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living room dining room combo

Layout Guide: 1 Living Room Dining Room Combo, Styled 3 Ways

When it comes to designing an open living room and dining space, there are more than a few essential moving parts. There’s lots to consider, from furniture style and color schemes to the specific layout and flow of the space.

If you’re not sure where to start, our guide to common living room dining room combo layouts will help kick things off. For added inspiration and guidance, we’ve designed one open living room dining room combo space and reimagined it in three different ways that are each as stylish as they are practical. Read on to see the three takes on the room and all the possibilities for an open living and dining room, and steal ideas for your own space!

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living room dining room comboLayout #1: Casual & Conversational

In this layout, the living room and dining area are delineated into distinctive zones that are separated by the sofa back and a console table. Nonetheless, the two spaces work together side-by-side and form a versatile layout that maximizes seating in both spaces—chairs and ottomans can be easily pulled from and into each area. The result is a living room dining room combo space that perfectly balances casual and formal in a visually cohesive way.

living room dining room comboFurniture pairings keep the living space versatile:

The matching tables, armchairs, and ottomans not only make for foundational living room decor, but they also bring symmetry and balance to the space. They’re also super versatile accent pieces that are easy to dress up and down as needed. The tables and chairs can be separated and rearranged into a more casual living area setup or lined up together, like they are here, to create a more intimate yet laid-back conversation space.

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living room dining room comboThe high-low furniture mix delineates the vibe in each space:

One way to decorate a living room with a fireplace is to arrange conversational seating around the hearth, such as poufs and chairs that are easy to move around along with a clean-lined sofa, which add up to a casual-chic atmosphere. Meanwhile, a classically elegant console table lining the back of the sofa not only provides convenient storage, it also sets the stage for the slightly more formal dining space.

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living room dining room comboThe dining area nails the relaxed-refined balance:

With a large communal dining table that seats six or more, the dining area is designed for intimate family dinners and entertaining big groups alike. Along with the mix of slipcovered chairs and rustic wood seats, this space reflects the same versatile elegance and ease as the living room.

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living room dining room comboLayout #2: Classic & Formal

With this living room dining room combo layout, symmetry rules. The parallel sofas in front of the fireplace make way for a straight view through to the kitchen, emphasizing a sense of openness in the room. It’s a seamless flow between the living room and dining area, with no furniture dividing and delineating the two spaces, which adds to the overall airy feel and creates a cohesive look in the room.

living room dining room comboThe living area arrangement has a natural, elevated look:

Arranging two facing sofas with matching side tables is one of our favorite living room layouts because it instantly establishes a sophisticated formal look. Plus, they frame a fireplace mantel or window perfectly in the room, rounding out the space with a balanced look and polished appeal. A rug is also key to centering and setting apart this living space.

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living room dining room comboA mix of materials is key and adds depth:

With a formal living room approach, combining different materials will warm up the space as well as continue the elevated appeal. Polished materials, such as mirrored finishes and brass lend a touch of glamour while rustic woods and a woven patterned rug will even the sleekness out with a hint of earthiness. The idea is to allow all the varying textures—smooth, grainy, woven—to shine and provide both visual and tactile elegance to the space.

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living room dining room comboTraditional dining furniture doesn’t have to be formal:

Rounding out the room is a dining space that’s anchored by a classic pedestal dining table and classic slipcovered dining chairs. While the arrangement is definitely more formal in style, the openness of the space and the ample walking room all around helps ease up the traditional appeal of this dining area. An ornate bar cabinet off to the side helps anchor this formal space by giving it some visual cohesion as well. In the end, this well-dressed dining room living room combo layout adds up to a space that’s designed for seamless entertaining.

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living room dining room comboLayout #3: Communal & Family-Friendly

If it’s comfort, coziness, and a fully casual vibe you’re after, this family-friendly living room dining room combo layout is for you. With a big sectional, relaxed side chairs, and a communal dining setup that includes a farmhouse-style table and fuss-free benches, this is our idea of a living room and dining space that’s made for some major R&R. Not to mention, it’s perfectly geared toward entertaining big groups, be it a dinner for family and friends or a kids birthday party. This is a space that lets you do it all in comfort and with ease.

living room dining room comboThe U-shaped sectional creates a framework for the living area:

Between a sofa and a sectional, the latter is definitely the winner for this living space layout. Opt for a relaxed U-shaped sectional design that is low enough to not block sight lines throughout the open room. It also subtly divides your living and dining spaces into distinct areas. Think of it as the foundational piece that everything else will be arranged and decorated around, including your dining pieces.

Additionally, not only does the sectional accommodate lots of people, it’s also super kid-friendly. Pair it with a round woven coffee table for another kid-proof design that gives you lots of surface space to work with. Ground it all with a natural-fiber rug that’s layered with a soft patterned one to add both durability and style.

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living room dining room comboKeep to moveable seating that works across the entire room:

Make sure to have some extra living room seating—be it a pair of laid-back ottomans or airy rattan chairs, like the ones here. The idea is to keep these as moveable pieces that can travel between your living and dining areas as needed. For instance, you can flank the fireplace with them to create a conversation pit in your living area, or you can pull them into the dining space as additional chairs at both ends of the table.

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living room dining room comboThe communal table brings major outdoor vibes indoors:

What sets this dining area apart from the previous layouts is that it captures a truly casual aesthetic that brings to mind picnics outdoors. The x-based dining table and bench have a relaxed look and are perfectly designed for entertaining big parties as well as kids, since there’s no formal seating protocol. This is the best option if you’re looking to create a living room dining room combo space that’s all about casual everyday living and bringing people together.

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spare dining room chairs

6 Unexpected Places You Can Use Spare Dining Room Chairs

When you have a formal dining room, it’s nice to have enough dining chairs on hand for hosting—so, at least six. Because, even if you aren’t having guests over right now, we promise that someday (hopefully soon!) you’ll gather friends and family around your dining table for Thanksgiving dinners or the brunch of your dreams! But, until then, it’s not necessary to have six chairs cluttering your dining room on a day-to-day basis.

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If you’re currently furnishing a dining room from scratch and brainstorming dining room interior design ideas, you may wonder if it’s even worth purchasing six dining chairs right now. Why not buy only two or four now, and then buy more later? Well, for one it tends to be more cost-effective to purchase dining room chairs in a larger set. With some brands, you can purchase all six as a set, along with your dining table, while others let you purchase dining room chairs in pairs. Either way, buying a whole set at once tends to be more economical than buying each chair individually.

But once you have them, where can you put extra dining room chairs when you’re not using them other than stack them in the garage? Where can you store them that will keep them handy without them being in the way? Here are six places to put your extra dining room chairs around your home where they’ll actually be useful when not in your dining room!

spare dining room chairsAdd Entryway Seating

We love the idea of framing your entryway console with two spare dining room chairs. This gives your entryway a stately and formal look, while giving those extra chairs a truly practical use! You can sit on them to take off or put on your shoes, or use them as a surface to set your bags or coats. For a less formal and more eclectic look, you could also use just one chair or put them side-by-side so your set-up is asymmetrical.

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Use One as a Desk Chair

Working from home? A comfortable desk chair is a must. So, if your spare dining room chairs are upholstered, use one at your desk in your home office! Dining room chairs work well in home offices, because they allow for a naturally ergonomic set-up. This is a functional way to put your extra dining room chair to good use, offering comfort and support for long workdays.

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spare dining room chairsSet Up a Kitchen Bistro Table

If you have space for an eat-in kitchen bistro area or a small breakfast nook, add your two extra chairs there! A two-person table can be great for breakfast and coffee—a cozy alternative to eating at your formal dining room table for every meal. And, by using your spare dining room chairs here, you’ll save money by not buying two additional chairs for this space.

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spare dining room chairsTuck One Into a Corner

No one puts baby in a corner! But you can put your extra dining room chair there. Don’t be afraid to simply place an extra dining room chair in the corner of a room—whether that’s your living room, entryway, dining room, bedroom, or even at the end of a long hallway. It’s great for filling corners of large rooms or making an otherwise empty space feel considered. Visually, this is more of an editorial approach—it’s not likely someone will just sit down in a chair in a random corner—but it adds visual nuance to an empty space. And, this way, you can also pull it into the living room when you need extra seating!

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spare dining room chairsMake a Nightstand Substitute

Place an extra chair next to your bed as a makeshift nightstand! This is a fun approach if you like an asymmetrical bedroom layout or have a more eclectic space where something nontraditional would work well. We especially love this approach in a small bedroom or guest bedroom where you don’t need two fully functional nightstands. (Though you can definitely still stack books and an alarm clock on a chair nightstand—it’s just not as great for glasses of water.) This approach gives the space a unique look and also offers a place to sit down other than the bed.

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spare dining room chairsAdd an Extra Living Room Seat

If you want to add some extra seating into your living room, place your extra dining room chair there. You could place it in an empty corner, like we mentioned earlier in this post, or in front of the fireplace as part of your seating area, like in the image above. This works especially well for more substantial dining chairs, like this upholstered option, since it offers comfort and won’t feel too out of place in a living room. Just make sure to style it with other pieces, like a small accent table or a pillow, to make it feel like it really belongs in the space.

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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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Layout Guide: Ideas For a Large Open Living-Dining Room

In 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 an open dining and living room layout, where the possibilities seem endless—and overwhelming.

The Space: A large open living-dining room with big windows and an amazing fireplace

The Style: Inviting Industrial

The Challenge: Designing an open living room layout that is functional, comfortable, and has a cohesive style across the different areas.

More space, more design opportunities, right? True, but that’s also part of the challenge when it comes to designing an open living-dining room. While you have more space to work with, it’s also easy to suddenly get caught up with all sorts of design and decor ideas.

What if I placed my sofa away from the fireplace? Is that weird or just impractical? A sectional and two chairs make the most sense, but what if I just stick to a sofa and go for a bigger communal dining table?

These are common questions that come up when you’re working with a spacious open living room. To provide some guidance and inspire your open living room design, we explore two different layout ideas for open concept spaces that offer style, function, and big comfort all at once. Read on to see the layouts and get our tips for setting up your space.

Layout Idea #1: The Relaxed Gathering Living Room Layout

Equal parts modern, industrial, and livable, this layout is the perfect setup for a casual family home today. The emphasis is on laid-back comfort and simple style, and the boldly neutral palette adds warmth and an approachable vibe to the large open room.

 

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Why This Relaxed Layout Works

Family-Friendly Seating. If you’re working with an open living-dining room and want to keep a casual vibe, a large sectional sofa is a perfect choice. It’s family-friendly since it gives everyone tons of room to kick back and stretch out, and it also acts as a divider for your living and dining areas. Pull up a pair of armchairs and you’ve got a layout that’s big on comfort with good flow.

Casual Dining Area. With a smaller round table, you’ll have a relaxed dining area that’s simple and perfect for easy sit-down dinners. It’s great for a family of four with grown-up kids, or for those who prefer more free-flowing meal gatherings, like potlucks and pre-dinner snacks.

Good TV Placement. The TV mounted above the fireplace makes this an ideal layout if you love hosting movie nights or enjoy spending time keeping up with all the latest shows. The best part about this placement is that it makes watching TV easy from anywhere in the room, but it’s not the main focus in the space.

Modern and Comfy. Streamlined furnishings often can feel overly sleek and spare, but the pieces here are minimalist without feeling cold, thanks to the restrained color palette. The hint of brown in the dining chairs, the solid blues, and the subtle patterns all help to balance out the clean lines of the furnishings with touches of warmth.

Will This Open Living Room Layout Work In Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Enjoy casual gatherings that are laid-back and relaxed.
  • Love to host friends with kids for movie nights where everyone gets a seat.
  • Prefer having people over for no-fuss pre-dinner drinks instead of long dinners at the table.
  • Are all about a family-friendly space that can stand up to busy daily lives.

Layout Idea #2: The Formal Entertaining Living Room Layout

Elegant and contemporary in style, this layout leans formal and is thoughtfully arranged for conversation. It has a high-contrast palette of dark grays, white tones, and light woods, all of which give it a polished and considered look and feel. The mix of luxurious materials helps tie together the different areas and adds to the elevated appeal of the open room.

 

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Why This Formal Layout Works

Symmetrical Seating. By placing two facing sofas in the living area, this layout instantly takes on a more formal look while keeping the flow of the room open. It’s an arrangement that’s great for conversations but is equally inviting and comfy for leaning back and putting up your feet.

Serious Dining Area. With a larger dining table that accommodates six people, the dining area is more primed for hosting long dinner parties. Combined with the formal seating area, it makes the overall room perfect for all sorts of entertaining, be it intimate book clubs or big fancy soirees. The fully stocked bar cart in the living room corner adds the finishing touch!

Lots of Vertical Storage. To keep the airy look and feel in this formal layout, the bookcases flanking the fireplace provide convenient vertical storage that opens up the floor space. It also acts as a showcase for accessories, photos, and objects while drawing focus to the fireplace.

Elegant and Cozy. This layout proves that you can have both formal style and comfort in an open space. The neutral color palette of varying gray and wood tones plays up a contemporary look that also feels warm and welcoming. Materials like velvet and sisal paired alongside wood graining add to that cozy feel.

Will This Living Room Layout Work In Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Enjoy a little formality in your living and dining space that’s still inviting.
  • Love hosting a good game night as much as you love a cocktail party.
  • Are a big home cook who likes hosting long sitdown dinners with family and friends regularly.
  • Appreciate a space that feels curated and collected when you come home each day.

 

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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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