The living room is truly the family's place to flock, whether it be to entertain or simply relax. But less than ideal furniture arrangements can turn this space into anything but a welcoming environment. We've compiled simple steps to ensure that your living room is as special as those who inhabit it.
1. Map Your Plans
Whenever you think about rearranging furniture, the first thing to do is measure your space. Use a tape measure to find the dimensions, and then map out the room on graph paper. Don't worry about drawing in furniture at this point, but do include windows, doors, outlets, fireplaces and other aspects of the room that will affect its layout. Make a few copies of this layout, so you can brainstorm different options.
Using the layout of the room you created, start mapping out areas that you want to be used for certain activities. It's still too early to think about furniture at this point. For instance, if you pass through this room to get from one part of the house to another, draw a straight line between the two doors. If you want a place to play board games or cards with friends, draw a circle. In this way, you can get an idea of where to leave space open and what furniture you might need.
Based on these factors, start drawing in your furniture where you'd like it. Measure your furniture to get a better idea of how it will fit in the space. Go through a couple of versions, and in at least one, place something where you don't think you'll like it, just to see how that affects the way you arrange the rest of the room. You may stumble on a great idea.
2. Make Form Match Function
As you begin to get an idea of where you want your furniture, imagine you and your family living in it. Do you have a chair for reading that needs to be in a well-lit area? Do you want a lot of room for activity in the middle of the room, or off to one side? Would a table, where crafts and homework could be completed, fit in the room? Is there a TV in the room, and do you want that to be a focal point?
One final thing to decide is: do you want to entertain in this room? If the answer is yes, consider a secondary furniture arrangement to make room for a party. Obviously you won't have a party every day, so it might make sense to arrange your room in a way that allows for easy adjustments for parties.
3. Arrange with an Eye for Detail
Once you like what you see on your layout, only then should you start to move the furniture around. Here are some things to keep in mind as you arrange furniture:
- Don't be afraid to place chairs and sofas away from walls to create conversation areas and to free up space for how you use the room.
- Use plants to fill in space that may seem bare, but don't let them get in the way of the activities in the room.
- Allow more than 18 inches for traffic lanes.
- Create attractive storage and make your television the focal point of your room with a decorative entertainment center. To create a new entertainment center, paint and repurpose two bookcases and a TV stand to create a new console. Add a track with wood trim and place a picture in the track that can easily slide back and forth to reveal and conceal your TV or media.
After you have everything where you want it, walk around your new living room, sit in the chairs and decide if you like the way it works. If so, bring the family in and let everyone enjoy it together.