Arranging your room to accommodate both a TV and guests can seem tricky, but with some strategic planning, you can create a layout that works for both. Here are some tips to help you arrange your room for TV viewing and entertaining.

Choose the Right TV Size and Location

The size and placement of your TV will have a big impact on how well the room works for multiple purposes. Here are some guidelines:

  • Avoid giant TVs – An enormous TV can dominate a room, making it feel more like a home theater than a multipurpose living space. Look for a TV in the 50-65 inch range to get a reasonable display without overwhelming the room.
  • Place the TV thoughtfully – Putting the TV above the mantel or on a far wall creates a natural “TV viewing area” that doesn’t interfere with the main traffic areas of the room. This allows people to comfortably watch TV or interact with others in the space.
  • Consider a swing arm – A swing arm mount allows you to angle the TV for optimal viewing, then push it out of the way against a wall when not in use. Great for freeing up space!
  • Use strategic furniture placement – Position furniture to create a clear TV viewing area while also encouraging conversation. An L-shaped sectional, for example, provides both options.

Design Zones for Different Functions

Creating distinct zones within the living room allows you to cater to both TV viewers and social gatherings simultaneously.

For TV viewing:

  • Place comfy seating directly facing the TV screen. Recliners, sofas and ottomans work well.
  • Add side tables for remotes, snacks and drinks.
  • Use lamps or wall sconces to provide soft, glare-free lighting.

For conversation areas:

  • Arrange chairs and sofas around a coffee table to encourage interaction.
  • Place lighting sources like floor lamps or pendant lights overhead to brighten this area.
  • Use area rugs to define this zone and add visual interest underfoot.
  • Have games and books accessible here for entertainment options besides TV.

Choose Multifunctional Furniture

Look for furniture that serves multiple needs so you can easily adapt the room as needed:

  • Storage ottomans – Flip open the lid to hold blankets and remotes, or use the top as extra seating.
  • Nesting tables – Stack tables out of the way when more space is needed.
  • Modular sectionals – Reconfigure pieces to suit different gatherings and activities.
  • Multipurpose cabinets – Conceal the TV behind closed doors, then use them to display decorative items when the TV is not in use.

Add Flexible Lighting

Proper illumination transforms any space – use a mix of lighting sources to make the room versatile:

  • Floor lamps provide a warm glow without glare. Position them beside seating areas.
  • Table lamps are great for tasks like reading. Put them on end tables.
  • Sconces mounted on walls cast ambient light without taking up table space.
  • Dimmers allow you to adjust overhead lighting based on the mood and activity.
  • Separate controls for different light sources allow you to illuminate each area as needed.

Use Accent Details to Make It Inviting

Add finishing touches to help the room feel polished and welcoming:

  • Artwork and mirrors visually expand the space while adding color and interest.
  • Throw pillows and blankets make seating extra cozy and customizable.
  • Fresh flowers brighten up side tables and coffee tables.
  • Stylish storage baskets corral remotes, gadgets and clutter out of sight.
  • Area rugs define spaces while adding comfort underfoot and tying the decor together visually.

Sample Room Layouts

Here are a couple room layout examples incorporating these tips:

1. Conversation and TV zones

  • Sofas and chairs angle to face both the TV on one wall and each other for conversation.
  • An area rug defines the conversation zone, anchored under the coffee table.
  • Floor lamps stand beside the sofa and chairs for illumination during gatherings.
  • A console cabinet underneath the wall-mounted TV conceals it when not in use.

2. Adjacent zones

  • The sitting area with a sectional and ottoman faces the TV zone on one side of the room.
  • On the opposite side, chairs gather around a game table to create a conversation nook.
  • A pendant light overhead and table lamps provide light throughout the space.
  • The TV mounted to a swing arm can rotate for optimal viewing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about arranging a living room with both a TV and seating areas:

Q: How do I prevent glare on the TV screen?

A: Strategically place lamps and overhead lights to avoid lighting that shines directly on the screen. Close window coverings during daytime TV viewing. Consider a matte screen TV which diffuses reflections.

Q: What size rug should I use to define a sitting area?

A: As a general rule of thumb, choose a rug at least large enough to fit the entire sitting area, with the front legs of chairs and sofas resting on the rug. Size up if you want the rug to better define the space.

Q: How can I hide unsightly wires and cables?

A: Use wraps or sleeves to bundle cables neatly. Feed wires through walls or under floorboards if possible. Hide equipment in closets and use IR repeaters. For exposed wires, align them neatly along baseboards.

Q: How do I prevent TV sound from disturbing conversation areas?

A: Mount the TV on a wall away from seating areas. Use a sound bar that projects audio frontally. Adjust TV audio settings for a balanced volume. Add soft furnishings and rugs to help absorb sound.

Q: Where should I place plants in a TV room?

A: Avoid placing plants directly in front of the TV since they can block sightlines. Use them in corners or alongside chairs/sofas instead. Plants help add warmth and visual interest to the space.


Balancing a shared living space to work well for both TV watching and entertaining guests is achievable with careful planning. Pay attention to furniture placement, lighting sources, multifunctional pieces, and zoning off areas for their intended uses. The result will be a welcoming, flexible room perfect for quality time with both screens and people!