What you need to know for a great living room layout

Windsor Blue Louis De Poortere Rug in living room with white sofa

Looking in from the outside, a larger living room feels like a gift – so much space to play with! But, when you have a larger space, it can feel cavernous and unconnected.

You have tried connecting areas with stylish modern rugs, you have bought super-sized modern living room furniture, complete with a large sofa and matching armchairs as well as one of the lovely wooden TV cabinets on the market, but to no avail. Everything still looks ‘lost’, the style more ‘that’s where it was put’ than carefully considered placement.

Understanding the space

Floor plan drawing for living room layout

If the larger living room feels disconnected, it may be because the space itself – the flow, the focal point etc – have not been understood.

  • Draw the space – grab a piece of paper, and create a floor plan of the living room, marking in doors and windows and any other features. You can draw it to scale to make planning the space easier.
  • Mark the flow through the room – this means looking at where the doors are and the most logical flow of how people will use the room. Do you need to create a path for ‘traffic’ to walk through the space? As well as sofas and chairs, other items of furniture can be used to create pathways – consider carefully the placement of wood tables or a modern side table.
  • Focal points – a room can look cavernous because there is no one focal point. In a larger living room, you can opt for more than one but make sure they don’t compete for attention. The window can be one focal point, the fireplace another. But furniture can be too. A stylish Italian leather sofa, elegant and serene is great for attracting attention, as is a stately-looking high back armchair. Or a large concrete coffee table can be the talking point a larger room needs to grab attention.

Ant Fox painting in living room with sofa and floor lamp

    Think of your living room are a treasure trove of discovery for guests. As they sit and enjoy the elegant leather sofa and admire the coolness of the concrete coffee table, have other sensational additions that pop in to view. Wall art is an understated addition to any space, for example.

    Placing the living room furniture

    In a large room, placement of living room sets of furniture and tables is just as important as in a smaller space. Whilst you may not be trying to shoe horn items into the living room, too much space around objects can make them feel listless.

    Start with the biggest item of furniture as this usually become the focal point for the room. This may be an enormous flat-screen TV or you may decide that the classic shape of a leather Chesterfield sofa deserves pride of place.

    Check out these inside interior designer tips too;

    • Furniture placed parallel to walls creates a calmer, ordered space
    • Want a dynamic space? Place traditional armchairs, sofas and wooden side tables and coffee table at an angle.
    • Pathways should be at least 36 inches wide or around a metre in width
    • Group furniture to create ‘hubs’, leaving around 18 inches or half a metre for access
    • With all coffee tables, including the functional solid wood coffee table, allow 18 inches or half a metre between it and the seating in a living room.
    • Single pieces of furniture – like a tub leather armchair – should be ‘anchored’ in position with at least two other items such as side table and floor lamp, or a rug and side table etc.

    Larger living rooms can be difficult to dress, with a sense of cohesion between items difficult to create. But, with careful placement and not being frightened of ‘gaps’ or clustering items together, your living room layout will be fantastic, an ideal space for you.


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