By Kathryn Weber
Warm, cozy holiday gatherings are inspired by a conversational living room arrangement. Thoughtful arrangement will help your guests enjoy themselves more and keep them out of the kitchen
One of the most frustrating parts of holiday gatherings is when everyone wanders out of the living room and into the kitchen while you're busily rushing around trying to get a 22-pound bird sliced, diced and onto a platter. You have to wonder if there's a reason why your guests vacate the living room. Sometimes they just want to sneak a slice of turkey and other times it could be the living room doesn't inspire conversation and togetherness.
When we think of the holidays, we conjure images of warm family get-togethers with everyone chatting and catching up on the year. Often, though, the living room is set up for TV watching, making the television the focal point. This year, why not take the television out of the equation and make your living arrangement one that encourages conversation? This way, friends and family can catch up with each other (and not the commercials) and maybe they'll keep from being underfoot while you're in the kitchen trying to make a dinner for 20 look easy and effortless.
Find the focal point and then ignore it
In most living rooms, the television or the fireplace is the room's major focal point. But if conversation and an air of congeniality is what you're striving for, move the furniture so that it is perpendicular to the television or fireplace, rather than facing it. This way, people face each other rather than the TV or fireplace. It makes the people more important than a box of fire or digital images.
When people face each other, conversation is easy and people wander in to join the group -- and away from the kitchen where you're trying to work culinary magic. The most effective arrangements usually include a sofa and loveseat facing one another or a sofa facing two chairs. If space permits, and if you have an open-concept living room, pull your furniture out into the room and away from the walls. Place an area rug between your sofa and loveseat or chairs to further denote the conversation area. Aim for enough room around the furniture so that guests can move easily.
Put it on an angle
Another option is to put the living room on an angle. This is a very inviting arrangement and pulls people into the area. Adding a rug will help anchor the area further, as well as to define the space. If you have a second living area, make this the designated TV room. This way, those who want to catch a game will have somewhere to go and won't interrupt those who want to converse. By keeping the living room separate from television watching, you'll help keep stragglers out of the kitchen and foster a warmer, cozier time for your guests who gather in the living room.
The holidays are a wonderful time to renew ties with family and friends. Creating a cozy living room arrangement will help to forge those bonds, and everyone will remember the wonderful time they had your house. And they'll never have to know that it was your artful living room arrangement that helped them do it.
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Copyright © Kathryn Weber, Living Space. All rights reserved.