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Modern Living Room Lay Out Ideas

The living room is arguably the most important recreational space in the home. After all, it’s where we invite our guests when we want to entertain, and where we put our feet up to relax at the end of a long day. But, as our living areas often need to be very versatile, it can sometimes be tricky to arrange your furniture in a way that suits all your needs — especially as you'll also want it to look perfectly stylish and inviting.

The solution is choosing a layout that suits both the size and shape of your living room, as well as the sorts of activities you'd like to use your living room for. In this guide, we'll talk you through several different living room layout ideas, so you can pick the best arrangement for your home and lifestyle.

Proportion and scale
If you're struggling to work out what size furniture will suit your living room, then you may want to draw inspiration from a common mathematical concept called the golden ratio. The ratio describes the perfectly symmetrical relationship between two proportions. Put simply, it offers a blueprint for sizing and arranging your furniture in an aesthetically pleasing way.

To design a seating area according to the golden ratio, try to stick to a 2:3 ratio when sizing furniture and rugs. So, if you're placing a couch on a rug, the couch should be two thirds of the length of your rug, and your coffee table should be two thirds of the length of the couch. This creates a sense of harmony and balance, ensuring that all of the pieces are perfectly in proportion to each other.

The sofa is usually the largest item of furniture in a living room, so it important to get the sizing right, as it can throw the whole room out of balance if it’s too large or small. There's quite a lot to consider when measuring your space for this, including logistical issues such as whether it will fit through your doorway, so take a look at our complete guide to measuring your sofa so you can be sure you get it right. If you can't find a couch that's the right size for your space, you might want to go for a bespoke sofa, instead.

Use all the available space
At some point, you've probably been in a living room where all the furniture was pushed up against the walls, leaving an expanse of empty space in the middle. While this might work in smaller living rooms where there's not enough space for a floating couch, it's not the best layout for medium or large rooms, which can look sparse and empty while the walls look cluttered. Instead, avoid placing furniture right up against the wall, and fill the centre of the room with coffee tables or an ottoman. You can find a few ideas for filling the space in a larger living room later on in this guide.

Find a focal point
Whether your living room is large or small, narrow or L-shaped, it should always have a focal point. This is the first thing people will see when they enter the room, and so is usually positioned opposite the door.

Exactly what your focal point is going to be will depend on the existing features in your home, and what you'll be using your living room for most of the time. For example, it could be the TV, a fireplace, some artwork, an accent wall, or a large window with a great view. You could even use a piece of furniture as the focal point: a statement armchair or sofa in a bold colour or pattern can work very well, especially in a room with neutral décor.

Whatever you choose, be sure to factor the focal point into your eventual plan. The layouts we've shared below should give you a few ideas.

Find the centre point
Every living room needs a centre point. This is usually the point in the middle of the room where you'll find the coffee table or rug, which your seating is clustered around. This doesn't necessarily need to be exactly in the centre of the room, though: it may be slightly to one side, depending on the shape and size of your room. In a very large living space with more than one cluster of furniture, you may even have more than one centre point. Your seating will usually face inwards towards this point, so bear this in mind when designing your layout.

Allow a natural flow through the space
As we’ve mentioned, you don't want to leave a large expanse of free space in the middle of your living room. But, that doesn’t mean your space should be so crowded with furniture that you can't easily walk through it when you need to. You should leave a clear route through the room and, ideally, this will be a path that's at least two feet clear of any furniture. This is especially important if your living room connects two spaces, such as the kitchen and the garden.

Keywords in the article: living room lay out, armchair and sofa

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