Designer Tips for Arranging a Gorgeous Living Room and 10 Examples
Designing a living is a daunting task that is best completed by breaking it down into easy steps. It’s best to focus on the largest pieces of furniture you will be adding and work your way down to smaller pieces and decor.
Also, it’s important to take into consideration the needs of you and your family. Avoid making expensive mistakes or purchasing items you won’t end up using by reading this guide.
Living Room Design and Layouts 101
There are a few basics to keep in mind when designing a living room to ensure it’s a good space. Read these all prior to planning so you prevent and mistakes that are easily avoidable.
1. Start with The Traffic Flow
Choosing the wrong furniture that blocks out important pathways will ruin a room. Especially one as busy as the living room which often leads and connects to other areas of the house such as the kitchen, stairs, backyard, bathrooms and backyard.
Think of how your family comes into the space and gets around the house when planning. Leaving big open spaces naturally causes people to choose that path as we often go for the path of least resistance.
You can even sculpt how you want people to flow in and out of the space. If it’s connected to your kitchen and you know it’s a hotspot in your home you can leave an open space between the two sections.
The kitchen always tends to be a gathering place and leaving a good flow to the living room can make the difference between an okay space and a great one.
2. Where Will Your Conversations Take Place?
When laying out the furniture for your living room consider how people will be using the space to communicate. The easiest way to get this done is to have furniture that is facing each other.
You can easily achieve this with some accent chairs across a sofa or putting most pieces of furniture in a form that people will be face to face.
If you have a large living room you’ll need to consider multiple conversation areas.
Avoid people having to turn in awkward directions or shout at each other to talk to get this one right.
3. Make it Easy With a Focal Point
To get an easy and quick start with designing your living room layout, choose a focal point, and build around it. These will often be a fireplace, window, or one that you add to space like a coffee table or television.
Having a center to build around will make it easier for you to work around as building upon something makes things simpler. Pick out furniture that will layout well around your focal point.
4. Keep it All at Arm’s Length
When laying out furniture ensure you keep it all at arm’s length or more from each other. If you pack the space too tightly you won’t be able to move around.
This also works well for tables as people shouldn’t have to get up or move to pick up drinks, snacks or items set on accent or coffee tables.
5. Play with Lighting
The right lighting can completely make or break a room, and more often than not it’s neglected.
To get this right mix in various types of lighting and different height.
Natural lighting will brighten up a room the most. The easiest way to manipulate it to your taste is by choosing the right curtains. If you prefer as much as possible you can just leave them open. If you want to soften it up choose sheer curtains that disperse and break up the light.
For artificial lighting, mix various levels of lighting. You can use recessed lighting for upper lighting or tall floor lamps.
Wall sconces and table lamps work well for lower lighting.
Mixing all types of lighting and various heights will be the most flattering to your furniture and to people.
6. Balance it Out
The easiest way to make a space balanced is to avoid putting too many same sized objects on one side of the living room, or any space for that matter.
Too many accent chairs and tables of the same size or height will cause a room to look uneven and heavier on the side with the larger pieces.
Always mix and match furniture of various heights and sizes throughout the space. Also, you can combine pieces to offset large ones. An example of this would be two accent chairs across a sofa.
7. Leave the Accents and Pillows to The End
I’ve found so many people will find one accessory or accent piece they love and purchase it before having the big items in a living room. They’re often left with pieces they find they can no longer use after they’ve purchased their furniture.
Sometimes we will find something we enjoy on it’s own to be disappointed when it doesn’t go with the rest of the room. For this simple reason it’s important to start big to small when laying out and planning a living room.
I always recommend starting with the biggest piece of furniture in the room, the sofa. After you have that work your way down to accent chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture.
Once the room starts filling out you can begin adding the accent pieces like throw pillows and table top accessories. This will help you save money by preventing you from purchasing decor you won’t be able to use.
8. Pick Rugs That Work
When picking a rug, bigger is usually better. The best scenario is having every piece of furniture sitting on top of it.
However, a large living room rug can get expensive. If it’s not manageable to get all the furniture on top of it try to at least have a piece of the furniture touching it.
This can be the front legs or a sofa, accent chair and tables. Doing this will still help the room look cohesive.
9. Add Depth With Textures
As you’re arranging your living room and picking out furniture and accessories, always keep textures in mind.
If you stick to shades of colors that are too similar and add too much of the same texture the room can begin to look dull and uninteresting.
To make it more inviting combine different materials so keep things interesting. An easy way to do this is with accent items. Rugs come in many different styles and materials so something as simple as changing your rug to a jute one can make a big difference.
Accent and coffee tables are also made of materials ranging from metal, wood to concrete. Play with different materials that complement each other for the best living room.
10. Have a Plan for Storage
Keeping any room organized and clean is always going to help it look better. Adding furniture and decor with a purpose can help with this.
Try adding a coffee table with under storage to tucking away blankets and other items when they’re not in use. These can also be great for putting away decor items that sit on top of it when it’s in use to avoid accidents.
There’s also sofas and ottomans that come with built-in storage which are great for hiding away accent pillows and entertainment when not in use.