Living Room Layout

Now that we’ve been in the house for a couple of months, survived the holidays, painted to rid ourselves of the residual stink left from the previous owners and checked nearly everything off our TISH repairs list, we are starting to think a little more about furniture/decorating/ lay-out. At least I am… Reuben is probably thinking about smaller details like replacing old pipes and re-wiring the entire electrical system….

We haven’t bought much of our furniture. Other than our mattress, and an Ikea dresser and shelves everything else we have is hand-me-downs, gifts, salvaged from a dumpster, or home-made. Not that we’re complaining! We’re slightly proud of it, and wouldn’t mind furnishing most of our house out of a dumpster. However…our couch- which was an awesome upgrade from our previous dumpster couch and in really good condition when we were given it- has had some, let’s say “issues” lately. The structure of the couch has been “upgraded” after the hide-a-bed literally fell out of the bottom. The couch fell into pieces, but we screwed it back together. I was actually promised a new couch a year ago, but then we decided to move and it made sense to wait until we were settled in a new place before investing in new furniture.

This is what you see if you remove one of the seat cushions.

Over Thanksgiving we were pretty hyped about buying a new couch, but after about 15 minutes in a super-sized furniture store we realized we were in over our heads.  Style? Fabric? Size? Who knew you could customize all these things? With a baby whose bucket list includes throwing up on every surface in the house- do we really want to invest in new furniture? Should we focus on the bounty that is offered on Craigslist? To say we were overwhelmed would be an understatement. We decided to slow down a bit and take some time to decide what we really want. First things first- what kind of layout would work best in our room?

The living room is pretty big and right now it feels a bit sparse. Maybe someday we’ll change it to a more formal living room and put the TV in a family room in the basement, but for now this room will be where we keep our TV It has a fireplace on the center of one wall and a large archway offset on the opposite wall, so already the centering of the room is a bit off.—i.e., if you place a couch directly in front of the fireplace, it will be blocking the archway.

I started thinking about the layout and made this awesome model to play around. Pretty sophisticated, huh?

You get the idea, right?

Then I found this slightly more elegant free room design software online (this one is from a La-Z-Boy company, I’m sure there are tons, this just popped up first and fit my needs). So after playing around a bit, I’m no closer to knowing what we want, but maybe some of you will have an opinion?

Layout 1: TV on the fireplace mantel? Chair in the middle of the room?

Layout 2: Are we sectional people?

Layout 3: TV in front of the window? 2 chairs and one couch?

Layout 4: Is it weird if the couch is not against the wall?

What do you think? Any of them keepers or should I keep at it? Am I missing something obvious?

The main ideas we’re toying with are:

  • Sectional/one couch/one couch and one love seat?
  • TV on the fireplace mantel or on a table in front of the window?
  • What goes on the other wall? Bookshelves? Entry table? Storage hutch?

Anyone out there have a similar space? What were your layout solutions?
I’d love to hear your advice!


7 comments to Living Room Layout

  • I like layout 3 the best – a sofa and, say, three chairs would give you the most versatility in the long run. Also, I obviously don’t know the room, but what if you put the TV on the top wall, did a sofa opposite, a chair angles In front of the window/fireplace and two chairs with an end table opposite the fireplace wall? It would be a nice intimate seating area that incorporates the TV and the fireplace. For a less TV focused layout, you could switch the two chairs and sofa. To solve the floating sofa problem, have a console table behind it. And I’d go with a big upholstered ottoman for your coffee table, if possible, with a tray or two for storage if necessary; it’d be head-wound-proof for when KP starts walking in a few months. And whenever there’s a choice, go with bookshelves! If you have things that would be best in a hutch, you can get one of the bookcases (if you get a set of two or three) with glass doors and do double duty. Of course, all of that is expensive and easily written off as late night ramblings. Kind of a fun dilemma to have, really.

  • I like #1, but I’m not a fan of TVs above mantels. If you’ve tried watching TV in such a place, you’ll know if it’s acceptable or not. It’s not for me, but maybe it is for you. What I liked about #1 is that the chair in the middle of the room doesn’t feel as much like you have 2 separate areas. But then it is in front of the opening to the dining room.

    Is the door the lower-right grey box? If that’s the case, then maybe having the entry way feel of the “lower” portion of the plan is a better idea. In which case I’d still go with #1. I kept thinking go with #4, except with the couch against the wall and the chair by the window should be substituted with a love seat. Which is what #1 is.

    Good luck.

  • Thanks for the feedback.
    @Susannah- The wall at the top also has a window, but it is actually shorter, so putting the tv there could work. I agree- it is a fun problem to have!
    @Ben-I also am not a fan of TVs on mantels. Thats where it lives right now and watching it is ok, my problem is more from a decorative point I would rather keep it off the mantel.

    Stay tuned- I’ll be playing around with the models a bit more and asking for more opinions shortly!

  • Good ideas, folks! I think I like option #2 but with that extra floating chair from option 1. I think the way it’s drawn overestimates the size of the sectional sofa just a tad.

  • I like option 4 if that’s any more confusing!

  • OOO, this is fun stuff. I can’t wait until we get to start thinking about furniture (or actually living in our house…) BUT I have spent plenty of time thinking about the living room set-up and am pretty much sold on a sectional. I like the comfortability of it, how 2 people can stretch out during a movie, etc. Have you considered the sectionals that are more like sofas with a chaise? They aren’t as huge or wrap-around ish as a traditional sectional is. I think adding an extra chair, like a cool wingback or something would be nice. This is what I’m hoping to do myself! I like the idea of mounting a tv to save space. I’ve never done this though and not sure how comfortable it is to view- I’d prob opt to mount it as low as possible so you don’t have to cram your neck. Just my 2 cents… good luck!

  • I personally enjoy layout 4. I don’t think it’s weird to have the couch away from the wall if there’s a console table of sorts behind it. Also, did you consider using the couch and console table as a room separator. That would allow for a sectional. Can’t wait to see what you end up doing!