Virtually Rearranging My Living Room

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  December 6, 2011 — 4 Comments

I’ve been feeling for a while now like the layout of my living room is sort of awkward. The photos below are kind of old, but the arrangement remains unchanged.

My chief complaints are that it feels very crowded in the middle and there’s not enough seating. If Nick has two friends over to watch a football game they usually end up all three crowded onto the couch. And if I want to do a workout video (ha!) I’ve gotta move off to the side and watch out for the coffee table. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do differently, but I felt like there just had to be a better way to arrange the furniture. Since I had such good luck using floorplanner.com to figure out an arrangement for the office/family room, I decided to try it again here before I started directing Nick to move stuff around.

Here’s the layout we’re currently working with:

I forgot to add the wood floors, and what looks like a double window in the lower right is actually a set of french doors, but you get the idea. Can you believe how many windows and doorways there are in this room? The whole back half is basically useless because it needs to be open for traffic. Here are the potential new layouts I discovered with a little clicking and dragging:

Option 1. Meh. The couch seems so far away from the TV. I kinda like the open area in the middle though. I would sit on the couch and think about how that’s a nice, open area to do some pilates.

Option 2. Same complaint as option 1. The couch and TV are just too far apart. And let’s be honest, 80% of the people who come to our house prefer to look at the TV than at us. Nobody would ever want to sit in those ridiculous chairs facing away from the television.

Option 2. I hated this one before I even got started, hence the absence of any furniture other than the TV and the couch.

Option 4. I actually kind of like this one. The only drawback is the angle of the TV to the couch. No bueno. The living room in our rental house was so long and narrow that we couldn’t put the TV directly in front of the couch. For two years I had to turn my head to the side to enjoy high quality television programming. Never again.

In the end, I decided to just keep things as they are for now. For the Christmas tree, I moved the wooden chair, floor lamp, and table out of the corner and further towards the front door, then put the tree in that corner. One of these days I’d like to get a small loveseat to put on that wall, and maybe the additional seating would help shake my feeling that this room is just not all that functional. Do you see any possible solutions that I missed? I feel like I kind of suck at arranging furniture. It’s definitely not up there on a list of skills I’d add to my resume. I just kind of stick everything in there and hope for the best.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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4 responses to Virtually Rearranging My Living Room

  1. I hate that a TV makes people feel so much more comfortable. I don’t have a TV and I feel like it’s just awkward when people are there because they have nothing to face. Dumb!
    Simply because of that silly fact, I think the way you have your living room now is best. Large living rooms are so difficult! You think bigger would be better, but it just makes it more difficult to make it cozy. Another option is to section the room into 2 areas. One area where the seating (1 couch, 2 chairs) are all cozied up with the TV, and then make a little nook with the other chairs and a rug. Something that feels like it’s own space. Meh, conundrum!

    • Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap December 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

      A conundrum it is! Thanks for the idea to maybe split it up. That’s what I did in the dining room.

  2. I think (using your current layout) you should simply switch the sofa and 2 armchairs. The space will still be defined, with a clear walkway from the front door, but it will also be open (meaning the sofa won’t be there blocking the entrance to sitting area). The tv should remain as is so it’s not too far for viewing. And then the room still still be balanced (unlike option 1&2 that are too heavy on the right side).

    Just my thoughts….

    • Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap December 7, 2011 at 10:53 am

      I like that idea, Sophie. The only thing is that I wonder about the angle from the couch to the TV. That wall is so short that the couch would go all the way to the corner, and I’m not sure I could turn the TV enough to make it comfortable for viewing.

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