No matter how large or small your living room is, it can be a challenge to find the ideal living room layout – one that suits the measurements of the room, encourages the flow of conversation, and creates a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere for you and your guests. The living room is often the social hub of the home, and shouldn’t feel overly crowded or difficult to navigate (like the way we’ve arranged our Cadogan sofa range, pictured).
If you’re thinking about a design refresh for your living room this spring (because what better excuse to have a browse of the latest designs than the arrival of a new season!), here are a few questions to keep in mind so you can achieve living room perfection.
Where’s the focal point?
Living rooms work best when they’re centred around a focal point. It puts the room’s strongest features on display, and can help the space feel more balanced overall. Plus, it’s a great way to accentuate aspects of the room you like while perhaps drawing the gaze away from those certain features you aren’t so keen to highlight.
Common focal points are permanent fixtures like a fireplace or a lovely bay window, but you can also create your own with a striking piece of art (as shown with our Livorno reclining sofa), a gorgeous coffee table, or a television. It’s up to you what the focal point should be, since it depends on how you plan on using your living room.
What’s your table situation?
No matter whether you plan on using the living room predominately for entertaining or for lounging and watching your favourite films, you need to think about table placement. Where’s the most logical place to situate a table so you can conveniently rest your glass of wine/book/TV remote/lamp on it?
As a general rule of thumb, your coffee table should be about the same height, a little more than half the size, and placed about a foot to a foot and a half away from your sofa (as shown above with our Trapani leather sofa and Stirling coffee table). That way, every one seated can reach the table fairly easily but not have it interfere with the flow of the room.
How can you add additional storage?
Those with smaller living rooms know that creating space – or at least the illusion of space – can be tricky. Instead of taking up floor area, try to think about ways to ‘double up’ on furniture. Perhaps instead of a typical coffee table, you can use a large trunk (perfect for storing blankets, spare cushions, DVDs, and anything else). Instead of a free-standing bookshelf, consider a wall-mounted unit. You might even opt for a sofa bed (like our Modbury model) instead of a standard sofa for those occasional houseguests (although you’d need to be sure that you have enough room to easily fold it out!).
How can you bring out that lovely natural light?
When arranging your living room (or any room for that matter), you should always try to bring out as much of that area’s natural light as possible. Think about TV and art placement: where’s the best place to situate these pieces to avoid glare and gradual fading? Where should you place the sofa so that the setting sun won’t shine directly into your eyes (perhaps facing away from the windows, as we’ve done with our Hockney sofa)?
How can you use accessories to enhance and personalise the space?
Once you’ve figured out the general layout of the room, it’s time to make it your own. Here we’ve accessorised our Harlequin sofa with flowers, candles, and books. A few other options to play around with are:
- A large, wall-mounted mirror (which also helps trick the eye into thinking a smaller space appears larger than it actually is)
- An accent rug (great for adding depth and texture to a room, as well as making it homely and inviting)
- Hanging plants or terrariums
- A ‘shelfie’ (a thoughtfully-decorated shelf, ideal for Instagram, that displays your favourite items – a great conversation starter!)
- Well-placed fairy lights (perfect for creating that cosy ‘hygge’ atmosphere)
What are your living room decorating tips?