Living room furniture layouts that sell your house

When I’m staging a house, either vacant or owner occupied, the living room is usually the last room I stage.  The reason for this is that it is often the most difficult to get right and the layout is a key component of this.

Here are some tips I’ve learnt along the way:

Think about your most likely buyer and room purpose before you start. The most likely buyer of this $1m unit is an older couple. The purpose here is a casual meeting place and TV space for the owners and their friends and family.

The layout of the living room needs to show off the features of the room. When staging, the features of your property need to be clear to those buying. If you have a great view or fireplace or large bank of windows then your furniture needs to showcase the features, not hide them. The main feature in this room is the  bush view out onto the deck and beyond. The sofa was therefore placed opposite this feature to draw people outside. The secondary feature of this room is the fireplace.  The furniture placement also provides a clear view of this.

Zone your furniture. With a move to open living there is a greater need to zone a room into its different functions. This room needs to act as a dining room and formal lounge. The furniture has been placed in 2 separate zones. Use rugs under the furniture to help define the space further.

Group your furniture, don’t line it up! One of my pet peeves is a room with furniture pushed against all the walls as if making space for a dance to start. Place your furniture in conversational groupings like the room below. Don’t be afraid to pull your furniture off the wall and have pieces floating in the room. For a great article titled ‘6 reasons to float a sofa’ click here  One of my favourite ways to make a grouping is to use a coffee table. This helps pull the chairs and sofas together and is a great place to position some accessories.

Aim for a balance. When you look at your room check that it feels balanced. You are aiming for a mix of heights across the room and that one side isn’t ‘top heavy’ with furniture. Here the height comes from the pictures and bookshelf, balanced with a large picture above the desk (unseen). The chairs also balance with the desk and the large round table is placed in the middle of the space and accessories and flowers add more height. The ‘heaviness’ of the furniture is also important. Here, all furniture has a similar visual weight. This would have looked unbalanced had the desk been made of glass.

Aim for flow around the room and into adjoining rooms. One point many sellers forget is that prospective buyers will not be sitting down in their living room, they will be walking through it and they need to be able to do this without banging into furniture.  This room had 3 doors into other spaces (1 door unseen in this picture) although this was the only living room in the house. The furniture was carefully measured and positioned so that the corridors through the room weren’t obstructed. When measuring I mark the space out with A4 paper to get a sense of the bulk a piece will take up. A lot of people are fine measuring the length of a sofa for example but don’t realise that they are about 1m in depth – and that takes up a lot of room

Most people will want to know where the TV goes – show them. Most of us love our TV sets and ‘where will we watch TV?’ is a big concern to buyers. When you are considering a furniture layout make sure there is a place for the TV in at least one of your living rooms. My husband once came home with a new TV without measuring the space available. The new TV was too big. We moved house a couple of months later and I still joke it was because we didn’t have room for the TV. The room below was in a bachelor pad unit so I made the TV and large sofa the 2 prominent pieces in the room.

Couple more things. Less is more when you’re selling your house. Living rooms often need editing. Just because you have 2 sofas and 4 chairs in your living room doesn’t mean you have to show it like that. Storing some of your furniture will open up the space and make your room look bigger. Beware also of too many side tables. I see this alot and it just adds to the visual clutter.

All the above photographs are of rooms I have staged. If you’d like a bit more inspiration on furniture placement ideas then look at or follow my board on pinterest. I’m adding to this all the time

I’m Imogen Brown, a home stager based in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. If you would like help placing your furniture in a way that sells your house then give me a call on 0432 994 056 or contact me through my website

11 thoughts on “Living room furniture layouts that sell your house

  1. Tina Myers says:

    My husband and I are in the process of redecorating our living room. You seem pretty knowledgeable on the subject so maybe you can help us out. We’ve heard that putting a loveseat and a regular sofa in the same room makes it seem cluttered. We have a sofa already but were looking into some loveseats for sale. Is it a bad idea to try and incorporate both of them into our living room? Thanks!

    1. ib69 says:

      Hi Tina. You don’t say how big your room is but if it’s not too small a sofa and love seat would be fine. Put the sofa against the longest wall then the love seat at right angles to the sofa if you can. You can then put a coffee table into the corner between the two. Hope this is useful : )

      1. Tina Myers says:

        It’s big enough to fit both a love seat and a sofa but I wasn’t sure how it would look. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!

        1. ib69 says:

          My pleasure : )

  2. John says:

    So true-placement and layout can make or break a room, and decide whether or not furniture works in the space.

    1. ib69 says:

      The houses I consult on often have too much furniture. I have to edit and re-place. Get’s tricky!

      1. John says:

        Exactly! it often amazes me how much furniture people have. In most cases way too much, and it just impedes flow and look.

  3. John says:

    Some great tips here on furniture placement and what a big difference layout makes.

    1. ib69 says:

      Thanks for commenting John. Yes the right layout makes all the difference

  4. Jason says:

    As a Newbie, I am permanently searching online for articles that can benefit me.
    Thank you

    1. ib69 says:

      Hope this was of help, thanks Jason

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