The living room has become one of the most important places of the home. Whether you’re watching TV, bringing friends over, or just relaxing, it is the central hub of your house (or apartment).
If you’re having troubles not knowing where to place furniture, or have no idea where to start, you can relax. Just follow our three simple steps and you’ll be on your way to furnishing freedom.
Step 1: List the activities you do in your living room
If you find yourself unable to set up your living room, it may be because you’re a very active person. Start by listing everything you’re used to doing in the room. Do you often watch TV there? Is it mainly used for listening to music, eating dinner, reading books?
Then also think about what you want to do once you’ve done all the furnishing. Are you going to start having friends over?
By doing that, you’ll establish a list with every task/activity you can think of. Be honest with yourself, while still being realistic (when it comes to “future activities”).
Do you want to have a piano, but fear running out of room? Write it down anyway, but try to limit yourself. If your dream is to rehearse with a philharmonic orchestra in your living room, it’s clear that this isn’t feasible.
Step 2: Organize and map out the activities into areas
Now that you have a thorough list of activities that you’re satisfied with, it is time to organize it. Don’t worry, it won’t be mind-boggling.
To do this, begin by jotting down the constraints of each activity. In other words, what kind of equipment or ideal set-up are you going to need?
For example: in front of “work”, you can write down “lighting,” “electric plugs,” “windows,” etc.
Once every activity has been detailed, regroup them based on their needs.
Now draw a rough layout of your living room space. No need to be accurate, a rough sketch will do.
Finally, simply place down on the layout the various activities where they work best.
Start by placing down the tasks with difficult constraints to move (e.g. windows). End with those more flexible (e.g. “entertain”).
You’ll make sure every activity will be combined logically and organically. Note that you can use the same area for multiple activities.
Step 3: Furnish the room
All that is left now is finding the appropriate furniture for your specific activities.
Go back to your original list, and note down for each activity the furniture necessary to accomplish it. If you have a “reading corner,” you will probably need a comfortable place to sit, but also lighting, and maybe a coffee table. The couch from where you’ll watch TV may work too.
With the activity layout, you have the keys to furnishing your living room according to your needs.
The idea being that you want to limit unilateral uses of furniture. You wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on something you’ll be using for one activity.
This helps unclutter your living room, but also makes it more spacious and practical.
Finally, compare the furniture you have selected with the space you have. To do this, the easiest way is to test it with an actual layout of the room. Measure your furniture, then draw them to scale.
Be creative, but try to avoid deviating from the original plan. It guarantees a coherent and practical design.
If need be, consider replacing your existing furniture with others, more appropriate in sizes, and usefulness.