Arranging the layout of any room can be difficult. Bedrooms are somehow simpler because there’s usually a limited number of places the bed can go and the bedside tables are usually placed either side. But your living room has multiple uses and deciding where your furniture should go can be hard. There’s nothing more irritating than being faced with a room that just doesn’t ‘feel’ right and you can’t put your finger on why.
If you feel like this, you’re not alone, and it could be the layout of your living room that is causing problems. We’ve outlined how you can rearrange the furniture in your living room to make the best use of the space.
Measure the room
First, use a tape measure to ascertain the exact size of the room, including the size of the alcoves and any doors or windows.
Next, take a pen, pencil and a ruler. Using your measurements, create a scale drawing of the room. If your living room measures 10m x 10m, scale this down for your drawing and make your square 10cm x 10cm. Your drawing should include the doors and windows as well as any permanent fixtures such as a staircase or fireplace.
Then, measure your furniture and draw the shape on a piece of card using your scale. Cut this out and this will provide you with moveable paper furniture pieces that you can move around your drawing to work out where things should go.
Figure out your focal point
Before you can decide on a layout, you need to consider what your living room will be used for. Is it a place to watch TV or the room you use for socialising? Is it a casual living room or will it be used as a more formal lounge? The layout could differ depending on your answers to these questions.
If your living room is used predominantly to watch TV, the TV is the focal point and your furniture should be arranged around it. The viewing distance between you and the TV should be between two and a half and three and a half metres. The viewing distance could be extended for particularly large TVs.
If your living room is used more as a socialising space, your sofa and armchairs should be arranged so that everyone can see and talk to each other, no matter where they’re sitting. Your furniture should have enough space around it so that you and your guests can easily manoeuvre around the room without walking into anything.
Top Tip: Don’t put all of your furniture flat against the wall. It’s better to keep your furniture closer together when possible to create a more intimate space.
Remember to leave space for any accessories that may come with your seating area such as side tables or lamps. You don’t want to relocate your sofa only to find that your lamp won’t fit in the corner you wanted it to.
Now you’ve decided on a layout for your furniture and have moved everything into its correct place. You may have noticed that you now need to buy certain items to complete the space. For example, is there an armchair that’s placed too far away from the coffee table so people cannot put their drinks down? A small nest of tables next to the armchair would be a good solution.
You can place lamps in the corners of a room to brighten them and create a feeling of more space.
How to arrange furniture in a small living room
If you have a small living room, you may want to arrange your furniture to make it feel bigger. Here are some recommendations.
Mirrors are a wonderful way to visually increase the size of the room without having to physically extend it. Mirrors will reflect the other half of the room, making a room feel double its size. They can also be placed opposite a window to provide additional light and make a room feel brighter.
Many small homes have very little storage, which means clutter can build up and make your home feel smaller. To get around this problem, you could invest in multifunctional furniture. For example, you could buy a large coffee table that has a lid that lifts up for you to put DVDs/electronics in and, instead of purchasing an L-shaped sofa, you could buy a normal sofa with a footstool that you can store things in.
Avoid bulky furniture
Bulky, oversized furniture will only make your small living room feel smaller. Instead, choose small-scale furniture, like a love seat instead of a full sized sofa.
Scandinavian design uses very sleek, simple furniture and is a good style to choose if you have a small home. Most of the furniture is on legs so you can see the floor underneath which makes the furniture item appear smaller than it is.
Note how the small chair can barely be seen because it fades into the background so much. You’ll also notice that you can see the flooring under the sofa and the unit on the wall. If the unit came right down to the floor, it would make the room feel instantly smaller.
The curtains are positioned as high up on the wall as possible. This makes the ceilings feel taller and the windows bigger.
Arranging your small living room is all about making spaces appear bigger than they are and investing in clever storage solutions. To find out more about how you can arrange your furniture in a small living room, see the helpful illustrations from Home Edit.