Designing the layout of your new living room sets the tone for the entire home when guests visit. It's a chance to make the house shine and create a space you can truly love. But most people aren't sure how to go about planning a great layout. If this includes you, here are 4 tips to get you started.
Know the Measurements
Some distances and measurements are good rules of thumb when deciding where to place furniture or art. Start your layout design by following these guidelines and then adjusting where necessary... or where more appealing. Coffee tables should, for example, be around 1 foot to 1 1/2 feet from the couch to allow traffic flow. Side tables are often most comfortable when about 3-4 inches shorter than the arm of the sofa. Space between seating is generally suggested to be a minimum of 3 feet and a maximum of 10 feet to allow conversation and movement, and walkways are best about 3 feet wide. What about the walls? Try hanging art with its center at eye level of most guests.
Pay Attention to Balance and Symmetry
Avoid placing all the furniture on one side or the other of the visual outlook of the room from all entrances and exits. In addition, balance bulky elements with lighter elements all round the space so that it feels more natural. If you have a large room, you may want to divide it into smaller zones that serve different purposes -- such as conversation groupings, television watching, or reading nooks -- in order to ensure smooth use of the entire room.
Keep It Functional
Having beautiful furnishings, a fantastic art piece, or a huge television only mean something if the layout makes them easy to see, to use, or to enjoy. For this reason, test out the functionality of any design element before settling on it. This means testing the furniture in relation to other furniture, conversations, and television usage. Test traffic patterns to see how easy they are to navigate and whether they hinder conversation. Consider wall hangings from all angles. Try out your front door entrance with all the paraphernalia of winter. In short, use it all before you make a permanent layout.
Include Focal Points
Each room (or zone, in larger spaces) should have a focal point that draws the eye -- a particular feature that is unique, personalized, fun, or of extra value. A focal point can be anything you want -- such as your favorite wall hanging, an eclectic rug, a home theater setup, an antique furniture piece, or a chandelier. Pay homage to your focal point by placing furniture and other art in a way that draws attention to it. If you aren't sure how to style or create a theme for the living room, start with the focal point and use it to build the space outward.
If you have an unusually-shaped living room, a particular theme you want to develop, or other special circumstances, you may want to consult with an experienced interior designer from a company like Keystone Residential Design to determine how best to use the space. But, whether you do it on your own or with professional assistance, creating a living room that's beautiful and enjoyable is an investment in the future of your home for years to come.