Arranging Furniture When You Have Multiple Focal Points!

How to Arrange Furniture in a Room with Multiple Focal Points by The Decorologist

Rooms always look their best when the furniture is balanced on the architecture. But what if you have a room with multiple focal points that don’t line up with each other?? This is a common problem for homeowners and was a big issue in my client’s living room project.

How to Arrange Furniture in a Room with Multiple Focal Points by The Decorologist

Let’s start out with the “before” photos. First, look at the furniture in relation to the focal point opposite the entry:  the bank of windows.

how do you arrange furniture in a room with multiple focal points?before

The conversation area in this room certainly doesn’t balance on them. Most people don’t think about a bank of windows as a focal point, but it certainly is! There are multiple focal points in this space, and you are about to see two more.

If there is a fireplace in the room, it is always an architectural focal point.

If possible, the furniture placement should be balanced on the fireplace. The sofas are equidistant from the fireplace here, but the conversation area is soooo far away from it.

before

Finally, we have to consider that ruthless tyrant of the living room.

Yes, I’m talking about the television!

The television has certainly mastered this living room. The furniture is oriented close to this end of the room (vs. the fireplace end) to cluster near the television. BUT, you can see the furniture is not balanced on the television.

before

The biggest problem in this living room? The fireplace and the television are not lined up to one another on opposite ends of the room. So the furniture doesn’t know where to go or what to orient on. And the window is ignored altogether.

What do you do when you have multiple focal points in a living room? Never fear, The Decorologist is here!

We wanted to brighten and freshen her living room, bringing in an updated color scheme and a few new furniture pieces. The sofas were in great shape, so we opted to retain those and work them into our new color scheme. As you are about to see, COLOR changes the entire feeling of the room. But getting the furniture arrangement right is incredibly important in making this room feel balanced and welcoming.

Now I’ll show you the befores/afters of this room. Let’s start with how it looks upon entry, which is the most important view of the room!

before

new paint color scheme and furniture arrangement in a living room with multiple focal points by The Decorologistafter by The Decorologist

Can you feel the shift in BALANCE?

Now the room’s furniture is centered and balanced on the bank of windows. The new color scheme includes dark blue, russet, and grayed green. Don’t you love those club chairs from Merridian Home Furnishings?

before

living room redesign where there are multiple focal points by Kristie Barnett, The Decorologistafter by The Decorologist

The sofas are still centered on the fireplace, but now they are closer to it than they were before. One of the chairs is nestled up to it – can’t you imagine reading a book beside a nice roaring fire this winter?

What’s new in the room? The paint colors, drapery panels, pair of club chairs, tables, lamps, pillows, and throws. The rug was moved in here from the dining room, and the art and other decor already belonged to the homeowner.

before

television in bookcase with dark blue in the background, a room with multiple focal pointsafter by The Decorologist

We couldn’t balance the furniture on ALL of the focal points, but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!

Moving the sofas AWAY from the television actually makes it easier to view it. The chair nearest the television is actually a swivel chair, so it can address the conversation area OR turn towards the television for viewing. Best of both worlds, right? Plus, the chair is low enough so it doesn’t block the tv.

before

dark blue in the back of a bookcase to take the emphasis off the television in a room with multiple focal pointsafter by The Decorologist

You may notice that we added a shelf above the television. That simple change takes the emphasis off the black box a bit, as does the dark blue paint in the backs of the bookcase. Another shelf below it would have been good, too.

I hope this helps you figure out the best way to lay out furnishings when you have multiple focal points. If you need more help, check out this instructional video packed with lots of light bulb moments.

Do you want to learn how to create amazing paint color palettes for profit? I’ve created an online course that will enable you to do just that! Here’s a recent testimonial from one of my graduates:

“I just finished Kristie’s Psychological Color Expert™ course and I am blown away with how informative it was! This just propelled me to another level and I cannot thank her enough for sharing all of her expertise from her years in the industry. She provides everything you need to do a professional color consultation and the knowledge behind it. I just did my first one and it was seamless because of this course and all the materials I received.! SO thankful I got this!!!!! – Mary Smoczynski, PCE™ graduate

If you are following the renovation of my 1807 Federal-style home, here’s Part 3 of the video tour that takes you through the upstairs rooms.  I am working on putting together episodes of the progress, so be sure to follow me on Instagram TV or my YouTube channel!

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xuan
xuan
9 months ago

very nice job!

Anne-Marie Eddy
Anne-Marie Eddy
9 months ago

Love this – great transformation!

Martha Evans
Martha Evans
9 months ago

Hello: I have a fireplace in the corner……..yes, the CORNER of my family room and have decided there is no way to be able to use it as a focal point without totally chopping up the room into other, unusable spaces. Have you dealt with this before on your blog? Thanks so much!!

Molly
Molly
9 months ago

The before pictures make the room look busy and sort of uncomfortable. The afters are so much more welcoming and relaxing. You really transformed that space well.

Cathy
Cathy
9 months ago

Would you have ever considered placing the two sofas back to back in the center of the room? Would there have been enough room for that configuration?

Regina
Regina
9 months ago

Great info and I am really enjoying the new “old” home journey. So fun!

Jenny B.
Jenny B.
9 months ago

It turned out beautiful! I especially love the blue background in the bookcase. I also love that you were able to work with the existing sofas. They look 100x better with the new wall and accent colors. Great job!

Rhonda
Rhonda
9 months ago

The room is so much brighter, lighter, and appealing now! Wonderful job! This reminds me of when we built our house 25 years ago. A decorator came over (we had ordered some furniture from her place of business), and I asked her how to arrange my family room furniture. She looked and said, “Hmmm… you have three focal points here.” I remember feeling so surprised, as I thought the fire place was the only focal point. She came up with a quick arrangement, and it is still that way today, even though furnishings, fabrics, and paint have changed. A good… Read more »

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