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How to make your living room a more sociable space

  • Entertaining
  • Extra seating
  • Hosting
  • Modular sofas
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Olivia Lowry
How to make your living room a more sociable space

Some say kitchens are the heart of the house, but we reckon living rooms take the top spot (even if that is a pretty biased opinion). Your living room’s where everything happens - where you’re lounging after work on a weekday evening, where you host your first housewarming, where you sit when your family comes over for a cuppa. 

In short, they’re made for socialising, even if that means hours of silence whilst you’re however many episodes deep into the next ‘must-watch’ Netflix series. Yes, we’d love to have garden get-togethers all the time, but sometimes British weather doesn’t play ball. For those moments, it’s important to make sure you’ve got your living room set up for the inevitable dash inside when it starts raining.

Whatever season it is, we can all agree that balancing precariously on a sofa arm isn’t exactly the most comfortable way to hang out with friends and family. With this in mind, let's explore ideas for creating stunning, sociable living rooms for quality time with your favourite people.

How many seats should you have in a living room?

There’s no hard and fast rule for this, but at a minimum you should have space for two people to sit. Any extra seating is a bonus, and you can decide how much you need based on the size of your room, how many people you tend to have round, and how many times you’ve found yourself having to pull out an extra stool. Ideally, everyone in your house should have their own spot, plus extra for guests.

How can I make my living room a more sociable space?

First, think about what socialising at home looks like for you. Do you have friends over for drinks after work? Maybe you’re really into game nights? How you use your space is important as it’ll determine the type of furniture you’ll need. Thinking about furnishing and decorating in this way will make sure your space functions just as brilliantly as it looks.

Ideas for making your living room a more sociable space

1. Create a focal point in the room

Whether it’s a statement sofa or a stand-out fireplace, creating a focal point helps anchor the whole look down. Keep features like this large, and consider using wall colours to draw the eye to different areas of the room.

2. Think about layouts that encourage conversation

The go-to combination is a sofa plus an armchair opposite, but you can use any combination of seating to create a conversation-friendly layout. Arrange furniture so you’re seated opposite others, and make sure it’s close enough that chatting isn’t difficult.

3. Include side tables for drinks

Make guests feel welcome by incorporating individual side tables for coffees, wines, or whatever you’re sipping when hanging out. Keep side tables nearby sofas and armchairs so guests can have their drinks within easy reach.

4. Add another layer of comfort

Adding in soft furnishings doesn’t just serve a decor purpose, it helps spaces feel much more inviting. Experiment with rugs and cushions in different colours, fabrics and patterns that go with your style.

5. Setup a snack/drink station

Serve up your friend’s favourite treats from a dedicated space like a drinks trolley, or keep things low-key with a serving tray on the coffee table. Let your guests help themselves so you can focus on the hosting.

6. Make sure there’s enough seating

Nobody wants to be perched precariously on the edge of a chair, so make sure your guests have plenty of room to sit somewhere if they want to. Need ideas? We’ve got you.

How do you seat a lot of people in a living room?

The simple answer here will always be to add more seats, which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. The main problem most people have with fitting in extra seating is a lack of space. Adding extra seating obviously takes up more square footage, which means when guests are round, you’re left dodging stools and squeezing past sofas that are too big for the room. Nobody wants that. 

To create a space with enough seating, it’s key to make it adaptable. Aim to incorporate furniture that can be freely moved around, added to and neatly tidied away when needed. Be clever with windows, recessed walls and unused corners. This way you’ll be able to create a living room that seats a lot of people, without the room feeling cluttered or claustrophobic.

How to seat a lot of people in a living room (even if your space is small).

1. Window seats

Make use of dead space in your living room by incorporating window seats. Bay windows are the best type of shape for added inbuilt seating. 

2. Stackable chairs

For small spaces, height is important. If you've got a dining space in your living room, consider extra stackable chairs that can be tucked away in a corner.

3. Modular sofas

Invest in clever modular or sectional sofas that can move around to accommodate more people with ease. Change up the configuration based on what type of get-together you’re having, and how many people are invited.

4. Ottomans

Opt for multi-purpose furniture by choosing storage ottomans. These double up as somewhere to stow away your things, whilst also being a handy extra seat for friends and family to use at yours.

5. Benches

Easily tucked under a dining table, bench seating is ideal thanks to slimmer profiles. Whilst they're not being used as seating, a bench can double up as a styled sideboard or even a narrow coffee table.

6. Loveseats

Not quite a full sofa but bigger than an armchair, loveseats are a great option for extra seating that doesn’t take up loads of space. Pair them with a full-sized sofa for the best guest-friendly layout.

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