Use this step by step guide to figure out how you should layout your living room to get the best results and avoid problems later on.
Existing Space AnalysisThe first step in developing you new living room layout is to review your current space and make note of the existing elements. It is not absolutely necessary to draw out your space as this step by step guide suggests but it is helpful when trying to visualize and start from scratch. One thing I would encourage if you decide to skip the drawing stage is to pay attention to your existing electrical locations. Taking this into consideration will prevent some frustration later on.
Living Room Layout Sketch
- Using graph paper you will layout your living room to a scale of 1/4" = 1'-0. Remember that each square of the graph paper will represent one foot.
- Measure out the length of all the walls, doors, windows, and any other structural elements (ie. fire place & built in units) within the space. You will then transfer this information onto your graph paper using the measurements you just took. Make sure when you are drawing your existing living room plans that you indicate the direction of every door swing (into or out of the room).
- Next, walk around your living room and locate all the electrical outlets making note of their location on you new floor plan.
Furniture ArrangementBegin your living room layout by creating paper cutouts as furniture templates of the existing or new furniture pieces you want to use. Doing this will help you position the furniture in the room quickly and easily. Make sure you have the correct sizes of these pieces to make your living room plans more accurate.
Start by choosing a focal point in your living room. This can be anything from a fire place, a large window, an entertainment unit, a book display and even a piece of artwork on the wall. Arrange your furniture around your focal point starting with your largest furniture piece (usually a sofa or sectional). Try to create a conversation area by arranging your seating in a U-shape (or a directly adjacent setup for smaller spaces) instead of an L-shape configuration. This establishes a more comfortable conversation arrangement allowing people to have easier eye contact with one another instead of being forced to twist their bodies. In addition to that people generally like to have a maximum distance of 8 to 10 feet between them when socializing.
Large or open living room areas can be a challenge to layout as they sometimes begin to feel too spacious and disconnected. In these situations it is beneficial to separate your space into sections or groupings for different activities. Three separate areas may be a main conversation/seating area, a secondary seating/reading area, and an entertainment area. It's a good idea to always keep in mind the relationship between the different areas which can usually be done by creating a natural flow from one to the other.
Small living rooms are sometimes difficult to layout as they often begin to feel too cluttered. In these situations remember that less is more. Avoid the “overstuffed” look by removing some unnecessary furniture pieces or by finding new smaller scaled pieces to replace the existing. The smaller scaled furniture will create a balance in the space and help the room feel larger than it really is.
Try to think outside the box and play around with a few different furniture arrangement ideas. You'll be surprised with how many variations you come up with.
Things To Consider
There are few things to consider when laying out your new living room arrangement.
- Traffic pattern & flow throughout the space
- Balance & scale of furniture
- Placement of lighting and other electrical items