How to Make Your Living Room Flow
Bill Reilly Team October 18, 2016
One of the first decisions you make in your new house is where to place your furniture. In the living areas, furniture placement can make or break your home's "flow" or ease of movement. A sofa placed just two feet one way or the other, a side table too far out of reach or a rug that catches in the doorway can make a magazine worthy design a frustrating living experience.
Know your limitations
Beautiful magazine designs inspire us to try to work the same magic in our own space. Sometimes, however, achieving that beautiful look results in awkward movement and less than ideal daily use. Remember that the camera angle hides parts of that lovely layout meaning that it might not work the way you want in your space.
Note your room's dimensions, and the location and orientation of windows, doors and doorways, fireplaces and other immovable architectural details. Draw a rough sketch of your room's layout. Using a scale of one inch to one foot, or for larger rooms a half-inch to one foot makes your layout simpler. If you use metric measures then use a scale in multiples of 10 for simplicity.
Now, imagine the most efficient ways to enter and leave the room, reach switches, outlets and windows, or view the fireplace. Shade in a pathway to those places with at least 24 inches of walk space. If you end up with too much shaded area, you'll have to decide which pathways are most important.
Take measurements of your furniture. Be sure to use the longest and widest parts. Create cutouts for them that you can move around on your sketch to find possible locations. Make note of all the options that might work. This simple activity saves on back pain and stressing out those friends that offered to help you move.
If sketching isn't your forté, try this living room layout infographic for help.
Note these considerations
As you try various arrangements, ask yourself these questions:
Try it on for size
Choose the layout that appears to satisfy the most possibilities for keeping your room flowing in a natural way. Move your larger pieces of furniture into place and try sitting in them, walking around them and moving in and out of the room and surrounding areas. Adjust these pieces until you're satisfied before moving in all of the smaller pieces. If you have to change or replace an item to make it fit your new space, you want it to be the smaller or lesser expensive pieces.
We can help
If you have specific furnishings that need to fit in your new home, let us know ahead of time. We'll show you homes that will fit your furnishings.
Compliments of Virtual Results
- Can I see the television from the most comfortable seating?
- Does the height of this piece block the windows or switches?
- Can I reach a side table or coffee table from each seat?
- Do my lamps and other lights offer correct light to each space?
- Can I enter and leave the room without having to move more than 90 degrees around furniture?
- Is my seating too near/far from the fireplace/air conditioning/radiator?