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Everything You Need to Know About “Floating” a Couch

Feeling cramped in your tiny apartment? Forget the usual advice of shoving everything against the walls. The latest space-saving trick might surprise you: floating sofas! While it sounds strange, strategically placing your living room couch (and coffee table) away from the walls can create the illusion (and reality) of a more open and airy space.

Let’s see what the hype is all about! 

What is a Floating Couch? 

A floating couch might sound like something out of a children’s novel, but it’s not that magical. It’s a super clever solution, though. 

Floating your couch simply means pulling the pieces away from the walls, sometimes in the middle of the room. Such a layout makes the space appear more roomy—and also helps create well-defined zones if you have an open floor plan. 

Remember, the couch is one of the most important elements of a living room, both aesthetically and functionally. When chosen well, and thoughtfully positioned, your couch will instantly level up the interior. 

Benefits of Floating a Couch

Ditch the tired traditional layout and embrace the fresh, floating couch! 

Provides More Space for Movement 

Pushing furniture against the walls restricts movement within the center of the room. Floating furniture, on the other hand, provides space to move in and out (around the furniture)---ensuring a smooth flow across the living area. 

Improves Access 

Improving the flow around the layout means improving reach to the sofas. And it also enhances functionality. 

When you’re no longer confined to the wall, you can access the seating areas in two different ways and also find prime real estate to tuck a floor lamp behind the couch for a cozy evening!

Creates a Conversation Area

Designers recommend no more than 8 feet of distance between people when conversing—and floating your couch helps maintain this distance. It also makes sure there is no more than 18 inches of distance between the couch and the coffee table (another important designer tip to create a comfortable conversation corner). 

Divides the Room into Zones

Open floor plans are fantastic for creating a sense of spaciousness and light. But sometimes, that wide-open space can feel a little bland and lack definition. This is where the magic of a floating couch comes in. By floating your couch, you can divide the floor plan into separate zones without the need for physical barriers. 

How to Style a Floating Couch

A floating couch is a bold design move that dramatically elevates the space—but how do you style it for maximum impact without it looking like an island in a sea of emptiness? Here are some tips to remember. 

Choose the Right Location 

Decide how you want to define the zone. For example, you can place the floating couch with its back facing a walkway to visually separate your living space in an open floor plan. Or you can use it to partially block the view of another area, like the kitchen or dining room, in an open floor plan. This creates a subtle separation between zones without feeling completely closed off.

Consider the traffic flow. Even when the couch is floating, you need to leave ample space for walking around to ensure a comfortable layout. 2 to 3 feet, for example, between the back of the couch and the wall (or other furniture) will be enough.

See if there is a focal point. Is there a fireplace, TV, or stunning window view? Face the couch towards it, creating a natural gathering spot for conversation and enjoyment.

Take the Back of the Floating Couch as a “5th Wall”

Since the back is now exposed, consider it a "fifth wall" that deserves attention. A console table adorned with artwork or trailing plants adds visual intrigue and complements your chosen style. You can also add a large area rug that partially extends under the couch. 

Create a Conversation Corner 

Arrange chairs, ottomans, or side tables to create a conversational circle around your floating couch. Bonus points if you find double-duty pieces, like ottomans with trays or side tables with built-in storage

Accessorize the Space 

Light it up. Use the freed-up square footage behind the couch to add extra lighting. Could be a minimal floor lamp to create a cozy reading nook or something luxe like a fancy, sizeable floor lamp for a head-turning statement. 

Add texture. This is your chance to add a pop of color (or two!) and truly make the couch a statement piece in your room. Add throws and cushions in textures like velvet, boucle, and chunky knits to create a visually interesting space. 

Introduce artful touches. Soften the space—and add a punch of personality—with wall art and plants behind your floating couch. For the plants, look for an attractive, multi-tiered plant stand to add to the aesthetic appeal of the living room. 

It's all about finding a balance between two extremes. Don't let your decor become a cluttered mess—but also avoid a stark, minimalist look that feels too cold and impersonal.

Which Sofas to Perfect for Floating?

Generally, sofas with clean lines and a sleek profile tend to work well in a floating layout. This is because they won't visually crowd the space—and will help to maintain a sense of openness. You might also consider a sofa with exposed legs, as this can create a lighter look. And, of course, comfort, scale & size, and the upholstery fabric are all equally essential factors. 

Here are some of our favorite options to surf through. 

Store: Homary

Final Words 

While the classic wall-hugging layout has served us well for years, it’s time to switch things up with the latest floating couch trend—embrace the design possibilities and see how a strategically placed couch can entirely transform your living room!



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