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Layout Guide: Two Options for a 12 x 12 Living Room

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! Here, we’re breaking down the essentials for a 12×12 living room layout.

12x12 Living Room Layout

The Space: A 12×12 Living Room

The Challenge: This small living room design has to factor in big windows, a square floor plan, room for functional storage, and comfy (and compact!) furnishings for lounging and entertaining.

But how do you arrange a 12×12 room? What fits in a 12×12 room? Is there a way to make a 12×12 room feel bigger?

First, consider your lifestyle needs and how you see yourself using the room every day. From there, think carefully through your furniture layout—a clever use of functional pieces is key when working with any small space. Finally, get specific about the color palette and style aesthetic you want to play up in your 12×12 living room.

To inspire you and provide some guidance, we’ve come up with two different layouts for a 12×12 room that are, each of them, stylish, practical, and insanely comfortable. Scroll down to see our layout ideas along with tips for bringing your own small living space to life!

Also, don’t forget to read this square living room layout guide and check out our living room checklist for tips on finding the right small-space furniture. Want more inspo? Explore our gallery of living room design ideas!

12x12 Living room design with open seating area and bistro table

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Layout Idea #1: The Cozy All-Purpose Den

In this layout approach, the small living room is a combo lounge, family room, and guest room all in one. The layout optimizes space with furniture placed along the walls and moveable accent pieces floating in the middle of the room. With a sleeper sectional, a console cabinet, and a set of chairs and table lining three walls, the space feels open yet inviting and extra cozy.

This layout approach is a great way to create a ‘formal’ living room that can still be used for casual lounging or hosting overnight guests. It’s high style and high function for a small home.

12x12 Living room design with open seating area and bistro table

How To Make It Work

Aim for a double-duty sectional. A large sectional that pulls out into a sleeper bed is a stylish way to make the most of a small 12×12 living room. Sleeper sectionals have an extra comfy look and feel, so they’re a great option if you want to play up a cozy vibe in your living space. At the same time they’ll also turn your living space into a multipurpose den. It’s a win win!

12x12 living room bistro seating area

Add in moveable accent pieces. To balance out a large sectional in a small living room, you’ll want to pull in versatile accent pieces. The two poufs in this layout act as a coffee table, footrest and extra seats for kids but can easily be moved when you need to pull the bed out of the sectional. Similarly, the bistro table and chairs near windows provide a stylish spot for entertaining, enjoying coffee or cocktails, or setting up a laptop for work, but can easily be rearranged to make more room if needed.

12x12 Living Room Layout

Create a focal point with storage. Combining function and style is key in a small living room. Here, the long console cabinet offers tons of hidden storage for extra blankets for guests and everyday living room essentials, and the round mirror helps open up the room and reflect light. Together, they make for a captivating focal point in the room while serving a practical purpose.

12x12 Living Room Layout

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Layout Idea #2: The Relaxed Rec Room

With this layout approach, the small space is divided into two zones using living room furniture that’s carefully arranged. At one end of the room, a TV with a media stand anchors the space; and opposite of that, a floating sofa and settee define the main seating area for lounging. Additionally, to optimize floor space, a tall standing cupboard behind the sofa offers storage while making use of vertical space.

With this zoned approach, you can have a practical TV viewing rec room in a small space without it feeling closed off or cluttered, both visually and physically.

12x12 living room with leather loveseat and armoire

How To Make It Work

Think small-scale, big function. To keep a small living room feeling open and airy, try floating an apartment-size sofa (under 80” in length). It’s the easiest way to zone out a seating area without it overwhelming the space. Then, mix it with other moveable pieces, like poufs and side tables. They’re light and easy to move, so they can be pulled up to the sofa as a surface for a drink or as a footrest whenever you need them. With a small living space, it’s about grouping functional pieces together to create a comfy seating space.

12x12 Living Room Layout

Ground your space with a rug. When creating different zones in a small space, you’ll want to unify your furnishings and designs visually with a rug. Try using a neutral rug or a natural-fiber one across your TV stand and sofa as a grounding element. Here, the rug also helps with the flow of the room by keeping the walking space behind the sofa feeling open.

Living room in contemporary boho design with tv media area

Streamline focus with storage. Small spaces can feel cluttered quickly, so keeping extra items concealed is essential for a calming environment. So opt for a long and low TV console with closed storage that lets you easily store cords, books, and other living room accessories out of sight but still within easy reach. This will help minimize the visual clutter in the room. To add to the clean-lined look, keep the walls around your TV minimally decorated also.

Check out more Small Living Room Design Ideas!

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Layout Guide: Three Ways to Design a 10×10 Living Room

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 tackling 10×10 living room layouts.

10x10 living room layout

The Space: A 10×10 Living Room

The Challenge: This small living room has the constraints of including an entryway and a doorway into another room, which limits where you can place furniture.

This is a commonly sized living room in smaller family homes and apartments. But the fact that it includes a window, an entryway, and a doorway into another room can make landing on living room layouts more challenging. Plus, the layout you choose will depend on how you want to use this space.

Keep reading to explore three different ways to approach this 10×10 living room layout—along with some small living room design tips—to help you explore the possibilities in your own home! Bonus: despite the small footprint, each of these three living room ideas includes all the essentials in our living room furniture checklist.

Need help with your room’s layout or needs some additional living room design ideas? Modsy designers can help! See your exact room—expertly designed in 3D—like these designs below.

glamorous living room and home office

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Layout Idea #1: 10×10 Living Room with a Home Office

Just because you have a small living room doesn’t mean you can’t make it work for multiple purposes. In this living room furniture layout, we not only included a seating area with a sofa and accent chair, but we also made room for a small desk for someone who has to work from home but doesn’t have a separate home office.

10x10 living room layout

How to Make It Work

small awkward living room

Include a small desk for an at-home workspace. To utilize the small wall space between the entryway and hallway, we chose a desk that perfectly fits along that wall. It’s not a huge workspace—but the desk is just big enough to house a laptop, and it includes an internal drawer for storage.

The floating shelf above the desk provides additional storage for the work area without taking up floor space. And, pairing the desk with a clear, acrylic chair helps to reduce visual clutter in this small space.

10x10 living room layout

Work in some hidden storage. Since this living room layout doesn’t leave space for any storage furniture, we opted for a coffee table that offers some hidden storage inside—a favorite small space storage hack that tops the list of our small apartment furniture checklist. It’s also round, making it easier to walk around by eliminating sharp corners.

Reduce clutter (but not style!) by keeping decor to your walls. In terms of decor, the accents are mostly on the walls, so as not to clutter up the few surface spaces in this living room.

  • The floor mirror helps to reflect light around the small space, giving it a sense of openness and airiness.
  • The tall floor lamp illuminates light upward, helping to further open up the room.
  • And a piece of statement wall art, as well as a patterned rug add a stylish, chic point of view to the space.
  • We also included a hanging plant to bring some texture and greenery into the space.

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Layout Idea #2: Living Room With TV Viewing

This living room layout is centered on TV-viewing, reading, and just lounging and relaxing. The sectional sofa adds a comfortable place to lounge, and it faces the television, which is perfect for movie nights. But there’s also plenty of space for storage, organization, and other activities.

10x10 living room layout

How to Make It Work

10x10 living room layout

Choose an artfully placed sectional for optimal lounging. The sectional has a smaller footprint than some, and by having it nestled in a corner, it doesn’t take up as much space in the room. But it’s still big enough for several people to lounge on while watching a movie.

10x10 living room layout

Incorporate plenty of storage to maximize your space. The media stand is stylish, while also providing ample hidden storage. And a wall-mounted bookcase takes up less floor space and provides open storage while utilizing vertical space in the room. (No matter the room, wall-mounted bookcases are among our favorite small space hacks for the storage they offer while taking up minimal floor space!)

10x10 living room with a workout space

Give yourself the flexibility to embrace a multifunctional space. The open rattan coffee table is airy, keeping the space visually open. It’s also very lightweight and easy to move around. We love this living room idea, as it allows you to shift the coffee table out of the way for at-home workouts, whether they’re self-directed or a group class you’re streaming on your TV!

living room with leather sofa and bookcase wall

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Layout Idea #3: Conversational Lounge Living Room

This living room layout is geared toward entertaining, conversations, and lounging. With multiple seating options and a bit more space to spread out, this layout is perfect for game nights, happy hours, and long conversations.

small awkward living room

How to Make It Work

Establish a conversational layout. The deep sofa fits several people, with the lounge chair facing it for a conversational layout. We also included an extra ottoman next to the sofa, which can be used either as a side table or a makeshift extra seat, depending on your needs.

10x10 living room layout

Make use of vertical space. The wall-mounted bookcase is the perfect way to utilize wall space and ceiling height in this living room. We styled it with decor and books—but also a mini bar set-up housed on a few of the shelves, which is perfect for entertaining.

10x10 living room layout

Keep the energy flowing. The oblong coffee table provides ample surface area for snacks and drinks without being bulky or impeding on walking space and flow throughout the room.

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