Decorating Dilemmas: Joni’s Living Room

Furnishing a living room to seat 10 people

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

Our living room is a little narrow — one wall has a doorway, one has a fireplace and one has a bay window with a window seat. It is very difficult to place furniture for us and our 7 kids. I would really like to have a sectional sofa, which would provide a lot more seating for us. Is there any way this would work?

The floor space is 17’6″ x 13′ 4″. The sofa is on the west wall and the fireplace on the east wall, those walls are 17’6″ long. The bay window is on the South wall and the door opening is on the North wall, those walls are 13′ 4″ long.

Thanks for your help,


Joni's living room layout

Joni's living room layout

Joni's living room layout

Joni's living room layout

Dear Joni,

Let’s begin by doing a little rearranging of your accent furniture. Relocating your display cabinet further down the same wall to the other corner will free up space for additional seating, as will moving your entertainment console to the adjacent wall next to the fireplace. Now for much needed extra seating in your living space…placing our luxuriously comfortable Baldwin 3-Piece Sectional in the center of the room, will provide seating for 5 comfortably. Visually anchor the sofa with an area rug such as the Granada Rug in a 6’x9’ size in light blue-green with a tan background. The Carmel Large Square Ottoman, upholstered in a deep teal microfiber, serves as both a coffee table and an ottoman for additional seating. A metal or wood tray placed on a diagonal on the ottoman can serve as a surface for displaying flowers, candles, books, etc. Larkin Swivel Glider chairs upholstered in a durable Celadon Microfiber will provide more wonderfully comfy seating and can be swiveled for both conversation towards the sectional or TV watching. Your existing wing chair can be positioned by the built-in bookcase.

Living room layout

Our Olivia Mirrored Side Table will easily hold our Tasseau Table Lamp for illumination of the sofa and nearby Larkin Chair, with the Tasseau Floor Lamp providing lighting for the other Larkin Chair. As a suggestion for the window seat, adding custom cushions in the Celadon Microfiber will allow for a cozy reading nook.

Our Tree of Life Art would be amazing paired with a couple of our Bellesol Mirrors and hung above the sectional. Throw pillows, in accent colors, will create a finished look.

Your versatile living area will now seat ten, allowing for two sitting on the ottoman, with extra seating on the window seat, if desired. With seven children, yourselves, and possible guests, this should allow for comfy seating for all.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Furnishing a living room to seat 10 people

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How to Decorate Team

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