Often the trickiest part of designing a space is finding the right layout. In our “Layout Guides” series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes, from square-shaped to narrow to just plain awkward. This week we take on the long, open living/dining room layout to work for lounging and entertaining.
If your home has an open-flow living/dining room set up, you might be wondering how to make the best use of the space. Here are two living dining room layout ideas that help create a distinct dining room ‘zone’ and a comfy, functional lounge/entertainment space.
The Space: 13×18 open living / dining room
The Style: Refined Rustic
The Challenge: Designing a long, open living / dining room area with a distinct dining zone, adequate seating, and functional traffic flow.
Idea #1 – The Comfy Sectional Open Living Room Layout
Idea #1 for our open living/dining room layout is all about creating a home space that feels relaxed and inviting. It creates two distinct areas, one for formal dining and one for kicking back and hanging out. This is a great setup for family and informal, low-key gatherings.Shop This Room
A sectional sofa offers lots of comfy places for families to gather ‘round, chat, and watch TV together. The leather ottoman can even be used as extra seating for big gatherings. It also doubles as a kid-friendly coffee table (no sharp edges = no owies!). To top it off, the natural fiber rug in the dining area is durable and can stand up to heavy use.
Because the sofa’s back is floating in the middle of the room, we have space to add a clever console that provides extra shelving and places to tuck away odds and ends. The living room bookcase is also an attractive way to showcase books and other display items. You can also use baskets and bins for extra storage.
The sectional sofa, ottoman, and armchair grouping provide plenty of comfy seating options that make for an easy place to gather and chat. This set up makes TV viewing easy but the TV isn’t the main focus of the room.
This Is Great If You…
- Like a comfortable living space with a more laid-back seating area for your family to sprawl out.
- Want a clearly differentiated living and dining area.
- Prefer a living space where the main focus isn’t always the TV.
- Need some kid-friendly storage that doesn’t clutter up your space.
Idea #2 – Formal Living Room Layout
Idea #2 for the open living/dining room layout creates a more cohesive flow between the living room and dining room. If you are all about entertaining, use the open space to create a sophisticated living area that encourages conversation. Guests can wander between rooms or you can move chairs from the dining area to the living room for extra seating when you need it.Shop This Room
Devised for Entertaining
This layout features two sofas facing each other, which create a seating area that’s conducive to conversation and cocktail gatherings. The formal layout, with its symmetrical sofas, also gives the seating area a roomier feel and a more open flow.
This allows the living and dining areas to feel more connected, which is ideal for larger gatherings as guests can mingle in both rooms.
The two sofas offer plenty of seating for guests to interact with each other, not just face the TV. The two poufs also can double as extra seating or even side tables in a pinch! And, if you’re really in a bind, you can even pull the dining chairs into the living room for even more extra seating.
This Is Great If You…
- Love hosting small and large groups at your place.
- Prefer gatherings to be centered around conversation rather than TV.
- Enjoy hosting dinner parties that start with cocktails and transition to a seated meal.
- Want the living room and dining room to seamlessly flow together.
- Hate clutter – this layout is elegant and organized with no room for a mess.