Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
Many people find it challenging to arrange their living room to make it look more inviting, with most folks assuming that the couch must always be centered in front of the TV. But can you put the couch somewhere else?
A couch doesn’t have to be centered in front of the TV, especially if you don’t want the TV to be the focal point. You can position the couch strategically to encourage more conversations. You can also place it where you’ll get to enjoy the view of your fireplace or a painting on the wall.
This article will feature various suggestions on how to more creatively position your couch in relation to the TV, including placing it off-center, floating it in the middle of the room, or placing it among other chairs and ottomans. I will also provide tips on proper TV placement and the ideal distance between a couch and a TV, depending on your screen size. Let’s get started!
The Best Couch Placements in Relation to the TV
A couch is one of the main attractions in the living room and is usually the first thing any visitor would notice in your space. It is where most conversations happen and where people are typically drawn for socializing and lounging. It may be plush and homely or sleek and chic, but whatever the case may be, the important thing is that it can make your space inviting.
Typically, a couch is centered in front of the TV for more comfortable viewing. However, if the TV is not the focal point and you would like to encourage more interaction within the space, there are many other ways to make your couch both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Here are some tips on the best couch placements in relation to the TV.
Create an Interaction Island
Arrange your couch, ottomans, and chairs in the middle of your living room and make them face each other. You can mount the TV on a wall or table perpendicular to the arrangement. This way, you and your guests will be encouraged to talk and interact rather than plop down on the couch and chairs, turn the TV on, and watch.
While you might think you’re making it uncomfortable for people to watch TV since they would need to practically turn sideways to watch, remember that social interaction is your main agenda within the space. If they decide to watch TV, they can still do so, but since it might be a pain in the neck (literally and figuratively), watching TV will take a back seat to conversations.
Camouflage Your TV
If you want to make TV viewing convenient for yourself and your guests, you can place your couch centered in front of the TV while still making social interactions the main agenda in the room.
Conceal your TV behind a cabinet and open it when you want to watch. If you have the budget and space, hide your TV behind a painting on the wall. Attach a mechanism allowing the painting to slide up when you want screen time.
Mount Your TV Above the Fireplace
Mounting your TV above the fireplace helps get it out of the way, save valuable space, and deal with those unsightly wires and plugs. This location makes your TV the focal point, but only when you want it to be.
You can position your couch and chairs directly in front of the TV and fireplace to make viewing convenient when the TV is turned on. However, when not in use, it won’t take up precious space and won’t be an eyesore at all. You can run the wires behind the TV so your fireplace area still looks tidy.
Reserve an Empty Corner for the TV
This is another strategy perfect for those who do not want to make the TV the room’s centerpiece. Float your couch and chairs in the center of the space, away from the walls and windows. This creates a space conducive to conversations and lounging. Designate a corner for the TV in a spot where people in the sitting area can easily view it.
Mount the TV on the wall with a swiveling mount. This way, you can easily adjust the TV screen’s angle for the convenience and enjoyment of your guests. This off-center arrangement can also add depth to your space.
Set the TV Apart
You can also set the TV entirely apart from the couch and chairs in your living room. This way, it won’t be a distraction during social interactions and whenever a good conversation is flowing between you and your guests.
Consider placing swiveling chairs near the TV so that anyone who wants some screen time can easily swing toward the direction of the screen. You can also position the couch on the opposite side of the wall from the TV. This way, anyone sitting in it can still comfortably watch their favorite movies and shows while still engaging in the conversations flowing around them.
How Far a Couch Should Be From the TV
These days, TVs come in many different sizes. Depending on your preference and the dimensions of your living room, the right TV size can help make your space feel more inviting and thoughtfully designed.
Remember that people sitting on your couch and chairs should generally have an unobstructed view of the TV in case they opt for some screen time.
Below is a table showing the ideal viewing distance between a couch and a TV, depending on the latter’s size:
|TV Screen Size
|Ideal Distance From the Couch
|3 – 5.5 feet (0.91 – 1.68 meters)
|4 – 6.5 feet (1.22 – 1.98 meters)
|4.5 – 7.5 feet (1.37 – 2.29 meters)
|5 – 8.5 feet (1.52 – 2.59 meters)
|6 – 9.5 feet (1.83 – 2.90 meters)
|6.5 – 11 feet (1.98 – 3.35 meters)
|7 – 12 feet (2.13 – 3.66 meters)
|8 – 13.5 feet (2.44 – 4.11 meters)
|9 – 15 feet (2.74 – 4.57 meters)
Tips for Proper TV Placement
Most people instinctively position their TV near a wall at the center of the living room, right in front of the couch. This is the ideal set-up for comfortable viewing. However, if you don’t want the TV to be the center of attention in the space, finding the perfect spot for it may sometimes be tricky.
You must balance practicality and aesthetics when dealing with electronics and your furniture. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind:
- Keep your TV out of the way. Ensure you position your TV in an area people don’t usually walk through. Otherwise, you and your guests will get pretty frustrated if people keep blocking your view while you’re watching.
- Save space. If you have limited space, consider mounting your TV on a wall rather than allowing it to take up valuable space on a table or placing it on a stand to take up floor space.
- Keep your TV away from any glare. Make sure any light, whether natural or artificial, will not reflect off your TV’s screen. This can get very annoying during screen time.
Putting your couch squarely in front of the TV may seem like the only logical move. However, there are other creative ways to arrange your furniture, especially if you don’t want the TV to be the prime focus in the room.
Encourage more conversations and take attention away from your TV by doing the following:
- Place your couch off-center from the TV to create an asymmetrical aesthetic.
- Conceal your TV behind a cabinet or above the fireplace.
- Use swiveling mounts to position the screen exactly where you need it to face, even if the couch is perpendicular to the TV.
- Apartment Therapy: 7 Ways We’re All Laying Out Our Living Rooms Wrong
- The Spruce: 13 Rules to Arrange Living Room Furniture for TVs, Tables & More
- Better Homes & Gardens: 15 Stylish Ways to Decorate with a TV
- Bassett Furniture: TV Placement Tips
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