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Inspiration

Living Room Layout Ideas

Words by Emma Hughes

August 18, 2023

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9m

Living Room Layout Ideas

If you’re anything like us, we just love an excuse to have a reshuffle. Especially when it comes to making the most of the most used room in the house – the living room.

You don’t need to invest in a big redecorating job to make your front room perfect though. In fact, creating your ideal lounge layout could just be a matter of having a move-around, or deciding on a new piece of feature furniture.

Read on as we help you avoid those awkward living room layout ideas and maximise your space to create the perfect heart to your home.

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Living room layout ideas – Follow these steps

It’s time to put those muscles to use and move things around your space. But before you start playing furniture Tetris to achieve your shiny new living room layout, it’s best to create a plan of action. Follow these steps to get started:

Step One: Play around with an online room planner

If you don’t know where to begin, the internet is always there to help. You’ll find plenty of free room planning tools online. With these, you can reshuffle to your heart’s content without committing to a big move – or putting your back out.

Simply measure your room’s dimensions and your chosen furniture. While this may seem like a bit of a fiddly task, it’s worth it to get an accurate picture of your dream living room layout. Make sure to take your time, an inch could be the difference between cosy and crowded.

Here are some of our favourite online planners to try out:

  • Plan Your Room – Use the tab on the left to add everything from sofas to rugs to see how they could work together to form your dream space.

  • Planner 5D – A glossy, picture-perfect 3D planner that’s easy to use and doesn’t skip the details. There’s also an app for when you’re struck with inspo on the go.

  • Room Styler – Room Styler has a host of features, so will need some playing around with to wrap your head around. They do have some handy tutorials you can follow, though.
  • Step Two: Decide on your feature piece of furniture

    Every room needs a focal piece and in a living room this tends to be a sofa or some form of seating. This is where you and guests gather and socialise – it’s the warm centre of any living room layout and, naturally, any home.

    Sofas are for more than just sitting, they’re there to pull the whole room together. They’re also an excellent starting point when you’re mocking up new design ideas for a living room. The whole room revolves around this important centrepiece, and you can add colourful decorative touches to the space that reflect the patterns and hues found in your chosen sofa.

    Bold shapes and colours are a fantastic way to make a statement and set the design tone. A classic brown leather Chesterfield, for example, immediately sets the scene for a mid-century modern feel, and lends itself perfectly to patterned rugs and sleek wooden furniture. Throw in a statement armchair, a few pops of colour, and you’re set.

    Of course, a statement rug also works wonders when pulling together focal furniture. A rug creates a border, which means it’s great for a small living room layout where you want to set out defined spaces.

    Step Three: Know what you want to use your space for

    A living room is typically for sitting, chatting and watching TV. But we know that every home is different. Some studio lounge layouts, for example, might have to accommodate a sleeping space, while others may also include a dining table or desk.

    These hybrid features will affect how you plan your living room. You’ll want to understand what you want from your space, before jumping in with a design idea you’ve plucked from Instagram. Yes, it looks lovely, but will it work for you?

    Living room layout inspiration

    Everyone is different, which makes every home equally as unique. Take time to think about what you need from your new living room layout, and what it represents to you. Looking for some inspiration to get you started? We’ve conjured up a few suggestions below…

    The ultimate relaxation spot

    This space’s focus would be simply lounging and relaxing, which means that sofas and armchairs should be the main focal point. These will often be anchored around a statement rug while cantering the TV or fireplace in the perfect spot for film or game nights.

    This living room plan is all about convenience, so make sure there are also matching side and coffee tables , and cosy corners, if you’ve the room. Floor cushions and reading chairs nestled by bookcases are always welcome additions too.

    Decorating shelves and walls with books, ornaments and art also helps to bring these spaces in, making your living room feel cosier and more personal. Be careful not to crowd windows and doors with tall furniture such as shelves, as this will block light and make the space feel a little too crowded. Controlled cosiness is the way to go.

    The social space

    Again, seating is the main focal point here. You want to make sure sofas and chairs are all grouped (not crowded) together – and so a corner sofa is a great choice. We recommend not to push this against the wall and instead leave it free-floating, as it helps to open even smaller spaces.

    You can then add an eclectic mix of accent chairs to create an open social space, and even layer up a rug or two to bring it all together. This type of living room should mirror what it’s like to have different people socialising and coming together – nothing too one-dimensional, with different varieties and styles popping up around the room.

    You want your living room layout to create conversation and showcase your personality, so perhaps also think about hanging a few statement art pieces and keeping bookcases packed with interesting oddities and books.

    The work-from-home hybrid

    If you work from home, you may be struggling to find the right place for your desk to keep your work life and home life separate. It’s important to create a divide between your focus and relaxation spaces.

    To do this, try placing your desk by a window so you have plenty of light whilst you’re working. But don’t place it so it’s facing the window – as this could be cause for distraction when your neighbour heads out to mow their lawn or a cute dog walks by. Side-on is best to get the most out of the day’s light, and the day’s work.

    Divide your lounge layout using sofas and free-standing shelving as partitions. Or even invest in a screen partition if you have space. Remember, rugs are also your friend if you want to create defined areas but don’t have room for bigger furniture.

    The dine and unwind

    Many homes must accommodate the kitchen, dining and living areas all in one room. Like the work-from-home layout, larger items of furniture, such as bookcases and sofas, are best used to define these spaces.

    A freestanding drinks trolley or bench dining table can also create a clear line between eating and lounging, though make sure to leave enough space to move freely between the two. Squeezing between gaps with plates of food is a recipe for disaster, so keep walkways nice and clear.

    Feel free to use rugs again to create division, though not in the kitchen or dining areas – food and fabric don’t tend to mix well!

    The play zone

    If you work from home, you may be struggling to find the right place for your desk to keep your work life and home life separate. It’s important to create a If you have little ones running around, you’ll want to create a living room layout that works for both them and you. And while finding LEGO shoved between the sofa cushions isn’t ideal, the lounge is where kids will often spend most of their time.

    This means that your living room setup will need to accommodate both play areas and ‘grown-up’ spaces. After all, you need somewhere you can unwind too after the antics of the day.

    While you’ll want to create a seating focal space for all the family to enjoy and watch TV together, try to dedicate one wall, for example, to toy boxes, play mats and sideboards for storage. This creates a structured, symmetrical layout that provides a little order in all the colourful chaos.

    By keeping toys to one side of the room, it can help to ensure there’s a designated area for all things noisy and foot-destroying. While toys will obviously spread about the place during the day, at night this means everything has its place, and gives you space to enjoy the lounge for yourself.

    Baskets and trunks that are in keeping with your living room design are a great storage idea. It also means you don’t have to cluster them all together and can dot them around the place. What you can’t see won’t hurt you (or your feet), right?

    Awkward living room layout ideas

    Not everyone has a grand, square living space where you can create a simple centrepiece or just line the walls with bookcases. There are often tricky nooks and crannies to fill and those little squares of ‘dead’ space that make you think ‘What on earth can I use that for?’

    Not only that, but stairs and large windows can also put a dampener on an otherwise perfect lounge layout. Here are some awkward living room layout ideas to help you make the most of your tricky space.

    Set the room out into zones


    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – divide and conquer that living room. Creating designated zones can help find uses for those awkward corners.

    That nook under the stairs? Will it fit a desk or an armchair to create an office or reading space? That bay window that’s been collecting dust? Is there room for a few cushions on top, or maybe a storage chest will fit perfectly underneath?

    ‘Float’ your furniture


    Put your corners in a time-out and float your furniture instead. By moving seating and side tables into the centre of the room, you can create an open living room setup that invites space and light.

    Not only that, but it also helps to draw the eye away from those awkward nooks, which you can then fill with storage solutions that are flush into the corners.

    Furniture that’s on legs is ideal for floating, as it’s elevated from the floor so helps to create the illusion of more floor space.

    Use plants to create good-looking dividers


    Plants are great for many things – air quality, bringing light into a room, adding a pop of colour – and they can also function as great room dividers.

    A natural accent colour of green looks great in just about any space and can help to create a soft divide between zones. Not only that, but they’re easy to move too, so you can quickly switch up your lounge layout if needs be.

    Buy them cheap when they’re small and watch them grow or, if you don’t have the patience (we don’t blame you) go straight in with a big monstera, yucca or bamboo. Larger plants placed in a nook that has no purpose can bring the space together, while a hanging spider plant or pothos look great by doorways.

    Just remember, if you keep plants, spiders are your friends. They help to keep the flies away, so your greenery lasts longer – that’s right, put down the hair spray!

    Keep things symmetrical in a narrow living room


    Long, narrow living rooms can be a bit tricky. You may feel like you don’t have a lot of space to create your ideal living room layout, but there’s always a solution.

    All you need is one large sofa (corner sofas work well to make the most out of the space you have), flush against the wall. Add in a mounted TV opposite – or use a thin cabinet if you can’t mount things to the wall – and a rug in-between. This gives you the basic bones of your lounge, which you can then turn and tweak to make perfect.

    Compliment the space with a coffee table, a few narrow shelves, and tall standing lamps. Hanging too much on the walls may make the room feel a little confined, so a good trick is to lean larger pieces of artwork against the walls to leave things looking a little lighter, and the room brighter.

    Mirrors are also excellent when you want a room to feel bigger or wider. If you can’t hang things on your walls, even leaning a few on cabinets and shelves can make a big difference.

    Where should I put my TV in the living room?

    As much as we don’t like to admit it, the TV is the key focus of any living room. So, there’s often a debate about where you should put it, and what you should put around it.

    Here are a few TV tips to keep in mind when thinking about design ideas for a living room:

    Place away from high-traffic areas


    You want to make sure whatever spot you choose you won’t have to weave around furniture to get past it. Whether it’s mounted on the wall or sitting on a cabinet, you don’t want to knock it, or have to constantly walk in front of it to get into another zone.

    Mount it if you can


    If you can mount your TV to your wall – do it. However big your living room, it will help to save floor space, especially if it fits well above a fireplace or feature cabinet.

    Position away from windows


    You want to place the tv facing away from any windows to avoid glare on the screen. Having to close the curtains every time you settle in for a binge session isn’t ideal. Plus, having a large piece of furniture, like a TV, facing a window can make a space feel constricted.

    Make it the focal point of the lounge zone


    All seating should be positioned around the TV, so that every seat has a good view of the screen. Of course, some armchairs work well in their own areas such as reading nooks, but otherwise it’s a lot of hassle having to reposition furniture every time you want to watch TV or play a game.

    Frequently asked questions

    Do sofas need to be against a wall?


    No, sofas don’t have to be against a wall. In fact, placing ‘floating’ furniture away from walls and dividing surfaces can eliminate dead space in the centre of a room. It can also make a space feel more open and inviting.

    Should all walls in a living room be decorated?


    Not all walls in a room need to be decorated. In fact, too much decoration can make a room feel busy and clustered, especially in smaller living spaces. Empty wall space can actually do wonders to enhance the decoration you do have, by making busier walls into features. If you already have a lot of things on your walls but want to fill an empty space, try a mirror instead.

    What makes a living room look cluttered?


    Too much of anything can make a room look cluttered. Too much focal furniture can often make a space look ‘undecided’ and messy, while filling up all your walls can make a room feel smaller than it actually is. Of course, it’s all down to the room size, shape and your own personal taste.

    How do I decorate my living room very simply?


    Stick to the basics – sofa, tables, storage, TV. If you’re not a maximalist person, try not to hang much on the walls or fill up your storage with mis-matching ornaments. Pick a few pieces of focal furniture that will go with most colour accents. For example, grey and brown sofas work wonderfully in more simple spaces. Keep to a monochromatic colour palette, with bursts of some brighter shades.

    What colour sofa makes a room look bigger?


    Light and neutral colours, such as beige, brown, cream and grey will help to make the room feel brighter and bigger. Try not to go for busy patterns or fabrics, or something that’s too dark if you have a smaller living space with smaller windows.

    Want some more design and layout inspiration?

    Looking for living room layout inspiration? Check out our other guides.

    The right sofa can make all the difference to your living room layout. Browse our range of sofas to find the perfect focal point for your living space.

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