Let’s be honest: it can be trick figuring out how to arrange living room furniture. Unless you’re starting from scratch, there’s almost always a trouble spot that threatens to throw off your plan. The first step is to figure out exactly what the problem is by taking in the big picture of your living room and how you want it to function.

Step One: Find Your Living Room's Purpse

What is your living room for? In smaller homes, the living room is often used for entertaining, family time, watching TV and relaxing. Getting your priorities clear in your mind will help you arrange your furniture to match the flow and function you actually want—not something you think you’re “supposed” to do.

Step Two: Decide What You Need

Once your purpose is clear, consider what furniture you need to accomplish those activities in comfort. Consider your furniture needs for your primary purpose first, then think about how a secondary purpose might fit into that space. Will your furniture be able to serve a dual purpose, or will you need to create a secondary area in the space?

Step Three: Make Your Map

To get a sense of all the possibilities, it’s time to make a map of your room. To do this, you’ll need a tape measure and either some graph paper or an online program like floorplanner.com. Start by measuring the length of walls, doors, and windows. Next Draw everything to scale and don't forget to add existing focal points. 

Step Four: Define Your Zones

Remember the purpose you chose for your living room? Now it’s time to look at your map and decide where in the room you will do this activity. If you have a focal point, you’ll most likely want to set your main purpose in that area, with furniture facing that focal point. As you define your zones, don’t forget about the flow of traffic through the room. How do people get from one end to the other?

Open Concept Spaces

Defining your zones will be especially helpful in an open concept living room or a similarly large space. This will help your room more intimate and like an actual room. Open concept can be particularly tricky because it almost feels like you have too many options! My recommendation is to begin with your non-negotiables — such as windows, traffic flow, or the fireplace.

Step Five: Test it Out

Measure your existing furniture and sketch it on a separate piece of graph paper so you can cut them out like puzzle pieces. Try several different living room layout ideas on paper to see what’s possible as you create different configurations for your zones.

Know When to Break the Rules

Not every room allows for following all the rules. For example, many homes just aren’t big enough to allow you to pull the furniture away from all the walls. This is especially tricky if you have a long, narrow living room.

I hope that these tips for arranging living room furniture have been helpful if it’s something you’re struggling with in your space! With a little confidence, I’m confident that you’ll find a furniture layout that works for you. Tap the link below to read more and happy decorating!

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