Should a Sofa be Against the Wall?

Sofa placement

One of the most common conundrums when arranging furniture is this question, ‘should a sofa be against a wall or not?’ Of course, it’s an incredibly popular choice, especially if space is an issue, but what are the other options? With such a large furniture piece, which is often the focal point of any living room, it’s important to get the placement perfectly right to help define the space and make it enjoyable for all. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a linear yes or no. We must consider many factors, such as scale, layout, rug placement, windows, foot traffic and even feng shui. So, let’s explore why sofa placement is so important in your design process. 

The big debate: The wall vs the middle

You will often see the sofa placed against the wall, especially if you have a tighter living area, it simply makes sense to do so. However, if you have a more open plan space or the room is asymmetrical, you may want to place it somewhere else, like in the middle perhaps? You need to find the right balance to ensure the sofa doesn’t end up ‘floating’. Here are some of the ways you can place your sofa: 

The classic placement in front of the wall

Classics are classics for a reason. Many people will put the sofa flat against the wall to optimise their space as much as possible, but why not move it out a little for more of a sense of freedom? This is only advisable if you have at least 30-40 inches of space for people to walk through. 

Section the space with a corner sofa

If you have quite a large area to fill, or perhaps an open plan room, you may want to section off your living room with a corner sofa. This will essentially create an island in the middle of the room where people can manoeuvre around all sides. To create balance in this ‘off-the-wall’ design, it is essential to add a central coffee table and even side tables to bring the space together. The key takeaway is to make the island the focal point using your corner sofa placement. 

Where to put a sofa in a living room that’s open plan

Often when you have an open plan space like a loft conversion, it’s wise to bring the sofa away from the wall. Some of the most elegant ways to do this are to strategically place two club chairs in front of the window and have your sofa facing opposite them with the back exposed, or perhaps, if you’d like to add more seating areas into the fold, you could have two sofas back to back. One for watching TV and entertaining and the other for a more conversational setting. This is perfect for those who want to step away from the somewhat rigid look that a wall-touching sofa can bring and allow them to be more creative. 

How does your sofa placement affect the feng shui?

Feng shui, otherwise known as the art of placement, is important to many people when arranging their furniture. You want large items such as the sofa to impact your space positively and invitingly. To follow good feng shui, it is said that the sofa should be placed against a solid wall. This is to create an ‘anchor’ in your living room and to ensure a feeling of security. 

That doesn’t mean, however, that it needs to be flat against the wall. In fact, having the sofa sit with a space between the back and the wall is better for feng shui. You should leave a couple of inches to create airflow between the wall and the sofa without compromising on the security that the wall brings. Here are some other top tips for practising feng shui with your sofa placement:

  • Avoid placing it against windows 
  • Do not add too many throws and pillows to make the sofa uncomfortable 
  • Avoid placing the sofa under ceiling beams 
  • Keep the sofa in proportion to the size of the room 
  • Position the sofa with a view of the front door 
  • Position the sofa opposite key focal points such as a TV, a window or a fireplace 

Of course, this is completely dependent on the space you have and whether or not you want to follow the rules of feng shui to the point or be a little more lucid with it. 

To summarise 

When arranging your furniture, especially a large piece like a sofa, it really does all depend on the room you’re filling. Of course, the main focus of the placement is to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable space for people to gather and chat. So, if you have a smaller area to fill, it makes sense to place it against the wall, but don’t be nervous to move it a few inches forward. If you are filling an open plan, feel free to get creative. But at the heart of it, should be an enclosed, intimate area for you and your family and friends to feel comfortable and harmonious in. 

So should a sofa be against a wall? There is no right or wrong answer, it completely depends on the room and your personal design preference. 

Whatever placement you decide, make sure you pick the sofa that’s right for you and your living room. At Delcor we have a range of hand-crafted furniture that will bring your home to life. From cosy armchairs and love seats to modern sofas. Our team of experts bring a wealth of experience as well as a top-tier industry reputation to make your sofa dreams a reality. 

Discover our bespoke sofa designs in person at one of our five signature furniture showrooms across the UK, or chat with us with a free bespoke design consultation. We provide valuable knowledge and guidance, every step of the way to make your home, the home you’ve always wished for. 

See our full luxury sofa collection at Delcor here to start your sofa journey.