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Tips for Tackling 4 Common Living and Dining Room Layout Designs

living room plus dining room designHaving 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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