Our own living room (above) went through a few different variations until we landed on this layout–see the somewhat comical evolution here. In the end, this sofa with these two oversized leather chairs across from it worked so well with our large, open layout, defined the living room and allowed for lots of different kinds of conversation and hanging out. If you’re living room isn’t feeling just right–I’ve been there!–and often times it can be resolved with just a little rearranging (my favorite kind of free decorating!) or tweaking the furniture. For us, it was both!
Before we get to some amazing budget-friendly accent chairs (scroll down to see those!), I’ve put together a cheat sheet to make your living room rearranging a little more productive and maybe a little less labor intensive.
In the above renderings, I simplified it by just laying out sofas and chairs. Some chairs are smaller, some are larger, and some are even different in the same space–a tip I observed while gathering a few real-life examples of these layouts.
#1 is definitely the most popular layout I think, it’s our living room layout. (At the cabin, too!)
Alternatively, if your chairs are a little smaller and you want to keep a walkway between the chairs, go for a #11 like Simply Suzy’s home below.
I could look at living room layouts all day because the right, ideal layout will maximize the function of the space and look effortless. Not one of the other. Both! As I’ve started to put together some living room designs at smaller price points (similar to our bedroom post from last week), I realized a layout post is precursor. And I also noticed that often times getting 2 good chairs to complete your living room is more expensive than getting another sofa! So, I went down a rabbit hole of gathering up good accent chairs at a great price, too.
The 16 below can be doubled up in a room, or stand alone. Some are wider and substantial and others are smaller, but all of them are under $600 (all but 1 are under $500) and start at just $175! These, and a good sofa, are the building blocks to your future living room.
1. Bedford Rustic Wood Arm Chair: $175
2. Soriano Channel Tufted Chair Gray Velvet: $248
3. Jakarta Modern Arm Accent Chair: $254
4. Peacemaker Accent Chair: $319
5. Auburn Chair in navy: $349
6. Auburn Chair in gray: $349
7. Slope Leather Lounge Chair: $349
8. Howell Canvas Arm Chair: $349
9. Auburn Chair in green: $349
10. Mid Century Huxley Chair: $429
11. Hanna Chair: $479
12. Copenhagen Industrial Upholstered Accent Chair: $484
13. Fluted Petite Accent Chair: $498
14. Velvet Hillside Accent Chair: $499
15. Cue White Chair: $499
16. Classic Cigar-style Vintage Leather Club Chair: $613
And just because I’m curious, which layout design are you currently rocking? Is #1 the most popular like I think?
Our small living room is very much like layout #2, except that the TV/TV cabinet replace the love seat. The two chairs across from the TV are recliners, which I said I would never have in my living room! Well, “never say never.” My husband and I have accumulated some years, and find sometimes we need to sleep in a more upright position. We haven’t gotten an adjustable bed (yet), so we purchased two recliners for occasional sleeping. We searched local furniture stores, but settled on ordering high-leg, wing-back recliners online.
Our living room layout seems to be working for now, although I am planning on replacing the coffee table and adding a different end table between the recliners. The room is very small, and it’s in a real 100+year-old farmhouse, so we try to maximize what we have.
My living room has the weirdest layout and we have moved our furniture around 3 times since moving in 5 years ago. We have one long wall with windows framed by a short wall and another that has a big open doorway, and the other side of the room is half-wall and half-open to the dining room. I need a designer’s help!
Our layout is like #14 but with neither sofa across from the sofa that’s there, kind of like #7 but with the rug the other way and small accent chairs on one side.
We have a small family room that is a little more long and narrow and the fireplace is at the far end. Because the room is not wide I feel like a sofa facing the fireplace would cut off the view and flow of the room. And a sofa and/or chairs on either wall would leave no place for a tv. We’ve lived here 8 years and I still haven’t figured out a good layout.
On another note, I’d love to see a roundup of budget friendly and stylish recliner chairs!
#3 : )
A question about your seating arrangement:
The rug in your living room is 10×14, yes? It looks like you have the seating pushed to the furthest ends of the 14′ stretch (I’m hoping that makes sense. They are as far from one another as they could be on that rug, is what I mean). Do you feel like they are still close enough that conversation doesn’t feel awkward?
We have the same rug in the same size in a very long room, and two couches that face one another. I have them scooted into the rug so that there is about a foot of rug behind each couch. I would love to scoot them further so that we are utilizing more of the room, but it feels like they are so distant already. Any thoughts?
I’m struggling with a square living room area. I have TV on the West wall and French doors on an the South wall. I have a sofa on the east wall and the West wall doesn’t really exist because there’s a walk way towards the dining room (semi open concept). How in the world do I arrange furniture where there are two focal points: french doors & TV? HELP!
We’re #9. The sectional works against our wall with windows. The tv is next to the fireplace (beside the chairs).
We have open concept very similar to yours but a fireplace/tv where your blue couch is. We went with 2 sofa’s and one chair in our living room. It was only $20 more for a sofa than a love seat! We have the couches set as a “sectional” configuration but can easily change it up 3 different ways!
Our living room layout is like #6. Our space is a good size and we love the amount of seating it gives us but I struggle to know what to do about a coffee table since the sofas are so far apart from each other. Any normal size coffee table may look like it’s floating in the middle of the room and wouldn’t be reach-able from either of the couches. Should I just center it on the chairs?
Love this! We have a long narrow room so #4 works best for us!
Great post!! Can I add another one to the list? Just purchased this chair from Pottery Barn for less than 400$ (there is a sale going on now, original price was 550). I ordered it in charcoal polyester fabric and I really hope it’s comfortable! I can update in 10 weeks…
You posted a really cool chair within the last few days — it was leather and had wooden arms (I think?!) and it was on sale for $400 something-ish….. I know I should have taken a screenshot of it because now I want it :) I can’t find it anywhere! Any idea which one it was? ????????
none of them because I have a corner fireplace in a completely open concept space. We’ve tried everything. Right now our sofa faces the wall (and corner fireplace) and we have two chairs sort of flanking the fireplace. But nothing we do works. We tried floating the couch but then the space was completely open to the dining area. I need to start over but I have to figure out what I need before I start shopping this time! ha! Would love to see corner fireplace (with TV over the fireplace b/c it looked dumb elsewhere) layouts!
I’m surprised I didn’t see my layout. I have a couch along the east side of the room/the back faces the dining room in our open layout.
And 2 chairs form an L configuration along the West & south walls with a round table in between.
Love your tips! Same question as the one below re mismatched chairs. We have a similar brown leather chair to yours with a two seater light grey couch. Two leather chairs would feel way too tight in our space, but would love to get another chair for extra seating. Any tips?
Our two accent chairs aren’t against any walls and slide all over the place, even though they are on the rug. Any tips?
We use Dura-Grip pads under our sofa and they work better than any others we have tried!
I’m rocking #5 I my house!
What about my oversized great room and impossible corner fireplace?! #firstworldproblems
yes! same issue here although our room isn’t huge. so frustrating!
Yes, we’re rocking #1!
Helpful. Right now we’re #3 but I might try tweaking our layout to make it more useful. We have an oddly shaped room; it’s quite long. In fact, we’ve got a seating area next to the fireplace (with the dreaded TV above), next, a round dinner table and at the far end of the room, a sectional in it’s own nook with lots of book shelves.
Love this! We’ve moved our living room around several times since we moved in almost a year ago and it just doesn’t feel quite right yet. What do you suggest for mix and matching chairs? We have one chair and want to get another, but they don’t sell it anymore.
Thanks for the great post! We’re rocking a modified #9 with a fireplace between angled chairs. Not exactly the perfect symmetry I would most like, but ample seating with our new sectional. I find the whole coffee table shape/placement to be super tricky – so few are good looking and often super expensive.
Oh man. We’ve sorta got #4 but not… our living room has a fireplace and a perpendicular TV wall so we’re sort of locked in to really just two, L-shaped sides in our open floor plan. I love accent chairs though, and moved into this house with several. The layout we have now is long couch facing fireplace, and loveseat + angled leather chair facing TV wall/perpendicular to the fireplace. I wish it felt effortless… but I’m afraid that would involve new furniture and it’s just so hrd to pull the trigger on a tough room!
This is great! I want to change our layout so bad. But, we will have to buy a new couch first. Ive tried moving it around but our leather couch is too bulky ????
I really need help with this. Our livingroom is long & narrow. And I wa t it to be comfortable but also “stylish” at the same time. Couches can be so expensive, I dont want to regret that purchase.
I dont know if a smaller scale couch modern couch ( think west elm)would be best, or a sectional or a chase lounge couch. Grrr! Too many decisions.
Mine is #5, but with one accent chair angled toward the sectional instead of 2 at right angles. The plan was to buy a second matching chair (a sweet one by Novogratz via Walmart and SO good looking plus a low low price) when I had a bit more money, but it disappeared from the website! I still search from time to time, yet honestly it feels fine with the one angled chair and a leather pouf footrest. We don’t have a lot of space width-wise due to the bowling alley shape of our living/dining room that requires a clear walkway alongside the LR rug, so I’m not even sure 2 chairs side by side would fit attractively in the space available. 1 chair looks slightly sparse, but 2 might look crammed. I’m still looking for something storage-y to fit under the window behind the chair which, along with the existing fiddle leaf fig, should finish visually filling in that area. And maybe someday I’ll just get a bigger single accent chair for that spot.
Mine is currently #13, but I’ve been looking for another chair to make it #4. The one chair that I have right now was found at a yard sale and I remade the cushions so finding another to match it exactly is impossible. I’ve been trying to find a chair to compliment it and it has been so hard. This post came at the perfect time! Now I have to figure out which chair I want!
I’m so excited for this livingroom post! And these layout tips were great! Thank you! My problem is I am struggling with where the TV and fireplace are. I don’t want to put my TV above the fireplace so it is on the adjacent wall to the fireplace. Should I just give in and put it above the fireplace? It’s making the placement of my furniture a bit more difficult. If I don’t put it above the fireplace I’m not sure if I should have my furniture facing the fireplace or the TV.
Me too. I dont want our TV above the fireplace so I feel our seating is limited. Our couch faces the TV but chairs are next to the TV so good for conversation but not for watching movies.
If you have room, can you build a tv stand or entertainment center next to your fireplace? Then its all on the same wall & separated.????
I feel the same way. I dont want a tv above the fireplace either. Pinterest has some good layouts for this.Hope this helps you.
This is amazing! We just bought a home and will be moving in April, so I am so excited to see this. Our new living room is a walk through with the only wall being a fireplace, so accent chairs will be key! Thank you!
We have a variation of #6: two facing sofas on the longer sides of the room and two chairs on one short end facing the fireplace wall with built ins on the other side. Creating these intimate seating areas are a must in open layout homes! ????
This is fun. We recently switched from 12 to 9 and removed the TV. Love it.
#3 is closest to our setup!
#8 – love me some symmetry!
We just switched to #6 and it is amazinggggg. We love the openness it created! Moving furniture can make such a difference! Thanks for such thoughtful content!
Our living room is #6 and we love it!
We have #11 but after looking at this I’m considering switching it up to #1. I never thought about putting the chairs straight instead of at an angle, oddly. Another option I hadn’t consider was #3 but it may make perfect sense in our space! Thanks for the round-up; I’ve looked at probably a hundred living room photos for inspiration but having all these layouts in one place really helped!
Ours is #1, kind of like your cabin layout with our TV above the fireplace, and our kitchen where your patio doors lead outside. But it doesn’t offer much seating when we entertain, so I was thinking of replacing the chairs for a loveseat, and then angling one accent chair so that I wouldn’t block much flow to the kitchen? Kind of like #6, but keeping the accent chair someone small, like the first one in your roundup. (If only Target hadn’t left Canada… sigh..). Julia, can you just come over and help me figure it out? ;)
Do you ever help with a specific room in someone’s house or their whole home for your blog posts? We have 2 very hard to decorate rooms. One is long and thin with beautiful fire place in middle of one long wall. Other is a room with 3 doorways so hard to know where to put furniture!
What are your thoughts on a four chairs layout? We recently bought a new home and haven’t purchased any furniture for our front living room because we’re not quite sure which direction we want to go.
Our living room is #12 but with two chairs where the one dark brown is cause our living room is more square. And the two chairs are your #9 option!! We just bought them so haven’t had them for more than a couple weeks but the color is amazing and they are so comfy! I love that they’re shallow enough to sit up right with your feet in the floor but also just deep enough I can pull my legs up and get super comfy. Not sure how long they’ll hold up but for the price I thought they were amazing! (Got mine on sale for $279!)
Our layout is #5 and our two chairs are long overdue to be replaced. They are chairs I got for a steal ages ago and reupholstered myself, but I have no idea why I chose the fabric I did and they have actively clashed with our decor for the last two houses. But, the chairs we have rock and swivel, which is convenient for our overall layout, and I’m having a tough time giving up those features or finding a well priced replacement! And two kids added to the mix means my spare time to reupholster any new chairs is pretty much nonexistent… I’ll have to look more closely at the options you linked and just continue keeping my eye out for the right chairs for us!
Kara, keep the chairs since they are convenient for your layout. Just find fabric and have a slip cover made for them. I found an amazing upholsterer through a local store. Found some cute, but simple fabric and had her make a slip cover. I live in a tiny(848 sq ft) house and also found a chair I loved. Perfect petite size, comfortable as heck, and it too swivels. Perfect for my space. My precious(insert eye roll) pup, pretty quickly shredded the corner of the fabric. I wanted to cry. But he is grown now, and not destroying stuff. Fabric was 8 yards and about $15 a yard i think. Don’t think it was more than $20. She charged $350 to make the slip cover. It looks amazing. Best part is I can throw it in the washing machine. Sorry for the rant. Just wanted to throw this out there for you since, you love the chairs themselves.
Thank you for the idea! I’ll definitely have to look into that option.
I love your blog and your overall style. I just bought a house a few months ago and we are working room by room on furnishing it. We are looking to buy living room furniture now, so I definitely appreciate your layout post. I noticed most of the pictures you showed are from open layout homes. I live in a traditional colonial with a front and back living room separated by a wall… there is a big doorway between the two. I think the back room could be considered formal dining space but we have a very large eat in kitchen and we’d rather have the comfy entertaining space of two living rooms. Taking down the wall isn’t an option right now. Pulling couches away from the wall or having them face each other isn’t really an option because of traffic flow between the two rooms. Right now our front room is set up similar to your option 5, only with two couches instead of a sectional and one accent chair because of the doorway there isn’t room for another. My question is this…. what’s the best layout when you pretty much have to put your furniture against walls so you can pass thru the room? Thanks so much for your time, I am so inspired by you and we grieved with you over your lovely cabin! So glad you were all safe!
My living room is #1! Fireplace on one end and opening to the dining room on the other kinda makes it the only option.
We’ve got #14. Our two chairs are in front of a window and we tried some different things on the other side of the room (across from them), but it just ended up feeling too crowded. Love this post!
This post great because i’m Struggling with my own living room layout but would be even better if you included where the focal points are, (ie fireplace and tv)!
Agreed! So many options, I think a focal point would help…although in Chris and Julia’s house they’re main living area doesn’t have a fireplace or TV! it’s all perspective…in the Northeast most homes have a fireplace.
We have layout 5 btw.
We are rocking #3 with the two open chairs in front of a large picture window. After our basement remodel, the initial mockup is similar to #12.
I finally convinced my husband to rearrange our living room just this past weekend! We had too much furniture in the room, so we moved one of our chairs to a bedroom upstairs, then rearranged the couch and remaining chair. Now the couch no longer partially blocks your path when you enter the room and the entire space feels bigger. Even he agreed it looks and feels much better! Now I’m thinking about adding a floor lamp and changing the rug…
Love this post! Ours is two couches in an L shape and a chair at an angle.
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