When it comes to decorating and designing a home, starting with a blank slate can be overly intimidating. A living room is one of the most important rooms within a home and it’s a space that tends to wear many hats, thus needing to be a versatile space. We often lounge and watch TV, entertain friends and family, have conversations or even spend time reading in them. Sometimes your living room design can even double as playrooms, home offices, or serve other multi-functional purposes. With so many options, it can be difficult to decide how to best layout and arrange this area for you and your family. You will want to make sure to design a space that is cozy and comfortable, but should also consider what makes the most sense for your personal needs. Every home is unique, so your space should be too. Here are some of our top living room arrangement ideas to help you get a jump start on your space whether you're designing a family friendly living room or looking for small living room furniture ideas, we've got your covered!
Have a Focal Point
Having a focal point in your living room arrangement is important when it comes to deciding on your floor plan and what types of furniture pieces you will need for your space. A focal point is where your eye first lands upon entering a room. Some focal points will be more obvious if they are pre-existing within a space. For example if you have a mantel, fireplace, window, or another prominent feature, consider yourself lucky as you have an easy place to start! Where focal points do not naturally exist, you may have to get creative in making one. You can do so with a TV, piece of furniture, artwork or entertainment center. Whatever your chosen focal point is, once you make a decision, you will want to try and stick with it as you will design the floor space, furnishings, and flow of the entire room around it.
While having formal symmetry is not a necessity, it is a great way to add a touch of sophistication to any living area. If designing a symmetrical space is important to you, there and so many great options to choose from. You can try arranging a pair of identical sofas across from each other, or you can even mix and match while keeping the size the same. If the matchy look isn’t for you, there are still other ways to achieve symmetrical balance in your living room, but you may have to get a little more creative. You could place a pair of chairs opposite of a sofa or use furniture pieces of similar proportions to give off a look of balance. Lastly, you can use pairs of lamps, side tables, and decor within your living room to create additional symmetry and give the room a bit more charm and character.
Consider Traffic Flow
One of the most important things to consider when arranging the furniture layout in your living room is the flow of traffic within the space. Is your living room in the center of your home? Do you need to walk through the space to get to any other rooms? Depending on the location of your living room within your house, you will need to factor in the traffic flow when deciding on where to house your big furnishings. You should make sure to have a minimum 14” between your sofas or chairs and your coffee table, but you won’t want to have much more than 18”. This distance allows for enough space to comfortably sit, but close enough to reach for a book or beverage. No matter where things are located, you will want to create at least one clear path so people can walk from one end of the room to the other without difficulty.
Float your Furniture
When staring at an empty living room and thinking about floor plans, people tend to immediately want to push everything up against the wall. While the size of your living room will dictate whether or not you are able to float your furniture, if you have the room for it, it’s the way to go. With a more open concept, floating furniture in the room can actually make the space feel bigger, and look less crammed.
Create Conversation Areas
Whether you’re having a game night with family, or entertaining guests, people should be able to talk to each other without having to be on top of each other, or yelling across the living area. There should be no more than 10 feet and no less than 3 feet between people seated around the room to allow for comfortable conversation and while giving everyone a bit of personal space. You should position your seating pieces to face each other and close enough so that people can converse without raising their voices. If you have a really large living room, it may be a good idea to create multiple conversation areas within the space.
Use Area Rugs
Area rugs are a great way to bring some color, texture, or pattern into your living room. Area rugs belong underneath all of the furniture, however don’t be afraid to expose some flooring around the edges of the room. If you are not able to put all of the furniture on the area rug, be sure to at least get a rug that is large enough for you to have the front legs of the pieces sitting on it. Generally speaking, area rugs should never be closer than 6-8 inches from the wall. For a large room, you can leave the rug about 24 inches from the wall, and for a small room, leaving about 12 to 18 inches will do the trick.
Lighting should be treated as one of the most important elements in your living room. You should mix overhead lighting, floor lamps and table lamps if possible so that you can have different types of lighting throughout the day and night. A floor lamp will look great next to a sofa or even behind an accent chair. Table lamps are good for side tables, consoles or credenzas you may have within the space. Lighting should always be placed at different levels to give proper balance to the room.