With any living room layout, the starting point is likely the sofa. After all, it’s the largest piece of furniture in the space and the foundational element that defines how the rest of the room will come together.
If you’re in the beginning stages of your living room design project, you’re probably trying to figure out which style of sofa is right for you and your space. The most common dilemma? Deciding whether you should get a sectional or a sofa. And if it’s a sectional, which sectional shape? You’re also likely wondering how much should you spend on a sofa and should you really get a white sofa (because let’s face it, they look amazing if they stay pristine!)
We’ve covered many of those topics. But once you’ve landed on the sofa you want, next comes the part of planning out your living room layout. How you set up your living room furniture will depend on the size and shape of your living space. For some foolproof tips and ideas, check out our guide to the best living room layouts.
However, today we’re focusing on ideas for arranging a living room with 2 couches. Read on our tips on designing with two sofas along with ways to mix and match different styles!
Layouts for Living Room with Two Couches
You’ve likely seen plenty of airy, light-filled living rooms with two couches (or sofas) on Instagram and Pinterest. And you probably aren’t surprised to know that it’s one of the most common living room setups in homes.
There are two primary ways to arrange two couches in a living space: Two sofas facing each other, or two sofas in an L shape. To help you land the one that’s right for yours, we’re breaking down the different formations below.
Layout Idea #1: Two sofas facing each other
This setup is most commonly seen in formal living rooms where entertaining is the focus. With two sofas facing each, the space lends itself to conversation as well as hosting guests and groups of people. It’s also a great option for rooms where the central focal point is a fireplace or a statement piece, such as a piano.
For A Perfect Conversation Space
In most living rooms with two facing sofas, the seats are usually identical, resulting in a streamlined and cohesive look. It’s the simplest route if you choose this layout approach.
With two sofas in matching fabric and style, it ensures a symmetrical and balanced overall look.
For larger sofas, consider classic silhouettes and neutral performance fabrics, which make for pieces that are easy to clean and versatile in design for layering different accents that can be switched out according to the seasons.
If you’re working with a spacious living room, opt for deep-seated sofas that have generous proportions. Placed opposite each other, larger scale sofas will make for plush foundations that instantly turn a living space into a welcoming conversation area that’s comfy to lounge in for hours.
For A Family-Friendly Zone
An easy way to de-formalize this setup is to cap the ends of your seating area with a bench or a pair of armchairs. It’s a popular add-on for this layout since it provides extra functional seating, while also defining the living space as a focused lounge area.
For sofas that can blend seamlessly with formal and casual accent furnishings and decor, look to seats with modern shapes and leather upholstery. The beauty of leather is that it’s durable, sleek, but can also feel elevated or everyday as needed. You can leave it undecorated for a slightly more sophisticated look or pile it with fun pillows for a family-friendly take. Then, pull in chairs made with natural woods and materials to complement the leather.
If you live in a home with young children or if you love hosting family and friends regularly, this setup provides maximum seating options and durable seating that can stand up to lots of use.
For A Cozy TV Spot
Generally speaking, two sofas are not the most functional choice if your living space is mostly used for TV watching. Or if you live in a small space. However, if you love the look and also want to have the extra seating because you host friends often, you can make two sofas work with some clever maneuvering.
An easy way to set up your sofas in alignment with your TV is to have them placed perpendicular to your screen—as if the TV is where your fireplace would go. With this arrangement, however, your TV will take center stage in the room, immediately drawing focus away from the rest of your space. The alternative is to place your TV on a wall slightly behind one sofa and put your second sofa directly across from it. What this achieves is a space that can be used for intimate TV watching and movie nights with a few people, but it can still handle a larger group hangout. The best part is that your TV won’t be the main focus in this setup.
Because this is a more casual and unexpected double sofa arrangement, keep to a clean-lined sofa that’s simple and easy on the eyes. Where you can experiment with style is with the fabrics—try a fun colorful velvet or choose a sofa with tufting or trims that add a stylish pop.
Layout Idea #2: Two sofas in an L-shaped arrangement
The second layout option for living rooms is to place two sofas in a L-shaped arrangement. It has more casual appeal, so it’s a more common and practical choice for multipurpose open concept spaces, family rooms, and living rooms designed for TV viewing. Think of it as having the look and functionality of a sectional, except it gives you more space and more flexibility with your seating style because you have the option of choosing two different sofas.
For An Open Gathering Area
The easiest way to master the L-shaped arrangement is to choose two sofas in a matching style with the same upholstery material. Two identical sofas always work no matter how you place them in a living space, so it’s perfect for an L-shaped setup where furnishings are not all symmetrically arranged.
Keep in mind that the L-shape design is like having a sectional that’s broken up into two pieces—which you can use to your advantage. It provides you with the bonus of being able to add an extra side table in the corner or pulling in a floor lamp that can cast light across both sofa areas.
Good to note: If two sofas will make your space appear too cramped, try the L-shape formation with two matching loveseats.
For A Versatile Casual-Formal Look
For those feeling a little adventurous with their style, mix it up with two different couches. It’s an eclectic layout option that offers surprising versatility.
When you’re opting for sofas in different colors or materials, opting for contrasting styles will bring more depth and dimension to your space, as well as give it a unique style perspective. For instance, you can mix a laid-back sofa with a more modern one for a combination that accommodates both casual and formal occasions.
However, keep in mind that the more unique large furniture pieces you add to a space, the trickier it can be to make it all work together. Keep reading for some good rules of thumb to follow when choosing two different sofas for the same space.
Do Two Couches in the Living Room Have to Match?
If your goal is for your rooms to feel more traditional and sophisticated in style, then a pair of matching sofas might work best for your taste—it’s also a more simple design approach. However, as we established above, your two couches do not ultimately have to match in your living room. It’s your home, so you should choose the pieces you like, even if it’s two different sofas!
Nonetheless, keep in mind that two different sofas means more fabrics, colors, and textures to consider. And while there’s no right and wrong—only what works best for you and your space—here are some quick tips to guide your fabric and color choices.
Stylish Fabric Combos For Two Sofas In A Space
It’s best to keep your fabrics exactly the same for both your sofas or completely different. Having the same fabric ensures a harmonious look that’s united by similar color and texture finishes. If you go with different fabrics for each of your sofas, here are a few of our favorite combos:
- Leather and linen
- Leather and tweed
- Velvet and linen
- Bouclé and leather
Perfect Color Combos for Two Sofas In A Space
Similarly, when choosing colors for two different sofas, it’s best to keep to colors in the same family—think different shades or tones of one color. If you love a bold contrasting look, here are a few of our favorite color combos to mix for sofas:
- Blue and grey
- Tan and white
- Brown and blue (leather + color!)
- Neutral and a bold red, green or purple
- A patterned fabric with a solid one, all with similar tones of a color
Browse more living room design ideas!