One thing that I knew I wanted when we renovated our house was an open plan space that flowed and allowed everyone in the house to be together, even if you’re not actually together, together.
I was lucky to be able to get what I wanted, this big(ish) open space that encompasses the living room, dining and kitchen. But with this great outcome there has come a few downsides, mainly that the spaces can tend to blend together – sometimes little too much! This is where choosing the right living room layout comes into play.
After a bunch of our stuff arrived from Hong Kong sans sofa (sob!) I decided to take this opportunity to experiment in the living room! We needed an L shaped sofa, and after searching high and low for something that would fit and was comfy, chose this chaise from West Elm. This made it a good opportunity to road test a range of different layouts that integrated our Hong Kong additions and this update.
How to Road Test Living Room Layouts
For this road testing process, we pretty much used the same pieces throughout, and then moved them around to a range of different layouts. The sofa was a key player in the layout, which is the case for most living rooms, and so we moved it first and then filled in the rest of the space around it. It’s a great idea to do this in your own space so that you can see how various layouts function and feel! It was a useful process for us! Below is a round up of the three layouts we experimented with. Shout out to Lillie for helping me move all the furniture!
In this layout, we oriented the sofa against the wall and it looks out towards the rest of the room. The sofa we have has the chaise on the right side (when looking at it) so this helped to enclose the space a little bit. We then added the coffee table and two occasional chairs into the space facing the sofa.
Locating the largest piece of furniture against the wall really opened up the space and made the whole house flow. It also helped you to feel less closed in when you are sitting on the sofa. However, an obvious main flaw with this layout is that it didn’t integrate a TV, and relies on your having somewhere else to watch tv like a TV room or your bedroom.
For this layout, we put the back of the sofa along the edge of the walkway through the southern side of the space, and faced it towards the window in the room. We then added two chairs on each side facing the sofa and the coffee table.
This layout keeps the open feel of the room, but also helps to enclose it from the walkway. This layout could be combined with a projector to create a space that’s great for movies, but similar to the first layout it doesn’t integrate a TV, unless you were to put one with its back facing the window.
Facing The Wall
The final layout we tested was done by orientating the sofa towards the wall, adding the coffee table in the middle and putting the two chairs on either side. This was the original layout for the space and the one I was most used to. I think it’s the most obvious layout but wasn’t necessarily the best.
This layout was the most enclosed of the three, and created more of a closed off living room. However, for this reason this layout made the open plan space feel smaller.
You’ll remember that the original layout for our living room was the Wall Facing one, and I was prepared during this process to prefer that layout. Surprisingly I really liked the other two layouts also, and found that by experimenting it helped me to see how this room could function in a different way. We will get a TV for this space and when we do the chances are we will be locked into the wall facing layout, but since seeing the corridor adjacent one that could also integrate a projector I have been wondering if that’s a better option. All in all, the options have various benefits and I really loved this process!
Styling In This Space
West Elm ‘Alto’ chaise sofa, Terracotta Planter, Wooden Plant Stand, Lamp and Coffee Table. Vintage rattan chair, glass cabinet, books. DIY terracotta vases, DIY Mud Cloth Cushions. Large artwork by Of by Amanda Shadforth.
This project is in collaboration with West Elm.