com. Add all immovable objects such as windows, doors and fireplaces to the plan. You might also include power outlets and hookups.

Next, draw horizontal and vertical lines from the center of each wall and diagonal lines from each corner. The diagram will look like a square or rectangular pie cut into eight slices. In most cases, it’s a good idea to place your furniture along the horizontal and vertical lines, not the diagonal lines.

Point of View

In the past, the fireplace or picture window were the always the focal point around which furniture would be arranged in a living room. Nowadays, however, these often compete with the television.

If your living room has a fireplace as its focal point, try setting up your television on the wall directly opposite the fireplace. Then center your sofa on one end of the other straight line and your loveseat or chairs on the other side of the line. This way your family and guests will have a great view of either the fireplace or the TV.

If you’ve got a picture window competing with a television as the focal point, it’s not practical to place a TV opposite the window due to glare. Nor would it be ideal to block the window with a bulky piece like a sofa or loveseat. Instead, the best solution would probably be to put the television in the corner of the wall with the window and the sofa opposite the window.

When designing the layout of your living room, it all comes down to conceiving and considering the room as a whole. If you would like help with your living room or any other rooms in your house, the designers at Gary Riggs Home are happy to help.