Light filled living room with grey sofa.

Source: VISI

Getting your living room layout right can not only improve your space’s functionality, but also enhance how it feels. A well-arranged living room is inviting, pleasing on the eye and encourages daily use. Regardless of how beautiful your interior style is, it will all seem lacklustre if your layout’s off.


Decide on your living room’s purpose

Today living rooms are often multi-purpose spaces, especially if you have children. While your living room might need to accommodate several activities, it’s always best to choose the key focus for the space.

Do you use it for mostly entertaining? Is it a family room where you hang out with the kids? Do you spend most of the time watching TV or movies there? Think about how it functions now and whether you want to change that with a new layout.


Identify a focal point

Light lofty fireplace with ornaments around.
Source: Savvy home blog

 A focal point is the first thing you see when you walk into your living room. It’s also often used to influence the rest of the room’s design. A focal point could be a fire place, an artwork or even the view.

In most living room’s today, the TV is the focal point. That’s certainly okay in movie room dedicated to watching the screen, but if you’re looking for a multi-purpose room, try select a focal point that’s more decorative. You can then place your TV where it’s still easy to watch, but doesn’t overpower the space.


Plan for your largest piece first

Urban Rhythm Jasper corner modular lounge suite in cream.

Urban Rhythm's Jasper corner suite

Sofas are often the largest piece in your living room and are an investment both financially and in regards to space. The shape and scale of the sofa can dictate the layout and can force you into a certain direction whether you like it or not! So, it’s important to consider your sofa design carefully.

If you have the space, an L-shaped sofa is not only luxurious, it also gives you plenty of seating options for when you’re entertaining guests. For smaller rooms, you may want to consider a more compact design and an occasional chair or ottomans.

If you need help deciding on a sofa design, have a look at our advice on how to choose the perfect sofa and 4 things to consider when buying your sofa.


Avoid placing furniture around the perimeter

Spacious light filled living room with furniture placed away from perimeter of the room
Source: Two peas and their pod

Placing furniture around the perimeter is one of the most common mistakes people make when putting together a living room. More often than not, the space ends up feeling empty and lacking any strength. Our tip is to start working from the centre of your living room and then move towards the walls.

You can use this same technique with an open plan living room and experiment with using your furniture as a divider or to maintain the connection with the other spaces of your home.


Use a rug to define the space

Before and after pictures of an improved living room where the choice of rug in the after picture is more vibrant and textured
Source: Style By Emily Henderson

Rugs are very useful in adding interest, colour and texture. They also help define your layout, particularly in open plan interiors. When deciding on a size of rug, you ideally want to have all your furniture on the rug and you want the design to suit your rooms orientation. Rectangular rooms suit a rectangular rug, whereas a square or round rug works best with a square room.

Be sure to read our tips for choosing the right rug here.


Facilitate conversation

    Sure, you may spend the majority of your time in the living room watching TV but designing your room layout to facilitate conversation is important. Avoid forcing your guests to all perch on one sofa in a line or having your seating too far away that you have to shout from one end of the living room to the other.

    Play with squaring off your furniture so that all your guests feel included. Larger spaces can handle two sofas and a couple of occasional chairs or ottomans. Whereas one sofa and two occasional chairs will be ample in a smaller space.

    Instead of following trends or mimicking a living room layout you’ve seen in a magazine spread, design your space according to your family’s lifestyle.



    You might also like

    A family friendly living room that's stylish too

    How to decorate a family friendly home that’s stylish too



    Eclectic living roomHow to style your home to suit your personality 



    Scandinavian dining table and chairs6 Scandinavian dining room essentials