Decorating Dilemmas: Denise’s Corner Conundrum

Helping Denise decorate her living room and layout her space 

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,

Before Christmas, I bought two cream sofas for my smallish living room (I have a large family). Ever since, I have been moving my furniture around trying to make it all make cohesive sense. Even though I need HELP for the entire space (I’m about to paint the wall, so no decor yet), my main concern right now is how to balance the corner where the two sofas meet with the tall secretary/armoire on the opposite wall. From the not-so-good pictures you will see that presently I have a bookshelf between the two sofas, and every day I look at it and say, “No! There’s got to be something a whole lot better.” It’s giving me a twitch! Also, I am trying my best to make the section with the computer armoire work behind the loveseat not to mention the rest of the tables, etc. already in the room. Help! I am willing to purchase items for the space. When you walk in my front door, the corner where the two sofas meet is the view from the foyer.

Thanks for your help!


Hi Denise!

We love your inspiration to change to lighter tones- it really helps create such a welcoming space.

In order to add some functionality and depth to the space, we’ve rearranged your room and created a dueling sofa layout. This allows you to have two clearly defined areas and helps provide some functionality to the room. To square off the sitting area, we’ve used our 3-Piece Tuscan Bookcase positioned against the long back wall that now serves as a focal point for the room. This will also be a great place to display family photos, a collection of our Blue and White Chinoiserie pieces, personal collectibles, and a group of books that were previously shelved in your corner bookcase. It also adds some warmth to the space with its warm Tuscan Brown color.

In between the dueling sofas, two Castored Tufted Square Ottomans upholstered in Davidson Herringbone Oatmeal, placed side by side, can form a large coffee table with plenty of storage. They also help elongate this part of the room and balance the size of the sofas. We suggest replacing the loveseat with two armchairs like our Coleman Chairs in Queens Velvet Indigo, since they comfortable and work better with this furniture configuration. The Suzanne Kasler Chapelle Lamps in Camel provide needed lighting for existing end tables and our Olivia End Table in Brass helps add another surface in the space.

Our Devlin Tufted Rug with its soft hues delineates the space and brings in all the various colors. It’s soft pattern also adds some extra interest which works great with the other patterns and fabrics in the space. We love our Palermo Embroidered Drapery panels on the windows for the softness and elegance they add to the space.

On the opposite wall is your secretary. Two Upholstered Camel Back Parsons Chairs, in Vivian Navy, could sit next to the secretary additional seating when necessary. These are perfect for tying the navy color story and create a cohesive look. On the wall above each chair is a mirrored Bamboo Candle Sconce providing additional light and texture. The symmetrical furniture arrangement emphasizes a easy formality.

Our Ananda Console table adds additional space for displaying personal mementos. Two Leather Cubes in Almond can slid easily beneath the console pulled up any where in the room when needed for additional seating. This space comes together to create a slightly formal and comfortable family spot!

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Helping Denise decorate her living room and layout her space

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Sonia tempia

    April 20, 2017

    Hello, I like what I see , can I ask my decorating dilemma here?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      April 21, 2017

      We’d love to help you with your decorating dilemma! Submit this form and our designers will reach out to you!