Looking to turn an unused room into a proper place for social gatherings? Follow these easy steps to get room from wasted space to a place to play the gracious host.

Metrics of Geometry

Before you begin dividing up the space, you need to take a measurement of your sitting room. First, get the values for the perimeter and height, then measure any current items in the room - especially anything that can't be moved easily like a fireplace. Then, make a quick sketch to scale so you can visualize the placement of the furniture. Once you have the map of your sitting room, get a clear sheet of laminate and an erasable marker so you can sketch in potential furniture options before you make a purchase.

Take a Seat

To be properly considered a "sitting room", the number of seats needs to be able to accommodate your expected number of guests. That said, you will be limited based on your ability to predict the amount of guests that will be arriving and their needs. A good baseline is about six seats available in the sitting room with a mix of cushioning and seats per item to allow people to be situated according to their comfort level. A standard collection of a couch, loveseat, and chair will give you five or six depending on their size. Leave a chair-sized space open in case you are entertaining someone who uses a wheelchair. For backup seating, choose lighter chairs with a modicum of cushioning, and plan extra spaces in between your other furniture so you can slip them into place.

Decorations and Amenities

After you have the basics of the seating arrangements and backup furniture in place, you should focus on improving the atmosphere of the room. Unlike a traditional American living room, a social gathering room can benefit from a lack of video entertainment such as a television. Music can be a useful way to cut out the din of background noise and give people a bit of audio cover for quieter conversations. There should be tables and other small surfaces where guests can rest drinks or other items.

Otherwise, treat the sitting room like any other public room in your home. Put paintings and other artwork along the walls, place magazines and reading books nearby for conversation material, and be ready to explain how you became such a skilled home designer.

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