Whether you’re building a new home, buying new furniture, or re-arranging furniture you already have, laying out your perfect living room can be best accomplished when you have a plan in mind. Before you head to the store (Sheely’s of course!) or bring in the movers, check out these layout tips to move you and your furniture in the right direction.
Planning Ahead: How are you going to be spending time in your living room? Don’t be afraid to make a list of all the things you plan to do there. Do you have children that will be spending time there? Do you want it to be a relaxing space where you and your family can unwind and talk about your days? Will you be entertaining friends often? With the rise of folks who are working from home, will you be working from your living room? Thinking about all of these things will help you to prioritize your furniture choices and be a guide when you start arranging.
Your next task is to consider conversation flow and traffic. Can you have a conversation with your friend or family member without yelling at each other? Can you move around the sofa and chair without getting trapped? You also don’t want to make it feel like a maze and avoid having to do a lap around to get in or out. 18″ is the standard distance to allow from a table to a sofa or chair. If your space is tight, you can cheat a little and go with 15″. Make sure you have 2 to 4 feet of walking space in a main pathway.
HINT: Don’t forget about lighting! A dark room can be depressing – read about lighting here: Lighting: Tips to Illuminate Your Home!
Purchasing Furniture: As a general rule, start with choosing your sofa first. It is the largest piece and the main focus of your living room. Try to go moderate in size as you may be moving it in the future or placing it in a different space in your home.
Think about your style and needs of entertaining. Choose furniture that can be used with larger groups or that can be functional while saving space. Slip a bench under a roomy console for extra seating or ottomans that can be used as side tables or seating.
Arranging and rearranging: When it comes to arranging furniture, individual preference is key. If you are detail oriented, try laying out a scaled drawing of the space and creating a layout. Try our free online floor planning tool. You can lay out your room, change dimensions, place furniture, change sizes to match the furniture you want to purchase and create your room to scale! Check it out here: Sheely’s Room Planner.
If you are spontaneous there’s a different route for you! Call up your friends or family members, make some snacks or order a pizza and spend an hour or so moving everything around. Clear everything out of the room first so you can really see the space and keep switching things up until it’s exactly what you want. Make sure you take the time to sit down and see how each arrangement feels and have fun with it!