By Ashley Steel
Patriots and Seahawks fans — as well as general football fans and even commercial fans — are all gearing up for Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.
As you’re getting the word out about the party that’s happening at your house this year, don’t forget to think about game-time seating. The chicken wings can wait, but if your guests can’t see the TV, there’s going to be hell to pay.
Here’s how to stage a room for maximum viewing potential:
For many people, traditional household seating is not ideal for large gatherings. When it comes to sofas, “people will tend to leave a space between themselves and the next person,” says Sara Chiarilli, interior designer and owner of interior design firm, Artful Conceptions. Thus, a three-person sofa only sits two people and this can be a huge waste of party space.
Instead, opt for a sectional sofa with a curved corner, as this affords the most seating, says Chiarilli, but avoid sectionals with a square corner because they seat even less than two sofas.
For those fringe viewers not on the sofa, making use of angles can help leverage the outer edges of a room that would otherwise go unused. Another sly tactic? “Add pouf ottomans for additional seating and foot rests,” says Chiarilli.
There are few among us who don’t enjoy a good recliner. And for those days when you just need to lazily flip through the channels, read a book or take a cat nap, a recliner is perfect. When it comes to parties, however, recliners are space-wasters. When reclined, “they take up as much room as a small sofa,” says Chiarilli. So if you’re looking to fit the most people into a room, you’ll want to ditch the recliner.
Turning the TV up loud enough to drown out the cheers, boos and side conversation won’t create the ultimate viewing experience. Instead you’ll get fuzzy sound quality and a lot of ringing ears.
The best way to create a good sound experience is to establish a surround sound experience. “Sound should come from all around the room, so make sure the speakers are evenly spaced and ideally in the walls and ceiling,” says Chiarilli.
Don’t kill the viewing experience with glare. Chiarilli suggests window treatments that will best block the light in your house. Depending on window placement and which direction your home is facing, your window treatment needs may be different.
However, if you don’t have time to install glare-reducing shades, try covering windows in sheets or butcher paper to block out the light. In the case of the latter, you can even get festive and decorate with team colors and logos.
As you’re trying to cram as many people into you’re living room as possible, don’t forget to include walkway space so that guests can grab snacks from the kitchen and also use the restroom. Chiarilli suggests that 36 inches is an ideal amount of space for walkways.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that guests have plenty of surfaces on which to put food and drink. Folding side tables, coffee tables and even footrests can create lots of surface area in a small amount of space.
Here’s to an exciting Super Bowl! While the Patriots and Seahawks each vie for a win, you can be sure that you’ll win at home with these great party seating arrangements.