When dreaming of the classic picket-fence home, most of us picture the same thing. We imagine a welcoming foyer, a long dining table, plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms, and a spacious living room.
Unfortunately, many houses these days don't always have a massive open floor plan. Especially in a housing market this tough. Small homes can be just as "dream house" worthy as large houses. However, if you have a large family, big friend group, or a whole bunch of furbabies, you may wonder how to maximize your living room for the optimal seating area.
Small spaces mean you just might have to get a little bit creative to make the best use of what you have. If you have a smaller living room, there's no need to call in a team of interior designers. We're here to help. In this article, we are going to go over some living room ideas, including the best furniture layouts.
Read on as we discuss living room furniture layout ideas that will help you make the most of your space. But first, what exactly is a living room, and what decor should be included in this area of the house?
What Is a Living Room?
A living room is typically the room in the house that serves multiple purposes. You may use it to host a movie night for guests, provide a place for your kids to play, or a combination of different uses. It is often set towards the front or center of the home, making it an easy room to get to and from all areas.
Some people use “living room” and “family room” interchangeably, but larger homes may have both rooms. The living room tends to be more formal, while the family room is more laid back and may be kept private. Family rooms are also set towards the back of the house or adjacent to the kitchen.
Now that you know what a living room is, let’s dive into the different layouts you can use.
Living Room Layout Ideas
While these ideas are mainly for those with small living rooms, you can definitely adapt them to fit whatever size space you have. We’re going to give you a few great ideas based mainly on the function you need this room to serve in your home.
If You Need Space for Guests
One main use of the living room is for entertaining guests and hanging out with friends. If you have an intimate, small space to work with, this might seem a little difficult. But don’t get discouraged!
There are a few ways you can set up your living room so you can enjoy company:
- Clear the floor. Don’t waste floor space with a big entertainment system. Instead, try wall-mounting your TV and using wall speakers or small surround-sound speakers placed strategically around the room.
- Use easily moveable furniture. You don’t have to crowd the room with a large sectional sofa with a ton of extra seats. Instead, opt for furniture that can quickly move from room to room and is functional in different places. Consider a few bean bag chairs or some oversized pillows as a cute portable option.
- Avoid clutter. Don’t put anything in this room that doesn’t absolutely need to be there.
Make it easy to move around. If you’re setting up the room for guests, you’ll need to be mindful that people will likely be getting up and moving around more often than normal. Be sure to leave some empty floor space for a pathway so that your guests don’t feel like they’re tripping over people when they need to use the restroom.
If You Want a Place for Kids to Play
If you’re less concerned about adult guests and more interested in making your living room a haven for your kids and their friends to play, there’s an arrangement for that, too. First, decide what activities you’d like to encourage in this room; that will inform the living room furniture arrangement.
Is this going to be used as a toy room? If so, you’ll need mostly empty floor space so they can turn it into whatever their imagination needs. Will they be doing a lot of gaming? Make sure you have some comfortable gaming chairs! This is also another great opportunity to mount your TV as a way to save space.
Do you want this to be a tech-free zone? Set up a cozy reading nook complete with bookcases, bean bag chairs, and good lighting. Skip the side table and table lamp and go for a floor lamp or ceiling light. Perhaps forgo heavy shades to maximize the available natural light.
If You Need Plenty of Storage
We’ve come a long way in the innovation of creative storage solutions. It’s not too difficult to find many different storage options that can fit your unique space. For small spaces, think of utilizing storage under your couch, placing a shelving unit across one of your walls, or getting a large coffee table with room for storage in the base.
All of these options should still leave you plenty of space to set up a couch, TV, and a few accent pieces.
If You Want the Ultimate Movie Room
If you’re a movie buff working with a small space, you can still create a movie theatre.
To get that movie magic living room feel, here are some ideas:
Skip the clunky recliner. Recently, we’ve all been spoiled as popular movie theater chains have added reclining chairs, but they have a lot more space to work with than you do. Grab some bean bags that double as accent chairs and offer plenty of seating (or reclining).
Look for machine washable fabrics with a cozy texture for the perfect bean bag cover. Additionally, footstools can double as ottomans and serve as a focal point.
- Buy a projector. You might not have room for a large entertainment system or even a wall-mounted TV, but a projector can work in virtually any space.
- Cut the cord. If you can avoid having a cable box, you can avoid needing a place to put that cable box. You’ll also avoid the cords running from the cable box to the TV. Go for a small, inconspicuous option like a ROKU or FireStick. z
Have somewhere to store snacks and drinks. If you have room for some end tables, awesome! Invest in a few PUKs to hold drinks or double as your projector stand.
If You Need Room for a Furry Friend
Is your pet part of the family? If you’re a pet owner like 63% of Americans, you might need to create some pet-friendly space in your living room. Keeping animals off the sofa or armchair will be important in a small space because you don’t have very much room to work with already, and your pet can’t always steal the spot from one of your guests.
Training them to stay off the couch is a lot easier when they have their own space. Add a pet bed in a cozy spot with some of their toys nearby. This helps them still feel like part of the family even when they’re not sitting on top of you.
Living Room Design: Comfort and Inspiration
A lack of space doesn’t have to stop you from creating the room of your dreams. There are so many different ways to make use of a small living room. Before you move anything in, take some time to think through your goals for the room and what you’ll use it for the most. Then, follow our tips above to create a living room you’ll love to live in!