Room Layout 101
Your living room is perhaps the most used room in your home, and finding that perfect layout may not come easy. Thanks to this multi-functional room, we can have great family gatherings, game nights, movie nights, TV watching, etc. However, this also causes problems. With so many different needs to be met, the solution to arranging your space may take some time.
First things first, look at the big picture! While looking at the “big picture” take a sheet of paper or graphing paper (if you have some) and draw out your space; doorways, windows, fireplaces, etc. Do not draw in your furniture just yet! After your space has been drawn make some copies of it, this way you will be able to create different layouts for your furniture.
FLOW. Before you begin drawing in your furniture, take a moment to consider the flow of the room. Is there a specific traffic pattern that the space naturally allows for? How do people normally travel throughout the room? Do you have only one entrance or multiple? By considering the flow, you can better understand why your furniture may work better in one area than another.
FUNCTION. Next thing to consider is the function of the room. Your living room may have multiple purposes, and that’s okay, but which function is usually met and needed? Is your living room a formal space, a TV room, a conversational space, or a family game room? In a formal space you will not need to worry about the location of a TV, whereas the TV will be the focal point in the TV room. In a conversational living room the main focus should be on the seating and comfort of people versus a family game room where you may need more space to play games.
FOCAL POINTS. Focal points are what people see first when walking into a room. Many livings rooms come with a fixed focal point, whether it be a fireplace or a window. You cannot ignore the need to entertain the focal points in one way or another. As you can imagine having more than two focal points can sometimes pose a problem. Imagine three different walls, one wall with a window, another with a fireplace, and the third a TV. These three walls are all fighting for your attention, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and cluttered. An easy fix to this problem is moving the TV over the fireplace. Bam, you’re down to two focal points!
Now that you have considered flow, function, and your focal point(s) of the room, you can begin to place your furniture. Here are a few tips to consider while arranging furniture:
-Furniture that is parallel with the walls will have a more orderly feel.
-Furniture at an angle will feel more dynamic but can be more difficult to pull off.
-Leave a pathway of at least 36” for through traffic.
-Leave at least 18” of space to access furniture.
-Leave at least 18” between furniture and a coffee table.
Your focal points will anchor your room! Have your sofa facing or perpendicular to it or, if you have a picture or a window your sofa may be placed in front of it just as long as the back of the sofa is lower than the windowsill or lowest point of the picture.
As you draw your layout, know that the first few sketches may not be the “winner.” Take your time and think it through. Finding a balance takes a little effort, but once you find the perfect balance of function and style, you will hopefully be set for some time. If all else fails, one of our designers would be happy to help you design the layout of your room!