I have been trying to figure out how to lay out our new living room for weeks, so maybe you wonderful readers can help me out. The issue is the shape of the room and the difficulty of having dueling focal points.
The room has a working fireplace flanked by lovely built-in bookcases and storage. The plan is to highlight the backs of the two sides of shelving by painting them an accent color. We might also paint the brick, but that has yet to be decided.
The fireplace would make a splendid focal point on its own, if we were to leave the room as a formal living room. I really want it to be a space that gets used though, and I know it won’t unless there is a TV in there. Sad, but true. (There is no way to run cords around or behind the fireplace, so mounting the TV above the mantel is right out.
The living room is long and narrow with a large bank of windows that provide the room’s only natural light.
All floor plans created using Icovia’s Room Planner.
So, how do I make this long space cozy AND accommodate two focal points? And, to sweeten the issue, how do we feel about putting an area rug ONTO of wall to wall carpet?
One big space, couch in front of window
One big space, chairs in front of window
Same as B, but with an area rug
Two separate seating areas, couch partially blocking window
Same as D, but with an area rug
Two separate seating areas, possible traffic issue
Same as F, but with an area rug
So, what do you think? Which of these layouts do you think would work best in The Mad House living room? Vote in the poll below!
My Personal Favorite Is Choice C 🙂 You Can Watch The TV Without The Sun Glaring Off It Or Look Out The Window If You Were Reading Or Just Sitting And Not Blocking Off The Room By Putting The Couch In The Middle Of The Room. That Would Also Make The Room Look smaller
I would put stained shiplap on supports furrowed out enough to hide wires and plug in behind. Put the couch (a sectional facing the tv and with enough and a chair on the opposite wall. Then behind the couch on the other end I would place a game table with chairs. I’d have a small bar with sink and wine fridge on that end.
Love the shiplap isea to hide cords. 🙂
I’ ve struggled withis same layout for 30 years. My solution is to flip between A and C Seasonally. My windows face west and it is nice to sit in the sunny spot on winter afternoons. Once Spring arrives, I turn it all around so I can watch the blooms in my front garden. The design of the room is still bothersome.
Oh, boy,, I have the SAME EXACT room.. (altho I’m at work and I’m not sure of the dimensions), but it’s the same dilemma. I HATE the couch in front of the window, because it has faded every couch (strong sun all afternoon).. I have tried “C”.. and had it that way for a while, but it just didn’t feel “right” to me..
I have been in a similar house, same living room, but longer and wider, and the two couches back to back was the perfect solution.. I loved it.. but, alas, my room is not long or wide enough for that.. would love to see what you’ve done..!
I have the same room also and it has sat open for a year now. My problem is that it’s on a 3rd level so I can’t split the room up cause that’s where my stairs are!
Well, the original post is over 2 years old so I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now LOL – but I don’t see an update in this post anywhere. Could you provide a link? Curious what you ended up with.
You'd think I would have by now, wouldn't you?! The truth is that while we have the room laid out in a way that works, it's nowhere near finished!
Did u ever decide lol. Did u try placing g couch on an angle in direction of fireplace, then design around that
I have had this very same problem! I put the tv over the fireplace ran the cords next to the back wall and tacked them down. Ran them through the shelves to the outlet. Face the sofa to the fireplace. Place a sofa table behind the sofa. Put a lamp on the sofa table and whatever decorative items you wish. Place two chairs to the left of the sofa. Put a small table between them. Place another chair on the opposite side so you have a U configuration. This allows you to stack neat cushions on one side of the fireplace. Place a neat armoire or tall piece of furniture on the dining room door wall. Something low with large art piece above it on opposite wall. I furnished my “new” house completely from estate sales. Good luck!
I totally agree with DeeCee your TV and Fireplace are both focal points and should be together on one wall. I think the U shape layout is best layout facing the fireplace and TV. My dilemma is the wall to the left of the sofa will be removed to open up the kitchen/built in island area. I can imagine it my brain and “think” it will look good but time will definitely tell. I may end up keeping the kitchen wall and do the LR layout as most do. Sofa in front of the window the 2 chairs on one side and a recliner on the other….boring 🙂
You should go with F because the fireplace and TV are the focal point of your room. You take care of the cords buy buying a long speaker to put under the TV and put the cords behind the speaker.
Also the red swag is distracting. Just your white sheers are a fine look for this room.
I realize this post is old. But I am in desperate need of some help. I have a very similar layout with the exception of a opening for a hallway where in your choice E The TV sitting And no entry way at the end of the room. I am really struggling with how to set up this furniture. If you have an actual picture of how you like yours out that would be great or if anyone on here sees this post and has any ideas please feel free to let me know. Thank you so much have a great day
I have this room too. I just closed up the dining room door. Allowing the tv to go in the middle of that wall and centering the couch in front of the windows. I hung UV sheers so it wouldn’t fade. The fireplace greets you head on as you enter the room with seating on the couch and chairs on each side of the fireplace. With a small piece (desk) to fill the corner near the door. I realized that I didn’t need to have a path from my dining room to the living room and by closing off the door and extending the wall. I fixed the living room and added room for a buffet in the dining room.
So… It’s been three years, and you still haven’t figured out how to arrange the room…? 😉
We have a similar layout and to solve our issue we used a sectional. It’s a great way to divide the room as well and creat 2 areas. The long side of the section would be below your windows and the short side dividing the room. The area behind currently we have a low bookcase and children’s table with chairs on an area rug. We will keep it like this for a few more years and then replace that with a desk area so I can still help them with homework while cooking. Many years from that, we intend to put two chairs there with a small table between.
Choose B or C: your longest piece of furniture stays on your longest wall, providing balance… AND, you won’t have any glare from the window onto the tv screen while you watch!
Idea for you, I like C as well but place two chairs by the fireplace, facing each other with a small table between them. This creates a seating/conversation area by the fireplace. Also I do not like rugs on rugs, makes a room feel heavy. Unless you really need the seating put a lighter chair across from the sofa to lighten up the room a bit. Icecubes on the impression marks should help them spring up a bit,
Obviously the fireplace is the main focal point and I believe you could still mount your TV up there by drilling a few holes in the woodwork and running your cables into the lower part of the bookcases where the doors are….besides it looks as if the cubby over the mantel is for a TV…. I think a nice sectional would go great in front of the window with an end table on either end or you could corner a sofa and loveseat…but truly the fireplace should be the main focal point in this room.
I completely agree with the fact that the TV could still be mounted. In addition to that, get an L-shaped sectional and ditch the current couch. It will give you room to put a small desk near the entrance to the hall and a couple chairs around the room.
Jeanette Yevtich says
Go into the room behind the book case fireplace and there may be wiring on the back side go thru there and put in an outlet
I have a very similar plan. I have tried many different ways and have finally come with a layout I love. It is similar to A, except two chairs at end swivel so they can face ‘living area’ or fireplace, then I have an ottoman between them. I also have two area rugs – one in the tv area and another in the fireplace area.
I would go with choice F I two spaces I think is best. I use to have a 21 ft living room. With this choice if you have company and maybe the guys are watching the game the ladies. An enjoy the fireplace.
Choice A with area rug and the two smaller chairs at fireplace.
A is the best the other cut the room in half. Sofa under windows with end tables on each end. Love seat opposite of sofa with love seat. Tv in wall corner opposite of fireplace. 2 arm chairs on both sides of the fireplace.
Charity K says
I have the same living room except the TV is mounted above the fireplace and I have a couch and loveseat to contend with. Would love some comments/suggestions!!
Audrey Bradley says
A status, or pics would be nice.
I’m not even sure why this is coming up anymore.
However, I would love to see pics of everyone else’s rooms.
That would be helpful to me.
I added an update at the bottom of the post that links to what our living room looks like now.
I vote for F or G. Room is big enough to divide space & be double purpose. F or G would be less caverness and add coziness.
Megan Skjonsby says
I absolutely vote the last option. I believe this option best enhances BOTH focal points and it breaks up the room in a sophisticated way. It allows for two conversation areas, with a choice of focusing on the tv or the fireplace. I love the look of a couch with a longer table behind it as it gives the room depth and interest. I also love the look of a large area rug as it makes the room much more cozy, and signifies where that conversation area begins and ends.
H.work a piano into the floor plan. No television
F. Is my favorite two seating areas one intimate the other for more social moments.
It like either option D or E. The area rug is based on your preference, but this way you can still open up the room with more seating for guests. Also it doesn’t block your entrance from the hall. You have an area with seating in front of the fireplace for private conversations & that that can be nice. My OR is identical to this . I have had problems with arrangements, but this has helped me. Thank you.
I have this same layout. I prefer a recliner on each side of fireplace. Tv and computer armoire Each in opposite corners. And a sofa and loveseat opposite each other on the long sides with 1 against windows and other along opposite wall. Leaves plenty of space for a coffee table or small chair and every seat can see Tv just fine.
I have a drawing I can send if you like. I would use a sectional against the window wall extending into the room. Leaving plenty of walk space (usually 42*” works) between extended end of sectional and dining doorway. Then behind the sectional couch (opposite end of room to fireplace) I would place a round game table and 4 chairs diagonally sitting at the table.
This would be tucked against the same window wall as the sectional. Then place a diagonally situated occasional chair in the corner left of the fireplace.
This would be seating for 6 and four more at the game table and lots of walk flow. If you’d like a picture, send your email address to me at email@example.com
Dorothy Curto says
I would love to see a picture of your living room set up. I am looking to buy new furniture and not sure what to get.
Thanks for the help
My LR also has an entryway across from the fireplace. My best idea was to buy four reclining loveseats when the time came ? Now everyone has a comfy seat ?
What about putting the couch in front of the window and matching chairs in either side of the fireplace with just enough room to open cupboards
Couch facing fireplace with area rug, table behind couch
Chairs, a desk maybe and small conversation area in front of windows
Consider putting love seats back to back in middle of room to create two seating areas or chair seating back to loveseat or couch back. Ask yourself how do you use the room?Watching TV on one side and parlor games near the fireplace conversation or reading area. If window area is only natural light don’t block it! Once you think about how you use the room the furniture placement will flow!
For those who follow this link looking for suggestions for this layout, we had a similar issue, which we resolved with a pull-down screen and a projector – cheaper than you would think, and no wires or cables required on the fireplace wall. You could either box in that dust-magnet area above the fireplace and hide the screen housing inside it, or put the screen inside the alcove above the fireplace. The projector could sit in a side table or underneath a coffee table – ours is mounted to a pull-out shelf in a bookshelf at right angles to the screen wall. You just need to make sure you get a projector with a decent maximum keystone angle if you want to have it to the side, and that has connectors for your Firestick or satellite TV. That way you can have the fireplace AND the TV as the focal point.
I did not care for any of the arrangements. How about the back of the sofa facing the hall opening and maybe a sofa table in back of sofa , so you see table when coming in. A chair on each side of the fire place. I know you said you can not mount tv but running cords in attic if it is 1 story would not be too hard. If not mounted on wall without window.
Soheni Arora says
If you still haven’t figured out where to put the couch, you should probably get rid of it! It sounds bonkers, but it will give you a lot more flexibility.
1 – Mount the TV on the wall opposite the windows – not in the centre, but closer towards the entrance to the hall, so as to avoid the sunlight glaring off it. You’ll probably also need to invest in light/sheer curtains to keep the glare off the TV without entirely blocking out the natural light. Place the small rectangular table below the TV to hold the DVD player etc.
2- Get rid of the 3-seater couch & place 3 matching bean bags across from the TV. They can be moved about whenever more people want to sit by the fireplace. They can also be moved out of the way more easily when you want to vacuum.
3- Place 2 armchairs & the coffee table angled to face the fireplace
4- Get 2 smaller matching area rugs to demarcate the “TV area” & “Fireplace Area”
5- Align the 2 chairs & small table across the centre, such that when two people sit, one faces the window & one faces the wall, with the oval table between them. This arrangement will act as a divider without adding extra furniture to the room & the chairs can also be turned to face the TV or fireplace when needed.
Maybe in this scenario, you can make two spaces out of this. A couch in the middle facing the fireplace eith the tv mounted above the fireplace, with an area rug and another area with a chair and a book shelf. It seems pretty multiuse.
I suggest putting two sofas in the middle of the room back to back. Put a sofa table between them. Put the tv on the opposite side of the room from the fireplace. Chair can be arranged accordingly.
F would be my choice
I have the same layout, but worse – my living room resembles a bowling alley, measuring 12 x 26. I struggled, struggled and struggled with the same fireplace wall, but a large open doorway into my dining room across from a huge window wall, closet in another corner across from the front door, next to a staircase: We have no corners to work with. Best solution ever: modular furniture. A sectional has the curved corner piece – mine has modular pieces that fit together so beautifully. I got it at Macy’s – it’s the Roxanne, if you want to check it out.
Where did you put the tv? My living room is like yours, except the stairs. I don’t know what to do!
Adenike O says
I have almost the exact same room, but the wall near the entry to hall was turned into 3 deep alcoves on each side of the entry. We will store the mini bar one side, and either put a small desk or a piano on the other side. But most importatly, I’ve decided to turn my livingroom into a diningroom/ sitting room.
Livingroom to DiningRoom/Entertainnment room
– Small (extendable) glass dining table as you walk in. ( Can be pushed to side and used for food during parties
-A low back curved sectional in front of the fireplace that will remain separated to allow clear sight to the fireplace
-Dining table arrmchairs will double as seating options: One in front of the window with a small side table and lamp, the other in the alcove
-Built-in bookshelves flanking the fireplace will be used as China display.
A projector will b set up over the fireplace, which can be pulled down in front of my large painting for TV watching
Dining Room to Den:
-The diningroom, which is 11×13 will be used a den. We will install modern glass pocket doors to create seperation.
-This room dimensions does create some frustration, but I’m sure that it will turn out great and can easily be adaptable for entertaining.
E looks great!!!
Rachel Quesnel says
Stop with the couch. You have a 4 chair room. With a game room in the back
Anne paul says
Your later options, E and F look best but try placing the couch on an angle to create a better flow.
I’m sorry I don’t like any of the arrangements. I would face couch toward fireplace (after all it’s a visual point). I would paint the brick and fireplace to update. Place a low Coffee table or trunk for a coffee table in front of the couch. Place a long narrow sofa table behind the couch. Place a comfy chair on each side of fireplace (facing the couch). Place Tv above fireplace (run the cable behind the wall to attic or to closed cabinet door area). Put a high open wall unit on wall across from window to balance it (like a cubed one for displaying your treasures, books, textured baskets).
Conny Barton says
I have a similar problem and would like ideas. My room is essentially the same except: 1). The entry to the dinning room and entry to the hall are reversed.
2) my entry to the dining room (hall entry in original pic) is much wider with only about 18 inches of wall on either side of the entry.
3) my entry to the hall (dinning room entry in original pic) extends more to the right with an 18 inch wall next to it.
4) the window is not centered on the long wall, but is located to the very left of long wall with the fireplace located next to the window with a stone wall like feature between the fireplace and the corner.
Since all the main features of the room are along the same long wall where do we put the tv and where do we put the couch. We have a small house so there is no separate family room.
Are you able to install TV above fireplace? This helped us immensly.
I practically had the same dilemma. However, my entry opening is on the same wall as the window. So I had 3 openings to work around. I put the TV above the fireplace. Placed the matching chairs against the window with a table in-between. Put the couch along the long wall. And placed the husbands armchair into the corner. TV is enjoyed by all seats and furniture placement allows for comfortable conversations.
Janet Smith says
I’m a professional interior designer and I would not do any of the ways you are suggesting. Also it would be extremely rare to find a living room that narrow.
Lisa Ward says
I would put tv above fire place and put a sectional along wall of the DR entrance with part of it floating into the middle of the floor about 5 ‘ in from hall door . With 2 swivel chairs across from the sectional under the window . I would also put 2 small ottoman / settees in front of the built ins for extra seating .
I have this same layout…sofa facing fireplace with TV mounted above fireplace. Two matching chairs flanking either side of fireplace facing sofa. Float furniture in middle of room. My chairs are close enough together as to not affect the entrance into dining room yet far enough apart to not close off view of fireplace. Reading nook in same place as Figure A blue chair (behind sofa). I have a cabinet beside fireplace on left and a leaning mirror on left of cabinet that is same height as the cabinet. It looks designer.
S Powers says
With the TV there are three focal points. I would remove the TV, have the sofa face the fireplace two-thirds back so you can see out the window too with the side chairs on either side. I’d put a console table with a lamp (I had an electrician put an outlet in the floor). If you must have the TV you can put it in the corner or maybe on the bookcase.
Firstly , what is the space above the fireplace, does any door or shelves have outlets . Is there a cable plug anywhere in the vicinity? And what filled the big opened space beside the bookcase?
With the good length of the room I would place a couch towards the end of the room but centred and approx 5.5 feet from the from that back wall. Behind the centered couch again center with a hallway table and display a lamp on the darkest end , now place beneath the table a stool or 2 . This floor plan will allow you to showcase you focal point the fireplace and allow more space behind the couch for more seating .
None of the above
I would separate in to 2 cozy seating areas but my furniture l placement would be very different – as I don’t like the disjointed look that is lacking warm cozy atmosphere…
LINDA D GANT says
How about putting the couch in front on the fireplace with a chair either side?
Then for the TV viewing portion, is it possible to put a loveseat with two other chairs?
Also, the area rug would go either place – fireplace or TV area – or both areas
Is the bank of windows patio doors? If so, you would not want to cover that up, would you?
I would go with Choice A. Though if you are doing an area rug make it big enough to be centered in the room. As for the TV, mount the TV on the wall either where you have it in the drawings or in the corner of one of the walls separating the LR and entry to Hall. Also, chair spacing is important. If you have to have all those chairs in that room, I would move the chair closest to the fireplace closer to all the other furniture. If not, eliminate that chair and store somewhere else. When you need more seating for guests, bring that one out into the seating circle.
Use F. Take your sofa facing FP all the way back to furthered end of window and center it.
Yes place a nice patterned rug in front of sofa.
Two matching chairs with arms on each side of FP. For coffee table use two round or shaped tables. Behind sofa a nice sofa table with lamp so you don’t have to use a side table on one side.
And then a nice reading chair, pole lamp and table for your glass of wine and book. A cute throw over your chair.
Hang your tv out from ceiling and hide cords with a tall plant. To balance plant use a plant on a shelf that drapes down a bit.
It’s a great room!!! Good luck
I had the same issue in a previous home. I ended up switching the living and dining rooms. If you could make something like that work, I say remove the carpet, put in a nice rug, and this is your new dining room.
And I’ve just realized how old this post is…
MONIQUE Grossman says
how about using the sofa to devide living room and swivel chairs facing tv\fireplace in same location
With two swivel chairs that can turn to seating or fireplace
Also add area rug
We had the same issue with the fireplace, but you can mount the TV above the mantle with a TV mount. The wires can be negligible if run neatly and/or behind a piece of wood trim and down alongside the fireplace. If you aren’t handy with installing electric outlets, it would be worth it to have a licensed electrician install an outlet along that wall or inside the bookcase. Then you can have the best of both worlds. I wish there was a way for me to share a photo of ours.
Would you consider moving tv down by fireplace in the corner. Couch parallel to fireplace ? Or would this be off balance?
I have the same dilemma, but I also have two doors: French doors going into dining room by fireplace and a single door at other end of room going into the kitchen.
Choice B. I have the same problem, except there is a slider. No rug as it makes room feel too small. Placed a desk on the right side along slider wall. The best option for our space.
B jursic says
Shoot the budget and get an electrician to mount the TV over the fireplace
Terri Churchill says
I have basically the same set up, except my fireplace is opposite the window. French doors lead to the solarium, where your fireplace is is the stairs to the 2d floor. Never have found a solution to furniture placement. It’s a formal living room (used on special occasions) so there’s no TV.
I have a room with nearly the same set up and we have it arranged like C, which works pretty well for us.