While furniture placement is something people may not consciously notice when they walk into a room, it still makes a big impression. And beyond aesthetics, the right layout helps optimize the available space, ensures walkways are clear and directs the flow of indoor traffic.
So, what's the best layout? That depends on a few factors, such as the square footage and shape of the room. This guide will cover what to consider when mapping out your space, along with a rundown of some of the most popular, thoughtful living room layout ideas.
What to Consider When Choosing a Living Room Layout
When laying out a living room, consider the room size and shape, the furniture pieces you plan to use, what area rug to get, the flow of foot traffic, the location of windows and doorways and your decor style. These details will guide you to arrange your layout that best fits your space.
Room Size and Shape
First, carefully measure your space to figure out how much square footage you're working with. This will determine the furniture sizes and number of pieces you can fit.
The shape of the space matters too. For instance, you'll have more flexibility with a large square-shaped living room, whereas a long, narrow room might be limiting.
Do you envision a classic setup with a sofa, loveseat and armchair or a more curated mix of pieces? Where do you picture your family or guests sitting when they gather? Is there space for furniture accessories like side tables, ottomans and poufs? With the dimensions of your living room in mind, think about what furniture you want versus what will actually fit.
If you're relocating and designing your space from scratch, check out our New Home Checklist for a roundup of essential things to buy or upgrade when moving in.
When it comes to furniture layouts, don’t overlook the area rug. You'll want to find one that covers most of the space, leaving one to two feet of bare floor or carpet on all sides.
Place each piece of seating furniture either with all four legs on the rug or just the front two. Items like a coffee table, side tables and ottomans should generally have all four legs on top.
Read our blog to explore the Best Rugs for Every Room.
Foot Traffic Flow
Foot traffic is another critical consideration when mapping out your living area. Make sure the arrangement has at least one clear opening where people can enter.
Additionally, the furniture layout shouldn't block the natural flow of traffic or access to other rooms of the home. Whatever design you choose, no one should have to squeeze, duck or shimmy their way through the space.
Windows and Doorways
Your living room floor plan should also take the location of doorways into account. This probably goes without saying, but be sure the arrangement doesn't block any doors or force people to go out of their way to access them. Also, think about where the windows are and whether you want the furniture to face the outdoor view.
Consider your preferred interior design style. Of course, any furniture style or color can be incorporated into any layout. But some align with certain themes more than others.
For example, a symmetrical furniture arrangement may lend itself to a minimalist or mid-century modern vibe. On the other hand, a medley of pieces placed at strategic angles might exude more of a boho or beachy aesthetic.
Check out these blogs for more ideas and inspiration:
14 Best Living Room Layouts to Consider
Where should you place furniture for a living room? Here are some of the best layouts to consider.
Softly Squared Off
This living room arrangement features an assortment of complementing and matching pieces, including two sofa styles, twin armchairs, a pair of identical poufs and a coffee table/ottoman hybrid. It balances out the mix with the clean lines of a squared-off layout.
Throws are the finishing touch to a perfectly positioned setup. See our guide to learn How to Style Throw Pillows on Your Couch Like a Designer.
Two Sofas, Two Chairs
One easy, simple living room layout idea is to get a pair of twin sofas and a pair of twin chairs. This might sound too matchy-matchy on paper, but with the right decorative accents, it's anything but boring.
The couch is a good place to start with your furniture arrangement. Here are 35 more Stylish and Functional Living Room Sofa Ideas.
One of Everything
This living room features a standard three-seat sofa, a chaise-loveseat hybrid, a pair of armchairs and an accent chair, each placed with its front two legs on the rug. There's also an ottoman, three different side tables and a round coffee table to complete the space.
We compiled 27 Ideas for Decorating a Coffee Table in Your Living Room to help you put the finish touches on your perfect living room layout.
Maximize Seating With Fewer Pieces
If you're working with limited square footage, choose two pieces of furniture that speak to you. This small living room maximizes its available seating with a chaise sectional couch, then accents it with a statement chair and matching footrest. There's room for four people to sit, and the space doesn't look overcrowded.
Want more Living Room Accent Chair Ideas? Read our blog for inspiration.
Cozy Yet Open Living Room Layout
Small living rooms offer a cozy charm, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice openness. To avoid a cramped, confined feel, leave one or two sides of your arrangement free of furniture.
Large mirrors can make a room look larger, too, especially when placed across from a window. Our guide explains How to Decorate With Mirrors Across Your Home.
Small Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room Setup
This small Scandinavian-inspired living room makes the most of its available space with a chaise-style sectional placed against one wall, then two angled leather chairs facing the sofa. There's enough seating for five people, and the doorways are free and clear.
Parachute partnered with Homepolish to bring you seven key Tips for Designing a Small Living Space.
Supplement the Sectional
One inspired living room layout idea uses an extra-large L-shaped sectional placed in the corner or up against one wall with one side open. To avoid overwhelming the space with an oversized sofa, finish the look with smaller, supplemental pieces like an accent chair and a couple of poufs.
Lamps and overheads can really make or break a space. Our blog collects 27 of the Best Living Room Lighting Ideas.
Extra-Large Living Room Layout
Extra-large spaces will need not only bigger furniture but also more pieces to adequately fill it. This generously sized rectangular living room layout features two three-seat sofas, a pair of matching armchairs, two standalone chairs angled by the fireplace and accenting elements throughout.
Our guide to Living Room Essentials covers all the must-haves and nice-to-haves for your space.
Separate Seating Areas
Some living rooms are large enough to accommodate two separate seating areas. This one has a more traditional arrangement facing the fireplace and TV, plus another couple of sofas backed up to the sunroom.
Parachute has everything you need to design Your Perfect Living Room. See our article for details.
Section Off a Great Room
Some homes feature great rooms that combine a kitchen, dining area and living room into one large space. A rug is the key to sectioning off an open living room layout, as it makes the seating arrangement look work on its own in the absence of a wall. Be sure to get another rug for the dining area too.
Long, Narrow Living Room Furniture Layout
What about long, narrow living rooms? This room shape can make it trickier to come up with a layout that works, but you still have lots of options. See how this home went with a small-ish bench-style sofa and two matching armchairs, while the long rectangular rug highlights the unique shape of the space.
Here are 33 Stylish and Functional Side Table Decor Ideas to consider.
Mix Squares With Angles
When mapping out your furniture setup, remember that you can combine clean lines and angles. For instance, this living room placed a sofa squarely in line with the area rug, then angled two armchairs at the opposite corners.
Round shapes and natural elements are primary components of feng shui. See our article for more Feng Shui Interior Design Ideas.
Keep It Open
Many professionally styled living rooms position their furniture away from the wall. The idea is that pushing it against the wall can actually make a space look smaller, as if the furniture doesn't fit. That said, it's OK to have one piece against a wall to save space, as long as you keep the rest of your layout open.
What about your sleeping quarters? Here are a few Easy Tips for Rearranging the Layout of Your Bedroom.
Facing furniture toward a television is often reserved for family rooms, bonus rooms and dens rather than living rooms. But every home is different. If your living room is the go-to place for watching sports and cozying up to watch a movie, by all means, implement your TV into the layout.
These are some of our favorite at-home Movie Watching Essentials.
Living Room Furniture for Your Layout of Choice
Once you have a living room layout in mind that aligns with your available space, you can start browsing furniture that speaks to your personal design taste.
When Is It Time to Replace Your Furniture? Read our blog for insight, then find out How to Donate, Recycle and Dispose of Old Furniture.
Where to Buy High-Quality Furniture and Tasteful Home Decor
Parachute is your resource for high-quality furniture and elegant, sustainable home decor. From sofas and chairs to coffee tables, side tables and benches, you'll find all the essentials and more when you shop the living room furniture collection. As for the finishing touches, there's lighting, rugs, curtains, decorative pillows and throws — to name just a few.
If you have specific questions about selecting furniture, choosing colors, combining decor themes or designing an oddly shaped room, an expert stylist at Parachute is ready to assist. Schedule your free virtual design consultation today!