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story.lead_photo.caption An expansive loft space is furnished with a mix of sofas used to create different conversation areas. (Design Recipes/TNS)

Stumped how to best lay out a room? Not sure of the best sofa for your space? Proper furniture arrangement can often be the key to success. Whether your room is long and narrow or oversized, choosing the proper style of sofa may play a pivotal role.


• Choose a neutral-colored upholstery fabric if looking to select a piece that can be mixed and matched well with various colors.

• Place a sofa along a long wall to make narrow spaces feel wider.

• Choose a sofa of the appropriate size and scale.

• Experiment with extending a sofa by putting similar sections together such as a one-arm sofa with a chaise.

• Choose your large pieces like a sofa in a space first. For example, choose your sofa before your nightstands.


• Overstuff a room with too much furniture.

• Block entry points or circulation paths. Allow flow within a room.

• Choose overly trendy colors for your main pieces such as a sofa.

• Feel obligated to stick to residential fabrics. Commercial and hospitality grade fabrics are often the choice of interior designers looking for an attractive yet durable choice for high-traffic areas.

• Forget to pay attention to the details, such as if a sofa is made of durable materials like solid hardwood, to the quality of its legs.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at

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