In our Layout Guides series, you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. We show you different ways to lay out a space—because we’re big believers in working with what you’ve got! Today, we’re exploring the layout possibilities in an 11×18 living room.

The Space: An 11×18 Living Room

The Challenge: An open doorway, large picture windows, and a set of doors limit where furniture can be placed. And, since this is a longer room, it can be a challenge to figure out how to make the best use of the full space.

In the average American home, an 11×18 living room is medium-sized. Not too big, not too small. However, since it’s more of a long rectangular shape vs more of a square, the challenge lies in making good use of the full space in a way that feels natural.

With the length of the room, this space can easily be multifunctional. But it can also be arranged in a conversational layout that makes use of the full space. What you choose to do with a space this size depends on your family’s needs and what you have going on in the rest of your home.

Ready to take a look at some different layout options? We created 3 designs for this 11×18 living room to show you the different directions you can take in the layout of a living room this size!

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Layout Idea #1: The Family Room

This living room layout is a true family gathering place. Two-thirds of this space is devoted to seating while the other third is a kids play zone. This layout is perfect for families with young children or for those who have limited space and need to bring a play area into a main living space.

How to Make it Work

Use rugs to create zones. The large, rectangular area rug helps define the two spaces in this room and keeps the floor cushy for kids.

  • This rug sections off the main part of this family room, encompassing the sectional and TV-viewing area. This zone is great for movie nights, watching TV, cuddling up to read books together, or as a space to host friends and family.
  • Meanwhile, a small round rug creates a specific zone for the play area, helping it feel a bit more like its own space.
  • Bonus: the TV is centrally located for easy viewing from either zone.

Maximize floor space for the kids. A corner sectional, tucked into the corner, allows the room to be open and helps this substantial sofa take up less floor space. This, in turn, gives kids extra space to play and spread out.

11x18 living room

Keep things organized with some hidden storage. The biggest risk of including a play area in a main living room? It can easily become a dumping ground for your kids’ toys. Keep things organized (and keep yourself sane) by incorporating some hidden storage.

  • This media console includes 12 pull-out baskets that are the perfect place to conceal books, games, and toys.
  • The coffee table (which doubles as an ottoman) also has hidden storage, along with its soft woven top.

11x18 living room

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Layout Idea #2: The Lounge Living Room

This living room layout is focused on lounging, relaxing, and reading. But, with an accent chair and bar cart, in addition to the sofa, it can easily be used for entertaining small groups as well. The open and bright layout is great for minimalists who want a simple, uncluttered living room.

How to Make it Work

Focus on coziness and comfort. If your living room is focused on lounging, a comfortable sofa should be the foundation of your layout. We placed the sofa in front of the window so it acts as an anchor to the living room, and flanking side tables offer a surface for additional lighting and beverages. The swivel armchair, paired with a floor lamp and pouf, is the perfect cozy reading corner.

11x18 living room

Make the “thesis” of the room clear. A large bookcase spans the far wall and makes a visual statement in this space. It creates space for plenty of books (and decor), helping establish this as a reading-focused room.

11x18 living room

Add some practicality. Bar carts are a great way to add a practical touch that helps a room double as a space for entertaining. Since it’s on wheels, it’s easy to move it around, using it for beverages, snacks, or anything else you need.

11x18 living room

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Layout Idea #3: The Living/Dining Room Combo

This space works double duty by being both a living room and dining room. If you don’t have a separate dining area in your home, an 11×18 living room is long enough where you can certainly fit functions in the space. It’s also a great layout for those who entertain or want an extra eating space, since the two zones are open to each other but distinct.

How to Make it Work

Use a rug to establish a distinct living area. The living room seating area is zoned to one side of the room, using an area rug to designate the area. The sofa faces two accent chairs, creating a casual conversational area. But you could also easily turn the chairs to talk to people at the dining table when entertaining.

Maximize the small dining area. A round dining table helps make the most of this small dining area by eliminating hard corners. This improves navigation around the table and gives you the option of squeezing in an extra person or two around the table when necessary. The addition of a tall bar cabinet offers some open and concealed storage to this space.

Opt for “open” furniture. Since this is a more “full” layout than the other options, we chose furniture that feels a bit lighter. Choose furniture pieces with open bases, which makes the layout feel more open. This style of open metal coffee table, as well as the tulip dining table, have a similar effect.

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