When moving to a new place, it can be difficult to decide where to place everything. This can be especially tricky if you are renting or move around frequently: you will most likely have your own set of furniture already, but you will have limits on what you can alter, shuffle, or potentially damage.
Because of this, it may be tempting to just rest everything against the edges of the room. But should this include putting your couch against the window?
In the world of décor, there are few absolute answers. In this article, we will explore why sofa or couch placement is important. We will also explore some of the scenarios in which a couch against the window may be a great idea – or when it must be avoided.
Furniture Placement Basics
Large pieces of furniture are not simply there for you to sit on: they play a fundamental role in separating or widening your available spaces. This doesn’t mean that you need to plot the placement of each chair to the very inch. However, when it comes to large pieces that you can’t move around easily (like couches, sofas, large vanities, shelves, and coffee tables), you will want to look at the way they divide the resulting space.
The way in which large furniture pieces are placed will define the paths and high traffic areas in your home. In the case of shelves and couches, they may also affect the amount of ventilation and light that each room gets. This effect can be particularly powerful if you have an “open concept” space that merges living and dining areas in one room.
To ensure the resulting room is cozy without feeling cramped, consider the following tips:
- Place rugs and carpets first, and then ensure that each piece of furniture is either completely on top of the rug or completely off it.
- Avoid the temptation to push everything against the walls. This will create an awkward empty zone in the middle.
- Flag your evacuation routes (such as a direct path from the bedroom to the back door) and ensure they stay clear.
- If there is any side of the room left unfurnished, play around with wall art or movable items (like a shoe rack) to give it some use).
- Try to place any couches or armchairs on one side of any of the lighting fixtures rather than directly beneath them.
- Keep some balance between the large pieces by putting them on different sides of the room.
Except for evacuation routes, none of these tips is mandatory. They will just help you get started!
Putting Your Couch against the Window – Yay or Nay?
When you are first moving to a new apartment, you will probably need to play around a bit with furniture placement a few times. While it may be impossible to completely redefine a space (you can’t put your bedroom in the kitchen), you can always reorient a room later on by highlighting a different key piece.
Should any of these experiments include putting a sofa against a window? It depends on who you ask. Feng shui practitioners usually advise against it because it interrupts the flow of good energies into the room. Depending on the size of the couch, it could also block your access to the window or even cover some light.
On the other hand, putting your couch against the window can be a great way to open up more space in a different part of the room. With some room designs, it can also create a cozy corner or allow you to enjoy extra sunshine when reading.
When Should You Do It?
Sometimes putting your couch against the window is not completely unavoidable because of the size of the room. Assuming this is not the case, here are some other circumstances in which you should consider this type of layout:
When it helps to frame the window
When windows are not placed exactly in the middle of the wall, it is easy for them to look awkward. Putting your couch right beneath it can make it look like a deliberate choice.
When the window has a good afternoon light
If you enjoy reading or solving puzzles, you will be thankful for this extra source of natural light.
When you like to look through the window to pass the time
Some of us secretly carry the soul of a cat and like to spend hours looking through the window. It makes sense to have somewhere comfy to sit while doing it.
When it frees up the right space for a TV
Depending on the size of the TV and the room itself, the most style-conscious place to put the TV may be to mount it against the wall. If your window just happens to be at the right distance from the mounting well, then embrace it.
When Is it Best to Leave the Window Free?
There are some cases in which the practicalities of the room (or of your couch) will require your windows to be completely free.
When you have a sectional couch
Bulky yet supremely comfy, sectional couches can be pretty hard to place. However, if you don’t have enough room to pass behind it, simple operations such as dusting will become impossible.
When you have a tall couch
Couches and sofas with a high backrest can provide excellent reading nooks. However, if the top of the backrest is very high, it will block most of the incoming light.
When you have floor-to-ceiling windows with long drapes
In these cases, putting the couch directly beneath the window will block the light and trap your drapes or curtain panels. You won’t be able to open them comfortably, and they might get dirtier more quickly.
When you have small children and low windows
This is a basic safety issue, so it crosses into “mandatory” territory. If you have small children around the house, it is important to make sure that they won’t be able to access the window while unsupervised. If, by placing the couch beneath it, a child would be able to reach the glass directly, then you must find an alternative or install a safety rail.
Choosing the right location for your couches and sofas is a tricky business. You will need to consider the size of the room and the existing light sources. You will also want to ensure the room is still easy to transit and safe. Take a look around, grab some measuring tape, and decide!