People often place sofas and chairs too far apart and often everything is placed around the walls of the space with an empty center. With furniture placed like that, seated people have to raise their voice to be heard from one side of the room to the other.
In Illustration 3A we are starting to expand on and add more chairs to the first grouping (1A and 1B, 2A and 2B). In Illustration 3A the two anchor pieces are the 3 cushion sofa and 2 cushion sofa. Notice how to the right of the sofa, in front of the fireplace are two chairs and an upholstered bench; those pieces counter balance the 2 cushion sofa and chair and ottoman opposite them, at the far end of the room. Now look at the 2 cushion sofa. It is flanked on one side by a round ottoman used for seating, and the ottoman is then counterbalanced by a chair. The different groupings in this space provide a more initimate seating for just 2 people and can cater for many more when needed. If a person is sitting on the sofa or 2 cushion sofa, another person has a place to sit close by on a chair right up next to them.
Illustration 3B is an expanded version of illustration 2A. 3B shows 2 three cushion sofas that are anchoring the room, by a fireplace. The sofa opposite the fireplace is being counterbalanced by the fireplace with two chairs either side. The sofa to the left is counterbalanced by the two chairs and end table on the right.
Illustration 4A is an expanded version of illustration 2B. The anchor is the sofa with two upholstered chairs flanking it on both the left and right. An upholstered bench which counterbalances the sofa was added next to the coffee table for extra seating.
In Illustration 4B I have left out any kind of sofa or 2 cushion sofa. Four upholstered chairs are placed in the center of this space in front of a fireplace. This kind of grouping would be perfect in a small living room. The grouping of 4 chairs would also work well as part of multiple seating areas in a large space.
We have tried by providing a variety of configurations to get you to think about making groupings of furniture in a room conducive to good conversation.