FAQs About Living Room Layouts

Oct 1, 2021

Living Room

L-Shaped Sectional with Red Accent Chair in Living Room

You can’t decorate your living room without considering its size, shape, and style. In fact, we get plenty of questions every day about living room layouts. Whether you’re dealing with a long, narrow living room, a boxy living room, a small living room, or a large one, these living room layout ideas can help you create the home of your dreams. 

How to Decorate a Small Living Room?

When it comes to decorating a small living room, it’s important to be thoughtful about the furniture you choose and the layout that best fits your space, style, and needs. Because you’re working with a smaller space, you should be especially aware of the function you’d like the room to serve. If, for example, you use your living room most often as a place to watch television with your immediate family, you’d make different layout choices than if you predominantly use your living room to entertain guests.

Small Living Room Layout Ideas

These small living room layout ideas can help you make the most of a small space.

Keep the Scale Small

One of the easiest ways to create a living room layout that works for your small living room is to keep the scale small. Ditch the large sectional for something more compact, like a loveseat, a small sofa, a chaise lounge, or artfully arranged accent chairs. Small, minimalist furniture can also keep the décor from feeling too busy and overwhelming.

Take Advantage of Modular Furniture

While overstuffed sectional sofas might not make sense in a small living room, you might have more success with modular sectionals. Because you can break up items that won’t fit comfortably together, you can find creative fits for your furniture. If, for example, you have a small modular sectional with a chaise lounge, the chaise lounge could be moved to a different part of the living room for additional seating.

Decorate with Mirrors

One of our favorite small living room layout ideas involves decorating with mirrors. If you place a decorative mirror across from a window, for example, you can add depth to the room and create the illusion of a second window. Mirrors can also make a big difference when you place them next to artificial light sources. Mirrors arranged in this way will reflect light to make the room feel larger and more open.

How to Decorate a Large Living Room?

While it might seem like large living room layouts would be easier to design than their smaller counterparts, filling all of that extra space can be a real challenge. Start by considering the function of the room. Large living rooms have more opportunity for flexibility, as you can have multiple areas within the room, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to be thoughtful and deliberate. If, for example, you want an area to watch television and an area to entertain guests, you can split the room to easily accommodate both. Just make sure that the different areas complement each other.

Large Living Room Layout Ideas

These large living room layout ideas can help you create a stylish, flexible space that works for you.

Choose Oversized Furniture

Especially if you’re dealing with a large living room with high ceilings, having small furniture can make the room feel out of balance. Instead, try anchoring the room with large scale furniture. A large, overstuffed sectional, for example, can work great in a big living room, as can tall armoires, bookcases, and console tables. While every item doesn’t need to be huge, you also don’t want to fill the space with too many smaller pieces.

Divide Your Space

Visually dividing your space is one of our favorite large living room ideas. Not only does it make the room feel cozier, but it also allows you to better adjust your space to your needs. If, for example, you’re working from home, your large living room can include a small home office area. Just consider the different functions you want the room to accommodate, and then start creating designated zones throughout the room. If you need help visually dividing your space, you might try using area rugs, the back of the sofa, a large bench, curtains, or plants to help create clear distinctions. While each area can be visually distinct, you’ll also want to make sure that they complement each other and form a cohesive look.

Double Up on Accents

Another one of our favorite large living room layout ideas involves doubling up on certain accent pieces. Filling a nook with two identical accent chairs, for example, can help fill your space and add an element of symmetry without being as visually divisive as a sofa. You can also double up on coffee tables or cocktail ottomans to fill extra space in the room. In fact, you can even double up on area rugs, which will help create two visually distinct zones within the room.

How to Decorate a Rectangular Living Room?

When it comes to decorating a long, narrow living room, it can be hard to come up with a layout that makes the most of the space. Generally speaking, you’ll want to do everything in your power to prevent your living room arrangement from creating the tunnel effect, which can make the room resemble a bowling alley rather than a welcoming living space. Just remember, while style is important, you also want your room to be functional, regardless of its dimensions.

Rectangular Living Room Layout Ideas

These rectangular living room layout ideas will help you maximize your space and prevent the tunnel effect.

Incorporate Round & Curved Furniture

One of our favorite rectangular living room layout ideas involves incorporating round and curved furniture. Because long, narrow living rooms can end up feeling a bit claustrophobic, adding round or curved furniture can help take your living room to the next level. A round coffee table, for example, can help create visual interest, soften harsh edges, and help with the flow of traffic, making for a cozier, more stylish living room.

Float Your Furniture

Especially when you’re dealing with a long, narrow room, it can be tempting to push all of the furniture up against the walls to maximize space. Instead, try leaving some room between your furniture and the walls. While this might feel like wasted space considering how narrow the room is, it can actually help the room feel less claustrophobic. Plus, it allows you to place furniture in front of doorways and sliding doors, assuming you leave at least 3 feet of walkway.

Break Up the Space

Another great rectangular living room layout idea involves dividing the space up into designated zones. Depending on how long the room is, you may want to break up the space into two or three different sections. You might, for example, have a section for watching TV, a conversation area, and a reading nook, all within the same long, narrow living room. While each zone should be visually and functionally discrete, you’ll want to find ways to tie them together for a more cohesive look. Regardless of how you break up the space, you’ll want to be sure that each area adds to the style and function of the room.

How to Decorate a Square Living Room?

For some, a square living room layout can be less daunting than other, more awkwardly shaped spaces. But decorating a square living room might be trickier than you think. While you want to create a space that meets your unique needs, you also want to prevent the room from feeling boxy and cold.

Square Living Room Layout Ideas

These square living room layout ideas can help you create a space that’s cozy, visually interesting, and inviting.

Focus on the Focal Point

Square living rooms tend to fall on the smaller size. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the focal point when decorating a square living room. While larger, awkwardly shaped living rooms often have space to create designated zones within the room, this may not work with a square living room. Instead, organize your furniture around a singular focal point, grab a giant area rug, and arrange the furniture on the rug, away from the walls.

Bring on the Curves

Because square living rooms can end up feeling boxy, it’s important to add some visual interest with curved furniture. Whether it’s an oval-shaped coffee table, a curved sofa, or a round cocktail ottoman, curved furniture can help create a sense of movement, make the room feel more inviting, and soften the edges of a boxy living room. Plus, curved furniture contributes to better traffic flow, as people can move more organically through the room.

Create an Asymmetrical Composition

While it may be tempting to create a perfectly symmetrical design in your square living room, you might end up making the room feel stuffy. An asymmetrical composition, on the other hand, can give the room more character and make it feel more casual. That said, you don’t have to go too bold with your asymmetry. Even small asymmetrical touches can make a big difference in the look and feel of your living room.

How to Decorate an Awkward Living Room?

Finding the right living room layout can be a struggle, especially when you’re dealing with an awkwardly shaped living room. Because awkward living room layouts come in all differing shapes and sizes, it’s less about a one-size-fits-all solution and more about being thoughtful, intentional, and creative in your design.

Awkward Living Room Layout Ideas

These awkward living room layout ideas can help you make the most of your living room, whatever its shape.

Get Modular

One of the hardest parts of decorating an awkward living room is finding the right spot for the sofa. Because it’s often the largest item in the room, it’s typically the hardest item to place. If you’re buying a new sectional, we suggest choosing a modular sofa, that way, you can break up the pieces as necessary to help them fit in the room. It also gives you more flexibility in future redesigns. If you already have a modular sofa, consider how it will best fit in the living room and don’t be afraid to separate the pieces to best accommodate your needs.

Pay Attention to Traffic Flow

Especially when decorating an awkward living room, you’ll want to make sure to pay attention to the traffic flow of the room. Not only do you want to avoid blocking any doorways, but you also want to make sure that all potential walkways are clear. Remember, if people can’t use the space effectively without bumping into furniture or having to squeeze through a doorway, your living room layout won’t work long-term.

Use a Room Planner Tool

One of our favorite awkward living room layout ideas involves lots of trial and error. Rather than devoting a whole day to moving heavy furniture around, you can use our free room planner tool to try out different arrangements. If you’re still shopping for furniture, you can easily add Star Furniture products into the planner, measurements included. That way, you can find the perfect furniture and the perfect layout for your awkward living room. Ready to start decorating your living room? Visit a Star Furniture store near you to browse our huge selection of living room furniture for sale, including sofas, sectionals, loveseats, coffee tables, console tables, and more. In the meantime, check out our home inspiration blog where we cover everything from 12 simple ways to refresh your home to our Vanguard Furniture Spotlight.