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Layout Guide: Three Layouts for a 20 x 20 Living Room

In our Layout Guides series, you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. We show you different ways to lay out a space—because we’re big believers in working with what you’ve got! Here, we’re tackling 20×20 living room layouts.

furniture layout for 20x20 living room

The Space: A 20×20 Living Room

The Challenge: This spacious square living room has to incorporate lots of windows and doors, an opening to the kitchen, a wall of built-in shelves, and a corner fireplace.

This is a common large living room design found in many family homes and suburban houses. But while a large living space means more design possibilities, it can sometimes be trickier to land on a living room layout. With three walls lined with windows, doorways, and built-in shelving, coming up with a functional living room furniture arrangement is more challenging. Also, you’ll want to make sure your layout suits your lifestyle and how you want to use the room.

Keep scrolling for three different takes on furniture layout for this 20×20 living room, and get our tips for decorating a large space in your own home. From a layout optimized for TV watching to a design focused on formal entertaining, each of these living room layout ideas offer practical and stylish takeaways you’ll be able to bring into your own home.

Want more living room design ideas or need help with your layout? Let our Modsy designers help and see your room expertly designed in 3D—like these layouts below!

Large boho living room with white sectional and rust colored pillows

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Layout Idea #1: A Living Room For TV Viewing

For a large living room layout where family entertaining and TV viewing is the main purpose, anchoring the space with a comfy seating area is key.

In this living room furniture layout, we optimized the design for function with seating in the middle, a dedicated TV space off to the side, a fireplace corner that’s inviting, and leaving lots of walking room all around. The result is a cozy living room with a fireplace and a TV layout that’s practical and maximizes every square inch of space while still feeling open and airy.

Large boho living room with white sectional and rust colored pillows

How To Make It Work

furniture layout for 20x20 living room

Frame your seating area with a sectional. To ground the living room with a main seating area, a large corner sectional sofa is a great anchor piece. It adds ample seating and faces the room’s entrance and welcomes people in. This also leaves room for armchairs that offer extra seating. Together, the sectional and chairs form a U shape that’s perfect for family TV watching.

furniture layout for 20x20 living room

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Be sure not to block your windows. With walls of windows, use them to the fullest for natural light. Keeping the windows unobstructed with curtains or lighting in front of them allows light to stream in throughout the space, making the living room feel even more airy and bright.

Large boho living room with white sectional and rust colored pillows

Zone your space with layered rugs. In a large living room, creating zones for different purposes will help with the flow. The layered rugs under the seating area help frame the main lounging spot here and set it apart from the TV wall and fireplace. Additionally, the two rugs placed on top of each other also provide extra padding underfoot that protects the floors.

furniture layout for 20x20 living room

Set up a functional TV wall. In this living room, the TV is large and takes up an entire wall off to the side to maximize viewing. Because the TV is so big, it’s comfortably in view from every seat on the sectional sofa as well as the armchairs, which can also be turned to face the TV.

To round out the TV wall, we brought in a media console that’s proportionally larger than the TV to balance out the look of the screen and anchor and ‘zone’ the entire wall space.

Modern coastal living room with white facing sofas

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Layout Idea #2: A Living Room With An Office

With homes working harder to be multipurpose these days, a living room layout that includes a home office is a gamechanger. In this living room furniture layout, the space serves multiple functions, including a work area, but maintains an open and cohesive design style that makes the space appear as one large room instead of an office and a living room that feel separate.

Large living room with sofas facing each other

How To Make It Work

Modern coastal living room with white facing sofas

Try a formal sofa arrangement. The heart of this living room is a cozy conversational seating area with two facing sofas. It’s a slightly more formal furniture layout, but the style of the sofas help ease things up for a casual look and feel. It’s the perfect sofa arrangement for an approachable living room layout that’s equal parts conversation-friendly and laid-back.

Modern coastal living room with two white sofas facing each other

Leave lots of walking room. The biggest challenge with a large space is making it feel cozy while still keeping the layout spacious and open. To create a sense of comfort while allowing for lots of walking room and flow, the seating area is minimally furnished with an open-base coffee table and moveable ottomans, which zone the space without making it feel closed off.

Modern coastal living room with white facing sofas

Float furniture to define your space. Floating furniture, aka. arranging large pieces away from walls, is a great trick to add function as well as zone a living room. Here, the console table behind the sofa is at once a display surface, a catchall, and a room divider that anchors and separates the living space from the entrance.

Modern coastal living room with desk in corner

Incorporate a home office corner.

There’s no better space to carve out a home office than a large open living room. The office space here is off to the side and transforms the empty wall into a practical work corner. It’s also perfectly positioned near the built-in shelves, which also makes practical sense.

To ensure the office feels like a part of the living room, a neutral cowhide rug extends out and connects the desk and seating area. Additionally, the light-wood desk and chair have a versatile look that matches the casual feel of the family-friendly sofas, coffee table, and ottomans.

furniture layout for 20x20 living room

Layout Idea #3: A Living Room For Formal Entertaining

If a formal living room layout is what you’re after, this stylish and elevated approach is for you. With a grand piano taking center stage, this living room furniture layout serves multiple uses with three different areas that are all dedicated to entertaining. Moreover, the furniture all have a more tailored look that complements the sophisticated look of the piano.

Large living room layout with grand piano

How To Make It Work

Traditional living room with corner fireplace and bar cart

Carve Out A Comfy Nook. One of the best ways to make use of a living room with a corner fireplace is to create a comfy seating area next to the hearth. The upholstered bench in front of the fireplace becomes an instant reading nook and lounging corner for cozying up.

To play up this fireplace corner even more, we added a moveable bar cart to make it the perfect drinks station for entertaining and serving cocktails.

Classic living room with grand piano

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Spotlight unique pieces. With a grand piano, give it the spotlight it deserves in a large living room. We placed the piano in a corner of the room and paired it with a large round rug to set it apart as the main focus. Surrounded by the windows, it’s the perfect spot for entertaining guests with some music or for kids to practice while parents relax in the seating area nearby.

Classic living room with plaid wingback chairs

Go for big upholstered pieces. 

A formal living room layout looks best with upholstered pieces that are sumptuous, large-scale, and provide major comfort. The wingback chairs here not only ground the seating area with a lot of presence, they’re also the perfect tall seats to add a sense of warmth to the overall room alongside the corner fireplace.

furniture layout for 20x20 living room

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Make for an intimate seating area. 

With large-scale furniture and upholstery in a large space, grouping the pieces closely together in one area is the best way to instantly create an inviting look and feel.

The seating area here is centered between the fireplace and built-in shelving, which makes it an instant cozy spot for lounging, curling up near the fireplace, and all kinds of conversation and entertaining.

For more inspiring ideas, check out more living room layouts!

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Living Room Layouts: What is The Best Living Room Layout For You?

One of the first things you need to do when decorating a room is decide on a layout. In the living room, figuring out the right layout for you depends on how you want to use your space and what pieces you want to include.

Check out our living room checklist for all of your must-have living room furniture pieces.

So, start by asking yourself how you want to use your living room. Do you entertain family and friends often there? Are you trying to incorporate a play area for your kids? Wanting to figure out layouts for living rooms with a fireplace? Or maybe you have an open floor plan and the living and dining spaces need to feel cohesive? Whatever your needs are, being clear about how you’ll engage with your living room design on a daily basis will help determine your layout.

To provide you with some guidance and inspiration, we’re breaking down four common living room layouts below. Read on to see the layouts and pick up tips for bringing the look in each setup into your home with our casual and formal living room layout ideas.

Best Living Room Layouts for Casual Conversation

Living room layouts featuring laid-back conversation areas are common with Modsy customers. It’s easy to see why, given that these designs encourage intimate conversations. If you want a cozy living room where people can mingle and relax, these are for you.

Conversational Layout #1

This layout focuses on the three mini seating areas that surround space—the sofa and woven ottoman serve as main seating in the room, while the armchairs by the fireplace are each set up as reading corners with their respective ottoman and drinks table.

Get more layout ideas for living rooms with a corner fireplace.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Use three-point seating. Arranging your seating in a triangle, like the sofa opposite the fireplace and the inward-facing armchairs here, will instantly center your seating area and create an effortless conversation area.
  • Go round. Opting for curvy designs in your living room furniture will give your space a less rigid look and feel. It will also create a good flow, making it easy for lots of people to move through the seating area.
  • Think visually minimal. The monochrome prints, black-and-white Moroccan rug, and white sheepskin keep the space feeling cozy rather than busy and overwhelming.

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Conversational Layout #2

Stumped by an awkward living room design? We’ve got you. Think of this split-level living room layout as the “conversation pit” of your space. Whereas the first layout has an open flow, this one has a formal and structured formation with living room furniture that plays up a cozy vibe. If you’re after a simple layout, this is one of the more straightforward living room ideas.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Line up your seating. A simple way to create conversation areas in a living room is to arrange your sofa, armchairs, benches, and ottomans in a U-shaped setup. This way, they form a semi-closed seating area that feels intimate.
  • Stick with open bases. Because your seating arrangement has a boxy configuration, even it out with furniture that are on legs and have open bases for airy contrast.
  • Opt for classic colors. No need to go full neutral—but sticking to light blues, greens, and beige tones in your accents will create a cohesive look that’s punchy but easy on the eyes.

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Best Living Room Layouts for TV Watching

If you use your living room more as a place to kick back for movie nights and weekend Netflix binges with family and friends, the following two layouts have you covered. These living room ideas are centered around the TV as the main focal point of the seating area.

TV Watching Layout #1

With a deep, stuffy sectional as the centerpiece, this living room furniture arrangement is perfect for families with kids or those of you who host regular movie viewings and game nights. This living room with a TV and a fireplace is all about fuss-free comfort, where everything is designed around the joint focal point of the fireplace and TV.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Invest in big seating. When the focus of your space is entertaining around the TV, go for a comfy, sink-in sectional and chaise combo to create the ultimate lounge area. Not sure if you want a sofa or sectional? See our guide for each of their pros and cons.
  • Elevate your TV viewing. Even if you don’t have a fireplace, hang your TV a little higher to avoid having to crane your neck to watch movies. For the best way to incorporate your TV to look like decor, check out our easy hacks for working TV viewing into any living room layout.
  • Finish with extra seats. A sectional and chaise on its own isn’t enough to fill out your living space, so make it a point to include the additional pouf or armchair. This will give your living room more flexibility as a conversational area and not just for TV watching.
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TV Watching Layout #2

While the first layout gives you a sort of cozy seating alcove, this furniture arrangement gives you a central boxed-in, TV-viewing spot that still has good flow and leaves plenty of walking room all around. And unlike the previous design, this layout results in a slightly more formal living room design, while still using the TV as the focal point.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Try multipart seating. Another seating option is a large, multi-piece sectional that is designed to be configured to suit your room and can accommodate lots of bodies. Try a floating furniture approach with this layout, since a floating sofa can also act as a room divider. This approach is especially good for large rectangular living rooms.
  • Add in more moveable pieces. With a sectional that forms a conversation ring, pair it with versatile accent tables that can easily be pulled in and out of the space. Try a round coffee table and a C-shaped drinks table for compact and convenient options.
  • Optimize space around. Tuck a bench behind the sofa so that it’s easy to bring around for extra seating when needed. A bench can serve as a great perch to have at the ready for family game nights or for an extra surface for setting down a tray of drinks.

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Best Living Room Layouts for Formal Entertaining

Conversational but less casual and intimate, these formal living rooms are less focused on lounging and lean more toward a space for cocktail parties and book clubs. These layouts are more aligned with traditional rules of interior design—so expect more classic and elevated living room ideas with furniture arrangement and decor.

Formal Layout #1

When it comes to formal living room ideas, this layout approach is tried-and-true. With its symmetrical furniture arrangement and elegant decor pairings, this layout offers a sense of instant sophistication that never fails to impress guests.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Double everything. There’s power in pairs when it comes to this layout—from facing sofas to floor lamps flanking the fireplace and matching pillows. Start with your sofas—the more classic shapes the better—and then move to the smaller accents and accessories.
  • Symmetry rules. This is key if you want a classic formal layout. It not only provides a sense of order and structure to the space, but it also lends a tailored look and frames architectural details, like windows or a fireplace, as focal points.
  • Neutral is best. The best way to ensure this formal living room layout maintains a streamlined and elegant look is to embrace a neutral palette of grays and white tones. It will soften sharp lines and dark materials and give your space a light and chic appeal.

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Formal Layout #2

For a different take on formal living room design, try this elevated and curated take on a conversational layout. The key here is to combine lots of different seating in many different styles and materials, which will usher in a refined ambiance.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Vary your seating. The most important element in this living room layout is the mix of ottomans and armchairs, along with a bench and sectional. Together they create a formal and balanced look that gives any living room both a sense of intimacy and elegance.
  • Center with accents. With a variety of seating styles, you want to make sure the seating area still appears focused. Use a set of art prints and a large coffee table as visual anchors to ground the center of your space.
  • Delineate with a rug. No matter your living space, a rug will set apart your seating area. It’s essential in this formal layout, as a light-hued rug can unify all the different designs.

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Best Living Room Layouts For Multi-Uuse Spaces

For many people, living rooms aren’t just for lounging (especially during shelter-in-place times). This space might flow into a dining area or need to also function as a playspace for children or as a makeshift home office. If this is the case for your home, these multipurpose living room ideas featuring flexible layouts are sure to help you tackle your space.

Explore more multipurpose space design ideas.

Multi-Use Layout #1

For a small living room design that needs to work as both living and dining room, clear delineation of where each area starts and ends is key. That means where you place your living room furniture will make all the difference.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Partition with furniture. Use a sofa to divide the living and dining areas. The sofa back acts like a wall to separate the room into two distinct spaces with different functions. If you’re not sure where to start, take a peek at these open living dining room layout ideas.
  • Add tall accents. Whether it’s a light fixture over a dining table, a tall plant next to your sofa, or art on the walls, accents make for visualmarkers that will help further set apart your living and dining spaces.

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Multi-Use Layout #2

Balancing multiple functions in a living room can be tricky, especially when it involves a space for children. When you’re carving out a play area or a fun corner for kids, it’s even more important to nail down a layout that clearly provides separation between different “zones.”

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Corner it. Carve out a corner for the kiddos. You can use a rug to physically zone the space and top it with children’s furniture to formalize the spot as your little one’s dedicated play area. Having trouble doing this in your own space? Check out more ways to make your living room also work as a playroom.
  • Use kid-friendly markers. No, we’re not saying you should let your kids draw on your walls! We simply mean hanging up a piece of youthful art to signal that the area under it is a play space. You can also work in baskets and kid-friendly storage for toys and clutter, which will ultimately indicate that it’s a separate space from the rest of the living area.

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Multi-Use Layout #3

One of our favorite open floor plan ideas for a living room is incorporating a mini office space. But it can be tricky to get the layout right as you want to make sure you add function without creating more visual clutter.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Back it with a desk. Tuck a desk behind your sofa to set up an open workspace for yourself. The back of the sofa acts like a mini wall that instantly sets your office area apart from the rest of the room. Can’t fit a desk behind your sofa? Explore more ideas from us on how to make an office in your living room.
  • Work in accent furnishings. By itself, a desk can feel a little haphazard in the middle of your living room. Try rounding out your office space with side tables, storage pieces, or a pair of stools on either side of your desk. This adds instant symmetry and balance while also formalizing this area as a dedicated workspace. Want more ideas? Get the full scoop on our favorite miltipurpose furniture.
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Looking for more living room design inspiration? Dig further into our blog for some real living room design stories and check ut our line-up of the best living room designs of 2020!

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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.

Need help with a narrow living room design?

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Layout Ideas: Deciding on a Sofa or Sectional For an Open Living Space

Often 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 the square-shaped to the narrow to the just plain awkward, this is your one-stop shop for layout ideas that work.

sofa or sectional layoutThe Homeowners: A couple with a two-year-old son.

The Space: A 22’ x 25’ open living space used everyday and for everything.

The Challenge: Designing a kid-friendly space that’s also stylish, and figuring out what couch/seating layout would work best for the space – a sofa or sectional.

sofa or sectionalIdea #1: The Conversation Ring Layout

Layout idea #1 opts for a sofa with extra chairs sprinkled all around. The space feels more decorated is perfect for entertaining and conversation. This layout also helps shift the focus away from the TV as the main feature of the room.

Why It Works:

  • The sofa is perfect for low-key family nights but it can still easily accommodate lots of guests when entertaining.
  • Pulling in standalone chairs makes for a flexible layout. Easily reconfigure your layout for game night or pull a chair to another room in your home as needed.
  • The sofa frees up a lot of walking room in and around the seating area.
  • A round table checks the box for a super kid-friendly centerpiece.

sofa or sectional

sofa or sectional

This Is Great If You…

  • Enjoy having people over for drinks and conversation as opposed to movie marathons.
  • Prefer a living room that’s more open and has a slightly formal and designed look to it.
  • Want a living space that doesn’t revolve around TV-watching.

See the layout idea #1 in 360!

 

sofa or sectionalIdea #2: The Viewing Corner Layout

Layout idea #2 opts for a sectional. This helps to define the living area as a cozy corner where you can totally lounge out. the sectional also helps turn the space into a TV lounge area with a casual atmosphere.

sofa or sectional

sofa or sectional

Why It Works:

  • The sectional helps clearly delineate the seating area from the rest of the space, making it feel like a room within a room.
  • A huge tiered coffee table provides practical storage space for you to stash remotes and other tech gadgets out of sight.
  • The bigger the sectional the more pillows you can have. Pile them on for lots of cushy support!
  • This layout factors in lots of extra lighting as well, which means you can set the mood as needed.

sofa or sectional

This Is Great If You…

  • Want to have a clearly defined living space that doesn’t face the entry area.
  • Mainly use your living space for watching TV and movies with family and friends.
  • Enjoy a more laid-back and relaxed living room where you can lie down and stretch out your legs.

See the layout idea #2 in 360!

 

Need help finding the best layout for your space?

 

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