It’s a simple fact that for many of us, the main focal point in our living rooms is the television.
It’s also a fact that not all living room layouts were designed with TV-viewing in mind. Living room designs can have a variety of functions and they, literally, come in all shapes and sizes! Some living rooms have fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, or strangely angled walls that don’t lend themselves nicely to a comfy TV watching layout. And for many people these days, the TV is a main gathering place in the home—we watch sports, have movie nights with family, binge Tiger King, and we need a big space to gather and vege out. It’s not always easy to come up with living room layout ideas that check all your boxes!
So what’s a design-savvy, Netflix-binging person to do?
You don’t need to compromise between a space that looks nice and accommodates your favorite activities. To prove it, we pulled some of our favorite customer spaces to show off some of our favorite tips and tricks for TV-viewing layout solutions. Keep scrolling for some of our all-time best tv room layout ideas along with some new ones we’ve added in April 2020!
Use the back of your sofa to define the space
Challenge: A living room that also serves as the entryway where people are constantly walking through on their way in and out.
Solve: Rather than placing the sofa against one wall and the TV against the other, try pulling the sofa several feet away from the wall, letting it float in the middle of the space. The back of the sofa can act like a wall, keeping the walkway behind it clear and creating an intimate living space for family time around the TV.
Try swivel chairs for an easy swap to TV-viewing
Challenge: Finding a layout that allows you to enjoy the fireplace and watch TV, all without straining your neck.
Solve: Instead of facing your sofa towards the fireplace, try rotating your living room furniture 90 degrees. This makes for a great conversational area centered around the fireplace and lets the sofa face the TV, which is tucked out of the way, against the opposite wall.
Bonus: The two blue armchairs can swivel around, to face the TV, making for easy extra seating when guests are over.
Divide a large space into multiple zones
Challenge: A large, open, and long living room that needs to accommodate multiple activities.
Solve: Rather than designing this room as one large living space, consider a layout that breaks up the room into two distinct areas—a formal living area and a more casual TV viewing space. A great way to visually separate the two “zones” is to use different area rugs. This will help the two spaces feel connected, yet distinct.
Place your TV next to the fireplace, on an angle
Challenge: If you want to make your fireplace the focal point of the room, but also want to include a TV, you might think your only option is to mount your TV above the mantle.
Solve: A simple solve for this can be to place your TV at an angle on a credenza next to the fireplace. This allows you to enjoy both focal points, without the TV overwhelming the space.
Use your sofa to divide the space
Challenge: Making an open floor work for multiple functions like a dining, living, and study space.
Solve: Use your sofa to divide an open space can be a great way to create separation between the different areas. Here, the sofa floats in the middle of the room, facing the only wall where a TV could be mounted and not block the windows. This allows for a small dining area behind the sofa and a desk by the windows.
Get creative and utilize nooks and crannies
Challenge: An open living space with a lot of windows and no clear spot to place a TV.
Solve: Utilizing small nooks can be a great work-around for rooms with no obvious place for the TV. Rather than blocking a window, which can cause your TV to look backlit and block your view, try placing your TV in an otherwise un-utilized space, like this awkward nook under the staircase.
Use Your Attic loft as a TV room layout
Challenge: Sloped ceilings make this room an awkward shape with limited interior design options.
Solve: A living room or attic with sloped ceilings can be tricky because you don’t want to worry about bumping your head in the low clearance areas. However, this setup can also be great for a TV-viewing layout because it creates an intimate, tucked-in vibe for cuddling up with a movie! The best furniture layout is to place sofas up against the walls so they block off traffic under the low-clearance areas and provide plenty of seating.
Use a Sectional Sofa to Divide Open Living-Dining Spaces
Challenge: A living room that flows into the dining room and feels like one large, open space.
Solve: This room is tricky because you don’t want to block the glass wall of doors and windows and the other sides of the room are open into the dining area. We opted to mount the TV on the short wall, leaving space for a storage shelf below. The sectional sofa fits against the larger wall for easy TV-viewing and comfy seating galore. The sectional chaise also helps define the two distinct spaces and direct traffic flow through the house.
Make use of unexpected places
Challenge: With a fireplace on one wall and windows on the other… furniture options are limited.
Solve: This is a great design but it presents a TV-viewing layout quandary for sure. It makes sense to put a sofa against the long, open wall, which is perfect if you don’t need a TV and want to take advantage of the fireplace on the opposite wall. But what if you like having both? Use the small patch of real estate next to the fireplace to fit a petite console and TV. This furniture setup makes it easy to see the TV and enjoy the fireplace so you have options when you’re lounging in the living room!
Get creative with an open concept space
Challenge: An open living space with a split-level living/dining room and no clear spot to place a TV.
Solve: This area has lots of open space, but no obvious way to design a TV room layout. The best answer is to get creative with living room furniture placement! Place the sofa perpendicular to the dining room and facing the room’s only solid wall. This sneaky “floating” furniture layout hack lets you use the large wall as your TV mounting area and uses the back of the sofa to divide the room. That way you create a cozy living area with a dining room that overlooks it.
Mount the TV above the fireplace
Challenge: You want to make your TV the focal point of the room, but a fireplace takes up the available wall.
Solve: Mounting the TV above the fireplace is the classic way to handle this situation and keep the TV front and center. Place the sofa or sectional facing toward the fireplace for the optimal TV viewing experience—you don’t want anyone to worry about neck cramps! You can also tuck a few other furniture items into the design to create multiple spaces. In this room, we created a cozy reading nook, so the TV isn’t the only focus.
Max out under TV storage
Challenge: A super small living room means storage space comes at a premium!
Solve: If your living room is on the smaller side, then you have to be pretty crafty with your design work. It’s great to have a TV in your living area so you’re not always watching on your laptop—but then you also want plenty of space to sit comfortably and also a coffee table and…well, a super tiny space can start to feel pretty cramped with only a few furniture items! You have to get crafty with small spaces, which is why we opted for a credenza against the wall space under the TV. It has plenty of room for storage and makes use of space that would otherwise remain empty!
Enjoy dinner and a movie
Challenge: Making an awkward long and narrow living room work as both a lounge space and dining area.
Solve: Rather than designing this room as one large living space, consider a furniture layout that breaks up the room into two distinct areas—a formal dining area and a more casual TV viewing space. A great way to visually separate the two “zones” is to use an area rug in the living room. That way the TV has its own distinct setup—it helps the two spaces feel connected, yet spacious and separate.
Tuck your TV to the side
Challenge: You like having your fireplace as the focal point of the room, but also want to include a TV for now-and-then viewing.
Solve: Sometimes you just don’t want a big TV stealing all the attention in your living room but you don’t mind having one for occasional use. Good news: mounting it above the fireplace doesn’t have to be your only option! Place a credenza or media stand next to your fireplace to display your TV. It won’t be the main focus of the room, but it is still easy to see from the sofa. And when you’re not interested in screen time, you still have your cozy fireplace as the main focal point.
Maximize your layout potential
Challenge: Finding a layout that allows you to enjoy the fireplace AND watch TV—all without straining your neck.
Solve: Instead of facing your sofa towards the fireplace, try arranging it perpendicular to the fireplace. This makes for a great conversational area centered around the fire so TV is not the main show. We like to think of swivel chairs as the equivalent of dresses with pockets—they can pretty much do it all. When you’re ready to watch TV, the chairs can swivel around to the screen and pivot back to the sofa as needed. The sofa also faces the TV, which is tucked out of the way against the opposite wall.
Use what you’ve got!
Challenge: Huge, open living spaces are a conundrum all on their own—but this one ups the ante with floor-to-ceiling windows on all walls!
Solve: If you’re scratching your head wondering what to do with a space like this, you’re not alone! We usually arrange sofas with the back to the wall and devote another full wall to the TV, but that’s not an option here. Instead, we floated a large, 3-piece sectional in the center of the room to help anchor the space and create a distinct TV-viewing area. We used the one small strip of wall available to mount the TV right across from the sofa so you have a great view of the screen. A large area rug helps divide the room, too, and create a dedicated section as the living room.