Should I Put a Couch in Front of a Window?

Placing your couch in front of a window can brighten and energize your entire living room. The view of nature's handiwork outside your window supersedes man-made art, and natural daylight will flood your couch and surrounding furniture, creating a stronger focal point than either the couch or window can provide alone.

What's more, placing the couch under the window frees up an extra wall for other furniture or for your TV.

Practical Considerations

So what factors should you consider when deciding whether to place your couch in front of a window?

Is the View Deserving?

The window will be the focal point or "art" above your couch, so the view outside should live up to the job. Any natural element: trees, woods, flowers, mountains, water -- even a desert view -- all create natural artwork. However, if your window faces a parking lot or the wall of another building, you may want to reconsider putting a couch there.

How High is Your Couch?

The couch should not block too much of the window. A standard-sized sofa is only about 32 inches tall, so unless your window is floor-length, window-blockage should not be a problem.

Will Your Couch Fade Easily?

Your couch's upholstery is an important consideration, especially if your window is directly exposed to sunlight. Synthetic and man-made fabrics are generally more resistant to fading than natural fabrics.

If your couch is made of natural fabric, you will want to take into consideration the lightfastness of the material: Silk and natural leather fade easily. Cotton and linen are more fade resistant but are easily subject to soiling. On the other hand, wool, especially when blended with synthetic fiber, provides good resistance to both light and soiling.

Is Your Window Subject to Breakage?

If the children in your neighborhood tend to throw a lot of Frisbees and balls near your window, you may not want to place your couch there.

Do You Have Pets?

Fido or Fluffy will be drawn to whatever is happening outside the window, especially if it involves other animals or birds. If you do not want your couch covered with fur, dander or paw prints, you may want to reconsider placing your couch in front of the window.

What Size and Shape Is Your Room?

If the room is long or large, place other furniture -- loveseat, chairs, coffee table -- in close proximity to your couch in a loosely circular pattern to create a more intimate space. Angle chairs toward the window.

Where Do I Place the TV?

If you place your TV directly across from your couch, daylight from the window will bounce off the screen and cause glare and background reflections. If your TV does not have an antiglare screen, it may be best to place it against another wall not facing the couch, or in another room.

Is the View Outside Private?

If the area outside the window is open to the rest of neighborhood, be sure that drapes or shades are dark enough to ensure nighttime privacy. Draperies should be adequately lined for privacy as well as for lightfastness and insulation.

Will the Couch Be Enough in the Winter?

Be sure your windows provide adequate insulation so that you and your guests will not get chilled in the wintertime sitting on your couch. Draperies and certain types of cellular shades can provide additional insulation. Make sure your couch is not placed over heating vents.

Is the Couch in Good Condition?

The view outside your window will draw attention to your couch. Make sure the couch is in good condition -- free of stains, tears and fading. Synthetic fabrics or natural fabrics with synthetic blends tend to be more resistant to soiling. Decorative pillows and throws should also be clean and well cared for.

Accessorize Your Couch

The view outside your window is supplying natural art for your living room. Therefore, the color and style of pillows and throws should not only blend well with the rest of the room's decor but with the view outside as well.

  • If you have a lot of trees outside your window, rough-textured pillows or throws in forest greens and browns will give your couch a woodsy look.
  • If spring flowers are growing outside your window, try adding a couple of bright-colored pillows to match your flowers.
  • If your view looks out on a lake, mountains or the ocean, decorate your couch with blue or teal pillows and throws that will pick up the blue hues outside.

If you have a sofa table, place it behind your couch and decorate with just a few items such as vases, frames or plants; too many items will detract from the art outside the window.