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3 Ways to Design a Fun and Functional Basement Family Room

For most of us, the first ideas for basements that come to mind often involve turning it into a laundry room, a media and game room, or some sort of multipurpose space that has a little bit of everything—a big sofa, a TV, substantial storage pieces, maybe even a pool table. And more often than not, it results in a room that’s all function and not exactly warm and inviting.

We get it. Many basements tend to have awkward room shapes, small windows, and low ceilings to contend with. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be transformed into a fun and functional gathering spot where the whole family can hang out and relax in comfort. In fact, with a few clever interior design ideas, basements can actually make for the perfect family room in a home.

Here, we’re providing you with 3 stylish and functional basement family room ideas along with useful tips for translating each look for your home. Find out more below!

Basement Idea #1: The Kid-Friendly Den

In this kid-friendly design layout, the basement design focus is a spacious family room that also accommodates young kids. We established two zones that include a tepee for a children’s play area as well as a large sectional that defines a gathering spot for the entire family. Here, it’s all about a communal space for relaxing that works for adults and kids alike.

An open floor plan maximizes space for spreading out:

For a family room that works for both adults and young children, an open layout that leaves tons of walking room for everyone all around is key. By clearly defining the main lounging area from the kids zone, this layout lets parents keep an eye on the little ones while they kick back or watch TV in the seating area.

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Family-friendly furniture adds to the functions of the room:

A large soft sectional paired with a round coffee table are key to keeping this room kid-proofed and safe for energetic children. The sectional also provides the ideal spot for snuggling up for family movie nights. Pull in an overarching floor lamp for a stylish and sturdy lighting source that’s perfect for storytime.

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Kids are given their own distinctive space:

You know we’re big fans of family rooms that pull double-duty as playspaces for kids. One of our favorite ways to kid-zone a living space is to set up a play tent off to the side of a room to clearly define an area that’s all theirs. The bonus is that you can also easily use it to store stuffed toys, games, and books when it’s not in use for a quick solve that keeps everyday clutter contained.

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Basement Idea #2: The Media Hub

With this layout, there’s a more elevated look and feel that’s tailored to movie-watching and entertainment. In terms of tried-and-true basement ideas that maximize space, this one does so with style to spare. Like many TV viewing layout ideas, this design emphasizes comfy seating and big storage for electronics, games, books, and everything family-room oriented.

basement family room ideasThe layout maximizes every corner for use:

The beauty of this basement design is that no square-footage is left unused. From the major shelving unit to the cleverly positioned floor lamp to the seating area that’s topped with a series of mirrors that open up the room even more. It’s about making the most of the length of the room to free up more walking space all around.

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There’s plenty of storage for beyond the room:

With a built-in shelving unit that spans an entire wall, there’s more than enough storage to accommodate all the needs of the family room and beyond. It’s a storage and entertainment center that’s an investment piece, but it gives you everything you need—a display case for books and favorite objects that’s also a cabinet that lets you conceal bigger items and clutter.

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A seating arrangement that’s made for entertainment:

The more formal leather sofa paired and the swivel side chair anchor the seating area while still leaving lots of breathing room around it. While the furnishings are less kid-friendly, they add up to a comfy gathering spot. An ottoman footstool also easily doubles as another seat as needed.

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A corner workstation makes this a triple-function space:

This quiet workspace anchored by a desk and Mid-Century-style chair adds another layer of function to the already practical room. This is an easy way to create an occasional office for wrapping up some quick emails, catching up on mail or even playing computer games.

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Basement Idea #3: The Rec Zone

If you already have a family room in the home, this game room basement design is the perfect complement to it. Think of this as the ultimate entertainment space that combines everything from the previous two layouts and then some. There’s a TV-watching lounge area that’s perfect for adults and kids alike as well as a bar area where people can gather and unwind with a drink.

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The sectional placement creates two functional areas:

With any other layout, choosing a sectional or sofa is totally up to you. But for this game room, a sectional is key since it also serves as a room divider that sets apart your conversational lounge area from your entertaining bar space. The result is two functional zones that feel distinct from each other but still appear visually cohesive in the room.

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Even the small accessories are about function:

Every accent counts when you’re working with a space that has multiple functions. Here, the versatile round coffee table allows for more walking room and baskets are totable storage pieces that can corral extra blankets and even toys if you have kids. Also look for accent furniture like a side table with a built-in lamp that adds both function and unique style.

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You get more out of not having a full built-in bar:

To keep the room’s layout free-flow and feeling airy and open, a bar cart is a moveable option that’s both space-saving and storage-friendly. You can easily tuck it into a corner for drinks or, when hosting game day parties, pull it into the lounge area as needed.

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Consoles give you an actual bar feel:

One way to up the look and feel of your bar entertainment area is to pull up matching consoles behind your sectional back. This creates an instant counter that you can stash bar stools under for a real bar vibe. This also sets up your bar space with a ledge that allows guests to comfortably watch a game or a movie while enjoying a drink.

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symmetrical balance in interior design

Interior Design Basics: How to Create Symmetry and Visual Balance in a Space

Welcome to our Interior Design Basics series, where we break down—you guessed it—the basic principles of interior design! The Basics are the building blocks of interior design that, though we don’t always talk about them, are what help a room feel more balanced, put together, and considered. Today, we’re talking all about symmetry and how you can use this design principle to create visual balance within your space.

Symmetry is a commonly used design principle that helps inform where you place furniture and decorative objects. It supports the larger idea of balance within a space, which makes a room feel more harmonious and inviting. (Other types of balance include radial and asymmetrical balance.)

Most commonly used with classic and traditional interior design styles, symmetrical interior design is used to achieve balance and order within a layout. It’s often used in conversational layouts in living rooms and, because of its mirror-imaging, it lends itself to more formal styles. (Though we definitely see the practice of symmetrical layouts across design styles.)

What is Symmetry in Interior Design?

Curious about where symmetrical design might show up? In a living room layout, it might look like two matching sofas facing each other, sconces flanking either side of a fireplace, or two pairs of chairs placed on either side of a coffee table. In a bedroom, two matching nightstands on either side of a bed is a common place for symmetry to show up. It can show up in wall art as well—either in a grid gallery wall or through two pieces of art from the same collection hung side-by-side. Symmetry is also quite common in dining rooms, where you have matching chairs on the sides and heads of the table.

Ultimately, symmetry in a room is anywhere that you have two halves of a design element facing one another so that their counterpart is equally balanced. This is achieved through the use of a single focal point, which guides how you create visual balance within the room. In a room with “perfect” symmetry, you could almost draw a line from the focal point and down the middle of the room, and each side would be a mirror image of the other.

However, symmetry isn’t restrictive—it doesn’t always mean two perfectly matching things facing one another. You can also achieve the balance that comes through symmetry with two chairs facing a sofa that are of equal or similar size and scale to the sofa, like in the image above. In this room, you can also see in the back of the room that there’s a mirror on one side of the fireplace and built-in shelves on the other. While not perfectly symmetrical, there is a sense of visual balance

Curious how you can create some symmetrical balance in interior design? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite examples to show you the many ways this design principle can come to life in your home!

Check Out 13 Ways Symmetry Can Be Put to Work in Interior Design

This layout has “perfect symmetry,” using the two facing chairs on either side of the sofa. The background, however, is laid out differently—with a bookcase on one side and a large plant on the other. It still achieves balance because the objects in the background take up equal (or at least similar) visual weight in the space.

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symmetrical balance in interior designThis classically designed room features perfect symmetry, down to the flanked sconces on either side of the mirror and the visual weight of the objects on the bookcase. Rooms with fireplaces are very well-suited to symmetrical design, since you’re designing around a common architectural feature in a space.

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symmetrical balance in interior designThis might surprise you, but symmetry in eclectic spaces is actually quite common. Here, the two chairs on either side of the sofa create symmetry in the primary layout of the room. The scene is grounded by the yellow statement sofa, while the background is balanced by the eclectic gallery wall and bookcases. (This helps create the sense of symmetry in the back of the room, even though the architecture of the space and the doorway itself aren’t perfectly centered or balanced.)

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This room may seem perfectly symmetrical at first glance—and it’s pretty close. But you’ll notice that next to the left-hand sofa there’s a sizable side table, which is balanced out by the use of the heavier cabinet in the back right side of the room. Often, in layouts like this, the asymmetrical balance is struck by objects that are diagonal from on another.

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symmetrical balance in interior designWhile this room isn’t perfectly symmetrical, the scene is still balanced. The two chairs flanking the fireplace add to the “perfect” symmetry idea while the weight of the sectional is balanced out the wingback chairs just opposite of it. Of course, the architecture has some built-in symmetry, with the fireplace and two built-in cabinets on either side. If you have this kind of architecture in your home, embrace it rather than fighting it!

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symmetrical balance in interior designThis living room has some serious symmetry—but also some definite deviations. But even where there are breaks in symmetry, there is still balance within the overall design. The pouf in the right foreground is balanced by the side table to the left of the sofa. And the large cabinet on the left is balanced by the oversized painting and baskets on the right. Also, a pair of matching square coffee tables (vs. one rectangular table) helps drive home the idea of symmetry in this space.

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symmetrical balance in interior designIn this room, symmetry shows up not only in the layout, but in the use of patterns and colors. The symmetrically balanced layout is reinforced by the patterns of the armchairs, the table lamps, and the throw pillows on the sofas. And the pops of blue throughout the room help create a sense of cohesion. The bookcases at the back of the room ground the look and reinforce the idea of a more traditional take on symmetry.

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symmetrical balance in interior designThis eclectic space is a great example of a more casual approach to symmetry. There are a lot of colors and patterns going on in this space, so you aren’t initially hit with the symmetry. But the layout is definitely driven by that sense of design balance. We love that the eclectic styling offsets the traditional aspects of symmetry in this space.

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Flanking sconces is a common method for drawing attention or adding visual balance to an area within a room. Here, you see that symmetry and balance on a TV wall. But it’s also a commonly used approach on either side of a fireplace or bed—or even an entryway table or a dining room console.

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symmetrical balance in interior designThis is a great example of traditional, perfect minimal symmetry being achieved through art, too. You can curate your art or gallery wall to be perfectly symmetrical to go along with your balanced layout.

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symmetrical balance in interior designThe two chairs in the foreground create symmetry in this living room, with the focal point being the mirror between the two windows. Meanwhile, the plant on one side of the sofa balances out the lamp and side table on the other.

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While this set-up isn’t perfectly symmetrical, the two art pieces play off of one another creating the idea of balance. Two art pieces that are the same size and either in the same style, with the same coloring, or from the same collection can give that sense of symmetry and balance without having two identical pieces of art side by side.

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In bedroom designs, symmetry is really common—even down to the pillows on the bed. You’ll often see matching nightstands, table lamps, and art or mirrors above the nightstands. (Or sconces instead of art and table lamps.) And, often, on the bed you’ll have your pillows with shams, and perhaps two more matching decorative pillows and one lumbar pillow going down the middle. Even if the rest of your bedroom isn’t symmetrical, symmetry around your bed can give you a sense of peace!

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Layout Guide: A Square Living Room Gets 2 Multi-Purpose Makeovers

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 square living room to work for hanging at home and having friends over.

If you’re like us, you probably love hanging out in your living room. It’s often the number one space in the house for entertaining and it’s usually the go-to spot for kicking back and relaxing after work. Living rooms come in a variety of spaces, but square living rooms are definitely one of the most common shapes! Just because they are common doesn’t mean they’re simple, however! A square living room has lots of possibilities when it comes to interior design.

square living room ideasHow do I set up a square living room layout?

The easiest way to come up with living room ideas (square or not) is to decide what you want to do with it. Do you use your living room just for lounging and watching TV with the fam? Maybe you love having a formal space to entertain guests? Or are you interested in a combo live-work space? You can do any of these things and more—the sky’s the limit with square living room layout ideas! All you have to do is pick one that works for you.

To offer a little design inspiration and a few decor ideas for the living room, we designed a square living room with two layouts that make the most of the space. Read on to see our fabulous and functional square living room layout ideas with tips for designing your own!

square living room ideasLayout Idea #1: The Central Seating Square Living Room

This square living room layout is all about creating a welcoming space with multi-purpose central seating. We wanted the floor plan to work as a TV room design, entertaining, watching the kids play while you’re kicking back, etc. Living room layout ideas like this are all about flexibility—which is ideal for busy households because the space is easy to navigate. Living rooms should be a stylish spot where everyone can hang out at once without getting crowded.

The main goal of this square living room layout is creating a comfortable space to kick back and relax, whether you’re entertaining, watching a movie or just reading, napping and hanging with your family. We wanted to create a central and cozy seating area with a walking zone around groups of furniture pieces. With this floor plan, the living room can serve different functions—use it as is for conversation and leisure time or swivel the chairs around to face the TV for movie night! Plus, there’s a kids play area on the floor in the corner.

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square living room ideasThe Key Elements:

Long + low profile sofa: We love the gorgeous brown leather sofa in this square living room design. It is long enough to add ample seating for relaxation and you can still see over it to view out the windows and keep an eye on the kids. It’s subtle but still properly divides the floor plan and creates a border around the seating area.

Swivel chairs: Swivel chairs are a brilliant choice when it comes to small living room ideas. These chairs add stylish accent seating as part of the conversation circle—and they can easily flip around to face the TV. They also make for cozy reading spots and are near the bookcase if you need to grab a new novel.

Large area rug: A large area rug is key to creating a distinct conversation zone in a small living room. It pulls all of the seating together and anchors the arrangement around the coffee table. It helps create a smart floor plan even though all of the furniture is floating. A great rug can instantly turn a square living room into a cozy, intimate space to chat—and it also leaves room for a separate play area.

Will This Layout Idea Work for You? Yes If You…

  • Love multi-purpose living rooms where you can read, relax, entertain friends, or watch TV!
  • Need space in your square living room where you can monitor the kids play while you get some leisure time.
  • Like cozy, intimate seating circles that make for great conversation.
  • Have a busy household and need a floor plan with easy traffic flow (i.e. no sharp edges, coffee table to bump into, etc).

Layout Idea #2: The Conversational Living Room

For this living room layout, we wanted to create a live-work space with multiple functional areas. With so many of us working from home these days, it’s nice to have a desk in a comfortable hangout space, so putting an office in the living room was a no-brainer. This square living room checks all the boxes—the sofa provides plenty of seating and the floor plan is great for conversation, relaxing, entertaining friends and getting some work done.

Our goal was to create an open but cozy square living room for relaxing. The huge sectional sofa provides ample seating for you and your guests and there is additional flexible seating as needed. The open living room has multiple uses but there is a cohesive design across the entire space. And we love the contrast of the white sofa and yellow and blue accents against a taupe wall! With a small desk tucked in the corner, you also get to use the space for work without having to feel cooped up in an office.

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The Key Elements:

Sectional sofa: This look starts with a supremely comfortable sectional sofa. We went with a sizable option that makes the room feel warm and welcoming and offers plenty of seats to relax and gather people around. It also sections off the back part of the room, creating a kind of buried den so the desk feels more private.

square living room ideas

Conversation nook: The armchairs create their own conversational area. This layout works great for multiple conversational groupings in one open space—you can also pull the chairs in closer to sectional. Plus, you get to utilize the corner of this large space, which might otherwise go empty.

Ladder desk: This ladder desk is one of our fave decor ideas for a square living room because it creates a subtle working space. It’s mounted on a wall so the “office space” doesn’t take over any of the living room. Plus, the bookcase adds open book storage, which you can use for display items.

square living room ideasWill This Layout Idea Work for You? Yes If You…

  • Invite friends over often and need a spacious floor plan for casual hangs.
  • Need a home desk / workspace and prefer working in a shared space.
  • Love to curl up in a cozy reading chair with a good book!

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Layout Guide: Two Ideas for a Long, Narrow Living Room With a Fireplace

In our Layout Guides series, you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. This week we set out to find two design solutions for a long, narrow living room layout with the added challenge of a fireplace.

The Space: A long, narrow living room with a fireplace

The Style: Rustic Southwestern

The Challenge: Creating a functional, uncrowded layout in a long, narrow living room design with a fireplace.

narrow living room design

There’s no other way around it—long, narrow living rooms are a design quandary for even the savviest decorators. Even a basic living room design requires a fair amount of design savvy to ensure that it functions well and fits everything you need. And if you are filling out a long, narrow space, you have some extra concerns to address.

When you’re designing a long, narrow living room layout, think about how you’d like to divide the space. Will you want to keep it open as one single space or divide it to have two distinct areas that flow into each other? What is the ideal layout for the functionality you need? Are you leaning toward cozy, lounge furniture or a more formal setup? It can be tricky to fit your furniture into a long room without overcrowding it—and a living room with a fireplace is even more challenging. Here we tackle a narrow living room with two totally different designs—take a peek and start brainstorming for your own space!

narrow living room designLayout Idea #1: Dual Purpose Living Room

Layout Idea #1 makes smart use of the space to create a dual-purpose living room. We sectioned the large space into distinct areas, which is a great way to maximize square footage if you have limited rooms in the house. The spaces include multiple conversation zones—the main sofa and living area, a cozy fireplace seating arrangement and a dining area. Guests can choose to kick back and cozy up by the fire or take a seat at the table and enjoy the beautiful view!

We love how this layout creates multiple zones for different uses. The intimate seating area near the fireplace is great for conversation while the seating table in the back of the space works for games/homework/crafts or as a more formal dining spot. The main focus of this layout is to break up the space to create functional and different seating arrangements that still feel cohesive and flow together.

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narrow living room designThe Key Elements:

Designing a long, narrow space is all about choosing furniture pieces that don’t overcrowd the space. The rattan chairs are the perfect size to flank the fireplace. They add cozy seating that is light and easily moveable—setting them across from the sofa also creates a warm conversation circle.

We went with the “Floating Sofa” setup, which places the sofa in the center of the room instead of up against a wall. This serves as another comfortable place to sit and it faces the chairs and fireplace for conversation and entertaining. This placement calls for a low profile sofa that divides the space into two zones without blocking the view. A round kitchen table adds additional seating and provides a place to do different activities while still being a part of the living room/conversation.

narrow living room designWill this narrow living room layout work for you? Yes if…

  • You need to maximize the use of a single living room/dining room space.
  • You like to have multiple conversations areas.
  • You want a table for games, homework, happy hour drinks, etc.

Layout Idea #2: Open Lounge

Our second layout makes the most of the big space by using the openness to create a lounge-like feel. It has lots of extra seating, making it a great layout for entertaining—guests can relax by the fireplace or on the large sectional sofa with plenty of poufs for seating galore. It also leaves a lot of floor space open for reading/games, etc.

This living room has a relaxed and luxurious lounge vibe in both distinct seating zones. You can have two separate areas to hang out, the sectional sofa and the fireplace seats, but they’re also open to each other and cohesive in style. The layout doesn’t interrupt the flow of walking through the space. The fireplace lounge area has chairs that are easy to slide over to the sectional area if you need. Either way, the sofa provides a  great area for large groups to lounge together.

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The Key Elements:

This living room looks great with the enormous “L” sectional that fills up the corner and maximizes seating. Pushed back against two walls, it creates a cozy corner without wasting any space! A furniture piece like this makes the room feel immediately inviting and also keeps a large space from feeling too sparse.

The armchairs flanking the fireplace are stylish and cozy, great for reading, intimate convos, and fireside warmth. Having another seating nook at the far end of the room means you can get a little privacy here while others hang out on the sectional. This living room layout also makes use of one of our favorite design tricks—area rugs! You can subtly “divide” the different seating zones by using rugs to visually delineate them. It divides space while keeping the design cohesive and the room extra cozy.

Will this living room layout work for you? Yes if…

  • You love to have friends over and entertain!
  • You live with kids/pets and want some open floor space.
  • Your fam likes a big space to sprawl out.
  • You like having more than one comfy space to kick back and relax.

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Tips for Tackling 4 Common Living and Dining Room Layout Designs

Having 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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rectangular living room layout

Layout Guide: A Rectangular Living Room Done Two Ways

rectangular living room layoutIn 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 rectangular living room layout with limited space. 

The Space: A tiny living room with a rectangular shape and one wall-to-wall window.

The Style: Industrial Minimal

The Challenge: Designing a rectangular living room layout with limited space that is stylish, fun, and functional.

One of the best ways to make a home feel both elegant and inviting is designing a living room layout that works for your space. If you have a rectangular living room, the right layout helps to create space to entertain guests, kick back with your family, or comfortably enjoy games and activities at home.

With two walls longer than the shorter walls, a rectangular living room can easily start to feel narrow and claustrophobic. But with a little strategic planning, you can overcome this challenge and make a rectangular living room layout feel warm, welcoming and friendly. Here’s our guide to designing a living room layout that makes the most of a rectangular space.

rectangular living room layoutLayout #1: TV-Viewing Living Room

Living Room Layout #1 is all about creating a casual, family-friendly spot where you can lounge, kick back and watch TV. The sectional sofa is placed directly across from the television for optimal viewing and extra seating. And the room feels open and airy with plenty of room to navigate around furniture.

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The Key Elements in This TV-Viewing Living Room Layout

Plenty of Seating: The large sectional sofa is a great choice for a rectangular living room layout because it offers enough space for your whole family to stretch out. The armchairs provide extra seating and can be easily moved for TV viewing or conversation. And the pouf acts as a footrest but can double as a chair when needed.

Prime TV Setup: In this design, the seating is geared toward watching TV so you won’t have to crane your neck or miss any of the action while you’re lounging! The sectional and chairs create a cozy space for chilling with a good movie or binge-watching your favorite show.

Extra Storage: The dresser against the back wall offers tons of extra storage to tuck away all your clutter. There’s also a stylish bookcase for vertical storage/display next to the TV. These storage options help make sure you can keep the room uncluttered but still have access to the things you need.

Warm and Livable: The industrial minimal style makes a great balance between fun and functional. The neutral palette with high-contrast accents is streamlined but not cold and the dark accent wall makes the space immediately cozy and inviting.

Will a TV-Viewing Layout Work in Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Need a cozy, family-friendly space to lounge.
  • Have a family that loves TV and movie time.
  • Like a sparse, stylish look that’s still warm and inviting.
  • Want extra seating on hand in case friends drop by.

rectangular living room layoutLayout #2: Conversational Living Room Layout

This rectangular living room layout makes the most of the space by creating two distinct areas in the same room. The main space set up for easy conversation and entertainment, with plenty of room to navigate around furniture and seating options you can move around as needed. This layout also leaves room for a full dining setup in the back with a dining table and four chairs.

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Why This Rectangular Living Room Layout Works

Ample Seating: The key to fostering conversation is proper seating that is centered around interaction! This layout features a cozy sofa placed on one of the long walls directly across from two comfortable armchairs along with a stylish bench in front of the window. There’s no TV in the room and the circular seating setup creates a warm conversation circle for guests.

Small Space Hacks: Every small room can use a few optical illusions! This layout features a large, circular mirror above the sofa that helps to make the room look much bigger. Likewise, the sconces on either side of the mirror are a great lighting alternative because they don’t take up floor space but still offer tons of light. And the bench and coffee table are open-base to avoid any visual heaviness in the room.

Sleek Style: Industrial minimal style is perfect for a small room because it is visually light and uncluttered. This room makes great use of clean lines and abstract art, neutral tones, and vibrant pops of color to create a super sleek and sophisticated look.

Dining Area: Not only does this living room layout create a cozy convo space, it also offers a cool dining area. The grey area rug helps to distinguish it as its own separate space and the metal chairs and white table create a visual lightness so it doesn’t feel too crammed with furniture.

Will a Conversational Layout Work in Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Are more into chatting and interaction than watching TV.
  • Prefer seating options you can move and shift around the room.
  • Love a minimalist, stylish space.
  • Want a dedicated dining area in your home but don’t have a separate dining room.

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rectangular bedroom layout

Layout Guide: A Rectangular Bedroom With Lots of Doors and Windows

rectangular bedroom layoutIn our “Layout Guides” series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. Often the trickiest part of interior design, finding the right layout for your room can be a challenge. This week we’re looking at two different rectangular bedroom layout ideas for a small room with lots of windows and doors.

Designing for bedrooms is a unique challenge no matter how you look at it. Beds are large and take up a big chunk of space, which can be particularly imposing for small bedroom layouts. Then add lots of windows and doors into the mix and it can become an even harder puzzle to work out!

Limited wall area means you have to get creative about furniture placement in order to ensure that your rectangular bedroom still feels like a peaceful and uncluttered oasis where you can get the rest and relaxation you need. That’s why we’re looking at small bedroom layout ideas for creating a space that is as functional, peaceful and stylish as a great bedroom should be!

The Space: A small, rectangular bedroom

The Style: Classic Modern

The Challenge: Designing a small, rectangular bedroom layout with lots of windows and doors to contend with.

rectangular bedroom layoutLayout #1: The Serene Sleeper Layout

Layout idea #1 prioritizes a serene and peaceful sleeping environment. This bedroom layout features a queen bed, the perfect size to stretch out for a good night’s sleep. The bed is placed against the long wall, which is the most obvious placement. It leaves plenty of room for two sizeable nightstands on either side of the bed. It also means you can enjoy the view out the windows when you wake up in the morning.

Small bedroom designs are all about making a space feel open and airy so you can rest easy. Here, the neutral color scheme helps maintain a sense of calm and relaxation and the minimalist decor keeps the room feeling light and uncluttered.

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rectangular bedroom layoutKey Elements in This Serene Bedroom Layout

Placing the bed against the long wall means you can fit a queen size bed for maximum comfort and coziness. The bed also offers a lovely view out of the windows so the morning light can greet you! This placement also leaves room for two nightstands on either side, which helps create a sense of balance in the space.

The wall below the windows has a long dresser for extra storage so you don’t have to deal with clutter in your relaxation room. We also tucked a chair into the corner to create a cozy reading nook! The chair faces toward the windows too so you can take in the view from multiple spots.

The floor-length mirror tucked behind the chair means you have a functional dressing area in your bedroom. And it’s also a nice optical illusion to make the room seem even larger without taking up more floor space. The neutral rug under the bed offers a splash of color to tie the room together as well as floor coverage for bare feet.

Can This Symmetrical Bedroom Layout Work for You? Yes if You…

  • Love to gaze at the world outside from your bed.
  • Enjoy having a reading nook in your bedroom.
  • Want a bedroom that’s centered on rest and relaxation.
  • Hate clutter and want the serenity of a simple, sparse oasis.

rectangular bedroom layoutLayout #2: Extra Floor Space and Functionality

Bedroom layout #2 is all about creating more space and functionality. But we wanted to make sure to maintain a sense of peacefulness and calm by not cluttering the room. As with any small space, it’s all about finding balance.

This layout features the bed against the narrow wall at the back of the room. We used a low, platform bed that fits right underneath the windows and doesn’t block the view. The bed frame has built-in nightstands/shelves for clever storage. We made sure to use furniture and decor that would take up minimal space while maximizing functionality.

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rectangular bedroom layoutKey Elements in This Space-Saving Bedroom Layout

The platform bed we used makes an awesome space-saver for this bedroom layout. The low headboard fits just under the windows, making it easy to push it against the back wall of the room. This placement leaves much more open floor space without blocking the light or view from the windows. It also doesn’t sacrifice your big, cozy sleeping space! The bed frame has built-in nightstands so you don’t need to buy the extra pieces of furniture. And it comes with two shelves on either side for extra storage. It’s a great interior design hack that adds function without the price tag of extra furniture.

The stylish bench at the end of the bed is great for extra seating or a place to drop your things/put on socks and shoes/etc. And the tall dresser along the back wall adds tons of extra storage space to tuck away clothes and clutter. The minimalist decor keeps the room feeling tranquil and calm and the pillow and artwork add pops of color for warmth.

Pushing the bed against the narrow wall and using minimal furniture leaves lots of open floor space in this bedroom layout. It’s great if you need space for things other than sleeping in your bedroom—yoga or painting, anyone?

Can This Functional Bedroom Layout Work for You? Yes if You…

  • Want to cut down on the amount of furniture in your space.
  • Love tidy, uncluttered layouts.
  • Like having your bed tucked in snugly between two walls.
  • Need extra floor space for exercise/activities at home in your bedroom.

 

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small living room layout

Great Layout Guide: 2 Layout Ideas for a Living Room in a Small Apartment

small living room layoutIn 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 small living room layout, with two multipurpose designs that save space and look good.

The Space: A small living room in a city apartment

The Style: Southwestern Chic

The Challenge: Creating a multipurpose living room layout that saves space and looks good.

When it comes to decorating a home, the blank space of a living room can feel like a very daunting challenge. Creating a space where you can chill out on your own or with family, entertain guests, watch TV, display art and photos, find room for storage, etc. takes some serious strategizing!

And if your living room is on the smaller side, then you have to be even craftier in your design work. A super tiny space, like a city apartment for instance, requires a small living room layout that checks all these boxes. Read on for our guide to designing a multi-purpose small living room layout that saves space and looks good.

small living room layoutLayout #1: Entertainment Layout

This small living room layout is all about entertaining. The design allows for open traffic flow into the room and leaves plenty of space to navigate around furniture. Instead of a coffee table, we used two poufs for the centerpiece of the room. They can double as a footrest, extra seating or a coffee table. The sofa has a clever built-in arm/side table so you don’t have to bother with an extra piece of furniture. And the wall-mounted desk/bookcase offers plenty of space-saving storage, leaving the floor free.

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Key Elements in This Small Living Room Layout for Entertaining

Ample Seating: This layout features a large, cozy sofa and a deep armchair as the traditional seating options. But the two poufs centered as a coffee table can also be split apart and used as additional seats for when extra guests swing by.

Optical Illusions: Both the mirror and the open-base furniture are great small space hacks. The mirror makes the room look much bigger. And open, airy furniture creates a sense that space is larger because it’s not bulky or visually heavy.

Chic Style: The Southwest chic style is trendy and very small space savvy! White walls and a light wood floor help keep the space feeling minimal, clean and uncluttered. And the exposed brick, neutral accessories and natural materials give it a warm, welcoming quality.

Can an Entertaining Layout Work in Your Small Living Room? Yes if You…

  • Love to entertain and want to easily make room for more visitors
  • Prefer a conversational area over TV viewing
  • Enjoy a sparse, beautiful and clutter-free space
  • Want your space to feel cozy and warm

small living room layoutLayout #2: TV Viewing Layout

Design #2 is a multi-purpose small living room layout with an emphasis on TV viewing. The sofa fits perfectly against the back wall so it doesn’t take up extra floor space by jutting out. Having the TV mounted against the wall directly across from the TV is optimal for viewing and also saves space. This layout offers a cozy spot for you to kick back and see what’s new on Netflix.

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Key Elements in This Small Living Room Layout for TV Viewing

TV Viewing Space: In this small living room layout, the sofa is positioned so it faces the TV and offers prime viewing ability. You can stretch out on the sofa and use the tucked away pouf as extra seating when needed.

Smart Storage: The large credenza under the TV provides tons of extra storage inside the small living room. Because the TV is mounted on the wall, it leaves room for such a large furniture item below it so you can make sure all your excess clutter is hidden away.

Fun Furniture: The small coffee table is perfect for this room because it is big enough to hold decor, beverages, remotes, etc. but it also doesn’t take up a ton of floor space—something important in a small room! The credenza doubles up as storage and the stylish pouf can be used for extra seating but also tucks away under the coffee table when you’re not using it.

Can a TV Viewing Layout Work in Your Small Living Room? Yes if You…

  • Love a cozy space to watch TV
  • Live alone or don’t need a lot of extra seating
  • Need your space to be beautiful and clutter-free
  • Love a sparse, minimalist design with a cool and relaxing vibe

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living room

Layout Guide: 1 Split-Level Living Space, 2 Open Layout Solutions

living room

Some rooms are a headache to furnish because nothing looks or fits right. And then there are some rooms where the overall space is unusual but you know the design possibilities are endless. This split-level, open layout living space is the latter.

Here, we dreamed up two ideas for this split-level open layout living space that serve very different needs but are both thoughtfully designed to accommodate different lifestyles. See how we bring it all together in this bi-level room layout.

The Space: A split-level living and dining space with an open layout

The Style: Mod Visionary

The Challenge: Designing a cohesive look in a split-level room

living roomIdea #1: The Chill-Out Entertaining Layout

Layout #1 is a functional entertaining space with an emphasis on family-friendly design. A large sectional anchors the lower level living space where the layout caters towards all things TV viewing. It’s a layout that allows a lot of room for adults and kids to lounge and move around in.

There’s also a designated kids zone, where a mini chairs-and-table setup provides room for both homework and fun and games. In contrast, the upper level is organized to be a relaxed dining area that’s all about unfussy family dinners.

Shop This Roomdining tableWhy It Works

There are clearly defined areas for entertaining on all levels. From the kids’ zone to the main living space to the elevated dining area, they all maintain a casual, relaxed vibe.

The floating sectional offers ample seating, and also works to divide the living space from the walkway. We added a console to help maximize storage in what would’ve been dead space. Likewise, the coffee table has hidden storage, which makes for an extra family-friendly addition to the living space. Not to mention, the round shape helps encourage traffic flow and is a more kid-friendly option (no sharp corners here).

The wall-mounted bookcase adds vertical storage and a tall overarching floor lamp is a great solve for a room without ceiling lights. Meanwhile, on the higher level, the dark blue accent wall helps draw the eye up toward the dining area, where there’s plenty of storage (credenza, bar cart) thanks to the round table that optimizes floor space. It all adds up to an open layout design that allows for a lot of comfortable family-friendly lounging, practical storage, and easy entertaining.

living roomThis Is Great If You…

  • Have a big family with lots of busybodies that find themselves doing many different things in the same space.
  • Love to host movie nights and entertain lots of friends on the regular.
  • Like a laid-back living space for simply kicking back and putting up your feet.
  • Are keen on a space that is highly functional for daily living and provides lots of room to move around in.

open layout split-level living roomIdea #2: The Conversing and Dining Layout

Layout #2 takes on a more tailored look and feel and is designed as more of a conversation space. It has a more formal look but is equally great for casual hangouts. Although there’s less of a kid-friendly focus here.

Rather than a space that’s designed around a media stand and TV, the sofa and armchairs in the main living area here are arranged to facilitate conversation. Likewise, the dining area is set up with a long table and stylish seating that accommodates a party of six for long sit-down dinners.

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dining chairWhy It Works

It’s a polished look from top to bottom and is tied together by an elevated color palette, starting from the dining room art and rug to the living room armchairs and sofa. The sofa and chairs are conducive to easy conversation, while the bench against the partition wall adds extra seating that maximizes that tricky wall space. Bonus points: you can even pull it up into the dining room for an extra seat if you have lots of people over!

The rectangular coffee table has an open airy base that balances out the heavier seating, and the credenza offers serious storage. In the dining area, the rectangular table makes the most of square footage in the space and the black dining chairs tie in the darkness of the tall cabinet and the living room bench. Altogether, this layout is about a unified entertaining space with a polished look and feel.

open layout living roomThis Is Great If You…

  • Are a couple with no children who love the idea of a space that’s perfect for conversation and intimate entertaining.
  • Enjoy having friends over for more formal affairs, like cocktails, wine-and-cheese nights, and sit-down meals.
  • Consider your style to be more modern and minimal and prefer a more streamlined look with a few key pieces in two open spaces with distinct functions.
  • Are looking to graduate your style and this is your first grown-up space that you’re furnishings for yourself.

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nursery

Two Awkward Nursery Design Layouts, Solved!

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. This week we’re looking at two layout ideas for an awkward turned charming nursery design.

nursery

One of the most common design dilemmas we see here at Modsy is from expecting parents. Baby is on their way and the only room that will work for a nursery has an awkward layout. A lot of the time it comes down to turning an unexpected space into a space-saving nursery. Or, as in these two rooms with awkward layouts, it’s about optimizing all the weird corner nooks and the sloped ceiling for a nursery design that’s still fun and functional.

The Space: 11’ x 15’ nursery

The Style: Bright, fun, and playful

The Challenge: Designing a nursery that maximizes the room’s awkward layout with multiple nooks and sloped ceilings.

nurseryLayout #1: The Playroom Nursery

Layout #1 poses the challenge of a sloped ceiling and a corner nook that almost stands out as a room of its own. For us, the design work was all about making the most of the nooks and leaving lots of open floor space for baby to crawl around and play. Here, balancing comfort and function ultimately meant choosing the right size furnishings and mixing up wide and vertical storage pieces to get the most out of the room.

The best part of this layout is that a round crib fit in one corner perfectly underneath the sloped ceiling, which provided the ideal height for hanging a cute mobile. An adorable double solution!

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nurseryWhy This Nursery Design Works

While there are many places to fit the crib, we chose to optimize one of the sloped ceiling corners for a round option. This left more room to include a large dresser with a changing table topper that fit perfectly around the corner. (You can nix the topper in a few years and continue to use the dresser as baby grows up!) This sets it apart nicely as a functional spot that feels slightly separate from everything else.

The dark-blue palette also makes for a neutral and versatile backdrop that goes with any number of furnishings but also lends a playful but relaxing atmosphere. Another bonus in having the round crib in a corner is that it allows a glider to be placed closely across from it.

nurseryThis Is Great If You…

  • Want a space that has a simple arrangement of furniture and can be turned into a kids’ room or playroom in a few years.
  • Like a room where you can comfortably spend hours of your day on the floor with your baby.
  • Have a big family with several children but not enough space for a playroom. This can function as both nursery and playroom.
  • Prefer a zoned layout where storage has its own functional spot and the rest of the room feels like a fun, welcoming space.

nurseryLayout #2: The Sit and Sleep Space

Layout #2 has a more straightforward approach with a separate nursery and cozy corner seating area. With this approach, we placed the crib and dresser together in the same space to create a cozy, quiet sleeping space. This also left room for the changing station beside the crib, which makes for easier diaper changes.

Just off in the corner, we tucked away a glider into the nook for a comfy place for nursing and rocking baby. To further play up a calming atmosphere, we opted for a soothing, safari-themed, gender-neutral green wall color as well as a whimsical palm wallpaper print.

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nurseryWhy This Nursery Design Works

The distinct separate areas for seating and sleeping emphasize a functional furniture setup. Which works seamlessly for daily life with a baby. The crib has its own space and gives the baby a space they can call their own starting as an infant.

Additionally, storage and daily activities don’t have to interfere with nap times given the separate seating and storage nook. Here, vertical storage for daily baby needs allows everything to be within convenient reach and toys to be easily stowed away in a chest. This also gives you a relaxing space to unwind and even have some shut-eye when your baby is napping.

nurseryThis Is Great If You…

  • Prefer to have clearly defined living and sleeping areas in the nursery.
  • Love a gender-neutral space that feels both calm and quiet.
  • Expecting your first child and want to make sure you prepare lots of room for everything. The crib, the storage, and a place for you to relax too.
  • Want a space that’s more about resting than playtime.

 

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Attic bedroom

Layout Guide: 2 Stylish Ideas For An Attic Bedroom

Attic bedroom layoutIn 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. This week we’re looking at two layout ideas for optimizing an awkwardly shaped attic bedroom.

If you know us, you know we love a good attic loft challenge. Attics are exciting to design is that they force you to get creative with every square inch of space. This is especially true when it’s an awkwardly shaped room. And once you start exploring your design possibilities, you’ll find that the sky’s the limit when it comes to attics. This week, we’re looking at layout ideas for creating an attic master bedroom functional, comfortable, and, of course, stylish.

The Space: A 20 x 17 attic bedroom

The Style: Rustic Warmth

The Challenge: Designing an attic bedroom with all sorts of weird angles, a slanted ceiling, radiators, and weird nooks to contend with.

Idea #1: The Elevated Multipurpose Layout

Layout #1 for our attic bedroom plays up an elegant all-in-one space, where the bedroom also provides office space as well as plenty of storage. The idea is to transform an area of the home that’s often considered dark and drab into a room that feels elevated and inviting. The furnishings speak to that, from classic table lamps and an upholstered headboard to lots of tailored foundation pieces.

In this layout, the sloped ceiling makes the room feel cozy rather than cramped, and awkward nooks and corners are cleverly optimized or daily life – including a corner that’s dedicated to pets.

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Attic bedroomWhy This Attic Bedroom Layout Works

There’s only place to fit a bed in this attic bedroom, and the king-sized option fills it out nicely. To combat the sloped ceiling, we pulled the headboard slightly away from the wall. This allow for a bit more clearance and means table lamps and nightstands fit perfectly. It also gives you a bit more space to comfortably sit up at night to read without bumping your head on the sloped ceiling.

We added a storage bench against the staircase wall to provide extra hidden storage as well as catchall spot for placing bags and jackets or putting on shoes.

In the awkward nook, we pulled in a desk to create a little home office corner and left enough room around the space so that it doesn’t feel cramped. Along the far side of the room, we optimized the space with a storage dresser for function and a dog bed for a devoted pet nook.

This Is Great If You…

  • Like the idea of a private bedroom escape that feels quiet and treehouse-like.
  • Are a couple living in a home where you want a clear separation between public and private spaces.
  • Have a big family but limited space for everyone, so your attic needs to function as a bedroom, workspace, and pet hangout spot.
  • Prefer a dimmer bedroom where the amount of natural light you get is just enough and not overpowering during the day.

Attic bedroomIdea #2 – The Contemporary-Casual Open Layout

With layout #2, the bedroom has a more laid-back appeal that prioritizes space and comfort. Pieces such as wall sconces, a big armchair, and a soft cowhide rug help set the tone. The clean-lined, light-wood bed sets a modern tone and keeps the room feeling airy, while a blue accent wall and greenery add a touch of bold color and contrast.

The furnishings are all about maintaining a sense of openness in the space, and pieces with open bases, simple forms, and soft finishes help add to that feeling. This layout ultimately comes conveys a nothing is too precious and lived-in vibe that gives is a clean-lined coziness we love.

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Attic bedroomWhy This Attic Bedroom Layout Works

Sconces optimize the limited vertical space beside the bed – a great solve for the sloped ceiling. The portable streamlined bench at the foot of the bed makes for stylish seating that doesn’t take up lots of floor space.

Instead of an office, we swapped in an armchair and a cowhide rug to create a cozy reading nook in the awkward corner. We also kept the far corner empty to create a dressing area with a floor-length mirror, which also helps open up the room.

This Is Great If You…

  • Are a modern minimalist who prefers streamlined furnishing and a calming bedroom atmosphere.
  • Prefer simple, uncluttered spaces with foundational furnishings that can be easily rearranged or accented with more colorful finds down the line.
  • Want your bedroom to function purely as a space for resting and relaxing
  • Need an extra bedroom in your home that can accommodate guests. The attic can make for especially chic spaces for overnight visitors.

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awkward shaped bedroom

Layout Guide: Smart Ideas For An Awkward Shaped Bedroom

awkward shaped bedroomA small, awkward shaped bedroom can be a serious design challenge for many people, including us. The tricky thing about these bedrooms is that there’s usually only one spot where you can fit your bed. After that, you’re pretty much left with little to no space for anything else. It’s tough, especially when you want your bedroom to feel serene and relaxing, not limited and lackluster.

With that in mind, we decided to explore ways we can tackle the awkward bedroom layout. Get some of our layout solutions for an oddly shaped bedroom we designed below. And even if your bedroom isn’t oddly shaped, we promise these tips will inspire you to rethink your own space.

The Space: An 11’ x 18’ awkwardly shaped bedroom

The Style: Modern Rustic

The Challenge: Maximizing space and style in a small, oddly shaped bedroom that has slanted walls, lots of doors and windows, and only one place to fit a bed. Plus, there’s a radiator in a corner nook that further limits what can go in one area.

awkward shaped bedroomIdea #1: The Big Function Layout

The main goal in our awkward bedroom layout #1 is to pack in as much function as possible into the space. But we wanted to do it in a way that doesn’t feel like it’s all about function. It’s a bedroom after all, so the primary purpose should be a space where you can kick back and rest.

To nail that balance, we chose furnishings that have a small footprint and can be used in more ways than one. Of course, the key to finding the right pieces was to measure every wall and corner before committing to anything.

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Why This Awkward Bedroom Layout Works

Pack In Functionality

Instead of matching nightstands, we opted for a dresser and small desk combo. The small dresser with deep drawers functions like a nightstand but has storage as well as a big surface that lets you display art.

On the other side, the slender desk doubles as a vanity and also catchall. The desk is paired with a moveable sling stool that tucks away easily and also works as an extra seat or footrest.

Make Use of All Space

We worked with the vertical space and the different sizes of the walls via a few small space hacks. For example, hanging a sconce (for lighting), mirror (for an airy feel), and hooks (for storage), all add function without taking up floor space.

Along the awkward slanted wall by the radiator, we incorporated a bench to add more seating that also provides a great place to get ready in the morning.

Keep It Cozy

Common design knowledge says that you should paint small rooms light colors to help them feel more open. While this is true, we say small rooms can also benefit from darker shades, which give them a cozy feel. Here we painted our awkward bedroom a shade of dark blue to add contrast and create an extra serene vibe.

Rug Struggles

Rug placement is the greatest struggle in this room. A standard placement would mean you could only fit a smaller size due to the slanted walls. To combat this, we rotated a larger size rug under the bed as a way to cover more floor space. We then balanced out the awkward placement by layering a cowhide to soften the hard angles.

This Is Great If You…

  • Live solo and want to get the most function out of an awkward room.
  • Work from home a lot and don’t have room for an actual workspace elsewhere.
  • Like a cozy space where everything you need is within easy reach.

awkward shaped bedroomIdea #2 – The Expanded Space Layout

For layout #2, we took a bright, crisp approach with white walls that helped to make the room feel and appear larger and less awkwardly shaped. To further open up the space we opted for designs that played up an airy note. The idea here is to create a light-filled, calming haven that is all about rest and relaxation.

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Why This Awkward Bedroom Layout Works

Create Visual Space

Like we mentioned before, white walls help open up the room and make it feel more spacious and cheery. This is a great option if you want a more airy vibe in your room. We also added small, low-profile matching bedside tables help maintain an open look. Round and minimalist table lamps help to keep the nightstand surfaces appear balanced and uncluttered.

Be Smart With Space

A large floor mirror adds function, reflects light, and gives the illusion that the room is larger than it seems and not as awkwardly shaped. By the odd wall near the door, we swapped in a wall-mounted bookcase, one of our favorite small-space hacks, which adds vertical storage and increases the usable storage space by four times. An armchair, pouf, and C-shaped side table turn a corner into a cozy reading nook that’s comfy and compact.

Layer Your Rugs

Layered rugs are another solve for the awkward room shape: The top blue and white patterned wool rug adds personality and plush texture to the space—perfect for bare feet in the morning. Meanwhile the jute rug underneath helps extend coverage across a larger surface area (which will help reduce noise/echoes in your room). A fluffy sheepskin helps cozy up the reading nook.

This Is Great If You…

  • Need a space for two that feels like a dedicated retreat.
  • Prefer a bedroom that is more comfort and style-driven versus for multi-purpose use.
  • Are more of a modern minimalist who loves a simple palette and clean-lined designs.

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home office storage

Layout Guide: A Small Home Office Designed for Productivity

home office layout ideasIn 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. This week we’re designing two home office layout ideas for the ultimate productivity zone.

The Space: A small 11×13 home office

Style: Mod Collector

The Challenge: Creating a home office design that includes comfortable seating and plenty of storage. The catch? An awkward back nook next to the window.

home office for two layout ideasIdea #1: Home Office Layout for Productivity

Our home office layout idea #1 is all about productivity. This is a space where you can escape the business around you and hide away to get your work done. The double desk setup facilitates productivity even if two people are working in the office at once. One desk is tucked away in the back nook/alcove on the opposite side of the room, creating personal space for both even in shared quarters. Because the desks are against the walls, this layout is better for deep focus and getting stuff done.

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Why This Home Office Layout Works

This setup provides plenty of storage, with the bookcase across from the entry and built-in shelving in the back nook. The cozy daybed in front of the windows makes a great spot to take a break, read, or even recharge with a quick power nap.

We also added a large floor mirror, one of our favorite small space hacks, which opens up the room and makes it feel much bigger. This is also a great addition if your home office doubles as a guest room!

As for style, this room is designed in a neutral color palette, which keeps the space feeling minimal, clean, and uncluttered. Accessorizing with textures and shapes give it a cool, eclectic vibe while funky plants add life and pops of color.

home office layout ideasThis Is Great If You…

  • Need a shared office space for two.
  • Like a space where you can really concentrate and focus.
  • Plan on using large monitors or setup that require lots of plugs/cords.
  • Want the office space to double as a guest room.
  • Love a clean, minimal style that still shows off your personality.

home office layout ideasIdea #2 – Home Office Layout for Collaboration

This design idea is all about creating a home office that puts the emphasis on creativity and collaboration. Built for one person, the floating desk (aka not pushed up against a wall) creates a more conversational layout geared toward collaboration. With this layout, you’ve got plenty of space for seeing clients making it’s a great setup if face-to-face conversations are a big part of your work-from-home life.

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Why This Home Office Layout Works

This layout aids conversation and collaboration, but still provides space for independent work as well. It’s ideal for streamlined setups (such as a laptop or old-fashioned pen and paper) and it has a polished, executive suite vibe. The setup here also makes great use of the back nook with a credenza that fits perfectly and extra shelves above that put the vertical space to use.

We also love this shade of sage green paint, which are great for inspiring productivity and soothing the senses. Green is the color of renewal and growth, after all. The addition of color creates a cozier vibe than would stark white walls. This style also incorporates lots of natural textures and materials for an “outdoors-indoors” vibe. And the graphic patterns in the art, pillows and rug add contrast and all-around fun visual intrigue.

home office storageThis Is Great If You…

  • Like a conversational layout in your office.
  • Need a good setup for meetings and face-to-face convos.
  • Have a simple computer / paper and pen setup.
  • Like to work in a warm, cozy space.
  • Need plenty of storage.
  • Love a decor style that fosters inspiration and productivity.

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kid's room layout ideas

Layout Guide: Two Sleepover-Ready Kid’s Room Ideas

kid's room layoutsIn 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. This week we’re working with a small kid’s room with an awkward nook.

The Space: A 15×12 kid’s room with limited floor space and a quirky layout.

Style: Fun and playful

The Challenge: Maximizing the small space to create a fun kid’s room that can handle sleepovers and makes the best use of an awkward nook.

kid's room layout ideasIdea #1: Full Bed Styled for an Animal Enthusiast

Our first kid’s room layout incorporates a full bed to make use of open floor space. While it might seem like too much space for a younger tot, if your kiddo is right on the cusp, a full bed can be a great investment that your little one can continue to use as they get older.

This design features bright walls and vibrant splashes of color throughout the room to make the space more youthful and playful. Not to mention, this layout idea offers plenty of extra storage by way of the dresser and bookcase so you don’t have to worry about a cluttered room. So whether your kids are sleeping, studying, or just kicking back and reading, this setup has room for it all.

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Why this Kid’s Room Layout Works

The full bed makes great use of open floor space without disrupting the flow of the room. A full bed is a great size for your small sleeper to grow into over the years and plenty of room on the floor for when he or she has sleepovers. This setup also leaves space for a nightstand on one side of the bed and a desk below the window – the perfect study spot for a young scholar!

With a few special touches, the corner nook becomes a fun, cushy space to tuck away for lounging and reading. And the tall bookcase provides more clever storage space for books, toys and other items when they’re not in use.

awkward nook ideasThis Is Great If You…

  • Need plenty of room for sleepovers.
  • Want a bed that your child can use over the years.
  • Hate clutter – there’s tons of extra storage.
  • Love having a distinct space for different activities such as reading, studying, sleeping, etc.

kid's room layout ideasIdea #2 – A Twin Bed with Room to Stargaze

Design idea #2 is all about making a warm and cozy room with lots of sleeping options for when friends stay over. The rich colors and layered rugs create a fun and welcoming enclave for a child. Kids will have plenty of space to play, stargaze and let their imaginations roam free in this open layout.

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Why this Kid’s Room Layout Works

This setup is great for maximizing floor space in the room. Having the twin bed tucked into corner leaves lots of room to play and lots of open space for sleeping bags. The trundle bed is a convenient and comfortable spot for sleepovers, too.

Turn the awkward nook into a cozy corner with a hanging chair and a bar cart for mobile storage. The round jute rug is also a great solve for the nook – it helps define and fill space. Plus, the layered rugs adds cozy warmth. The dark wall color doesn’t feel dark and gloomy because it is offset by the bright furniture, keeping the overall feel super warm and cozy.

awkward nook ideasThis Is Great If You…

  • Need a clutter-free, neat and tidy look.
  • Love dark and moody colors that feel super warm and inviting.
  • Want your child to have a cozy place to read, lounge and stargaze.
  • Love the warmth that textures and layers provide.
  • Need plenty of open space for play and sleepovers.

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large open living room

Layout Guide: Two Ways to Fill a Large Open Living Room

large open living room layout ideasIn 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. This week we’re looking at a large open living room and finding two layouts that make use of the open space.

The Space: A 20×25 large open living room

Style: Rustic Warmth

The Challenge: Designing a large open living room with a fireplace and floor to ceiling windows on every wall.

We talk a lot about the trials of designing small spaces – but large, open rooms can be just as tricky! Filling a big space requires some smart planning to make sure that the space feels functional, has flow, and doesn’t feel like a large empty room. In addition to having the right furniture for a large, open living room, you also want to find a layout that makes the best use of the space. Check out the following ideas for outfitting this huge living room with a layout that works.

large open living roomIdea #1: The TV Viewing Layout

Layout #1 for our large open living room, centers around a 4-piece sectional sofa – the perfect solution for a room of this size. Instead of pushing it against the wall (which might be your first instinct), we floated the sectional in the middle of the room. This not only helps fill up the space, but it also better accommodates TV viewing by moving the seating closer to the TV.

In addition to the large size, all the walls in this room have windows, which is a real design challenge. Pulling the sofa away from the walls is a great solve for this conundrum. Plus, you can use the space behind the sofa for a kids’ play area that’s part of the main living room action but doesn’t take over the space.

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Why This Large Open Living Room Layout Works

We chose an L-shaped sectional because it creates the ideal layout where both the TV and fireplace are focal points of the room. To make use of the open space diagonal from the sofa, we included an intimate conversation corner. This makes use of the open space next to the fireplace and provides extra seating.

Additionally, the swivel chairs offer flexibility to the design. They chairs can face each other, turn toward the fireplace, or swivel toward the center of the room. It’s the perfect living room layout for creating flow and functionality in a large living room.

large open living roomThis Is Great If You…

  • Want a living room with plenty of seating options.
  • Like an ideal setup for TV viewing and cozying around the fireplace.
  • Need a tucked away space for kids to play.
  • Love maintaining the wide, open flow of the space.

large open living roomIdea #2 – The Entertaining Layout

If you love entertaining at home, this is a great setup for you. The design makes use of two sofas and two armchairs for plenty of comfy seating. The twin sofas feel more formal than a sectional, but provide just as many seats.

This layout for our large open living room directs the focus to the center of the room so that the fireplace and view outside are on full display. A great multi-purpose space hack, the backs of the sofas also help divide the room and create a distinct “living zone” even while the room is completely open.

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Why This Large Open Living Room Layout Works

A bench behind the sofa adds extra storage and helps create distinction between the living room and the space behind it. And you can always pull the bench into the main living area for extra seating in a pinch! The two poufs can be used as footrests for the armchairs or as additional seating as well.

Potted plants on opposite sides of the room help to fill the empty corners and add a pop of color to the space. The layered rugs are a great choice for a large room because the smaller rug on top adds pattern and color, while the jute rug underneath helps add coverage and texture. Plus, jute is much more affordable, especially in sizes as large as this room calls for.

large open living room layoutThis Is Great If You…

  • Need a room with tons of seating.
  • Love to entertain at home.
  • Don’t want a TV to be the center of attention in your living room.
  • Like a clean, uncluttered look with neutral tones.
  • Want a more formal vibe than a casual sectional sofa provides.

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attic loft design

Layout Guide: Designing a Family Room + Office in an Open Loft Space

attic loft layout guideIn 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. This week we’re serving up two solutions for an office/family room in an open loft space.

Attic lofts can be amazing spaces, but they also come with their own set of quirks. If you have a funky loft area in your home, you might be wondering how to make the space work for your needs. The good news is that with a little planning, attic loft designs can have huge potential! This week we look at how we can arrange a loft to fit both a family room and office with two clever and functional layout ideas.

The Space: 20×12 family room + office loft design with A-frame ceilings.

The Style: Atomic Industrial

The Challenge: Designing an attic loft to allow for a designated office area and comfortable family room with lots of space for lounging, playing, and watching TV.

loft designIdea #1: Flexible Sectional Layout

The loft layout idea #1 is all about creating a designated area for cozy family time. The sectional facing the TV makes the layout perfect for family movie nights. We included plenty of seating – and the flexibility of the sectional leaves room for both a play area and a work station. Overall it creates a cozy space that doesn’t feel cluttered.

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Here’s why this attic loft layout idea works.

Ample Seating

The sectional can be arranged in different ways to optimize seating depending on your needs. Plus, the armchair, coffee table and ottoman all provide extra seating as needed.

Attic Loft Friendly

The low furniture hugs the walls and tucks under the a-frame ceilings without wasting space. Since room is tight, we added lots of extra storage in the form of trunks, credenza, storage ottoman and baskets to tuck away all clutter.

Space to Work and Play

The desk is a great small space solution that offers a functional workspace that can double as a side table for the sofa. With room left, we included a play teepee, which provides a kid area that is tucked away from the TV viewing. Finally, the indoor/outdoor rug is perfect for a play space, as it’s durable and easy to clean.

This Is Great If You…

  • Want a cozy family room with plenty of extra seating.
  • Need an optimal setup for TV viewing, where the TV and sofa directly face each other.
  • Want furniture and a design that are kid-friendly.
  • Love extra hidden storage to save room and get rid of clutter.

attic loft designIdea #2 – Double Sofa Layout

Our loft layout idea #2 puts the emphasis on more conversational seating by keeping the TV as part of the design, but not the main focus. One sofa faces it with while the other sofa and chair face toward the center of the room. And the two remaining corners make for perfect work/play areas.

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Here’s why this attic loft layout idea works.

attic loft officeSmall Space Solutions

Here the desk is tucked into the back corner by the closet for a separate workspace that is still part of the family fun. The small table set-up also makes a great, tucked-away play space for kiddos to get creative.

A Loft for Lounging

In this design, the seating is super comfy and geared toward conversation and lounging, but the design also makes it easy to watch TV. The two sofas also offer ample seating (just as much as the sectional) but also give the room an eclectic feel, so it’s not too matchy-matchy.

Slanted Ceiling Friendly

Sloped ceilings can be a real design challenge. Since you can’t hang your art, propping it against the wall is a great solution that makes use of what wall space your have and adds visual interest to the room.

This Is Great If You…

  • Have one sofa that works and want to add another – they don’t have to be perfectly matched.
  • Enjoy a more conversational seating arrangement.
  • Need extra hidden storage to de-clutter your space.
  • Love a clean, modern design.

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Square Living Room

Layout Guide: 1 Small, Square Living Room, 2 Functional Solutions

Square Living RoomIn 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. This week we’re diving into two solutions for a small, square living room layout.

The Space: 13×18 small, square living room with lots of doors and windows

The Style: Mod Visionary

The Challenge: Turning the small, square living space into a comfortable and functional hangout space with plenty of seating

Square Living RoomIdea #1: The Conversational Layout

Layout idea #1 emphasizes using the small room as a space for conversation. This is a space meant for people to relax, mingle, chat and lounge together. There’s no TV in the room because it is geared toward having people interact. The cozy sectional sofa is also perfect for reading and snuggling. If you enjoy having friends over to hang out and talk or play games, try this layout in your space.

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Here’s why this small, square living room layout idea works.

Square Living RoomRoom to Chat

The sectional fits right into the square shape of the room, making it extra cozy, and ensuring there is plenty of seating for family and guests. The fireplace, while incorporated into seating area, is not the main focus of the room. There is easy flow into and through the room and storage tucked to the side against the unused wall keeps clutter out of sight!

This Is Great If You…

  • Love entertaining and prefer chatting and relaxing with guests over watching TV.
  • Want a cozy place for you and your family to gather and read, snuggle, or just kick back.
  • Love a neat and tidy home that’s comfy but uncluttered.
  • Want a space with a more grown-up aesthetic.

Square Living RoomIdea #2 – The TV Viewing Layout

This layout idea is all about optimizing the small space for TV viewing and comfortable lounging. Because the room is small, we swapped out the sectional for a cozy sofa that faces the TV to make it the focal point. There is a lot of flexibility to move stuff around and create extra seating so you’re never short on chairs when friends drop by.

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Here’s why this small, square living room layout idea works.

Optimal Functionality

If you like to watch TV, but don’t want that to be the only focus of the space, this layout gives you the best of both worlds. With a sofa placed directly across from the TV, but next to the fireplace, there are seats that work for whichever focal point you want to highlight. This layout is great if you like to watch Netflix but also host gatherings.

Square Living RoomSmall Space Solutions

In small spaces, sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got. In this room, we optimized the small, blank space between two doors with a mini cabinet for a TV set-up. The two poufs also add additional seating that doesn’t clutter up the room (and can even double as a footrest). Finally, the bookcases add vertical storage that makes the most out of a narrow wall space.

This Is Great If You…

  • Have a fireplace and a TV and want a layout that works for both.
  • Enjoy entertaining small groups and want extra seating.
  • Need a space that is compact but flexible with furnishings that are easy to move around.
  • Love a space that is clean and stylish with no clutter in sight.

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open living/dining room layout

Layout Guide: A Long Open, Living/Dining Room Layout Meets Its Match

open living/dining room layoutOften 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.

open living/dining room layoutIdea #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.

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Family Friendly

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.

open living/dining room layoutExtra Storage

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.

Conversation-Ready Layout

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.

open living/dining room layoutIdea #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.

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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.

open living/dining room layoutExtra Seating

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.

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