How to Space Plan Your Living Room
- Too Much Stuff – A room with too much furniture is visually overwhelming because it doesn’t give the eye a place to rest which can be unnerving. A well laid out living room will have a main sitting area around a focal point or if a larger space, different seating zones that can stand on their own. Here in this great room there’s ample seating and tables for drinks/books without overwhelming the space, making it calm and inviting.
2. Not Functional Before you lay out your furniture ensure you have ample room for 3 foot walkways to and from other rooms in addition to creating a path through your living room. Plus leave a 4 foot wide path to any exterior exits. Here in this compact living room we created a cozy seating area while leaving ample room to walk through to other spaces.
3. Oversized Furniture – One of the most common mistakes I see as an interior designer are clients who purchased upholstered furniture that’s way too big for their room and are determined to make their costly mistake work. The best way to avoid that problem is to measure your room before purchasing furniture or ideally hire an interior designer to give you a floorplan that works. In this cozy living area the armless chairs take up less space visually along with the round ottoman to keep the room feeling larger overall.
4. Off Balance – When arranging furniture ensure your room is evenly balanced on both sides of the space and distributed throughout the room instead of hugging the walls. Also make sure you have vertically balanced your room by using taller furnishings or architecture to draw the eye up to the ceiling and/or by having the right size of furniture for your room. In this sitting area we’ve placed the sofa facing the fireplace center and chairs on either side to create balance on both sides of the room. A rug completes the look to bring everything together.
5. Seating That Doesn’t Emphasize Your Focal Point – Before arranging your furniture determine your main focal point. Ideally your focal point will be a dramatic architectural feature like a fireplace or great view out a window. But if that isn’t possible you can create a focal point with furniture and art, for example. In this great room the seating is arranged to emphasize the grand fireplace by facing the sofa towards it while also allowing the incredible view out the window to be clearly visible from the entry.
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