Have you been staring at your empty living room, wondering where to start? You’re not alone, we all have.
The most important step is to assess YOUR lifestyle before choosing a floor plan. Define the space you want to organize. What is the purpose of that room? How often and how many people will use it? What are your storage needs? Those are the questions you need to ask yourself before even thinking about arranging your furniture.
Nowadays, most of the living rooms are multi-functional areas. Think carefully and draw several furniture sketches before making a choice.
As far as the technical aspect is concerned, every design starts with laying out the space.
The layout needs to take into consideration space measurements, the walls, doors, and windows. To be accurate, it has to include all the architectural features such as crown moldings, baseboards, air-conditioning units, outlets, and light switches. Once all of these elements are put into a plan, you can start designing it.
In order to give you some ideas, I created a fictional space with a central fireplace, a window on one side, door windows on the other side and an entrance facing the fireplace. I drew different options with and without a TV (represented by a thick blue line), different layered lights (in pink), creating different flows and zoning spaces.
The idea is to show you that different ideas and solutions can meet different needs and styles.
1) The traditional and balanced layout
Probably considered the most “formal”, this living room layout is traditional yet timeless.
One sofa faces two armchairs, separated by a side table, and a coffee table sits in the middle. The TV is placed over the fireplace mantle, which is flanked by built-in shelves. They add to the balanced layout while offering display or storage space. The focal point of this layout is the center of the room where people can sit and talk.
A secretary desk can be added if one of the family members occasionally needs a workspace.
2) The TV centered layout
If your family gathers in that room to enjoy some screen time, embrace it! A big, comfortable section sofa and a swivel chair will be the perfect layout for a homey movie night. Add a beautiful throw and colorful pillows to make it even cozier.
I would recommend built-in shelves instead of cabinets for this layout, as it would give a more casual feel to the room.
3) The traditional layout with added storage
This very symmetrical option will please traditional style lovers, but it comes with a twist when you incorporate two sectionals, a rather bold move. The sectionals, each with its own coffee table, face each other. The area between the door and the TV is unobstructed, giving the room some extra free space.
An important aspect here are the built-ins all around the living room. They offer added storage options to the room and allow the display of family pieces and memorabilia.
4) The talk and play layout
Does your family love to play cards or share informal, buffet-style meals with friends? In that case, this living room layout is perfect for you and your family.
The good thing about rugs is that they can divide a room without actually dividing it. On the left, a small sectional, a coffee table and an armchair compose the sitting area. On the right, a small table and chairs allow people to play cards or games. This vintage look gives a playful vibe to the room. I even added a bar cart to make the set complete.
5) The living and work space layout
Here, once again, the rug divides the room. We took out the TV and incorporated two proper desks, creating a small office for two and a small living area in the same room.
A small sectional with an armchair compose the sitting area. Two built-in shelves face each other behind the sitting area. On the other side of the room, the two desks, one next to the entrance door, the other by the fireplace, create the work space.
6) The minimal, cozy layout
If you prefer a more casual style and want your living room to be a cozy haven, this minimalist layout is perfect for you.
A desk, the most comfortable chaise, a nice sectional… all it takes are a few pieces carefully thought out for you.
There is no TV, but it can easily be incorporated.
7) The entertaining layout
If you have a busy social life and love to entertain or have friends over, this layout suits you. It allows to create multiple mini sitting areas.
The furniture, set closer to the walls, opens up a space where you can add more chairs for bigger parties.
Once again, there is no TV because this layout is focusing on the guests’ conversation and interaction.
8) The multi-purpose layout
In your family, do some members want to watch TV while others prefer to read or talk? That’s not a problem.
Again, rugs can help divide the room and create different areas for different activities. The TV is no longer the center of the room, a big sectional faces it and allows family members to watch TV without disturbing the others. On the other side of the room, two small sofas, separated by a coffee table, face each other, allowing other members of the family to chat or read.
Finally, once you feel your layout fits your needs, whatever option you chose, make some small changes in your drawings. Play with the different options, use your imagination. Be bold, be creative! This useful exercise will help you make sure this is the best solution for you. Imagine yourself and your family going about your daily routines in your new space.
Does it feel right? Then go for it!