The sofa is the first thing that people look for when furnishing a living room, but do you really need one? We always assume that a living room has to have a sofa but that isn’t actually the case. In fact, you may be limiting yourself if you only consider sofas without thinking about the alternatives.
You need some kind of seating, but there’s nothing to say that the sofa is always the best option. This is especially true if you have a fairly small living room. The sofa can take up a lot of the floor space, leaving you with very little for anything else. Finding other options can give you more flexibility with your interior design. So, what are the alternatives to a sofa in the living room?
One simple alternative is choosing a few comfortable chairs for your living room rather than a sofa. For example, some boucle chairs will give you the same comfort and elegance as a sofa, but they’re easier to move around, which is a bonus. You can keep them out of the way when they are not being used, so you have a bit more floor space, but you have enough seating for people when you need it.
The other benefit of comfortable chairs is that they can be used in other rooms in the house too. One option is to have one or two armchairs in another room so when friends come round you have somewhere for them to sit, but you can move them when you only need a few seats in the living room. Having that flexibility makes a huge difference in a small living room.
Another alternative to the sofa is the ottoman. This is essentially an extra seat with no back, so not as comfortable as a chair but still ideal for guests if you don’t have room for a conventional piece of furniture. The nice thing about ottomans is that they can also double up as storage too, so if you’re short on space, they can help solve your problem at both ends. Finding versatile items for the home can really help you tackle space issues and avoid clutter.
Another option is to replace your sofa with a beanbag. These are great because they take up almost no space and you can move them around as needed. Another advantage is that they’re really comfortable too, and kids love them. Beanbags help to create a nice relaxed feel to your living room, and they’re easily moved around too. You can have them all facing the TV but if you have people round and you want to chat and have a drink, it’s easy to move them into a circle around the coffee table too.
If you have a bigger living room but still no space for a sofa, floor cushions are the perfect option. They fit in with the general furniture aesthetic that you’re using in your living room, and they also tie into the relaxed feel of many modern homes at the moment. Again, the great thing about floor cushions is that you can easily rearrange them as you need. If you arrange them around a low coffee table, you could even set up a simple dining area with your cushions. It’s also a lot easier to replace the cushions than it is to replace a full sofa, and you can even just change the coverings. That makes it much cheaper and easier when you redecorate and the old cushions need upgrading.
With a little imagination, you can create space for seating in even the smallest living room. For example, if there’s a bay window with a ledge that’s deep enough to sit on, you could turn it into an informal seat. This is particularly effective if the window covers a large portion of the wall because you get a lot of seating without taking up any extra space. All you need is some cushions that fit snugly into the window. It may be best to get them custom-made so you get the perfect fit and you maximize the amount of seating.
The only potential issue with window seating is that people may block the flow of natural light if they are sitting in front of the window. So, consider this and think about adding some more lamps around the room, just in case it gets too dark.
These are just some of the alternatives to sofas for your living room – they’re simple but can make all the difference.