Don’t just lounge around. Live better. Start here.

LINE IT UP

Studies from the Universities of Toronto and Missouri show that we naturally find symmetry attractive. Keep your couch backed into the widest wall; it’ll make the whole room seem bigger and more open. And anchor the space with the coffee table as the centrepiece.

DOG DAYS ARE BETTER DAYS

Several Harvard University studies found that owning and regularly interacting with a pet in your home results in significant weight loss. So keep a spot for Rex near the couch, don’t just kick the poor guy outside – out there, he won’t be able to remind you to get off the couch and go for a walk.

CLEAN UP

Neuroscientists at Princeton University found that clutter competes for your attention, causing you to lose focus when attempting to complete even basic tasks. Get rid of it regularly, and you’ll re-energise the room – it’s called the art of zen, and yes, it really works.

SWITCH OFF

Almost half of all electricity that powers TVs, DVD players and other home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off but not unplugged. Plug everything into a power strip and switch it off at night. And trade your PC for a laptop, which will use 50 to 75% less energy.

WATCH YOURSELF

LCD TV screens suit rooms with lots of light. Why? The glass is glare-resistant and bright compared with a plasma’s screen. Remember to sit at least 1.6m away – any closer is bad for your eyes. Position the screen as close to eye-level as possible, to save your neck, and don’t hang it right above the fireplace: heat travels upwards.