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small living room layout with a TV

Make the Most out of Your Small Space: Ultimate TV Viewing Party Layout Guide

small living room layout with a TVWith game day and the Oscars just around the corner, you might be thinking about hosting a viewing party. A great viewing party (of any kind) requires a TV (duh), enough places to sit, a spread of delicious snacks, and great company. But what if you live in a small space? Finding a small living room layout with a TV can be a challenge.

So while you focus on fine-tuning your guest list and adorning your space with Pinterest-worthy decorations, we’re rounding up some of our favorite TV viewing layout hacks. No matter if your space is large or tiny, these small living room layout ideas will make sure space is red carpet-ready before your guests arrive.

Read on to learn how to create your ultimate TV viewing party layout.

small living room layout with a TV1. Maximize Seating

While “standing room only” might be great for a concert, ample seating is fundamental to any great TV viewing party. These tips will help you get the most booties in chairs without adding clutter.

Backless seating:

Benches and ottomans are great ways to add extra seating to your small space without over-stuffing it with bulky furniture.

  • Benches look great in a hallway or at the foot of your bed, and can easily be moved into the living room for extra seating when you need it.
  • You can also use two ottomans to make a bench. Break them up into two smaller seats when you need.

Create movie theater rows:

Just like group photos, place lower seats in the front and taller ones in the back. This will help ensure everyone has a great view of the TV.

  • Use bar stools to make a back row for your viewing party. Clear stools are especially great in small spaces, as they help reduce visual clutter.

small living room layout with a TV2. Maximize Surface Area

Now that you have seating aplenty, you’ll likely want some surfaces to go with it. Instead of buying more tables, repurpose what you already have.

Two coffee tables are better than one:

In small spaces, having the flexibility to move your furniture is important.

Try two smaller coffee tables in your space instead of one large one (or consider if you need a coffee table at all). Keep them together for daily use and separate them when you host to accommodate more people reaching for popcorn.

Pouf-perfect:

We love poufs because they are super versatile. Use them as a footrest or a stool, or even a side table. Ensure your pouf can go the extra mile, and look for one that’s substantial enough to support a tray with drinks and snacks.

Snack station:

A console table hidden behind your sofa is a sneaky way to add extra storage to a small space. But for special TV viewing occasions, try relocating your console table to an open wall. You can use it as an impromptu buffet table where guests can help themselves to snacks and drinks.

Open bar (cart):

Who doesn’t love a good bar cart? If you’re in the market, consider one on wheels which you can use as a mobile drink station. Easily wheel it out of the kitchen to serve drinks, and slide it away when you need the extra space.

small living room layout with a TV3. Final Tricks

A few finishing touches to make your small living room layout with a TV work for you.

Throw it on the floor:

Even your floor can be a nice seat if you add a little cushion. Floor pillows are a simple way to add seating and can be conveniently stashed away when you don’t need it.

Mirror-mirror:

Nothing like a large, reflective surface to make things look larger! Not great for your pores, but perfect for your living room.

Try hanging a large mirror above your sofa to help open up your room. Or embrace a more glam style with mirrored furniture, like a side or coffee table.

 

Need a hand finding the right small living room layout for you?

You don’t have to cram a bunch of furniture into your home only to find you rarely use it. Our layout guide is for both before and after the party, because the size of your home shouldn’t dictate your design choices.

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

It’s a simple fact that for many of us, the main focal point in our living rooms is the television.

It’s also a fact that not all living room layouts were designed with TV-viewing in mind. Living room designs can have a variety of functions and they, literally, come in all shapes and sizes! Some living rooms have fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, or strangely angled walls that don’t lend themselves nicely to a comfy TV watching layout. And for many people these days, the TV is a main gathering place in the home—we watch sports, have movie nights with family, binge Tiger King, and we need a big space to gather and vege out. It’s not always easy to come up with living room layout ideas that check all your boxes!

So what’s a design-savvy, Netflix-binging person to do?

You don’t need to compromise between a space that looks nice and accommodates your favorite activities. To prove it, we pulled some of our favorite customer spaces to show off some of our favorite tips and tricks for TV-viewing layout solutions. Keep scrolling for some of our all-time best tv room layout ideas along with some new ones we’ve added in April 2020!

TV layoutUse the back of your sofa to define the space

Challenge: A living room that also serves as the entryway where people are constantly walking through on their way in and out.

Solve: Rather than placing the sofa against one wall and the TV against the other, try pulling the sofa several feet away from the wall, letting it float in the middle of the space. The back of the sofa can act like a wall, keeping the walkway behind it clear and creating an intimate living space for family time around the TV.

TV layoutTry swivel chairs for an easy swap to TV-viewing

Challenge: Finding a layout that allows you to enjoy the fireplace and watch TV, all without straining your neck.

Solve: Instead of facing your sofa towards the fireplace, try rotating your living room furniture 90 degrees. This makes for a great conversational area centered around the fireplace and lets the sofa face the TV, which is tucked out of the way, against the opposite wall.

Bonus: The two blue armchairs can swivel around, to face the TV, making for easy extra seating when guests are over.

TV layoutDivide a large space into multiple zones

Challenge: A large, open, and long living room that needs to accommodate multiple activities.

Solve: Rather than designing this room as one large living space, consider a layout that breaks up the room into two distinct areas—a formal living area and a more casual TV viewing space. A great way to visually separate the two “zones” is to use different area rugs. This will help the two spaces feel connected, yet distinct.

TV layoutPlace your TV next to the fireplace, on an angle

Challenge: If you want to make your fireplace the focal point of the room, but also want to include a TV, you might think your only option is to mount your TV above the mantle.

Solve: A simple solve for this can be to place your TV at an angle on a credenza next to the fireplace. This allows you to enjoy both focal points, without the TV overwhelming the space.

Use your sofa to divide the space

Challenge: Making an open floor work for multiple functions like a dining, living, and study space.

Solve: Use your sofa to divide an open space can be a great way to create separation between the different areas. Here, the sofa floats in the middle of the room, facing the only wall where a TV could be mounted and not block the windows. This allows for a small dining area behind the sofa and a desk by the windows.

TV layoutGet creative and utilize nooks and crannies

Challenge: An open living space with a lot of windows and no clear spot to place a TV.

Solve: Utilizing small nooks can be a great work-around for rooms with no obvious place for the TV. Rather than blocking a window, which can cause your TV to look backlit and block your view, try placing your TV in an otherwise un-utilized space, like this awkward nook under the staircase.

tv room layoutUse Your Attic loft as a TV room layout

Challenge: Sloped ceilings make this room an awkward shape with limited interior design options.

Solve: A living room or attic with sloped ceilings can be tricky because you don’t want to worry about bumping your head in the low clearance areas. However, this setup can also be great for a TV-viewing layout because it creates an intimate, tucked-in vibe for cuddling up with a movie! The best furniture layout is to place sofas up against the walls so they block off traffic under the low-clearance areas and provide plenty of seating.

tv viewing living roomUse a Sectional Sofa to Divide Open Living-Dining Spaces

Challenge: A living room that flows into the dining room and feels like one large, open space.

Solve: This room is tricky because you don’t want to block the glass wall of doors and windows and the other sides of the room are open into the dining area. We opted to mount the TV on the short wall, leaving space for a storage shelf below. The sectional sofa fits against the larger wall for easy TV-viewing and comfy seating galore. The sectional chaise also helps define the two distinct spaces and direct traffic flow through the house.

Make use of unexpected places

Challenge: With a fireplace on one wall and windows on the other… furniture options are limited.

Solve: This is a great design but it presents a TV-viewing layout quandary for sure. It makes sense to put a sofa against the long, open wall, which is perfect if you don’t need a TV and want to take advantage of the fireplace on the opposite wall. But what if you like having both? Use the small patch of real estate next to the fireplace to fit a petite console and TV. This furniture setup makes it easy to see the TV and enjoy the fireplace so you have options when you’re lounging in the living room!

Get creative with an open concept space

Challenge: An open living space with a split-level living/dining room and no clear spot to place a TV.

Solve: This area has lots of open space, but no obvious way to design a TV room layout. The best answer is to get creative with living room furniture placement! Place the sofa perpendicular to the dining room and facing the room’s only solid wall. This sneaky “floating” furniture layout hack lets you use the large wall as your TV mounting area and uses the back of the sofa to divide the room. That way you create a cozy living area with a dining room that overlooks it.

living room with a tvMount the TV above the fireplace

Challenge: You want to make your TV the focal point of the room, but a fireplace takes up the available wall.

Solve: Mounting the TV above the fireplace is the classic way to handle this situation and keep the TV front and center. Place the sofa or sectional facing toward the fireplace for the optimal TV viewing experience—you don’t want anyone to worry about neck cramps! You can also tuck a few other furniture items into the design to create multiple spaces. In this room, we created a cozy reading nook, so the TV isn’t the only focus.

Max out under TV storage

Challenge: A super small living room means storage space comes at a premium!

Solve: If your living room is on the smaller side, then you have to be pretty crafty with your design work. It’s great to have a TV in your living area so you’re not always watching on your laptop—but then you also want plenty of space to sit comfortably and also a coffee table and…well, a super tiny space can start to feel pretty cramped with only a few furniture items! You have to get crafty with small spaces, which is why we opted for a credenza against the wall space under the TV. It has plenty of room for storage and makes use of space that would otherwise remain empty!

Enjoy dinner and a movie

Challenge: Making an awkward long and narrow living room work as both a lounge space and dining area.

Solve: Rather than designing this room as one large living space, consider a furniture layout that breaks up the room into two distinct areas—a formal dining area and a more casual TV viewing space. A great way to visually separate the two “zones” is to use an area rug in the living room. That way the TV has its own distinct setup—it helps the two spaces feel connected, yet spacious and separate.

tv living roomTuck your TV to the side

Challenge: You like having your fireplace as the focal point of the room, but also want to include a TV for now-and-then viewing.

Solve: Sometimes you just don’t want a big TV stealing all the attention in your living room but you don’t mind having one for occasional use. Good news: mounting it above the fireplace doesn’t have to be your only option! Place a credenza or media stand next to your fireplace to display your TV. It won’t be the main focus of the room, but it is still easy to see from the sofa. And when you’re not interested in screen time, you still have your cozy fireplace as the main focal point.

tv room layoutMaximize your layout potential

Challenge: Finding a layout that allows you to enjoy the fireplace AND watch TV—all without straining your neck.

Solve: Instead of facing your sofa towards the fireplace, try arranging it perpendicular to the fireplace. This makes for a great conversational area centered around the fire so TV is not the main show. We like to think of swivel chairs as the equivalent of dresses with pockets—they can pretty much do it all. When you’re ready to watch TV, the chairs can swivel around to the screen and pivot back to the sofa as needed. The sofa also faces the TV, which is tucked out of the way against the opposite wall.

Use what you’ve got!

Challenge: Huge, open living spaces are a conundrum all on their own—but this one ups the ante with floor-to-ceiling windows on all walls!

Solve: If you’re scratching your head wondering what to do with a space like this, you’re not alone! We usually arrange sofas with the back to the wall and devote another full wall to the TV, but that’s not an option here. Instead, we floated a large, 3-piece sectional in the center of the room to help anchor the space and create a distinct TV-viewing area. We used the one small strip of wall available to mount the TV right across from the sofa so you have a great view of the screen. A large area rug helps divide the room, too, and create a dedicated section as the living room.

 

Need help finding the best tv room layout in your space?

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A Simple Solve for a Common Living Room Dilemma

For many homeowners, having a large living room can be a conundrum, especially when it comes to figuring out the best seating and furniture arrangement. And it often starts with where the sofa should be placed. Not surprising, given it’s the largest and most essential furniture piece in every living room.

It’s almost instinct to place a large-scale furniture piece, like a sofa, against a wall. It’s a practical approach that essentially helps guide where everything else in the room would go.

However, as this before-and-after scenario proves, there’s more you can do with a sofa than just pushing it up against a wall in a large living room—which ultimately results in a much more relaxed and welcoming space.

 

BEFORE: An Imbalanced Use of Space

Having your sofa against a wall is a great way to carve out an intimate seating area in a large room, but it also leaves a lot of underutilized space in the rest of the room.

In this living room, the sofa may be perfectly positioned against the wall, but everything else around the room feels out of place. There’s a lonely tall bookcase has no place to go but a wall in between two doorways, which feels random and out of place. Similarly, a large cabinet ends up blocking out half a window on the other side of the room because there’s no space for it anywhere else in the room. The result is a layout where the focus is on the sofa, but the rest of the room feels impractical and imbalanced.

AFTER: A Perfectly Welcoming, Multi-use Space

Consider floating your sofa in the middle of a large room rather than placing it against the wall instead. Designers often float a sofa as a way to create a room within a room, to delineate different areas in a large space, or simply to center the focus. If your large room features architectural elements like a fireplace, you can use it as a visual starting point to inform your sofa placement—either one opposite the mantel or two perpendicular to it.  

Additionally, if you want to formalize your living room, floating your sofa will give it an elevated look, as it helps establish the room as a dedicated place for lounging and conversation.

This Layout Works Because….

 

It Takes Advantage of the Fireplace

For any living, family, or sitting room where there is a fireplace in the middle (or designated spot for your TV), floating your sofa opposite it will help to centralize the layout. Here, the fireplace and the sofa immediately establish a sense of welcoming balance in the room and create a centralized focal point.

It Opens up the Flow of the Room

By floating your sofa, you’ll have a much better flow in a large living room and there will be no awkward unused areas. The arrangement allows you to create other smaller vignettes, such as a wall lined with tall bookshelves or a reading corner by the window, as seen in the layout on the right. It also provides you with more room to walk around the furniture and the space, so you can easily move from one area to another. Think of the sofa in the middle of the room here as the one piece that unifies the overall space.

It Makes Better Use the Walls

Before, the large cabinet in the room was relegated to a space that blocked one of the windows. By floating the sofa in the room, it opens up the entire wall space for a storage and display area that can even accommodate an additional bookshelf, creating a symmetrical arrangement. Unlike the lower-profile sofa, these tall bookcases help to fill out the large empty walls given their height and draw the eye up.

It Creates Space to Lounge

By floating your sofa in the center of the room, it also frees you up to spread out your seating to create mini lounge areas. Previously, this armchair was placed in a cramped spot in the seating area. In this new arrangement the chair can be pulled up to a window to become its own independent reading nook.

Want help finding the ideal layout for your space?

 

Get the London Loft Look: Three Takes on a Conversational Layout

2144_design3_reg_dogAt Modsy we know that living rooms, just like snowflakes and people, come in all shapes and sizes. We know it can be a challenge trying to find a layout that works for your unique space. To help, we rearranged our London loft and created three different takes on a conversational layout.

Today we are taking shelter from the rain inside this enchanting London loft space. The refined shapes and classical forms are the perfect pairing for this industrial living room interior.

For the Casual Conversationalist: A Layout that Flows

For this version of our living space, we created a layout that is all about the flow. We floated the sofa in front of the windows where it faces two chairs, angled inward. In the middle, we opted for a rectangular coffee table on wheels. The larger surface area puts everyone within reach of the coffee table, and the wheels allow you to move it easily, either within the seating arrangement or out of the way completely. This layout is conversational and encourages easy movement through the space. Great for both entertaining and every-day living, it is a layout that quite literally lets you talk the talk and walk the walk.

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For the Dinner Party Host: A Fiercely Formal Layout

If you find yourself craving a traditional look, we created a second layout for you that colors inside the lines for a fabulous result. Symmetrical and balanced, this space offers more seating with two sofas facing inward and capped by two armchairs at the end. We selected a trunk coffee table, which unlike our more portable glass table, conveys solidity and underscores the formal symmetry of the space. This option offers you a living room that is structured and facilitates conversation, even as it creates a space that feels formal and intentionally designed.

For the Multi-Tasker: A Flexible Layout

Less formally designed, our flexible layout is a great way to open up your living space and use it in different ways. One of our favorite interior design tricks is creating the sense of rooms within rooms. Here we placed the sofa in the middle and used it as a divider to create two distinct spaces within our living room. The seating area is now smaller, and feels more intimate and personal. We chose a round coffee table because the organic shape easily snuggles into the asymmetrical conversation nook. Behind the sofa we created an open storage area, but you can also use the space for a home office, dining area, or yoga studio. A great way to make your space feel more open, this layout is for the dweller of small spaces who wants to use their space in a creative way.