How to Arrange Your Living Room Layout, No Matter the Size

Updated 04/19/18

We've all been there before: standing in the middle of an empty room, scratching our heads to figure out how to best place the furniture. Stylists make it look so easy, but knowing how to decorate a living room—and a small one at that—is easier said than done. A tiny space poses a particular challenge since you have to be mindful of how you can best utilize every single square inch. 

So where do you begin? Start with identifying what your needs are for the space. Are you an avid entertainer, or do you prefer binging on Netflix? Next, look at your space's layout: Is it an open-plan? What's the focal point? Once you've nailed down the essentials (a sofa and a spot for the TV), the rest is just filling in the pieces of the puzzle. To help you get a head start, we illustrated our three favorite living room layouts for a tiny space. Grab a pen and paper, and draft the living room of your dreams.

Open Plan Living Room Layout

The Layout: In an open-plan room that connects to a dining area and kitchen, separate the space with a large L-shaped sectional, thereby creating a living area enclave.

The Sofa: When picking the sofa, be especially mindful of the side of the L-shape. In a small space, you want it sitting alongside the windows, not blocking the pathway. If you're planning on floating the sofa, pay attention to the back of the sofa, as you'll be seeing it as much as the front. 

The Extras: Finish the space with a coffee table and side table next to the sofa. Create extra seating and a reading nook with a lounge chair and floor lamp across from the sectional. 

Open Plan Living Room
Claire Esparros for Homepolish
CB2 District 2-Piece Sectional Sofa $1999
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This simple low-slung sectional is perfect for long chill sessions. 

Brunschwig & Fils Bird and Thistle Wallpaper $10
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A bright wallpaper visually separates living from dining areas. 

Nicks White Hammered Side Table
CB2 Nicks Hammered White Side Table $229
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A small stool is the ideal side table, and it can easily be repurposed as extra seating.

Jonathan Adler Ingmar Chair $2250
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This Jonathan Adler chair forms the perfect reading nook. Just add a floor lamp.

Mater Disc Side Table $500
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A small round coffee table is a great complement to an L-shaped sectional. 

Formal Living Room Layout

The Layout: This is a fantastic layout for entertainers. It's also the ideal setup when the living room entrance sits across from a fireplace, because it doesn't break the flow and keeps everything symmetrical. 

The Sofa: If the room is spatially challenged, choose sofas that are narrower to leave enough space to walk around. Complete the room with an extra-narrow coffee table.

The Extras: Sit in every spot on the sofa, and make sure there are enough side tables for everyone to place their drink down. Flanking the fireplace with bookcases also leaves plenty of room for a TV and other storage.

Living Room Layouts
Max Kim-Bee
West Elm Shelter Sofa $1299
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This single-cushion sofa is ideal to seat a crowd. The high-performance velvet is soft and practical for entertaining. 

Bower Coffee Table
West Elm Bower Coffee Table $599 $450
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A multilevel coffee table works well in small spaces.

Madeline Weinrib Collins Ikat Pillow $525
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Want a few extra seats for the children? Floor cushion are highly practical, and pretty too.

Serena & Lily Rowe Nesting Tables $695
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Nesting tables are fantastic when entertaining big groups. Separate them to give everyone a perch for their drink. 

Stairway Black 96
CB2 Stairway Wall Mounted Bookcase $399
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Flank a fireplace with wall-mounted bookshelves to preserve symmetry.

Small Space Living Room Layout

The Layout: This is the classic living room layout, with the TV in front of the sofa, perfect for long evenings of Netflix and chilling. Depending on whether your space is more narrow or square, place a set of chairs either side by side on one side of the room, or across the sofa. 

The Sofa: For optimal Netflix sessions, choose an extra-deep sofa with a moderately high back. You'll never want to get up. 

The Extras: Finish the space with a showstopping media stand, a couple of side tables, and plenty of mood lighting.

Living Room Layout
Courtesy of ASH NYC
brava sofa
CB2 Brava Long Sofa $1999
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Sink into casual luxury with this long sleek sofa. It's also the ideal spot to take an afternoon nap. 

Blu Dot Cub Coffee Table $799
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Keep things sleek with this coffee table, which features smoked glass display storage space.

Organic Modernism Cincinnati Cabinet $2425
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This stunning cabinet by Organic Modernism is not only stylish, it also conceals plenty of storage space. 

Roar + Rabbit Swivel Chair $799
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Swivel chairs are the perfect choice for people who need multifunctional chairs. Swing them around to have them face different areas of the room as needed. 

Gubi TS Lounge Table $699
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This side table by Gubi is a true showstopper. Sleek and discrete, it's available in a variety of stone tops. 

How did you arrange your tiny living room? Share your tips with us.

This story was originally published on July 22nd, 2016 and has since been updated.

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