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By Maria Harris | Other/Just Looking in Seattle, WA

Creating Social Islands in Your Living Room

When designing and decorating your living room it is important to remember that the ultimate purpose is to provide a comfortable place for people to come together and socialize. If your floor plan does not effectively achieve this goal then the room will be a disappointment no matter how beautiful or aesthetically interesting your design may be. Creating social islands in a spacious living room is a great way to facilitate more intimate conversations during your social gatherings without sacrificing the appeal of keeping everyone connected to the rest of the party. 

Randomly distributing furniture throughout the room will rarely result in functionality, so put some thought into which groupings would best suit the social needs of your guests.  The last thing you want is for your guests to be stuck standing or wandering around aimlessly the whole night, so be sure to offer ample and varied seating to keep everyone comfortable. Take special care to ensure that each social island you create serves a well defined purpose and comes complete with all the essentials. Each space should include plenty of lighting and offer some form of entertainment such as a television, computer, board game, or artwork to spark conversation. 

Vary the seating capacities of your social islands. The whole idea of creating social islands in your living room is to make sure that every guest will feel welcome, so it is important to provide seating for groups of different sizes. Set up your space so that the middle of the room is the central hub of socialization, offering a large sofa and perhaps a nearby loveseat or armchair that together can seat four or more people. Then place islands throughout the rest of the room, most of which will naturally be smaller and seat two or three guests. If your living room is large enough, increase the seating capacity in the middle of the room and include a side island for four.  

Avoid intentionally or inadvertently creating areas that can only seat one person. If you have decided to focus your living room design around the concept of social islands then stay on track and remember that you are trying to encourage socialization, not isolation. Of course you do need your own personal space to relax in when not entertaining guests, but make this a secondary concern in your living room. Consider putting your personal reading, rest, and relaxation nook in a different area of your home, such as a bedroom. Or, if you really must include personal space in your living room, confine it to a corner to minimize the effect it will have on the functionality of the room during social gatherings. 

Large furniture works wonderfully for large gatherings, but try mixing it up by including some smaller pieces in your islands. As a frequent host you will no doubt appreciate the comfort and seating capacity of couches and loveseats, but chairs, stools, and bean bags may also have something worthwhile to offer. These compact items can be quickly arranged in a circle or semi-circle, turning them into the perfect social island of any size. Since they are easier to move around than bulky traditional furniture you will also find that they add an appealing degree of flexibility to your living room. 

Learn more about decorating with metal cross wall art and eagle metal wall art from our exclusive designer and staff writer, Maria Harris, of Metal-Wall-Art.com.


By Wallartlover,  Wed Dec 7 2011, 03:42
I love designing for home and decorarting using our wall art sculptures

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