CREATE A CONVERSATION AREA. Make it intimate, no matter if your space is huge or if it's small and you have no choice in it being intimate. I hear a lot of excuses for bad furniture layout! "we need every seat in the space facing the TV" or "my space is too small to fit any furniture" or "I have a long living room, how can I divide it up" or, and I love this one "there are too many windows in my living room and no space to put the furniture" WHAT?!? Never complain about having too much light!!
In response to some of these main dilemmas I have found some images of layout solutions that I hope will inspire some ideas!
One of the easier no brainer ways to create a conversation space is to layout your area symmetrically. This establishes balance, organizes the space and means you don't need to spend a lot of time trying to reinvent the wheel.
BELOW: I like this layout because it makes a great conversation area and also addresses the two major concerns of everyone needing to see the TV and having enough seating for a big family. It has become very trendy and also very functional to use benches as extra seating. It also visually squares off the area and although your kids are not going to sit and watch TV on them, they are great to pull up to the coffee table for extra guest seating.
BELOW: This layout allows for lots of seating without having to commit to buying a sectional. Having two sofas is less of a commitment if you decide you want to break apart the room later or rearrange for a fresh look down the line. For an alternative layout, the couch facing the fireplace could switch places with the two chairs and it would function well this way too.
BELOW: This is another layout using a couch rather than sectional. You still have your largest piece squared up to the TV and two over sized chairs squaring off the area and pulled in to make the space intimate. You could angle these like they are or face them both forward to be more symmetrical. The chair angled out on the corner further pulls together the conversation space and closes off the space between the living and dining areas, making the space seems cozier.
BELOW: This is a great layout for making an intimate area when you have a narrow small space. The bench squares off the area, creates extra seating but also does not obscure your line of vision from the other room that transitions into the living space. Also a great example of how furniture can successfully be placed in front of a window and look great!
BELOW: Speaking of positioning furniture in front of a window... These chairs frame this window so beautifully! I love the unexpected use of the long console rather than just having a small table between the chairs. This is a great example of how getting creative and thinking outside the box can really make your space unique!
BELOW: Another success at placing furniture in front of a window! I love this layout for a front sitting room that may open to another room behind the rounded chairs. The symmetry of the mirrors and the tables on either side of the couch make the window stand out more than it would if nothing were standing in its way.
BELOW: This one is great because it is an example of making your fireplace your focal point by not hanging your TV above it. In this room, lets assume that we have wall space opposite the couch where a TV could exist. Now your furniture doesn't need to be arranged to hover in front the fireplace but rather now you can use it as your accent wall. This mantle looks awesome with this offset mirror or could be a great place to display a pop of color with artwork.
BELOW: I love this one too because normally people will avoid putting furniture in front of their fireplace because it may cover it up as the feature wall. However, when done the right way it draws more attention to it!
Still looking for more options...Here is a great cheat sheet to help you lay out a room.
Now every living space cannot fit the easy intimate squared off space plan. When you have an extremely large and long area to work with it may look a little stark to create a small intimate space in the center of the room. In this case it may be necessary to think of some ways to create two spaces in one open area. Now here are a few layouts to address this situation.
BELOW: A long space is divided in two areas. In this case the main couch and some additional seating is situated in front of the fireplace on one side and a sofa table is used to divide the spaces. The other side is a intimate lounge area, perfect for entertaining.
BELOW: A similar space but this one uses two couches facing one another to create the second space for entertaining.
BELOW: These two spaces use couches back to back, with a sofa table between to divide the room.
BELOW: I love this solution for a particularly wide space. In this case, they have used two coffee tables, maximizing the area but still making it feel cohesive.
Do you have a space that is challenging?