Kick up your feet and relax in a refreshed living space
Some people say that the kitchen is the heart of any home, but the living room is a close second. Like a kitchen, the way you arrange your furniture and essential items can create a cozy or cramped space. Luckily, there are lots of living room layout ideas that you can use to improve the way the room feels and functions.
Whether you’re trying to rearrange an awkward living room layout or you want to make the room look brand new, we’ll show you ways to use decor and furniture to redefine the space. If you need help picking a layout that works for you, a professional interior designer near you can help make the living room everyone’s favorite spot.
1. Choose Multiple Couches For Maximum Comfort
If you want to make a room feel more comfortable, bring in comfortable furniture pieces, such as couches or loveseats. Not only do sofas provide many seating options, they can also help a small room feel bigger or make a big room feel cozier.
Set your furniture pieces around a central feature like a fireplace or coffee table to create a communal space or spread them out to create comfy corners.
2. Opt For Smaller Seating Options
If you have a smaller living room, stuffing an oversized couch into the area can make the space feel cramped and difficult to maneuver. Smaller seating options like loveseats, recliners, and chairs are easier to move, allow people to move through the room, and are useful for more formal settings. If space allows, you can create a living room layout that incorporates a large seating option, like a couch or sectional, and smaller seating options, like a few cozy chairs.
3. Keep the Center of the Room Clear
If you use your living room infrequently, keep a clear path, so people don’t trip over any furniture when passing through the room. You might be surprised to see that people will want to spend more time in a room that they can move through more easily. To make a path, you can tuck furniture against walls or concentrate your furniture in one or two areas. The most important thing you can do to clear a path is to keep the area near the doors or entryways as free of furniture as possible.
4. Use a Symmetrical Layout
Symmetrical layouts (four chairs or two sofas facing one another, for example) are classic for a reason. This living room layout provides lots of seating options and makes a space feel more defined than it would if you had furniture spread unevenly throughout the space.
These layouts don’t have to be tight or stuffy, though—placing couches or chairs on opposite walls creates the same effect without making the room look or feel too traditional.
5. Section the Room Using Screens and Other Dividers
Whether you have a large cavernous room or a small room that serves as a living room and storage space combo, there are many ways you can divide it to make it feel comfortable.
Screens and other dividers like wall-mounted partitions or portable partitions let you create rooms within rooms, meaning you can create different zones for watching TV or reading and make a larger space look less daunting. This tip is also helpful for keeping a small living space more organized.
6. Let the Light Flow in
Photo: PC Photography / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
It’s easy to put large pieces of furniture or decor wherever they’ll fit—even if it causes problems. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you’re setting up your living room is to block your windows. Your living room should feel lively, and letting natural light in is the best way for the space to feel alive.
Instead, place furniture items away from but facing the windows, so you can easily enjoy the view. If you need to put furniture in front of a window, ensure you can still reach your window treatments so you can bring natural light into the room.
7. Mix in Eclectic Furniture
Some people fill their living rooms with matching furniture sets, but if that isn’t your vibe, mix up the styles. Different kinds of furniture can give your living room a cozier look that feels more relaxed—the perfect quality in a living room.
You can cluster similar pieces together to form cohesive sections that look good and create usable areas in your living room. For example, you can create a symmetrical layout with a living room set and then add a different style of chair for a reading nook or a loveseat to make a TV-watching area more comfortable.
8. Make the Center of the Room the Heart of the Space
Grouping your furniture in the middle of the room creates a friendly atmosphere that allows people to move through the space easily. If you have a smaller living room, clustering your furniture can also make the room feel bigger.
Center-focused living room layouts work well for small spaces and large rooms, but if you don’t have other furniture to fill in the rest of a large room it can make the space feel a little cavernous. Try to place a coffee table in the center of the furniture. That helps anchor the room and allows you and your guests or family members to sit together and talk, eat, or have a drink.
9. Use Mirrors to Create the Impression of a Bigger Space
There’s a reason people hang mirrors to make rooms look larger—it’s a classic small living room layout idea that works. While a large mirror that covers half a wall might not be your style, get creative with adding different mirror sizes and shapes, and work on finding the perfect placement. You will be surprised at how much bigger the room feels.
Download the Living Room Layout Printable Here
10. Pick a Focal Point in Your Living Room
What is the first thing you notice about your living room arrangement? Make that spot the focal point and design the rest of the room around it. Think about decorations that support that element.
If you have great built-in bookshelves, arrange your furniture near the shelves for a cozy, bookish feel.
Love your fireplace? Place your furniture in a way that lets you see it (and feel its warmth during cooler months) without blocking it from view at the entryway to the room.
If your favorite part of the living room is a piece of furniture or decor, find a spot that draws the eye without impeding the movement of people through the room.
11. Spruce Up the Fireplace
Photo: nicolamargaret / E+ / Getty Images
Fireplaces can be tricky. They tend to stick out in a room, even if they’re subtle and small. If you want to make your fireplace more of a feature and less of an annoyance, some paint, a new mantel, or additional decor are surefire ways to revitalize it.
If the fireplace is purely decorative, you can get even more creative. Install tile on or around it, or try shiplap or other kinds of paneling to change the fireplace’s texture and “weight.”
12. Build Extra Storage and Shelving
Photo: hikesterson / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
If you’ve owned your home for more than five minutes, you’ve likely realized that there’s almost no such thing as too much storage. There are creative and stylish ways to make your shared spaces more organized.
Built-in shelving works with any style of home and can be customized for your needs.
Create a window seat with built-in storage to add multiple functional elements to your home in one swoop.
Add or replace end tables and coffee tables with versions that have shelves or drawers. You can even incorporate trunks into your decor for more storage options.
Adding built-ins to a room provides you with an awesome opportunity to create different living room layouts. Cluster furniture around the built-ins on one side of a room to keep a pathway through the room clear, or use the built-ins as an anchor for different zones like reading nooks or play areas.
13. Create a Quiet Area
Photo: PC Photography / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
While the TV might be the biggest draw in the living room, a quiet area or reading nook gives you and your family a space to relax away from the busier parts of the house. Create a living room layout that accommodates your reading nook by adding comfortable furniture, a lamp, a small table, and ample lighting. Ensure this quiet area remains separate from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the living room and house.
14. Bring the Family Together With Bigger Furniture
You can share living room space with loved ones by arranging the room to accommodate sectionals, overstuffed couches, and loveseats. There’s nothing like curling up on the couch with your family to watch a movie or gathering around the coffee table to play a game. Remember to measure furniture and your space ahead of time to ensure a good fit.
15. Turn Your Living Room Into Guest-Central
If you don’t use your living room that often, or you host overnight guests frequently, arrange your living room as an extra guest room. Arrange furniture so that guests have as much privacy as possible (don’t have the sleeping area visible from a door, for example). Add a free-standing closet or armoire to the room so your guests don’t have to live out of their suitcases.
This layout still lets you build out seating areas, especially if you choose convertible sofas or other kinds of multipurpose furniture.
16. Make the Living Room Entertainment Central
Photo: FG Trade / E+ / Getty Images
From parties to movie screenings, the living room is typically the space where everyone gets together. If you host football watch parties or movie nights, create a theater experience at home by arranging furniture around the television. You’ll need plenty of extra seating and easy-to-move furniture to create more room for guests.
17. Use Asymmetrical Layouts
Symmetry is great, but some rooms feel stuffy if there’s a perfect counterpart to every item. Asymmetry can make the space more relaxing, and it is a great option for oddly shaped rooms. Instead of trying to force a sense of balance into the living room, lean into asymmetry. Pair an end table on one side of the couch and a lamp on the other side, or stagger seating around a coffee table.
18. Move Furniture Closer In a Large Living Room
Large rooms can make you want to spread furniture and decor items out to fill the space. Surprisingly, large living room layout ideas that favor sparse arrangements can make the room look bigger and less cozy.
A great way to think about layouts for large living rooms is to create rooms within rooms. Arrange a couch and chairs around a TV in one part of the room. Then, add a more formal seating area with matching chairs and a coffee table in another. If your living room attaches to your kitchen or dining room, create transitional areas that work for both.
19. Highlight the Architecture
Photo: Kazuma Seki / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
If your home has unique features, don’t hide them—make them a focal point of your living room layout or use them to define decor and furniture. You can even redeem seemingly “dead spots” like half-walls or oddly placed fireplaces by making use of these unique areas. Highlight your home’s architecture by adding shelving under stairs for storage, setting a table next to a half-wall, or drawing attention to the fireplace by tiling or painting it to fit in with the rest of the room.
These living room layout ideas are good starting points, and some of them will be just what your living room needs. If you try a few things and the room still doesn’t feel or work the way you want it to, contact a professional decorator in your area. They can take your ideas and turn them into a reality for any shared space in your home. Or if your living room needs a big overhaul, a local remodeling contractor can help you create a brand new space that perfectly meets your needs.