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Design is our obsession. It has been for over 30 years. And with a wealth of experience under our belts, we certainly know our stuff. But there’s one pressing question that pops up over and over again: How can I find the best layout for my living room? It can be challenging, but getting the décor right in the epicentre of your home can also be transformational. We’re spilling the beans on how our interior designers do it, giving you an inside edge on the dos and don’ts of flawless planning.
The importance of a correct living room layout
Step 1: create a floor plan. Drawn to scale and detailing every nook and cranny, it gives you a birds-eye view of exactly what you’re dealing with and helps eliminate mistakes. It will also enable you to identify your focal point. You may want to showcase a stylish fireplace, for example, or large bay windows – and all of these features will determine the orientation of your room.
Step 2: consider your lifestyle. Do you have a family filled with pets and kids? Are you big on entertaining? Are movies your favourite pastime? These insights will help you correlate all the finer details like televisions, storage and play areas. They will also help you determine your style of décor and how much seating you’ll need.
Living room furniture essentials to think about
Before you start formulating your living room layout ideas, make a list of all the components you would like to include. Here are the essentials.
The size of the sofa you choose will depend on the dimensions of your space. For expansive living rooms, go for a modular unit with plenty of customisation options. But if your floorspace is limited, consider a two seater or a small L-shaped piece instead. Explore our range of luxury Italian sofas here.
Accent chairs, stools and ottomans
Whether you want a single armchair or a pair of stylish stools, accent seating is always a plus. Make sure that it ties in with your main sofa. Take a look at our selection of luxurious armchairs here.
Coffee and side tables
Every living room should feature at least one table – we all need something to rest a cup on. Explore our contemporary coffee tables here.
From bookshelves to TV units and display cabinets, storage units help keep things organised. We have a great range for you to choose from - find it here.
Key for creating both ambience and extra illumination, additional lighting like floor or desk lamps should always be included in your plans. We have a gorgeous selection here.
No design project is complete without some beautiful accessories. Think cushions, rugs, vases, indoor planters, magazine racks and coat stands – choose items that ooze personality. We have spent years choosing the best, top quality pieces - see them here.
Small living room layout ideas
If you’re planning a small living room layout, think vertically and avoid clutter. Here are our 7 hottest tips.
1. Chunky furniture is a no-no, so if you can’t fit in a sofa, get three or four small chairs instead. Find pieces that are elevated above floor level.
2. Pick items that offer extra storage space like open shelving, ottomans with an inner compartment or a table with a bottom shelf.
3. Keep the colour palette for your walls and upholstery neutral and light.
4. Opt for round tables with glass tops – they open up your floorspace.
5. Add infusions of colour with bespoke accessories to create interest.
6. Layer your lighting by highlighting architectural features, adding task lamps for reading and include some wall sconces to draw the eye upwards
7. If your living space is open plan, create designated zones for your dining and sitting areas.
Large living room layout ideas
Planning a large living room layout also has its complexities. The trick is to make it look warm, welcoming and stylish rather than empty and disjointed. These are our 7 favourite dos.
1. Find the focal point of your room and design around it to create a central hub.
2. Choose a large modular sofa or two three seaters with complimentary chairs as your main features. Position them in a U shape to create flow. You can use different styles, but make sure that they all have a common design thread.
3. Use a collection of foot stools, ottomans and side tables to help fill up spaces, but be careful not to clutter.
4. Tie the whole look together with a beautiful coffee table and a super-sized rug.
5. If you have children, put a play area behind the main sofa, leaving the central conversation zone free for adults.
6. For excessively large spaces, don’t be afraid to split the room into zones that have distinct divisions. Use features like a double sided bookshelf or a bespoke fireplace to help you do this. Leave at least 3 ft between each area.
7. Choosing neutral tones for your walls will allow you to introduce other colours and patterns in the form of cushions and upholstery. The darker the shade, the more it will fill in the room.
Awkward living room layout ideas
Here are 3 awkward living room layout scenarios and how to solve them.
A small living room with a sloped ceiling can cause some really difficult design issues as the ceiling will prohibit you from placing tall items against the wall.
- Position a small sofa under the slope to create a comfortable nook.
- Fill in difficult corners with an array of potted plants or a designer lamp.
A long, narrow living room layout is a common problem and is fairly restrictive, especially if one of the walls is filled with windows.
- Create a comfortable sitting area in one half of the room using a small L-shaped sofa and some smart ottomans.
- Add a low side table with a shelf to the end of the sofa instead of trying to squeeze in a coffee table.
- Fill the rest of the space with an informal dining area or a simple study.
A small living room layout with multiple doorways needs furniture that is proportionate to the size of the room, leaving space for movement and flow.
- Find two dainty apartment sofas and some glamorous stools and position them closer together, away from the doors.
- For awkward in-between walls, find a small desk and chair to create a workspace.
Shop living room furniture at FCI London
From gorgeous Italian sofas to tables, accent seating and accessories, we have what you need at FCI London. So come in anytime and chat to our dynamic design team about all our styling secrets.