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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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