How to decide the best layout for your living room
Thursday, 17 May 2012
As the place where you spend a large proportion of your time whilst at home, your living room is one of the most important rooms in your house. Unfortunately, despite its importance, few of us give this vital living space the care and attention it deserves when planning its layout.
Instead, we simply fill the room with all of the objects which we deem necessities: sofa, television, cabinets and coffee tables. Over time, this list continues to grow and before long our living rooms have become a cluttered assortment of possessions, offering us little in the way of relaxation.
Whilst embracing your inner domestic god or goddess and having a good clear out is a great way to cut down on the clutter, these efforts will be futile if they are not combined with a general reorganisation. How the objects are arranged within a room is just as important as what objects you have in there, with the layout of your living room often dictating how comfortable the space is.
Step one: determine the purpose
Before you can choose the best layout for your living room you need to decide what purpose you want the space to fulfil. Is this going to be a room to entertain guests within or one in which you relax whilst watching TV? Do you need to have dining furniture within this room or do you have a separate dining room for this purpose? Do you want this to be a formal space or a more casual room?
Once you have decided this, you can start to determine how furniture will fit within the room. Make a detailed and accurate sketch plan of your living room, using an appropriate scale and graph paper, and think of how different features will work alongside one another.
Step two: concentrate your focus
All rooms have a natural feature which draws your attention. In the living room, this is most likely to be a fireplace or a window, but even an alcove or recessed part of the wall can be transformed into your focal point.
Identify the most eye-catching feature of your room and make this your central focus when drawing your sketch plan. Give sufficient thought to how you can enhance this feature and always consider the way in which you can use the natural light, which the room receives, to your advantage. A well placed mirror, for example, can instantly transform your living space and create a light, airy feel that is both natural and subtle.
Step three: compartmentalise or open plan?
Consider what style ethic you want to incorporate in your layout. Compartmentalised styles see dimensions added to the space by creating rooms within rooms. This means dining furniture and seating will be separated, with the furniture arranged in a way which creates distinct spaces.
If you choose this approach, make sure access to the room is not obstructed and consider how you can arrange furniture so that the room does not feel rigid or uncomfortable.
If you prefer a more fluid style, then look at open plan designs which place furniture more casually, with big, open spaces created.
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