If Sofas Aren’t Your Thing, Try These Living Room Setups

If Sofas Aren’t Your Thing, Try These Living Room Setups


Are you interested in decorating your living room without sofa but not quite sure?

Let me tell you that you should do it confidently because lots of people have embraced this idea over the years.

From decorating a small space to creating a sofa-free bulk-free aesthetic, it has many perks.

And if you ditch the sofa completely, you have many alternative seating options to explore and embrace.

So use this guide to create an inviting space you can’t wait to enjoy.

But before we get into the seating alternatives, let’s discuss some background of sofas in home design and decor, and why a living room without sofa is a thoughtful decision.

Read More: Budget Living Room Decor Made Easy


Living rooms with a sofa


If you ask any baby boomer about having living rooms without a sofa, they’ll be surprised.

That’s because it was an unusual thing in the 20th century and even well into the 21 century.

But now, times are changing. And people are becoming more acceptable towards having a sofa-free aesthetic.




Let’s talk about some basics for a second: what is the purpose of a sofa? Well, it gives you a place to sit. Something you can just sit on to relax or talk with your family.

It’s also used to entertain guests in a more comfortable way. And not to mention, it’s a common piece of furniture that can elevate the overall look of the living room.

These are a few reasons why some people can’t envision a living room without furniture especially sofa.

But should you dare think otherwise? Yes, it’s perfectly fine to have a living room without sofa.

For starters, there are no design rules that say the sofa is a must-have decor item in a living room. And as I’ve mentioned above, things are changing now and people have become more acceptable to a sofa-free aesthetic (Unless you like to stick to some conventions).

If you’re looking for more reasons to decorate a living room without sofa, read on.


Why would one have a living room without sofa?


Here are the main reasons why you should consider a living room without sofa.


It takes up space


@blue ocean design


Not all of us have the luxury of a giant living room. So the problem arises when you are stuck with a small living room to start with. In this case, bringing a sofa that takes up a lot of space is just not an option.

Now, you might think that there aren’t any good sofa alternatives.

Well, rest assured that you can replace sofas with options like cushion chairs or stools that do the same job, and equally as good. Plus, these things take a lot less space.

Here’s the thing: When you’re decorating a small living room without sofa, making the most out of your space should be a priority.

So plan accordingly.

Find decor items that are going to fit in the room and complement it.

And most importantly, find ones that don’t make the room cluttered.

In this regard, compact sofa alternatives for small spaces are the way to go.


It may be uncomfortable for some


Now, this might sound like a made-up reason.

But if you think about it, sofas can be uncomfortable.

For example, some guests don’t like to sit close to strangers (Shout out to all the introverts in the house!)

So it’s clear that there’s not much personal space in the case of sofas.

But maybe, you’re one of those people who like to have intimate conversations and be close to people.

Guess what? You wouldn’t be having long intimate conversations without turning at awkward angles and getting neck pains.

So if you want to have pleasing prolonged conversations with your guests, go for sofa alternatives like individual chairs.

This way, you’ll be able to sit in a comfortable position and adjust the chair easily if you want.


It’s easier to rearrange the living room


I’m going to guess that you rearrange your living room from time to time.

If you do, kudos to you because it’s a great way to reinvigorate your space without spending lots of money!

So if you skip the couch, it’ll make the whole process a whole lot easier.


It’s downright expensive




This 106″ Wide Reversible Sofa & Chaise costs almost $3,000 ($2,960 to be exact) at Wayfair.


This is just one example, however, other sofas also tend to be expensive.

So if you’re decorating on a budget, a sofa would be out of the question.

Instead, go for the sofa alternatives below, some of which are also budget decor ideas.


Try these living rooms without a sofa


Instead of a couch or sofa, you can put an even number of chairs that create a more engaging arrangement for hanging out with family or guests.

A combination of floor cushions and mattresses create a budget-friendly living room. Floor cushions or a couple of chaise lounges alone are also great if you want a comfortable, laid-back living room.

If you’re into more youthful living room setups, you can hang up a hammock, a swing chair, or even bring a few bean bags.

This is just a summary of what you can do without a couch or sofa. Here are the details of how you can create a living room without a sofa that you can’t wait to enjoy every day!


Floor cushions




Floor pillows offer the best variety because they’re:

  1. Compact
  2. Easily moveable
  3. Replaceable
  4. Budget-friendly

So if you want to create a light and airy room, place some floor pillows in the center for some cheap seating for living room. If you have a rug in the room, that’d be great too.

  • Apart from being a cozy, impromptu seating option, floor cushions tend to be very practical. For example, you can bring them when you’re entertaining guests as last-minute seats and easily put them away once people are gone.
  • For midday naps, movie nights, and all other activities, leave them out so you can enjoy yourself at any time.
  • If you want to double on decor, look for pillows with cool patterns and textures. Here’s a few examples:

Set up boho floor cushions


@alannah-may rose


If you’re looking to add an eclectic vibe to your living room, look no further than boho floor cushions.

There are many cool patterns and textures you can try. You can even browse different varieties that have backrests for added comfort.

Apart from giving a laid-back, bohemian feel, they’re a great seating option for any tight living room.




Achieve a cool Moroccan-inspired vibe

Ditch the couch and add floor cushions in luxe exotic textiles.

If you want to make your living area extra cozy and inviting, layer on throw pillows.

  • To double down on the Moroccan theme, bring ornate metallic accessories (lanterns, mirrors, side tables, etc.). A suitably patterned rug will also be a great addition.
  • If you want to use this space for entertaining (which you will most likely), add a low coffee table. This ‘sunken lounge’ will be the perfect laid-back area for you and your guests to relax.
  • Try pushing your puffy pillows and beautiful blankets up against a wall to create a cozy nest.
  • Want an extra sleeping spot for guests? Consider a trundle-daybed then.


A bench plus chairs




When buying a sofa, you may not consider that it can sometimes limit the functionality of a living room.

Instead, go for smaller, more versatile pieces, like a bench or chairs. This setup is easy to adjust in case you have a party or want to watch a movie.

Plus, you can easily rearrange this setup to get a new look in your living room.


Hang up a hammock




Nothing creates a more casual, relaxed atmosphere than a hammock.

  • While an awesome indoor hammock is a great idea, you must check with your architect first. Make sure that the structure can take the extra weight. Even if you’re hanging some soft furnishings from the walls instead of from the ceiling, talk with an expert.
  • You don’t want someone to fall. So pay attention to the installation and weight limit rules as well.
  • While there are many choices for hammocks, a good option is a cream hammock made from woven cotton with crocheted trim. That’ll create a light and airy boho look.

Kids and teens find these hammocks really magical. But don’t think that they’re limited to teen living room ideas.

Even if you’re an adult, it’ll show your experimental, untraditional style while giving you a place to chill and relax.


Use one or more statement chairs




If you want an extra seating option in your room, look no further than statement chairs like this grey chair.

They come in all shapes and sizes, so you get tons of options.

Choose a chair according to the level of comfort and decorative quality you want in your living room.


@michael abrams interiors


An overstuffed chair is also a great option for making a focal point in your room. It’ll create a luxurious and cozy space and won’t let you miss the sofa.

  • If you have a bigger than average room, you may want to introduce more than one chair.
  • Then, you can use this space for solo time or host a few friends for drinks and lively conversation.
  • For simple vibes, choose a neutrally-colored chair. For bold vibes, choose a bright and fun chair.


Four chair layout




Again, you can rearrange these four comfy chairs to get a new look. An added benefit of having a living room with 4 chairs and no sofa is that you can take the chairs to another room easily whenever you want.

You can add an end table or floor lamps to elevate the look of the room.

Or call it a four-person conversation pit


@serena and lily


You saw four chairs set an angle to one another above.

To get a more engaging space, place these chairs around an ottoman.

It’ll make people the center of attention rather than a television or fireplace.

  • Also, go for matching chairs if you want a cohesive, formal look.
  • Use chairs in a variety of colors and styles for a casual, eclectic look.


Chairs set at angles




Ditch the traditional sofa and opt for two comfortable leather Chesterfield-style chairs set at a forty-five-degree angle to one another.

If you have a fireplace, it’ll be a great spot to just sit around and talk or relax.

Armchairs and a glass table


@camber construction


If you don’t want a classic look, go for a modern and unique look. Like in this modern living room, no couch  is used. You can use blue, gold, or beige if you don’t like orange.

The modern matching chairs are put in front of a glass table to create a stylized look in this room.

The idea is to create symmetry that draws the eye.

Also, don’t be limited to two or four chairs. You can go for any even number of matching chairs. Just avoid making the room overfull.

Dual chairs in front of a television




If you don’t have a fireplace but do have a TV, make the TV the focal point.

Keep the same symmetrical layout from the above ideas and set the chairs at angles in front of a big-screen television.

This serves as a great layout for single people, couples without children, and apartment owners with smaller living rooms.


Look–there’s no sofa




A mix of chair styles, fabrics, and wood finishes gives this room a polished but approachable appeal.

If a couch feels too claustrophobic or the room is small, pull a group of four chairs around an ottoman of some sort.

Best seats in the house

If you get a sofa, most probably two people are going to sit on it.

Instead, go for four chairs that are likely to be less expensive but more stylish than a sofa.

If you want to double on style, try two classic club chairs with two Italian armchairs. And place a round wooden table for an eclectic look.


Floor model


@karla karwas architecture & interiors


Keep in mind that if you choose floor cushions for your living room, you shouldn’t have creaky knees, bad hips or achy joints.

As a result of your floor model, the last thing you want is an injury!




These types of living room setups are for those who are looking for youthful adventures.

Global approach


@John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIA


Think Japanese tatami mats and Bedouin tents.

Some cultures have a lot of space for floor seating.

If you consider yourself a nomad or could do without the weight of traditional furnishings, do try some global-inspired floor seating arrangements.




If you love oriental cultures, do try these floor seating ideas.

They make a good space to have a tea afternoon with guests.


Bean bags




Kids would find them magical.

But keep in mind they might be uncomfortable to sit on.


@kimberly peck


But if you choose to have them, there’s a wide variety with lots of stylish, textured fabrics.


A daybed




Invests in one if you have lots of friends over regularly.


Provide a window seat




How about a nice view for your guests and yourself?

It’s a great space-efficient way to add comfortable seating to your living room.


@space interior design ltd


If you can’t do a remodeling project to create built-in seating, buy a padded bench instead. Choose the one with built-in storage for extra functionality.


Rig up a playful swing




Your inner child wants that.

So give it to him/her.

Also, a playful swing in the corner is a great way to add ’70s glam to your home decor.


Single remote worker layout




If you have a view like this through the window, you want to sit and work all day.


Chaise lounge love


Cuddle pit


@eduarda correa arquitetura & interiores


If you don’t have a fireplace, TV, or some other centerpiece, it means you have lots of alternative seating arrangement options.

For example, if you put a sofa in this room, it would’ve compromised the flow.

But now, you have these extra-wide chaise lounges that serve as a “cuddle pit” or as an instant bed. The same scheme can be used in the bedroom as well.

A minimalist plush chaise lounge




It’s longer and larger than a chair, which means it adds a different visual to your living room without taking as much space as a traditional sofa would have.

Shared naps


@elad gonen


Call it the long view, these chaise lounges provide a venue for shared naps or admiring a view.


Use accent chairs




Laid-back accent chairs are enough to furnish a living room.

Plus, if you don’t stay at home that much, a sofa would be an overkill.

So a couple of affordable accent chairs are a good alternative to sit for a couple of minutes to read a book or watch TV.


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