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10 Ways to Add Extra Seating to Your Living Room

Designing your home is all about making sure it’s cozy and comfortable for you, your family and guests you have over! Even if we’re not entertaining much these days, living room seating is still an important part of your overall home design—extra seating always comes in handy! Whether you are having a laid-back movie night with the fam, game night with friends, an unexpected visit from relatives or just enjoy having a variety of seating options when you’re lounging at home, comfy and cool living room seating is always a bonus. Here are 10 ways to incorporate living room furniture for extra seating that will make your living space even more fabulous and fun!

Super Soft Sectional

We love the look and feel of this plush living space! Instead of a typical sofa, use a sectional sofa—it adds a ton of extra seating for family and friends.

Sectionals are great for lounging and stretching out—they can even double as guest sleeping spaces! You can go for smaller sofas or very large versions. Options include L-shaped sofas, chaise sectionals, U-shaped couches, and more. If you’re pondering sectionals vs. sofas, it’s good to know that sectionals are great for larger living rooms or for maxing out seating. And it’s a perfect living room furniture option for families that need space for kids or cozy TV watching areas.

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Stools tucked away

One of our favorite tips for small living room design is having small stools tucked away under other furniture. In this look, they are tucked away under a console table so they’re not in the foot path but still easily accessible to pull out and sit on as needed. Decorative stools like these look great as part of the design and also add practical living room seating. They’re perfect for small areas because they don’t take up much floor space. This trick also works for an entryway or hallway near the living room—it’s also a smart design trick for spaces you entertain in, etc.

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Poufs tucked away

Another one of the best living room design ideas for a small space is floor poufs tucked under a shelf or media cabinet. They are easy to pull out for extra living room seating or tuck away for more floor space. They are soft and safe for kids and pets and work wonders in casual spaces and households w/ little ones. Plus, they are super versatile and can be used elsewhere too—pull them into the office, dining room, etc.

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Window Bench

We love the look of this window bench as extra living room seating! If you have a built-in bench, just add pillows, cushions, throw blankets, etc. Or you can bring in a free-standing bench for added effect! This type of living room furniture works great for a sunny spot or a good view—especially in reading nook designs! You can easily turn an awkward or unused window nook into a seating area that’s perfect for reading/studying, etc

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Upholstered Ottoman

If you want living room seating that’s kid-friendly and still stylish, try using an upholstered ottoman. It does double duty as both a coffee table and side bench. You can design it with a tray as for a cool coffee table or stack pillows on top for extra seating. This look works great for homes that need a coffee table and added living room seating. And with the soft corners, you don’t have to worry about kids bumping into them!

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Designer Bench

Adding a bench opposite chairs and sofa adds extra seating that doesn’t take up much space and rounds out this living room design. It’s a great look for an open living room—the bench can be moved around so it’s super versatile and you can use it for seating whenever you need. It’s good for a casual living room seating option when you need a little extra space to hang out.

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Floor poufs

If you need extra seating but don’t want to invest in a ton of bulky furniture, consider placing poufs across the living room floor. It’s a very casual look and poufs are easy to add to any room—it’s also one of our favorite bedroom seating ideas! They are easy to move around and also super lightweight and soft. This option works well for households with kids and babies—you can use poufs to hang out, play on the floor, seat a few extra folks, etc.

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Small Benches

For a look that’s smart and stylish, line one or two benches in front of the fireplace. They make a great addition to the overall design and can work well in both formal or casual living rooms. Benches help create a u-shape seating arrangement—a great setup for conversation. They can also be pulled closer for chatting/games/tv watching and more.

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Group of Chairs

A simple fix for extra living room seating is to add a set of chairs for an additional conversational seating area. They can either be part of the living room arrangement or set off to the side to create a separate space. This look works for larger living rooms or oddly shaped ones with a nook to place chairs. It’s a good setup for entertaining or morning coffee, etc

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Bench Behind Sofa

Adding a bench behind the sofa is another smart and simple way to add extra living room furniture without overtaking the space. A bench like this one subtly divides the space but also provides extra seating and a polishing touch. It’s good for opening living/dining rooms or multipurpose living rooms and can be pulled into the living room for added seating. This is also a handy option because you can easily move it to different areas for kids to sit on, make room for extra guests, etc.

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Sectional vs Sofa: How to Pick the Best Seat for Your House

Sectional vs sofa, that is always the question. Isn’t it? It totally makes sense since it’s one of the first things you set your mind on buying for a new home—or even when you’re just moving into a new space.

It’s also the centerpiece in the living room that will dictate the rest of your space, so you want to make sure you choose the best option that works for how you live and use your space. So, whether you end up choosing a sofa or sectional for your space, it’s important to make the call early on in your design journey.

To start, consider these key questions to ask yourself: Do you live alone or have a family? Are you pressed for space? Does your space have a weird shape or layout? What’s your daily life like in your space? Does your living area also function as a dining or office space? Are you a big entertainer or more of a casual lounger? Those are questions our Modsy designers often ask customers right off the bat with any living room design.

We know it can feel like a lot, especially when you’re just starting to piece your living room design together. To help you figure out what’s right for your space, we designed three living rooms of varying shapes and sizes to show you how they would each look with a sectional and a sofa.

Read on to see all the different layouts, how a sectional vs sofa can work in each of those spaces, and our designers’ verdicts on the final option that might just be perfect for you.

sectional vs sofa1. A Small Living Room

Our first room is a rectangular living space that’s tight on square footage and needs to also fit a dining area. The two designs here show how it’s possible to do all that with a sectional or a sofa.

Sofa vs SectionalThe Sofa Layout

If you live in a small home or tiny apartment, chances are you have one main living area that needs to also double as your dining space.

In this layout design, a compact sofa for two can function as a deliberate space divider, separating the zones for lounging and dining. It creates the feeling of distinct rooms within a room, which is especially great if you work from home at your dining table and want more mental boundaries between your main spaces.

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Why It Works:

It’s the perfect two-seater size for a small space, but it leaves enough room for you to add more seating, like an armchair or side chair.

The size is comfy and doesn’t look bulky or overwhelming in a small space.

Because it’s compact, it doesn’t obstruct the flow in a small space—it even lets you enjoy the view outside the windows in its place as a divider here.

A Sofa in a Small Space is Perfect if You…

  • Want a multifunctional space that has a clear separation between your living and dining spaces.
  • Are a fan of casual but intimate parties and get-togethers.
  • Live by yourself and don’t need a lot of seats but do enjoy having friends over for small weeknight dinners.

The Sectional Layout

In contrast, a L-shaped sectional in this small space will only fit against the longest wall. But this actually creates an open floor plan with better flow between the living and dining room areas. You won’t have space for additional seating, like an armchair, but you also don’t need it since you’ll have the comfy chaise of your sectional to stretch out on.

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Why It Works

Despite the sectional being larger than the sofa, this arrangement gives the design an airier look and feel.

There’s a clear distinction of spaces that’s less defined, making it easier to have conversations no matter where you’re seated.

It opens up the room with a casual loungey look that feels instantly welcoming.

A Sectional in a Small Space is Perfect If You…

  • Love a comfortable living space but also need it to be versatile enough to entertain friends.
  • Always have friends over for movies, dinners, game nights, and get togethers.
  • Are a couple who enjoys their at-home time and catching up on lots of TV.

Our Verdict: Go For The Small-Space Sectional

While a sofa can make the most of your small space, a sectional is always a winner if it fits. It’s perfect for watching TV and entertaining, and it gives the feel of a laid-back lounge that lets you kick back and sprawl out.

sectional vs sofa layout2. A Living Room With A Fireplace

Our second space is an average-sized living room that fits lots of furniture. The challenge is making it all work around a fireplace design that takes up one wall. These two designs solve for that.

sectional vs sofaThe Sofa Chaise Layout

For those of you with a house or family home, your living space likely came with a fireplace that’s the big focus in the design.

For a balanced layout, place a sectional sofa opposite the fireplace, then mount a TV above the mantel. A large sofa with an accompanying ottoman that pulls up to form a chaise will also give you (or the whole family) a more comfy seat to lounge on. This setup also gives you a lot of room to add an accent chair and poufs for extra seating space—perfect for big hangouts and gatherings.

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Why It Works

With this setup, the fireplace and TV have equal balance and are treated as equal focal points.

There’s lots of space to tuck in versatile seating, like the chair in the corner and a pouf that doubles as a footstool when not in use. No corner goes unused.

This layout is as versatile as its seating options, meaning it’s functional while still allowing for a lot of walking room and new pieces to be added over time.

A Sofa Chaise in a Medium Space is Perfect If You…

  • Live with children or have a big family and you need a comfy gathering space.
  • Enjoy spending lots of time watching movies and shows in a relaxed setting.
  • Want a living space that feels like a space unto itself and that feels like a separate zone for tuning out from the rest of your home.

The L-Sectional Sofa Layout

With an L-shaped sectional, you can line it against two walls to create a cozy conversation area where the TV and fireplace are less of the focus. Keep in mind, though, there’s a little less flexibility with this layout since the sectional can only fit in one spot—even if it does help to open up the living space more.

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L-shaped sectional living room

Why It Works

This is a cozy alternative to the sofa layout, with a corner devoted completely to lounging. Although this also means your layout is fixed.

Because the setup makes this a natural conversation area that can feel both formal or casual.

It feels like an open living space with the sectional pushed against the wall and it creates a more seamless flow from one end of the room to the other.

An L-Sectional in a Medium Space is Perfect If You…

  • Like having friends over for low-key takeout and wine or hosting game nights.
  • Prefer an open setting where your living space feels connected to the larger overall space rather than a living area unto itself.
  • Want a layout that’s family-friendly with less space for things to be knocked over.

Chaise sectional living room designOur Verdict: Opt For The Versatile Sofa

Not only is the sofa-with-chaise better for TV viewing here, but it also gives you the flexibility of extra seating that’s easy to move around. And even though the L-shaped sectional wrapped along two walls does give off a cozy look, the front and center placement of the sofa is much more practical while still appearing comfy and stylish. 3. A Large, Open Living Room

Sectional vs sofa layout3. A Large, Open Living Room

In our final design, we came up with an open living room that has everything: built-in shelving, French doors and windows, and a marble fireplace. Our two layouts show how sometimes a larger room can be just as challenging as one where your furniture options are more obvious.

Two sofas living room designThe Two Sofas Layout

To play up a formal look in a large open living space, lean into a layout that’s symmetrical. The best way is to arrange two matching sofas facing each other with the fireplace in between them.

This design also gives focus to the sofas without taking away from the fireplace’s architecture. It’s a layout that’s perfectly set up for conversation and long comfy nights by the fire.

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two sofas living room layoutWhy it Works

It’s an airy layout that turns the living room into an instant conversation area that’s naturally made for formal entertaining.

Floating sofas is a stylish solution for spacious homes with walls that have built-in shelving and windows. They divide up the space and you can easily put a desk or a bench behind one to add even more function.

This also gives you a solid foundation to add more seats and smaller accent tables around the sofas over time without needing to rethink everything.

 

Two Sofas in a Large Space are Perfect If You…

  • Want a formal sitting room feel for your main seating area.
  • Are a consummate host and enjoy cocktails at night by the fire and book club gatherings where everyone can be comfortably seated for serious discussions.
  • Live in a home where the kids are all relatively grown up and you want a space that’s a little more elevated now.

sectional vs sofaThe L-Shaped Sectional Layout

On the other hand, this layout with a large L-shaped sectional sofa feels more casual and family-friendly. It’s less about a formal gathering and more about relaxed hangouts.

This layout lets you look out clearly at everything in the room, from the view out the windows to the bookshelves along the wall, and the central fireplace. It’s a function-first approach that’s also easy to switch up over time—it’s absolutely all about keeping things casual.

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L-shaped sectional living room designWhy It Works

The L-shape not only helps anchor the living area but it also offers tons of walking space and room to add extra seating.

The sectional is a subtle partition that separates the shelving from the seating seamlessly. The benefit of this is that it gives both areas a strong focus.

You can easily swap the art above the fireplace for a TV, add another small chair near the fireplace, or pull in another floor lamp. The asymmetrical layout allows for all that.

A Sectional in a Large Space is Perfect If You…

  • Love the open feel of a great living design but with a modern look. This is it.
  • You want to build out your space over time but still want it to feel substantial and decorated in the meantime. The sectional helps make the room feel well furnished here given its sheer size.
  • Are one to have frequent family parties and invite friends over for movie nights and big loungey gatherings where people can stand, kickback, or even grab a spot on the floor.

two sofas living roomOur Verdict: Choose What Works For Your Lifestyle

Working with a large open living space does mean you have more wiggle room. But it also means that it’s most important to base your layout and furniture arrangement around your lifestyle and daily needs.

If you like to host and entertain, the double facing sofa approach sets a more formal tone. Meanwhile, if you prefer a family-friendly vibe where it’s all about the casual gatherings on the regular, then sectional sofas can offer functional seating and a no-fuss layout.

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awkward living room design

9 Awkward Living Room Design Challenges and Their Solutions

At Modsy, we love helping our customers take on the many challenges of interior design. The most common room our customers struggle with? The living room. Since they’re usually at the top of the list in terms of rooms to decorate, we’ve encountered our fair share of awkward living room designs and helped our customers find solutions for them.

Awkward living rooms come in all shapes and sizes—from slanted walls to tiny spaces, we’ve designed it all. The living room is the hub of the house, but when it’s oddly shaped or has quirky features, it can feel impossible to make it work with the furniture and style you want. That’s why we’re rounding up some of the most common awkward living room design challenges right here in one place. Read on for some great awkward living room design solutions!

awkward living room design1. An Attic Loft Living Space

This attic loft is a funky, cool space with a ton of low-key hangout potential. The A-frame shape creates an immediately cozy vibe and the big window at the back of the room lets in a lot of natural light for sunny afternoon reading and naps.

However, sloped ceilings do tend to make for pretty awkward living room designs. Finding furniture that will accommodate the short and slanted walls is difficult, and it can be equally tough to fit everything in without making the room feel too cluttered and cramped.

To make the most of this awkward living room design, we went with a double sofa layout. The seating is super comfy and geared toward chatting and lounging, but the design also makes it easy to watch TV. We added a small desk in the back corner and propped artwork against the wall to make the most of the limited wall space.

awkward living room design2. Long and Narrow Living Room

If you have a long and narrow space like this one, you might be struggling to find the right layout and furniture for your awkward living room design. But don’t fret, it really doesn’t get much more awkward than this room, which stretches lengthwise with two full walls of windows and one side open to the rest of the home.

This layout is awkward because a long, narrow space doesn’t leave you with a ton of layout options. You want a comfortable and functional room with plenty of seating for watching TV, but the catch is that the TV only fits on one wall.

If you don’t need TV to be the focal point, use the awkward living room design to your advantage and create a cozy space to read, cuddle up, and relax—TV watching optional. We found a large comfy sectional that fits perfectly against two walls for an extra cozy feel. And instead of a traditional coffee table, we used two poufs that can double as extra seating/footrests. They take up the same amount of space, but provide so much more in the way of function—a must-have for all awkward living room designs!

3. Split-Level Living and Dining Room

This split-level living and dining space is awesome because you get a living room and dining space with an open, airy flow. It’s an awesome set-up for those who love entertaining but can also be an awkward room to design. The space is super unusual, but unlike some of the other awkward layouts that leave you with limited options, this one has endless possibilities!

A split-level room means you are left with a quirky half-wall, and this is the greatest design challenge to contend with. Consider placing shorter furniture against this wall, so as to not draw attention to it. Here we opted for a bench but you could also try a credenza for extra storage.

We opted for a conversational layout in this awkward living room design, with a tailored look that’s equally great for both casual hangs and more formal dinner parties. The polished color palette ties both rooms together for a cohesive look. And the sofa and facing chairs make for easy conversation while the bench against the partition wall maximizes that tricky wall space.

small living room design4. Super Small Apartment Living Room Design

Small room designs are one of the most well-known design challenges. And if you live in a city apartment, you’ll likely have to face this challenge sooner rather than later. But don’t let a small living room get you down! With the right tricks, even the smallest, most awkward living room designs can be perfectly livable and amazingly stylish.

This southwestern chic living room is perfect for entertaining, with plenty of seating and a style that is small space-savvy.

The main issue here is, of course, size. We needed to maximize the space to make room for chilling out, entertaining, watching TV, functional storage, etc. And we also wanted it to look good!

This design works because it allows for open traffic flow into the room and leaves plenty of space to navigate around furniture. The sofa has a built-in side table so you can skip the extra piece of furniture and the wall-mounted desk/bookcase offers plenty of convenient storage to free up more floor space.

5. Large, Open Living Room Layout

We talk a lot about clever ways to design small spaces, but it can also be tough to have the opposite problem! This living room is HUGE, with a beautiful fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows on every wall—design features that are highly sought after but also present their own challenges.

A big space can easily translate into an awkward living room design because the large room tends to make furniture, rugs, and decor look super tiny! In addition to the mondo size, this room also has the unique design challenge of having windows on every wall, which makes layout out furniture extra difficult.

We addressed this conundrum by floating a huge sectional sofa right in the middle of the room. This helps fill the space and also makes for killer TV viewing. Pulling the sofa away from the walls is a great interior design solution for the windows, too. And, the room is big enough to add a cozy convo circle around the fireplace and a tucked-away space for kids to play!

6. Long, Open Living and Dining Room

This awkward living room design features a refined rustic take on an open-flow living/dining room set up. We wanted to make sure the space had a distinct dining zone, adequate seating, and functional traffic flow to get the most use out of the space.

An open-flow space can be a challenge to design—there’s so much space you might not know where to start. It can be especially tricky to create distinct spaces for lounging and dining in such a long, airy room.

This room features a relaxed and inviting home space with a formal dining room and a loungey living space. The sectional sofa offers plenty of seating and the back of the sofa acts as a partition between the two “zones” of the room. This design also works because it offers plenty of extra storage space so you can easily declutter.

awkward living room design7. Awkward Living Room With Angled Walls

We’re really digging this modern and edgy space! Despite the awkward living room design, which features walls set at less-than-right angles, it still offers a comfortable space for lounging, working, playing and watching TV.

This room is full of design oddities, including one of the most difficult layout challenges: slanted walls! The quirky, awkward room shape creates lots of hard-to-handle nooks and crannies that can be difficult to fill without the space looking hodge-podge.

We opted for a conversational layout in this space with a sofa and armchair for more seating versatility. The design uses one awkward corner as a sunny home for plants, which helps brighten the space and detract from the weird angle. We also included a desk/workspace to maximize the functionality of the room.

awkward living room design8. Small Living Room with a Fireplace and Five Walls

If you ask us, small rooms can make for some of the coziest living areas of all. This modern living room design makes great use of a small, square space with tons of hangout room and lots of comfy seating.

Not having a lot of space doesn’t have to be a buzzkill, but it does mean you might have to get creative with your design choices. Not to mention that the room is nearly square but with an extra fifth wall, which can be an imposing shape to work with, and has lots of doors and windows to work around.

This design works because it features a cozy sofa and extra comfortable chairs that optimize TV viewing but also make for easy conversation. Small space solutions help fill out awkward spots, like the mini cabinet in the blank space between the two doors. Bookcases add vertical storage along a narrow wall and the two poufs add seating options without taking up a bunch of floor space.

awkward living room design9. Small Living Dining Room With a Slanted Wall

We love the cool, contemporary vibes of this laid back lounge. The layout centers around entertaining while the stylish decor and furnishings help create a cozy, welcoming feel.

The awkward living room design challenge here was working with a funky, narrow room. Maximizing a small, narrow space can be tough—especially when you want both a living room area and a separate dining space.

This layout works because it features lots of versatile, small-space seating options instead of overwhelming the room with a giant sofa. The dining area is also compact and great for low-key entertaining. The small furniture pieces and cool tones help create multiple “zones” in the room to maximize space!

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living room tips

5 Essential Tips to Ready Your Living Room for Guests

living room tipsMajor family gathering time is just around the corner! Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or just like to host a big family brunch, hosting guests (even if you love them) can be stressful. So if the thought of your in-laws seeing the current state of your living room makes you cringe, don’t panic, there’s still time to whip it into shape.

But just like a great meal, designing your home takes a lot of time and planning. To help lighten the load, we rounded up 5 of our designers’ best living room tips to get you started.

Whether you need a total design overhaul or just help with the finishing touches, Modsy designers can help spruce up your space in a jiff. Start your project today and see your exact room re-designed with new furniture in decor in 3D.

living room tips1. Ensure You Have Ample Seating

The first order of business when prepping your living room for guests? Making sure everyone has a comfortable place to sit and relax!

Consider whether a sofa or a sectional is right for you, and if you need additional side chairs to go with it. If you’re tight on space try incorporating flexible seating options, like poufs or a coffee table that doubles as an ottoman.

Read This Next: Deciding on a Sofa or a Sectional for an Open Living Room

living room tips2. Find the Right Layout

One of the best living room tips doesn’t require purchasing a thing. Finding the right layout for your space is just as important as picking a sofa or rug to fill it up. Think about the ways you enjoy spending time with loved ones and then optimize your living room layout to make that happen.

Does your family like to watch movies together? Be sure your sofa is oriented so that everyone gets a great view. And consider an option with an extra deep seat for extra comfort!

Or maybe playing board games around the coffee table is more your hosting style. Opt for a large coffee table and a layout that puts everyone in reach.

Read This Next: Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Sofa Online

living room tips3. Get Sneaky With Your Storage

We’re all about living room furniture that goes the extra mile. Opt for pieces that incorporate hidden storage to help make cleaning easier and faster.

For example, a coffee table with interior storage is great for stowing away big books, board games, and even kids’ toys. A bench behind the sofa adds extra seating and can also double as a hiding spot for extra blankets and pillows.

Read This Next: 7 Ways to Sneak More Storage Into Any Space

living room tips4. Carve out Designated Zones

A great way to navigate weekends hosting guests and extended family is to make space for different activities within the same room.

Try incorporating a play area for the kids, or reserve a reading nook by the fireplace for grandparents to relax. A cocktail area is also a great way to stay close to the action of the main gathering space, but give yourself a bit of reprieve.

Read This Next: 5 Tips for Designing a Kid-Friendly Living Room

living room tips5. Refresh Your Decor

The easiest way to give your living room guest-ready facelift? Refresh your art and accessories! Mix up your art for an instant change, or swap in new accent pieces to put your home in a more festive mood.

Feel like a more major change is in order? Try a new rug to totally change the look of your space.

Shop The Look: New Trends – Warm Hues For Fall

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