Tips for Tackling 4 Common Living and Dining Room Layout Designs

living room plus dining room designHaving a connected living room plus dining room design in your home can be a wonderful setup for hosting dinner parties, gatherings, holiday meals, or just everyday family dinners. This design usually means that the rooms share a big or small space and blend into one another. It’s one of the best floor plans for entertaining, but it also requires a savvy furniture layout that allows for a comfortable dining room as well as a seating area in the living room.

If you’re struggling with how to find the best floor plan for your living room plus dining room design, you’re definitely not alone! Designing floor plans like this can be a challenge. Check out some of the following suggestions for handling this interior design conundrum, then see how we tackle 4 common living room and dining room layout struggles!

How can I decorate my living room and dining room?

The short answer: any way you want! Get creative with your interior design choices so you have a living and dining room area that feels welcoming and works with your routine! We recommend picking a cohesive style as a launching point for both spaces so they don’t feel at odds with each other. Consider furniture styles, materials, and color palette—they don’t have to be matchy-matchy, but it will look best if they complement each other.

Style impacts function, so consider your home dwellers (i.e young kids or pets?) and how you want to use the space (i.e. large dinner parties or family movie nights?).

How do you paint a living room dining combo?

When a living room and dining area are a 2-for-1 deal, it’s always best to paint them both in the same color. If you want to really differentiate one space from another, choose an accent wall in one room or paint multiple walls. Just be sure to avoid too many different colors or it will start to look like a circus! Also, consider the color of furniture pieces and be sure to use these accents in both rooms to tie the spaces together.

living room plus dining room designHow do you approach the layout in a living-dining combo?

First, consider the flow of the room. Which other areas of the house lead into this space? Most importantly, where is the kitchen? It’s usually a good idea to lay out your dining room open to the kitchen so you can easily transport food, dishes, etc. in and out.

Also, consider how you plan to use each room. Is your dining room going to be used for entertaining? In that case, it’s great to have it flow right into an open living room so guests can mingle throughout the space. If you want your living room to be a dedicated chill-out space, start with foundational furniture (sofa + TV stand) and once you have those pieces in place, you can build out from there.

Take a look at these 4 living room and dining room layouts to help brainstorm more ideas about your space!

Open Living Dining Room with a Kitchen

The Challenge: Designing an open space with easy flow and multiple focal points

The Layout: TV viewing + conversational living room

This living room is all about lounging and relaxing on comfy furniture! It features a fireplace + TV as focal points of the living area. The open space has space for all the right furniture—sectional plus two armchairs so your guests can spread out and the family won’t have to fight over seats.

The dining space is adjacent to the kitchen, which is a huge bonus! There’s no interior design law that says the kitchen and dining area must meet, but think about carrying a platter of food or dirty plates back and forth—it just makes sense to have them close together!

The Key Elements:

This living and dining room has an excellent furniture layout that uses a “floating sofa” to define the spaces. The sofa back acts as a wall that creates two zones so it’s easy to maintain separate vibes if you want to. We opted for round furniture (coffee table, side table, and dinner table) because it tends to open up small spaces where flow through the room is a concern.

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Long and Narrow Open Living Dining Room

The Challenge: Creating a formal open living/dining room in a long, narrow space

The Layout: Formal entertaining living-meets-dining spaces

This layout starts with spaces that are distinctly separated, but flow together visually. We started by arranging the living room furniture to create a formal, conversational vibe. The space features two sofas, symmetrically placed on either side of the fireplace. This setup makes the roaring fire the focal point and conversation area. Plus, you have a bar cart in the corner for easy entertaining.

The dining and living room are separate but aligned and we wanted to make sure we kept the design uniform. The dining table placed perpendicular to sofas helps define a separate dining area and creates a buffer between the kitchen and living room.

The Key Elements:

Both the living and dining room have beautiful antique rugs to help “zone” the space—each room is grounded on its own rug. The rectangular tables keep this look super formal and direct traffic flow without disrupting the cohesive styles.

Two woven poufs at the end of the living room allow for additional seating without crowding the narrow living space. They are great for entertaining as you can keep them in front of the fire and move around as needed! The pale blues and neutrals create an elegant palette and keep the space feeling open and sophisticated

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The Oversized Living Room + Dining Room

The Challenge: Designing a huge open living-dining room with lots of windows

The Layout: Completely distinct living and dining spaces

Totally distinct living room and dining room floor plans like this are great for a vacation home where lots of people gather at once! The defining piece of furniture in this living room and dining room setup is the 3-piece sectional sofa—this seating area can fit the whole family with space for all in your in-laws and more!

The Key Elements:

The large sectional also creates a triple focal point living room, with seating facing toward the TV, toward the fireplace, and toward the dining room. This layout creates a cozy nook in this large open space—and did we already say LOTS of seating?? We complemented it with this circular coffee table which doesn’t hinder flow through space.

The round dining table in the dining area is also great for family gatherings—it fills the 5 walls of this “slanted room” without drawing attention to the funky shape like a boxy table might. Plus, the circular shape creates flow, directing traffic from the kitchen and dining area. It’s a great setup for family meals, easy conversation, and creates lots of space for passing food around the table.

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Split-Level Open Living And Dining Room

The Challenge: Creating a cohesive look for a small split-level living plus dining room

The Layout: Low-key living room and elevated dining space

This look takes the dining room to the next level! The spaces are distinct enough to warrant their own vibe, but we love how they line up next to each other to make for an easy transition from one to the other. After dinner, you and your guests can wander down to the living room for TV viewing in the lower level!

The Key Elements:

In this layout, the living room furniture serves to partition off the living area. The arc floor lamp provides ambient overhead light and the console behind the sofa helps orient you in the space. The sofa also offers a view of the TV and window.

The blue accent wall on the top-level adds visual depth and creates a cozy, tucked in the dining room area. It also pulls the eye into the dining room so you get to take in the unified palette of both spaces at once.

A circular, 4-top table is perfect for a small family and cozy, intimate dinners with friends. The closed credenza adds extra storage so you don’t have to worry about this living and dining room looking unkempt!

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kids room layout

Layout Guide: 2 Fun & Functional Kids Room Layout Ideas

kids room layout

In our Layout Guides series, you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. This week we take on the challenge of designing a kids’ room with an L-shaped layout so that it’s fun, functional, and for the long haul. 

The Space: An L-shaped kids’ bedroom with an alcove

The Style: Modern Eclectic (with a youthful twist!)

The Challenge: Maximizing an L-shaped floor plan in a kids’ room so that it’s fun and functional!

For a family home with children or teens, one of the most exciting spaces to design is your kids room. Why? Because it’s a space that lets you explore fun ideas with your kids and bring in furniture that’s colorful and even maybe a little unexpected.

Before you get to the decorating, though, having clear ideas about your kid’s bedroom layout is essential. You want to make sure you’ve thought through the major questions like ‘Where will the bed go?’ and ‘Do we need more storage outside of the closet?’ or ‘Should we get a desk for them now?’

To provide a little guidance on that front, we came up with an L-shaped kids’ bedroom design and devised two layouts that make the most of the space. Take peek below at our stylish and practical bedroom layouts and pick up our tips for designing your own kids’ bedroom at home.

kids room layoutLayout Idea #1: The Playful Hangout Pad

With this kids’ room layout, the primary focus was to create a bright space that’s upbeat and all about relaxing. Keeping those ideas in mind, we divided up the L-shaped floor plan into two distinct areas, with the bed and reading nook on one side and storage on the other.

To make clear that the bed and reading corner should be viewed as one zone, we connected those spaces using a palette of rainbow hues, from the textured rugs to the multi-colored hanging garlands.

While we didn’t hold back on the bright and whimsical use of color, we made sure to keep the furnishings clean-lined and minimalist, from the spacious dresser that’s seamlessly tucked away to the bed and nightstands that are both child and teen-friendly.

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kids room layoutWhy This Bedroom Layout Works

Functional Spacing. The smart division of the L-shaped layout into two separate spaces for sleep and storage make this kids’ room perfect for a child and teenager alike. The position of the bed facing the reading nook and the colorful rugs used in those areas emphasizes this delineation of spaces in a way that still looks and feels visually cohesive, open, and airy.

Practical Mixed With Poppy Pieces. Like any other room in the home, the kids’ bedroom needs a balanced mix of fun and hardworking furniture. Instead of focusing on only kids’ furnishings, this space brings together a clean-lined bed, chairs, tables and storage pieces that will grow with your child or teenager. Always start with those foundational pieces and the layer in the color.

Clever Use Of Bright Colors. The vibrant rugs under the bed and seating area are great examples of a versatile approach to bright colors in a kids’ bedroom design. The primary colors in the rugs are a great jumping-off point for the colorful pillows, the art, and the colorful garlands that were brought into the room. But what’s key is that all of these colorful accessories, rugs included, can be easily swapped out as needed, or when you or your kid get tired of it.

kids room layoutWill This Layout Work In Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Want a light, bright kids’ bedroom design that’s fun and colorful but not overly kids’ themed
  • Like the idea of a kids room layout that can easily be restyled over the years to easily incorporate everything from new colors to more grown-up accents
  • Have a small child or preteen and you want to set up their space and invest early on in furniture that’s going to last for years, like a bed that they can grow into
  • Are keen on giving your kid a space of their own where they can read, play, and kick back with friends as they get older

kids room layoutLayout Idea #2: The Streamlined Sleep-Work Space

For this kids room layout, we optimized the floor plan by creating three different functional areas for sleep, work, and play. The main ideas we had for this layout were to create a mini live-work studio-style bedroom space that’s perfect for a preteen or teen.

To start, we positioned the bed horizontally in the L-shaped layout, which helped turn the main area in the room into a space in and of itself. We then transformed the nook into a small study area and made the last recess area a storage and art display space.

We leaned into the mid-century modern look when it came to the furniture and made sure to also bring in streamlined white office furniture, which was key to setting apart the work area from the rest of the bedroom.

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Why This Bedroom Layout Works

Well-Designed Zones. The sleep, work, and play zones are a smart use of the L-shaped layout and they make this kids’ room the perfect multipurpose space for any child or teenager. The gray accent wall-backed bed area feels cozy and almost separate from the more streamlined office nook. Meanwhile, the dressing area with the storage piece doubles as a hangout spot as needed. These all add up to spaces that are comfy and practical on their own as well as all together.

A Curated Contemporary-Boho Mix. The furniture mix is anything but juvenile and more and more we’re seeing that trickle into kids’ bedroom designs. At the end of the day, your kid’s bedroom will also be their personal hideout and home for a handful of years, so choose pieces that inspire and sit well with them. The mix of mid-century wood pieces, like the bed and dresser, the sleek white desk and bookcase, and the neutral-hued rugs and accents all give it an eclectic look and a thoughtfully curated boho vibe.

Strong Neutrals That Last. If you’re not one for kiddy themes and lots of colors, go with tried-and-true neutrals. Lean into warm woods, gray textures, and white tones, all of which will instantly make any kid’s room feel elevated but still fun. The key is to go with classic furnishings with hues that will give you a versatile and long-lasting foundation to build from and on top of over many years. If you’re drawing a blank with ideas for color, this is always a foolproof approach. You can always layer in bits of color, like a geometric rug, cool art, or funky pillows.

Will This Layout Work In Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Want a kids’ bedroom design that looks and feels sophisticated and has grown-up furniture that’s stylish and functional, like the rest of your home
  • Like the idea of giving your child a live-work space that they can call their own and treat as their personal haven
  • Prefer a kids’ room where the bed isn’t the dominating piece of furniture in the entire space
  • Enjoy the rustic, boho, modern mix and want to bring that aesthetic to your kids’ space without it feeling overdone

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Layout Guide: 2 Ideas for a super large master bedroom

In our “Layout Guides” series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. Finding the right layout for your room can be the trickiest part of interior design! This week we’re looking at two different ideas for a super large master bedroom with tons of open space.

  • The Space: A huge, open master bedroom
  • The Style: Classic Rustic and Industrial Rustic
  • The Challenge: Designing a master bedroom layout that makes use of all the open space.

Your bedroom might not get a ton of foot traffic, but it is where you do most of your important work—sleeping and recharging for the day ahead! Designing a master bedroom layout can be hard with a small bedroom—but it can be even more challenging with a super large bedroom! All that open space can feel daunting… But with a little creativity, you can find a master bedroom layout that makes use of all the open space. Check out these 2 ideas for a super large master bedroom and get some ideas for yours!

Large BedroomMaster Bedroom Layout Idea #1: Seating and Sleeping Areas

Master bedroom layout #1 blends rustic design with a very classic formal look. It’s an eclectic twist that creates a really cozy, yet elegant look in the bedroom. It has a cottage vibe with tons of rustic materials, traditional style furniture, and lots of classic underpinnings to make it more stately. The soft textures and rustic accents make it an easy, breezy feminine space with plenty of countryside charm.

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The key elements:

Queen Bed along the short wall. We chose to put the queen bed on the short wall vs the super long wall. This helps section off the room and create a cozier sleeping space – and there’s still room for 2 nightstands on either side of the bed.

Lots of storage. With a room as large as this, there’s no reason not to have ample storage! We used two full dressers and an armoire. That way you have plenty of space to tuck away your wardrobe, unused bedding, laundry, etc. and keep your bedroom clean and tidy.

Seating area. This master bedroom layout also features a cozy reading/conversation nook. This is a great addition to any bedroom and gives you a space to relax that is in a totally different zone. The rugs help separate the space so you feel like you have two rooms in one.

Will this layout work for you? Yes if you…

  • Love soft, feminine vibes with a touch of rustic charm and elegance.
  • Need a bedroom escape full of relaxing, calming energy and color scheme.
  • Want two distinct areas in your bedroom—one for sleeping and one for reading/relaxing.
  • Need extra storage to make your room clutter-free, crisp, and oh-so clean.
  • Want your window view unobstructed for maximum sunlight and views.

Master Bedroom Layout Idea #2: Bedroom with a Home Office

Master bedroom layout #2 features a more industrial take on rustic style. This design is slightly edgier, offering a more masculine version of the rustic look. It uses raw, rugged materials, like metal and unfinished wood, to give it a cozy, cabin-like feel with a downtown twist.

All the furniture features a contemporary vibe, with sharp angles, straight lines, and no decorative ornament to be found. The bold patterns and high contrast color palette help add visual texture and make the overall style feel tailored and cohesive.

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The key elements:

Bed on the long wall. Placing the bed in front of the windows on the long wall leaves the entire front of the room wide open for other purposes. This is better if you like your sleeping spot tucked away from the main entrance for a more secluded vibe.

TV viewing. Having the bed positioned here is also ideal for TV viewing against the opposite wall. We opted against using a tall bed frame for this layout so it wouldn’t block any light or view from the window.

Desk area. This layout left plenty of space in the front of the room for a desk/work area—perfect if you need a home office and don’t have a separate room for it. We used a leaning wall shelf with a built-in desk to stay in line with the minimalist look, but there’s enough room for any desk of your choice! Just try to steer clear of heavy, clunky furniture with a style like this.

Tons of storage. The master bedroom layout also allows for tons of storage in addition to the desk. We were able to fit two dressers in addition to the nightstands, desk, and even some extra seating with the bench at the end of the bed!

Will this layout work for you? Yes if…

  • You want to watch TV in bed. The bed is ideally situated across from the TV for watching your favorite shows before the lights go off.
  • Want distinct areas in your space. Here two area rugs create two rooms in one—a sleeping area and a workspace.
  • You love raw materials and minimal ornamentation.
  • Cool, high-contrast industrial spaces are your jam. Bonus points if you love anything that makes a bold statement!

Need help with your master bedroom layout?

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narrow living room

Layout Guide: 1 Narrow Living Room, 2 Perfectly Comfy Designs

In our Layout Guides series you’ll find layout ideas and solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. This week we take on the challenge of designing a narrow living room to work for lounging and entertaining.

Moving tips – plan your layout

Narrow Living Room Layout Ideas

The Space:  A 12’ x 24’ narrow living room that gets lots of light and is the main spot for relaxing and entertaining.

The Challenge:  Maximizing the small and narrow space to accommodate a comfortable sofa for lounging and watching TV. There also needs to be a dining area for entertaining, but the two spaces should feel distinct from each other.

Idea #1: The Laid-Back Lounge Layoutnarrow living room

Layout idea #1 puts emphasis on a comfortable main living area with lots of small-space seating. The layout creates a lounge-y vibe inside the narrow living room and encourages conversation as well as TV watching. The design features lots of versatile pieces and can easily be rearranged for different uses. A compact dining set-up near the kitchen makes for a great spot for low-key entertaining with a few guests.

With this layout approach, entertaining is centered around the main sofa area while the mix of small space-friendly furnishings help create a cozy feel in the room.

narrow living roomWhy It Works:

  • The custom sofa fits perfectly along the shorter wall and makes the most of the narrow living room.
  • The round table is perfect for the small dining area right by the kitchen counter. This layout creates a natural flow that’s great for hosting sit-down dinners.
  • There’s lots of extra versatile seating that can be moved around. The petite side chairs by the windows are easy to rearrange and the poufs can even pinch-hit as footstools or cocktail tables.
  • It’s easy to create multiple focal points with art in the room’s different “zones.” Hang art and wall decor that go with each space and add major visual interest.

narrow living roomThis is Great If You…

  • Like a space with a more laid-back seating area that’s conducive to conversation and cocktail gatherings.
  • Prefer a living space where the main focus isn’t always the TV.
  • Usually only have a few people over at a time and enjoy smaller gatherings and dinners.
  • Need a space that’s compact but flexible with versatile furnishings that are easy to move around and swap out over time.

See the layout in 360!

Idea #2: The Formal Entertaining Layoutnarrow living room

Layout idea #2 takes lounging and entertaining into full consideration. Dedicated living and dining areas can comfortably accommodate a big crowd. The furnishings are arranged in a more formal manner with a very open flow that optimizes the narrow living room for TV viewing.

In this layout, the furniture setup gives the illusion that the space is larger than it seems since it includes a true dining space as well as a large TV console that fits perfectly across from the seating area.

narrow living room

Why It Works:

  • We arranged the sofa along the longer wall, which gives the seating area a roomier feel and a more open flow.
  • The large glass-top dining table seats six and provides a formal entertaining space in the apartment — even if it’s slightly farther away from the kitchen in this layout.
  • We positioned the TV console directly across from the seating area here, making the space perfect for movie nights and lots of Netflix binges with friends.
  • Fewer but larger pieces give the space a more decorated look and feel.

narrow living roomThis is Great If You…

  • Are all about having friends over whenever you can for movie marathons and Bachelorette viewing parties.
  • Love long affair dinner parties that start with cocktails and move on to a multi-course meal.
  • Want a space that has a more grown-up aesthetic with investment pieces that have a timeless quality to them.
  • Like a space where everything has its designated place and purpose — but still looks stylish and uncluttered.

See the layout in 360!

 

Looking for layout ideas for your narrow living room?

open living space layout ideas

Layout Guide: 1 Open Living Space, 2 Perfectly Family-Friendly Layouts

In our Layout Guides series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. This week we take on the challenge of finding open living space layout ideas that work for a kid- and pet-friendly home.

open living space layout ideasOpen Living Space Layout Ideas

The Space: A 18 x 20 open living space that gets lots of natural light and is the first space everyone walks into when they enter the home—which means it sees a lot of foot traffic.

The Challenge: Devising open living space layout ideas that are both kid- and pet-friendly. Don’t forget to include the fireplace and make sure the room can comfortably accommodate a big crowd for TV viewing.

Idea #1: The Open Flow Layoutopen living space layout ideas

Layout idea #1 focuses on a classic family-room setup. This layout makes the room feel open and encourages flow through the space. The furniture is arranged in a way that allows for comfortable TV viewing but also leaves floor space in between to accommodate lots of foot traffic (kids running around, pets lounging).

With this layout approach, it’s all about ease and versatility as well as working in lots of low, convenient storage.

open living space layout ideasWhy It Works:

  • The sofa and chair combo makes for a cozy but casual arrangement with two different seating options. This pairing also leaves lots of open space in the living area that provides a nice flow.
  • The leather sofa makes for comfy seating that’s both kid- and pet-friendly—any spills can be easily wiped off. It also stands up to wear relatively well and ages with a nice patina over time.
  • A graphic outdoor rug used indoor in this living space provides a durable foundation that’s easy to clean in the event of wine spills, spaghetti mishaps from kids, and dirty paws.
  • No sharp corners on the round coffee table makes it the perfect kid-friendly centerpiece. It also has hidden storage compartments for remotes, tech gadgets, and any extra toys.
  • Striped woufs (poufs for pets) create a designated spot for pets. Even better that these floor pillows can easily be moved around as needed.

This is Great If You…

  • Are looking for a layout that is more laid-back with an easy flow that connects the space to the rest of home.
  • Want to have a fuss-free hub in the home where your family can gather all the time to watch TV and relax.
  • Enjoy entertaining and having friends and family over for low-key movie and game nights. This arrangement leaves you lots of floor space for people to gather and lay out casually.
  • Want a space where your kids and pets can easily move around and play.

See the layout in 360!

Idea #2: The Parallel Layoutopen living space layout ideas

Layout idea #2 opts for a more formal furniture arrangement that makes it more of a conversation space. Matching sofas are placed facing each other, giving the living space a more structured layout.

This layout approach is designed for a space that has timeless appeal and is meant to last for years to come. It also keeps the TV from becoming the main focus of the space.

open living space layout ideasWhy It Works:

  • Two parallel sofas set this space up to be a conversation area with a formal layout that never goes out of style.
  • Sofas covered in kid-friendly fabric makes for pieces that not only look stylish, but are also practical and can stand the test of time. This makes them great investment pieces.
  • An indoor/outdoor rug ups the durability factor in this space. The pattern also helps keep the formal feel of the space.
  • Leather pieces, like the cocktail ottoman and a cowhide rug, are soft to the touch but can also handle some wear over time.
  • The plush ottoman replaces a coffee table for the ultimate kid- and pet-friendly piece.

open living space layout ideasThis is Great If You…

  • Are looking for a formal living space that’s clearly defined with a furnishings and a sofa setup that feels more grown up.
  • Enjoy a living space that’s not solely dedicated to TV watching but can be an entertaining space for family and friends.
  • Don’t need too much storage in your living space and would rather use it as a place for reading, lounging, and having conversations.
  • Have kids that are no longer toddlers but still jump on the couch and run around (hence the kid-friendly fabrics).

See the layout in 360!

 

Looking for open living space layout ideas for your home?

long and narrow room

Layout Guide: 1 Long and Narrow Room, 2 Comfy Solutions

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 the square-shaped to the narrow to the just plain awkward, this is your one-stop shop for layout ideas that work.

long and narrow room

If you’ve got a long and narrow room, you might feel like you’re stuck with only one layout option. And while it’s true that awkward spaces leave you with fewer design options, you’re far from out of luck! With a little planning, narrow spaces can have huge potential. This week see how we tackle a narrow family den with two clever and comfy layout ideas.

Long and Narrow TV Room

The Homeowners: A couple and their 9-month-old baby and family dog.

The Space: A 7×15 foot den that’s long and narrow with two walls of windows. It’s right off the entry, so it’s open on one side to the rest of the home.

The Challenge: Turning the long and narrow room into a comfortable and functional TV den that includes lots of seating and is kid- and pet-friendly. The catch: The TV only fits on one wall.

long and narrow roomIdea #1: The Tucked-Away TV Layout

If you don’t want Netflix binging to be the only thing you do in the space, use the long and narrow room to your advantage. Don’t stress about making the TV the focal point. Instead, create a space that’s perfect for reading, snuggling, and relaxing.

No one can say no to a large and comfy sectional, right? This one fits the long and narrow space to a T, giving the you extra seating galore!

If you enjoy winding down with a good book, glass of wine, or your favorite TV show, try this layout on in your space!

long and narrow room

Why It Works:

  • The sectional perfectly fits the dimensions of the room, giving it an extra-cozy feel.
  • Instead of a coffee table, two poufs serve double-duty as footrests and extra seating.
  • There’s room to tuck in small side tables, which make up for the missing coffee table.
  • Tucking the huge credenza under the TV makes for a kid-friendly space packed with storage!

long and narrow roomThis Is Great If You…

  • Want a family room that’s comfortable and doesn’t feel stuffy.
  • Like to spend time catching up on your favorite TV shows, but don’t want to make it too easy to fall into a day-long binge session.
  • Like to host casual game nights for a big crowd.

See the layout idea #1 in 360!

 

long and narrow roomIdea #2: The TV Viewing Layout

If you want a space that’s the real TV-viewing deal, face your sofa towards the TV. Because the room is so narrow, we swapped the sectional for a petite sofa that fits opposite the TV.

This swap turns our long and narrow room into a spacious gathering space. It’s great for watching TV and movies as well as hosting game nights or drinks for friends. There’s also a lot of flexibility to move furnishings around or bring in a few extra chairs.

long and narrow roomWhy It Works:

  • Tucking away the sofa keeps the space feeling open and airy.
  • The TV and the sofa make direct eye contact, which is the optimal layout for watching movies.
  • A round coffee table with hidden storage is both functional and kid-friendly.
  • The poufs make comfy footrests, but can also serve as places to put down a drink.

long and narrow roomThis Is Great If You…

  • Want a layout that’s flexible —practice yoga, curl up with a book, and host friends for drinks all in this space.
  • Enjoy entertaining small and large groups and need room for people to move around.
  • Need a kid-friendly space with storage for all their toys.
  • Don’t want to get a neck cramp while watching your favorite Tv shows!

See the layout idea #2 in 360!

Need help finding the best layout for your long and narrow room?

sofa or sectional

Layout Ideas: Deciding on a Sofa or Sectional For an Open Living Space

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 the square-shaped to the narrow to the just plain awkward, this is your one-stop shop for layout ideas that work.

sofa or sectional layoutThe Homeowners: A couple with a two-year-old son.

The Space: A 22’ x 25’ open living space used everyday and for everything.

The Challenge: Designing a kid-friendly space that’s also stylish, and figuring out what couch/seating layout would work best for the space – a sofa or sectional.

sofa or sectionalIdea #1: The Conversation Ring Layout

Layout idea #1 opts for a sofa with extra chairs sprinkled all around. The space feels more decorated is perfect for entertaining and conversation. This layout also helps shift the focus away from the TV as the main feature of the room.

Why It Works:

  • The sofa is perfect for low-key family nights but it can still easily accommodate lots of guests when entertaining.
  • Pulling in standalone chairs makes for a flexible layout. Easily reconfigure your layout for game night or pull a chair to another room in your home as needed.
  • The sofa frees up a lot of walking room in and around the seating area.
  • A round table checks the box for a super kid-friendly centerpiece.

sofa or sectional

sofa or sectional

This Is Great If You…

  • Enjoy having people over for drinks and conversation as opposed to movie marathons.
  • Prefer a living room that’s more open and has a slightly formal and designed look to it.
  • Want a living space that doesn’t revolve around TV-watching.

See the layout idea #1 in 360!

 

sofa or sectionalIdea #2: The Viewing Corner Layout

Layout idea #2 opts for a sectional. This helps to define the living area as a cozy corner where you can totally lounge out. the sectional also helps turn the space into a TV lounge area with a casual atmosphere.

sofa or sectional

sofa or sectional

Why It Works:

  • The sectional helps clearly delineate the seating area from the rest of the space, making it feel like a room within a room.
  • A huge tiered coffee table provides practical storage space for you to stash remotes and other tech gadgets out of sight.
  • The bigger the sectional the more pillows you can have. Pile them on for lots of cushy support!
  • This layout factors in lots of extra lighting as well, which means you can set the mood as needed.

sofa or sectional

This Is Great If You…

  • Want to have a clearly defined living space that doesn’t face the entry area.
  • Mainly use your living space for watching TV and movies with family and friends.
  • Enjoy a more laid-back and relaxed living room where you can lie down and stretch out your legs.

See the layout idea #2 in 360!

 

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layout ideas

Layout Ideas: 1 Boxy Bedroom, 2 Smart Ways to Maximize The Space

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 the square-shaped to the narrow to the just plain awkward, this is your one-stop shop for layout ideas that work.

The Space: A 150-square-foot bedroom that is square-shaped with seemingly limited furniture arrangement and design possibilities.

The Challenge: Creating a layout design for a boxy bedroom that can accommodate a queen-sized bed, dressing area, and work space with a custom desk. All while keeping the room from feeling overcrowded or dorm-like.

layout ideas

Idea #1: The L-Shaped Layout

Layout idea #1 uses what we call the L-shaped arrangement where furniture is lined up along two walls of a square bedroom. This creates a cozy corner, opens up the rest of the room, and makes the space feel less boxy.

This approach is about maximizing storage and vertical space to balance the unfurnished half of the room.

layout ideas

Why It Works:

  • The bed does not face face the door, which creates walking room and a nice flow. This layout follows the rules of good bedroom feng shui.
  • The desk by the door is the ultimate multipurpose piece. It functions as a catchall for keys and random little things, a work surface for sending emails, and a vanity for getting ready.
  • Mini dressers as nightstands give you lots of extra storage for books, sheets, and blankets.
  • Placing a bookcase in the corner makes use of vertical space for storage and takes up very little floor space.

bedroom layout ideasThis Is Great If You…

  • Are looking to design a guest room that’s more grown-up feeling. This arrangement gives the space a hotel-like look and feel.
  • Share this bedroom with another person. The layout provides enough storage and functions for two.

See the layout idea #1 in 360!

 

Idea #2: The Long Layout

Layout idea #2 is all about a sectioned approach that clearly defines sleep and work areas.

Add a sense of spaciousness to the room by lining up the bed and the desk in a row along the same wall. This also helps create good flow as soon as you walk in the door.

In this layout, there’s not a lot of storage space, but also a dedicated office area that makes the room feel like a functional live/work studio space.

bedroom layout ideas

Why It Works:

  • The desk tucked away in the corner makes a stylish office corner. This placement also takes advantage of the natural light from the window right above.
  • There’s more room for a nice comfy chair. It can be pulled up as a desk chair or moved and used as a reading chair anywhere in the room.
  • You definitely get more open floor space in with this layout since it keeps one side open with lots of walking room.

bedroom layout ideas

This Is Great If You…

  • Want a studio that has distinct spaces for all your activities, rather than feeling like one open room.
  • Don’t need a lot of space to host people in your studio apartment.
  • Live with a partner and want a space where you can cohabitate with a little more privacy and space to do your own thing.

See the layout idea #2 in 360!

 

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studio apartment layout

Small Space Ideas: 1 Studio Apartment, 2 Clever Layouts

In our “Layout Guides” series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. Often the trickiest part of designing a space, finding the right layout for your room can be a challenge. We will feature a variety of rooms – from the square, to the narrow, to the just plain awkward – outfitted with two different layouts that work.

 

If you’ve ever lived in a studio apartment, you know that while space may be limited, your design possibilities are not. This week we tackle two layouts for a square-shaped studio with an open floor plan.

Explore the two studio apartment layout ideas below and steal a few ideas for your own studio apartment!

studio apartment layout guide

The space: A 450 square foot studio apartment with a corner kitchen and two walls of windows.

The Challenge: Designing a layout that included a desk, space for TV viewing, and dining area, all while maximizing the usability of the space to make it feel open and uncluttered.

Idea #1: The Open Layout

Layout idea #1 is all about creating flow inside our studio apartment, making the space feel open, airy, and uncluttered. This setup is great for those who like to entertain and have people over often.

studio apartment layout guide

Why It Works:

  • The furniture hugs the walls, maximizing open space to create a layout that emphasizes good flow.
  • The bistro table for two in the kitchen separates the dining area from the rest of the space. This is also a great way to combat a lack of counter space (a not uncommon problem in small spaces), as the table can double as a kitchen island.
  • The bench stands in for a coffee table, but can also double as extra seating when guests come over.
  • Poufs tuck neatly away under the bench, and also work as footrests, side tables, or perches for guests or pets.
  • A triple threat, the bookcase provides extra storage, acts as a room divider, and gives privacy to the bed area.

studio apartment layout

This Is Great If You…

  • Love to entertain and host small and large gatherings in your space.
  • Live alone or don’t need a studio apartment layout that maximizes privacy.
  • Hate clutter – there’s nowhere to stash a mess in this layout.
  • Want to take advantage of a layout that maximizes extra space – for yoga, dancing, or any other activity that requires a little extra breathing room.

studio apartment layout guide

See the layout idea #1 in 360!

 

Idea #2: The Zoned Layout

By using furniture to section off – or “zone” – spaces, this studio apartment layout makes each distinct area feel like its own room. The best part is that the bed is totally tucked away in a cozy corner that feels secluded from the rest of the space.

studio apartment layout guide

Why It Works:

  • “Floating” the sofa in the middle of the room helps divide the space into distinct areas, like living/dining, bedroom and office.
  • Place the dining area by the windows to create a sunny breakfast nook vibe.
  • Tuck the bed away behind the desk area, to create a separate space with more privacy.
  • Plop the sofa directly across from the wall-mounted TV to make Netflix binges more convenient and comfortable.

studio apartment layout guide

This Is Great If You…

  • Want a studio that has distinct spaces for all your activities, rather than feeling like one open room.
  • Don’t need a lot of space to host people in your studio apartment.
  • Live with a partner and want a space where you can cohabitate with a little more privacy and space to do your own thing.

studio apartment layout guide

See the layout idea #2 in 360!

 

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awkward spaces

Layout Solutions: Clever Design Ideas for Awkward Spaces

awkward spaces

Every home comes with a few quirks, be it architectural or spatial. You’ve seen them before—the strange nook off to one side of a room, a random recessed area that just serves no purpose, or a weirdly angled corner where nothing will fit. Naturally, these tricky spaces can be a challenge to figure out in a home.

It’s no wonder then that many homeowners come to Modsy asking for help designing an awkward space in their home. Read on to see how we helped a few Modsy customers come up with clever ways to put an awkward space to use.

A Small Bedroom Nook

When it comes to odd nooks, the design possibilities are actually endless. This window area in a couple’s bedroom had a pretty view but they were stumped when it came to furnishing it. So, our stylists came up with a few ideas that gave them a new perspective on the awkward space.

awkward spaces

awkward spaces

Idea #1: Office With a View

To make the most out of a small nook, look to maximize the space, vertically. Compact furnishings that don’t take up too much floor space are key; a wall-mounted fold-out desk with a slender chair easily turned this empty spot into a petite yet practical workspace.

Idea #2: Cozy Resting Spot

You can turn any nook into a quiet retreat from the rest of a room by simply adding an ottoman and a side table. Add a small rug, like this fluffy sheepskin, to help define the space as a resting spot where you can take a break with a book on the ottoman or leaning back on the floor.

 

A Tiny Living Room Recess

Awkward built-in architectural elements might be unavoidable in some homes, but with a little ingenious rethinking, you can put these areas to practical and stylish use! For a homeowner who inherited a living space with a tiny recess area, our stylists thought up a few ways to cozy it up.

Idea #1: Tucked-Away Bar

Bar carts and tray tables come in a range of sizes and can be just the pieces you need to transform an awkwardly tight spot. Consider these spaces an extension of your living area and an opportunity to add a function that’s missing in your room – such as this bar station or a mini library with wall shelving for extra books.

Idea #2: Comfy Cubby Seat

Similarly, recessed nooks in a room can make for comfy spots for lounging if you simply pile on some pillows and deck out the walls with display shelves. Think of it as a window seat for one, where you can snuggle up with a cup of tea wrapped in a throw on lazy weekend mornings.

 

Mini Alcoves and Corners

Most homes come with a few challenging corner spots that don’t allow for much decorating. But these actually make perfect spots for getting creative with interesting design pieces. For homeowners who were at a loss with strange corners in their homes, our stylists offered up some pretty and practical ideas.

awkward spaces

awkward spaces

Idea #1: A Quiet Reading Corner

Odd corners, especially ones with sloped ceilings, seem attractive in theory but can pose a huge design challenge. Rather than trying to find the perfect art to fill your slanted wall space, try keeping it bare for once.

Instead, turn a slanted space into a reading corner with designs that make a statement. This is your chance to get bold with a bright wing chair, a cool floor lamp, or an unusual side table, which will bring focus to the corner without it feeling empty.

Idea #2: A Versatile Workspace

There seems to always be that one, awkward narrow strip of wall that either goes unused or is too small to hang a painting or a mirror. Consider more modern and modular designs like wall-mounted shelving, which not only provides lots of vertical storage space but also provides a makeshift work surface if you simply pull up a chair.

 

Need to tackle an awkward space at home?

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Layout Hacks: Our Favorite Tricks to Incorporate TV Viewing into any Living Room Layout

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 rooms were designed with that purpose in mind. Some have fireplaces, floor-to ceiling windows, or strangely angled walls that don’t lend themselves nicely to a layout that makes watching TV comfortable.

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.

 

Use the back of your sofa to define the space

TV layout

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

TV layout

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

TV layout

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

TV layout

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

TV layout

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

TV layout

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 nook below the staircase.

 

Need help finding the best layout for your living room?

Seeing is Believing: A Layout Mystery Solved

fullscreen-smallSize-content

If anything were possible, we could all design a place to live that worked perfectly for our unique lifestyles. But, alas, that’s not the case. Most of us live in spaces that have at least one perplexing aspect, whether it’s an oddly shaped room, an awkwardly placed window, or a funny little nook off the kitchen whose original purpose is a complete mystery. And in many cases, we need to make use of every square foot, no matter how puzzling.

Enter Allie and Andrew, their new house in the lovely Montclair neighborhood of Oakland, CA, and a perfect opportunity for some Modsy magic.

This young couple’s first home is a true find – great neighborhood, lots of natural light, beautiful views and loads of charming details. Here’s the main challenge: A long, narrow space that runs from the front door to the back deck that needs to multitask as living area and ideally, dining area, while still leaving entry space. Oh, and another small constraint: it also has a variety of asymmetrically-placed structural elements along the way, just to keep things interesting.

Design challenge? Modsy to the rescue! First, we did a couple of renderings of the empty space so we could assess our strategy:

Modsy 3D rendered view of empty space, toward front door, empty

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered view from overhead

Next: Identifying Allie and Andrew’s individual taste preferences with our style quiz and some initial concept boards. Here’s where their design ideals overlapped: a relaxed, inviting ambiance, calm neutrals, warm accents, natural and rustic textures with a touch of vintage and industrial elements. With this information we identified a furniture and decor collection just right for them. Now, the really fun part: creating more Modsy 3D visualizations of their space, this time with several furniture configurations to show them what was possible, and help them determine what best suited their needs. Three options – see what you think:

Option 1: Cozy sitting area by the fireplace, sun-filled sitting/lounging area with sofa that opens to the back deck.

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered overhead viewModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered front sitting area, by fireplaceModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered back sitting area, near French doors and deck

Option 2: Dining area centered on fireplace; living area with sofa centered on two side windows with easy flow to outdoors.

ModsyRendering_AA

Modsy 3D rendered overhead viewModsyRendering_AA Modsy 3D rendered dining area in front, by fireplaceModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered living area in back, by French doors and deck

Option 3: Centralized living area with loveseat and chair(s) that incorporates the fireplace but leaves plenty of entry space; dining area at back, with easy access to deck.

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered overhead view

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered living area in front, incorporating fireplace

ModsyRendering_AAModsy 3D rendered dining area in back, by French doors and deck

In addition to adding and arranging the furniture and accessories, we made a couple of changes that Allie and Andrew already knew they wanted: a soft gray wall color, and a silvery white paint to cool off the formerly smoke-blackened, brick-colored brick fireplace.


First Image: Original photo of wall color and fireplace
Second Image:  Modsy 3D rendering of new wall color and fireplace

These small color changes alone completely altered the feel of the room, providing confirmation to the couple that their instincts were right. But their biggest concern was having enough room to create living and dining areas – without the room feeling like a furniture warehouse. When they initially saw the house staged, achieving this goal seemed like a reach. Now, seeing the room in a variety of layouts, with furniture and decor that speaks to them, they have a roadmap and confidence about next steps.

Getting over the barrier of existing elements – or wide open blank spaces – opens a world of possibilities. Allowing you to see those barriers disappear, and be replaced with elements in your style, arranged in a way that fits your life is what we’re up to at Modsy. It’s a whole new way of designing a room.

Meanwhile, back in Oakland, when the moving van arrived, Allie and Andrew knew exactly where the furniture should go (Option 3, dining area near the deck). They’re also creating a prioritized list of new things to buy, well on their way to turning this house into a home. They saw it, they loved it, now they’re doing it.

Shop this Look: Rustic Modern

Pontus Sofa
Joybird, $1799

Jutte Lattice Rug
Pottery Barn, $129-$549

Foundry Coffee Table
Cisco Home, $1295

Deconstructed French Napoleonic Chair
Restoration Hardware, $1015


As Collective
One Kings Lane, $99

Fuchsia Stripes
One Kings Lane, $325 – $475

 

 

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