Holiday Home Times

The Secret Science of Space Planning – Part 2: The Living Room

Last week we looked at living room design principles. This week, we’ll look at applying those principles to our home. We’ll look at two options with shop-bought furniture, and one with bespoke furniture.

The classical layout with a 3+1+1 sofa set:

Space Planning for a 3+1+1 sofa set

Space Planning for a 3+1+1 sofa set

In this layout, the wall on the left becomes the focal wall. Your treatment of this wall sets the tone for the living room. You could opt for something simple, or go all out for drama. A console with twin occasional chairs, and oversized art to tie it all up would be my recommendation. The wall can accommodate a TV if needed.

Options for focal wall

Options for focal wall

The traditional way of highlighting a focal wall was to place a pair of easy chairs on either side of a central grand fireplace. This formed both a focal centerpiece and served as practical seating in the living room.

Twin Easy Chairs around a fireplace

Twin Easy Chairs around a fireplace

The contemporary layout with a 3+2+1 sofa set

Space Planning for a 3+2+1 sofa set

Space Planning for a 3+2+1 sofa set

In this layout, you can’t have any focal walls, as the sofas are back on to both walls. So, to add interest, we use a occasional chair that brings in colour and stands apart from the sofa. As the back of this chair faces circulation space, make sure you choose a chair with an interesting back.

Contemporary room treatments

Contemporary room treatments

Your signature style with bespoke furniture:

Any living room looks the best with furniture designed specially for it. Bespoke furniture can highlight the advantages of the room and make it seem more luxe than it actually is. The downside is, of course, that the furniture may not work anywhere else if you decide to move. For our sample flat, I would layout custom furniture as follows:

Bespoke furniture layout

Bespoke furniture layout

This layout not only gives you more seating than the other options, it also fits the best giving you maximum utility for the space. In addition, access to the seating area and the balcony is improved, and the library unit integrated into the back of the sofa makes the otherwise dead passage space have utility. Besides, with custom furniture, you can often get better quality than retail furniture.

For an idea of the possibilities in this room, look at similar treatments below.

 

Bespoke furniture treatments

Bespoke furniture treatments

This concludes our look at planning the living room. Next week, we’ll look at the dining room.