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The Best Ways to Arrange Your Living Room Layout

Castlery|Apr 03, 2024

Not all homes are built the same. Some have a conventional square-shaped living room, which makes arranging your furniture a breeze; while others have a long and narrow space that might require more creativity. 

That’s why planning your living room layout is so important so you can create a balanced and cohesive space where everything flows seamlessly.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, let’s dive deeper into the 9 different types of living room layouts and how you can arrange your furniture!

Tips when planning your living room layout

Before diving head first to arrange or rearrange your furniture, let’s first take a look at some tips to create a functional but also aesthetically pleasing space.

  • Assess your space: Note the architectural features, such as windows, doors, and focal points like a fireplace or an expansive window. Understanding the layout will help you make informed decisions about furniture placement.

  • Establish a focal point: Every living room needs a focal point - a central element that draws the eye and anchors the space. Arrange your furniture to highlight this focal point, creating a natural flow and balance in the room.

  • Create conversation areas: Arrange your furniture in a way that encourages face-to-face interaction. Consider placing armchairs and sofas around a central coffee table, ensuring everyone has easy access to engage in discussions.

  • Mind the traffic flow: Keep pathways clear and unobstructed to ensure easy movement throughout the space. Arrange furniture in a way that allows for smooth traffic flow, taking into account doorways and high-traffic areas.

  • Balance proportions: Mix and match furniture pieces of varying heights and sizes to create interest and dimension. Avoid clustering all the large pieces on one side of the room, as this can make the space feel lopsided. Instead, distribute visual weight evenly for a balanced look.

9 living room layout ideas

The social hub

This layout is well-suited for living rooms that prioritize socializing, gatherings, and intimate conversations. 

Create a social hub by arranging your furniture in a circular or semi-circular layout. Place a sectional sofa or a curved sofa in the center of the room, serving as the focal point. Surround it with accent chairs or ottomans to accommodate guests. 

Arranging it in this manner encourages intimate conversations and creates a cozy gathering space for friends and family.

A leather 2-seater sofa, a wooden armchair, and a bouclé stool surrounding a round wooden coffee table in the living room.

The Jonathan Leather Sofa, Wayne Armchair, and Kit Bouclé Stool are arranged to form a semi-circular layout that promotes conversation. Picture credits: @monicawangphoto

The classic L-shaped arrangement

This arrangement is great for small to medium-sized living rooms as you can make most use of the often overlooked space: the corners.

Flush an L-shaped sofa against the corner of your living room, with the longest side of the sofa against the wall. Add other pieces like armchairs around the sofa to complete the arrangement, with a coffee table in the center for added convenience. 

A white sectional sofa, a side table, and round coffee table placed atop a large area rug.

@theressnowplacelikehome creates an L-shaped configuration with the Dawson Extended Sofa and Ottoman. Also featured, the Casa Round Coffee Table

Recommended read: 12 Tips for Arranging L-Shaped Sofas in Your Living Room

The formal symmetrical arrangement

This arrangement is what usually comes to mind when planning your living room layout because It’s a versatile arrangement that fits into most living rooms.

This formal look creates balance and harmony as the idea is to use two matching sofas that face each other. Add a rug or coffee table to anchor the seating area and tie the space together. This layout is perfect for traditional living rooms, creating a polished and sophisticated atmosphere.

Two identical white sofas facing each other in a living room.

@mywellihousedecor creates a beautiful formal arrangement with two Dawson Sofas

For a more casual look that follows the same concept, you can consider swapping out one of the sofas for two armchairs instead.

Two armchairs placed directly opposite a sofa in a living room.

@brownstoneboys creates a more casual version of a formal arrangement with two Sacha Performance Bouclé Armchairs

The corner retreat

Another great way to make use of unused corners in your living room is to create a cozy reading nook or relaxation corner. 

Place a comfortable armchair or chaise lounge in a corner with a floor lamp and a small side table to create a secluded retreat for quiet moments. 

Add plush pillows and a soft throw blanket for added comfort and style. This layout maximizes space and adds a touch of charm to your living room.

A bouclé swivel armchair placed in a corner with a floor lamp.

Add task lighting like what @modernasianlife did to create a functional reading space. Pictured: Amber Bouclé Swivel Chair in Snow

The open concept

If you have an open-concept living room that flows into other areas like the dining room or kitchen, consider creating zones within the space. 

Use area rugs, furniture placement, and lighting to define separate areas for lounging and dining while maintaining a cohesive look. Arrange furniture in a way that delineates each zone while still allowing for easy movement and interaction between areas.

An open-layout living room with the living and dining area separated into distinct zones with large rugs.

@brownstoneboys arranges the Marlow Performance Bouclé Curve Sofa tastefully in this combined living and dining area. 

The dual seating area

For living rooms that serve multiple functions, consider a layout that accommodates different activities.

Position a sofa in the center of the space, which will serve as the main seating area for watching movies or relaxing. Then, create a secondary seating area with a pair of armchairs or a loveseat arranged around a coffee table for reading or enjoying a cup of coffee. This layout allows for versatility and flexibility in how the space is used.

A cane sofa placed in the center of a living room alongside an armchair and a coffee table.

@ourlittlesarang creates a cozy seating space behind the main seating area in the living room. Pictured: The Lucia Cane Sofa in White Wash.

The TV-centered setup

For living rooms centered around TV viewing, arrange your furniture to focus on the television. Position the TV on a central wall, with the sofa directly facing it for optimal viewing. 

Place additional seating such as armchairs or recliners adjacent to the sofa to accommodate guests. 

Consider mounting the TV on the wall or using a media console to keep cords and electronics organized. This layout is ideal for family rooms or spaces dedicated to entertainment.

A white sofa and two identical armchairs surrounding a coffee table.

The Dawson Sofa, Wayne Armchairs, and Mori Coffee Table create the perfect TV-centered living room layout. Picture credits: @halfway_wholeistic

The U-shaped arrangement

The U-shaped arrangement for a living room involves positioning the furniture in the shape of the letter ‘U,’ typically with a sofa or sectional forming the base of the U and additional seating or complementary pieces filling in the sides.

This arrangement is ideal for expansive living rooms or large families as it offers generous seating options. The setup of the seating pieces also delineates the area intended for lounging and socializing, making the room feel organized and cohesive. 

You can consider using U- or C-shaped sofas without the extra armchairs if you have less space to work with but still want to offer ample seating. 

A sofa, two armchairs, and two stools form a u-shaped living room layout.

@beauxarts107 creates a U-shaped layout with the Hamilton Sofa, Amber Bouclé Swivel Chairs, and two stools. 

The open and airy setup

If you have a small living room or just want to maximize your already tall ceilings, this layout is for you! 

Arrange furniture away from the walls to create a more spacious feel, with the sofa floating in the center of the room. Use low-profile pieces to maintain an unobstructed view, promote better traffic flow, and create the illusion of a larger space. 

A green sofa placed in the center of a living room.

@ourwhampoahouse creates a bright and airy space by placing the Pebble Loveseat in the middle of the space. 

Arranging your living room furniture is not just about creating a functional layout; it's about crafting a space that reflects your personality, promotes comfort, and fosters connection. Whether you opt for a setup like the L-shaped arrangement or the TV-centered configuration, don’t forget to assess your space to determine the best layout for your living room.


What are some tips for arranging furniture in a small living room?

If you have a small living room, adopt the ‘less is more’ approach and consider using multifunctional furniture so you don’t overcrowd the room. Ensure that furniture is also scaled appropriately to the size of the room. 

What’s the best living room layout?

It depends on several factors like the available floor space, your lifestyle, and also the aesthetics you’re going for. For example, a U-shaped living room arrangement might not be the most ideal for small spaces as it can overwhelm the room. It’s best to assess your space when planning your living room layout to determine what works best for you. 

How do I arrange furniture around a fireplace in the living room?

As the fireplace would be your focal point, place seating pieces like sofas and armchairs facing the fireplace to create a cozy seating area. Arrange additional seating around the fireplace, ensuring that there is enough space for easy movement and access.

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