Sometimes, what we imagine when we think of a specific room can hinder the space's decorative potential. For example, if you see a sofa, loveseat, TV entertainment center, coffee table and two side tables arranged around the walls when you hear the phrase "living room," you might be limiting yourself to this boring arrangement.

Even if you have the perfect custom window shades, discount blinds, wall color and area rug, your design could be falling flat if you're not getting creative with your furniture layout. Here's how to liven up your living room arrangement.

1. Ditch your preconceived notions. A living room doesn't have to echo the designs of those pictures you see in interior decor magazines. It's your house and your space - do whatever YOU want with it!

2. Aim to use the space to its fullest. If one type of arrangement simply isn't cutting it, move things around until the room feels right. Take advantage of the shape of the walls, the architectural details and the amount of floor space when you're considering where to move items.

3. Consider how you use the room. Do you typically like to watch TV in there? Do you like having friends over to chat? Is it an impromptu dining room for informal family dinners? Once you figure out how you usually spend time in the room, you should be able to decide on decorative choices that make your activities even better.

4. Don't make the arrangement awkward. For example, would it be weird to have couches in that space next to your kitchen where people would have no choice but to watch the cook? Wouldn't it be strange to walk into a space and have someone's back turned to you when they're sitting on a couch? Keep in mind how the arrangement would make guests feel.