The Furniture Placement Hack That Will Make Your Small Living Room Look Larger

If you hired a professional interior designer, how do you think they would arrange your living room furniture? While this would largely depend upon the shape and size of your room, most would place at least a few pieces away from the wall, towards the center of the space. This is called floating furniture and is typically done with couches, chairs, and coffee tables. According to Realtor, one of the largest benefits of floating furniture is that it fills the empty area in the center of the room.

If you have a small space, you probably don't have enough room to pull your pieces very far off the wall. Because of this, perhaps all your furniture is pressed up against the sides of the room — most likely, your couch is hitting the baseboard on the wall across from your entertainment stand. However, while this may seem like your only option, it's not. Below, you'll discover how pulling out your couch can actually make a cramped room feel more spacious, as well as which furniture pieces should still be placed along the wall.

Pull out the couch

Most assume that pushing their couch up against the wall will make their small space appear larger. This seems to make sense because it would leave more empty floor space in the rest of the room. However, the opposite is actually true, and pulling your couch away from the wall can make a room look larger — but, why? 

Well, according to Livingetc, when furniture is pushed up against the wall, it emphasizes the cramped size of the room. On the other hand, when some space is left empty between the wall and the back of the furniture, the mind is tricked into thinking the room has ample area to allow for this. There is some disagreement about just how many inches the back of your couch should be away from the wall. If your room is very small, pull it out just a few inches, per Home Decor Bliss. However, if you're creating a walkway behind the couch, Realtor recommends 12 inches or more.

What about the other furniture?

While the couch should be pulled away from the wall, what about the other furniture? According to Room For Tuesday, upholstery should be away from the wall while other pieces don't have to be. For instance, if you have a console table, this should be very close to the wall or placed behind a piece of furniture. Home Decor Bliss adds that entertainment stands, floor lamps, and cabinets should be anchored against a wall, while couches, chairs, and coffee tables are allowed to float in the room.

When floating furniture, it's important to ground the pieces in the space. The easiest way to do this is with a large area rug, and place the front legs of each item on the rug, per The DIY Playbook. Further, if your couch is just a few inches off the wall, they recommend adding a thin table or shelf behind it to make the space more useful.