How To Lay Out Your Living Room For Different Uses

How should your living room be laid out? The answer isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. In fact, the optimal layout depends on how you like to use the room. Here's how you can tailor the layout for three different use styles.

1. Encouraging Conversations

Do you and your family or friends like to get together to chat? Do you enjoy cocktails and conversation with the adults or catching up on college gossip with your teen? Then your layout should form two or three opposite sides that face each other directly or at a slight angle. Many experts suggest the rule of three applied to furniture by placing one long piece, such as a sofa, opposite two smaller chairs or loveseats. 

This is an informal style so you can choose between a minimalist aesthetic or a cozier room with lots of elements to start conversations. 

2. Watching Television

If the TV is the center of your living room usage, you'll probably want to make it a focal point of the majority of furniture. In this case, consider going big and cozy with the main seating area. Everyone sitting down should have a comfortable view of the television and be able to get cozy on upholstered furniture, love seats, sectionals, and even ottomans or bean bags. Raise the television higher so everyone has a good view.

The risk when decorating for comfy viewing is that you will fill up the room too much. Remember to leave plenty of maneuvering space all around furniture, especially to help people avoid walking in front of the TV during movie night. 

3. Formal Entertaining

A formal living room is less common than in the past, but it's still an important public space for those who like to entertain. You may not want to have your boss over for cocktails and then expect them to cozy up on the oversize sectional in front of the game. 

Formal living room style is generally all about symmetry and harmony. Look for matching pieces, such as full living room sets, as well as symmetrical layouts. Duplicate items placed opposite one another create a classic and unified look. You may also want to keep the room's base neutral, then add pops of color and texture for variety. 

Where to Start

Your particular room will, of course, inform how you apply each of these ideas at home. For the best results, start by touring it with experienced interior designers. They will work with you to identify your goals and style, then tailor the layout to make the best of any space. Call for an appointment today.