Arranging furniture to encourage conversation

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Deborah Tannen's advice on how to create a living room that encourages people to talk to one another:

-- Sofas and chairs should face one another in a circular arrangement.

-- Place furniture close enough so people can have a relaxed conversation without straining to hear.

-- Cut the background music so everyone can concentrate on what is being said. Says Tannen: "Music should be listened to. If it's in the background of a conversation, it gets in the way."

-- Have some simple wood chairs that can be pulled close for a private chat.

-- If you are counting the number of seats in your living room, take into account that a three-cushion sofa might attract only two sitters. Nobody likes being squeezed in the middle.

-- J.K.

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