This guide, how to arrange a long living room; tips and easy decorating ideas is about different ways to group your furniture and fixtures to create a warm and cozy space. Larger living rooms have their own challenges when it comes to making the space not only functional but also having an inviting feeling just like smaller spaces. If you have a smaller room, you will be dealing with how to efficiently utilize every inch of space due to space limitations. If you have a larger space, you will be dealing with a few different pieces of furniture and how to position them within the space that is not only good for entertaining but making the room feel comfortable, cozy and functional for day to day living.
Furniture arrangement whether you have a large or small living room will always be based on the shape of the room, traffic flow and the focal point of the room to create a welcoming ambiance for you and your loved ones. The sitting room is where your friends and family gather, makes the first impression and the space that provides guests with an idea about how the entire family lives. This is the reason why it is necessary to have a family room layout that not only exudes elegance but makes the space happy and bright. One of the many creative ways to achieve this is to have a seating arrangement with not only having the right pieces of furniture but also which has furniture placement that encourages conversation and displays the feeling of connections. Fortunately in today’s world, the basic information that you need to know to transform your space even if you have a lot of space or have limited space into a happy and beautiful space can be found with the click of a finger. I will be sharing with you the basic guidelines to create a space with a cozy and relaxing atmosphere.
How To Arrange Your Living Room Furniture
Identify The Traffic Patterns Of The Room
When it comes to arranging your family room furniture, the first thing that you need to do is to identify traffic flow. Traffic flow or traffic patterns are a vital element of any floor plan. It is the way you and your loved ones move through a room as you live in it and pass through the room. The easiest way to identify the foot traffic pattern of the room is to trace the spaces between all of the doorways. These spaces should provide you and your entire family a way to comfortably travel in and out of the room and should never be occupied with any furniture or accessories that will block or stop this flow. For example, if during this process of identifying the traffic flow of your room you found out that in order for you to access the sliding door to the backyard you need to make a few twists and turns to allow access to that door, then your sofa is placed incorrectly. Therefore, you will able to understand that you need to find another to place to put your sofa in such a way that will allow you to access that sliding door easily.
Design Tips: To maneuver in and around furniture with ease, you should have at least 24″ of space.
Identify The Room’s Focal Point
What is a focal point? The focal point is one part of the room that is given special importance or a section that catches people’s attention once they enter the room such as a beautiful view, a picturesque large window, French doors, fireplace, built-in bookcases, entertainment center or any interesting architectural detail. The focal point in your room is the starting point for where your furniture layout should begin, then consider the shape of the room and the ceiling angles as these two elements will also play a big role on how your room should be set up.
Oblong/Rectangular Room Shape
This shape of room is the most common room shape and is easy to work with. Because of the length of the room, it can usually serve two purposes, one is for a sitting area and the second one is for a dining area. In order to achieve this, your furniture groupings in the space should create multiple functions or two separate areas. For a particularly long narrow living room, arranging furniture into two separate zones will help break up the long space but keep the main seating area centered on the room’s focal point.
In the picture above the furniture is grouped on opposing sides of the room to create two different conversation areas but the main seating area is placed within the room’s focal point.
If you have a room that looks like two overlapping rectangular rooms at a 90 degree angle, then your room is under an L-shaped category. Just like the rectangular room, this L-shaped room typically has multiple functions such as a family room and dining room combination. You need to arrange the family room and dining room furniture in such a way that will create a smooth flow around the elbow of the room but also unify the two spaces. One method to attempt is to align the furniture in each L section at the same angle. This parallel angling will help to make the two rooms feel more connected and approachable.
Square Room Shape
A square room shape is probably the next most common room shape after the rectangular room shape. Typically, square room shapes have a smaller space and have a single purpose because of space limitation. If you have this type of room shape, you can arrange your furniture at 90 degrees angles to the walls and if you want to give a more relaxing room atmosphere, place the furniture at 45 degree angles to the walls.
Oval/Round Shape Room
This type of room shape is probably the most uncommon shape but if you’re lucky enough to have one, draw an imaginary square or rectangle inside a round or oval room. Then base the arrangement of your furniture within the imaginary square or rectangle inside the round or oval shaped room. If it so happens that the round shape room is beside your kitchen, you can place a round dining table in the center and use the round space as your dining area.
Off-Angle Room Or Awkward Shape
If you have a rectangular or square room with a corner fireplace or other architectural feature like a built-in entertainment center in the corner, then your space is under this category. The best way to furnish this type of room shape is to embrace the angle section that makes the room in an awkward shape. Therefore, you need to arrange your furniture on a slant that matches what the architecture has started.
Identify Your Ceiling Design
After you have identified your room’s focal point and its shape, the next step is to know how your ceiling connects with the sitting room walls. The shape of your room walls dictates how you should furnish and accessorize your space to add vertical height in order to create a sense of balance in the room. If you have a big room with a high ceiling or cathedral ceiling, position the tallest or bulky or large sofa along the tallest section of the wall or in the center of a peak. The remainder of the wall can then be decorated with lower profile furniture or with smaller-scale items. If you do not have tall furnishing, you can substitute it by placement of artwork, floor lamps and plants to create the illusion of height.
Design Tips: Larger things should be used to furnish larger rooms while smaller rooms should be decorated with light furnishings.
Arrange Your Room Through Creation Of The Main Seating Plan
Now that you have already identified the room’s focal point and shape you are now ready to make an initial plan on how you would like to arrange your main furniture in your space. Your plan should begin with the largest furniture items such as your large couch or long sectional sofa or large entertainment center. The important item to keep in mind when creating the main seating area is how to create a sense of balance in the room. You do not want to place all of your furniture on one side of the room making the opposite wall look like an empty space. To keep this error from happening, divide your room into four equal sections. Each section of the room should be equally furnished to achieve balance to the room. For example, if you have a sofa on one side of the room, place two accent chairs or love seat with side tables on the opposite side to balance it out.
The position of your main seating area should be perpendicular or parallel to the focal point and if possible, the sofa should be facing in the direction of the room’s entry. This type of furniture arrangement will open up the space and provide the best view of the sofa. If you have a lot of space in your family room, do not place your furniture against the walls, float your furniture arrangement in the middle of the room. This is the easiest way to utilize the entire room. You can also break up the space of the long room by creating extra seating areas, a reading nook or eating area.
To make your space more suited for a pleasant conversation, arrange your furniture using a U-shaped or L-shaped layout and anchor the space with the use of rugs. The rugs should be placed in the same direction as the sofa and should be centered on the focal point and on the sofa. The use of area rugs is great home decor to anchor conversation areas and help to define other spaces.
However, you should use an appropriate size rug that is large enough to accommodate at least the two front legs of each sofa and chairs. However, too many rugs in the room can make the space look cluttered.
Use Accent Furniture and Decorative Accessories
Once you have already finalized how you are going to arrange the family room furniture, now it is time for you to make the look of your space complete and finished by using accent furniture and decorative accessories. Accent furniture such as end tables, console tables, coffee tables, ottomans, tall armoire and others will make your design complete while accessories such as throw pillows, ceiling drapery, table lamps and similar items will help you to make your design look finished.
Use Console Tables To Hide The Back Of Your Sofa
If you use your couch to break up your long large room or if you place your couch parallel to the room’s focal point, place a console table behind the couch. This is the great way to hide the not so beautiful side of your sofa. It will also create additional space that you can use to place your table lamps, photo frames, flower arrangements and other small accessories.
Pick The Right Size Coffee Table
Coffee tables are a great piece of furniture that encourage conversation and a tool to make the entire family comfortable while sitting. They provide a great place to store your remote control, a perfect spot to hold your drinks and a great location to put up your feet while reading a book or watching TV. Choosing the perfect size shape and design will make your seating arrangement look beautiful and connected. Remember, coffee tables that are too small will make your space look empty. If they are too big it will make your room look crowded. The appropriate size for your coffee table should be between 12 to 18 inches from any sitting area around it. To know more about the sizes of a coffee table and decorating ideas, see 10 Amazing Living Room Ideas Discovered From Our Small Living Room Remodel.
You can also utilize ottomans, pouf or a group of smaller side tables if you prefer not to use a coffee table and want to add more color and texture to your space.
Utilize End Tables
If you have big lounge area space is not a problem and one way to furnish or utilize space is by using end tables as they can also add some visual interest and color to any space. Place end tables in between two accent chairs or near your couch to create a spot for beverages, books, magazines or the perfect place for your table lamps.
Utilize Art Work That Make A Statement
For a large room, art work and accessories should also be larger and bolder but you can also use smaller pieces of framed photos and hang them together to create a larger piece and create an even bigger impact.
Use Color Effectively
Consider the color scheme that you would like to achieve because using the right colors will create a bigger impact in your space. Consider the paint color of your long wall, the color of your large pieces of furniture, the color of your floor or large area rug and the colors of your accessories. All of these colors should complement or blend well with each other to create a cohesive look. It’s critical to maintain a consistent aesthetic across your home to ensure that your sitting room seems connected to the others. To learn more about the most basic color schemes used by many interior designers, see 84 Beautiful Inside Front Door Paint Color Ideas.
Unify The Style By Using Patterns And Colors
If you have a larger living space, you will dealing with more furniture and accessories which could make your space look and feel disorganized and disconnected with one another. One of the methods that you can use to unify the number of pieces of furniture in a large room is by using patterns or repetition into one cohesive design. Repeated elements gives a sense of continuity and a natural flow in a space. Using fabric patterns or colors that are repeated on chairs, flower arrangement, plants or throw pillows can serve to draw your eye around the space and make it feel more aesthetically pleasant.
Design Tips: A large room needs large prints/patterns.
Use Lighting To Improve The Ambiance
Adding creative lighting can greatly improve the ambiance of any space, no matter the size of space it is. One of the good things about large spaces is that they’re usually accompanied by high ceilings and bigger windows which bring natural light into the room which makes lighting less of an issue during the day. However, at night, one central ceiling light will never be sufficient enough to light up the whole space and the use of table lamps, floor lamps and wall lamps will play a big role.
In a living space, one or two floor lamps should be enough when stacked with other sources of lighting. Floor lamps and table lamps can be both useful and decorative, addressing a specific lighting need or adding a decorative element into the room. If you wish to have more than one floor light in the room, make sure they’re all about the same height and should have similar shades to have a cohesive look. Also remember that the type of material and the color of your lampshade can affect the amount of light that your lamps give off. A lampshade with a darker fabric will emit less light around the room while white lampshades will brighten up any room and will give a nice contrast to almost any wall color.
I hope that my guide on how to arrange a long living room will help you to come up with a suitable seating arrangement to transform your living space into a happy and elegant space in your home.