When we first moved in, we were pleased to see how perfectly our giant sectional “fit” in the  family room.  But slowly over time we started to think maybe there was something else that would fit better.  The truth is I think we were just getting tired of the sectional.  It was almost the same boring beige color as the carpet…leaving the entire room lifeless, especially when the walls were still painted tan.

The sectional really only “fit” one way in the room.  We had to put it up against one of the windows, which blocked the view and light from the lower part of that window.  The placement also forced a traffic pattern from the kitchen and eat-in area to walk all the way around the sectional to get to the living area.  This worked fine for us, but was ackward when we had guests over.  The sectional was a barrier between the kitchen and family room.  We also learned that, although a 120″ sectional with chaise offers a lot of space for seating theoretically, in practice it really only sat 3 people.  It was awkward for people to sit in the corner or share the chaise section.

This is the only “before” picture I have…a random Halloween pic.  But it does show the room layout and my dad is accurately depicting how awkward the sectional is for guests.  He is sitting on the ottoman instead of trying to sit in the corner of the sectional.

We knew we needed a change to make the room more comfortable for entertaining.  But before rushing out to buy something new, I first tried other arrangements with the sectional.  I was pretty certain the sectional was not going to work for what I had in mind, but I moved it around to help me get a feel for other possibilities.  Now you are going to start wondering pretty quickly why I was moving furniture late at night and taking terrible iPhone pictures of the whole process.  Well, I did this late at night after the kids were asleep and my hubby was at school.  I took photos of the arrangements so I could show my hubby the options I tried and remind myself.  I tried everything I could think of…

Sectional in front of windows – don’t like how it blocks the view and light.  Also strange placement with TV.  This is similar to how the model home in our neighborhood was arranged, but it is not really practical for real life.

Sectional in front of windows with console table behind – console would allow for lamps behind sectional, but the whole arrangement just looks odd in front of the windows.  Still a bad option for TV viewing.

Then I tried the sectional angled from short wall parallel to where wood floor and carpet meet – makes passage from kitchen wide open.  Accentuates angle in room.  Completely blocks access from foyer and dining area.  But this gives me another idea…

Angled but floating – opens passage from foyer and dining area while leaving a passage from the kitchen.  I like this, but the sectional is just too long.  The walkways were a bit narrow on each side and the chaise protrudes to far into the room.  By now though I was exhausted from moving everything around, so we left it like this for a while to see if we liked this angled arrangement.

Looks great with the angled stairwell centered behind the sectional.

This is where I got both tired and satisfied that I had tried every option.  After about a month with the sectional on an angle, we knew we really liked the room this way.  It felt more open and casual.  It left all the windows open giving the space a loft-like feel.  Since we have a walk-out basement off the back of the house, these windows are on the second level.  The height gives a better, unobstucted view.  We love enjoying the view now from the angled couch.  TV watching on the angle is pretty good.  Our TV can swivel so it works perfectly.

For good measure I also tried how it might look with two chairs in front of the windows for additional seating.  My stand in chairs are totally the wrong scale and the large ottoman inhibits anything bigger, but still an idea.

I also considered how this arrangement would look as you walked in from the foyer or coming down the stairs. 

We liked the angled arrangement a lot.  The only thing we decided we weren’t happy with was the actual sectional.  It was still too big for the space and did not offer the amount of seating we wanted for entertaining.  This was still a great exercise.  Without doing this re-arrangement I am not sure we would have thought of the angled sofa as an option and may have gone out looking for the wrong new furniture.

We decided we wanted to work with the angle and look for a regular sofa long enough to seat 4, but without a chaise.  Something with narrower arms and back that would fit the space better.    Luckily, within a few weeks we scored all new living room furniture at the Room & Board Outlet.  We also hope to find two armless chairs to add extra seating.  Our giant sectional will find a new home in our currently unfinished basement.  For now this is our new living room with a couple chairs borrowed from the office:

Family Room Furniture Arrangement





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