How to create a living room layout

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

Most of the rooms in my home immediately told me where I needed to place the furniture. Some gave me multiple options, but the living room, ha! It didn't give anything. Since I live in a condo most of the other 172 units have the same living room space as I do, so I would look at the real estate photos to try and get inspiration, but I was not impressed with most of the photos I could find. So I reverted to the layout skills I learned in architecture school.


Now, in architecture school I learned that for every 10 designs you do, 9 are crap and 1 has potential. Always makes for some exciting times, because that 1 isn't always good, so sometimes you had to do over 100 ideas before you came up with something good. With this project I wanted to be able to make a lot of layouts without having to redraw each time, so I used my camera and now am able to share it with you.


I started with drawing a blank room and then some furniture, all to scale. I then cut out the furniture and gave it a color. This set up allowed me to know exactly what furniture I had and the size it was in the space. It also allowed me to move the furniture around with one finger, which I could not do pushing the piano around.

As you can see, I have created a bunch of options. I even created some that I didn't take a picture of. Ultimately I decided to give this option a try, and yes, it was one of the first I had created.

And then I went to work. Somehow I managed to move the piano from one side of the room to the other all by myself. It was a task and I am surprised my floor didn't see any scratches from it. I love this layout, the piano acts like it is part of the room, yet is hidden under the spiral staircase a bit as to not take up too much room. The sofa is able to face the fireplace and we have a focal point in the room instead of just furniture willy nilly around.


I did however decide to move the long table to, um, the storage shed. I found I didn't actually have a real use for it in there. It has originally been a table for behind the sofa, which worked well, but the piano now serves that function. I also moved the chair to the other side so now the room feels like it has sides instead of just being an open space. It works well and the ultimate plan is to get another chair or loveseat to put on that side. But for now, it works wonderfully.


I think the key to this whole room layout was the piano, it takes up so much space and is such a feature in the room that I needed to figure out exactly where to put it for the room to make sense. I am so glad that I made this little plan for making the planning easier. I don't think I ever would have figured out to put the piano under the stairs with the couch right in front of it like that if it hadn't been so easy to move around.


As you may or may not have noticed, I have made a couple of other changes to this since, got a beautiful chair for Christmas, but it still stays about like this. Hopefully a full living room tour will be coming soon. But, for a more informal look at it, I tend to post on instagram my monthly decor in my living room. Keep a look out for it there.

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