Living Room Layout Tips: Where do I put my couch?! ORC Week 7

It’s week 7 of the One Room Challenge. I can’t believe it. At the start of this I naively thought “8 weeks is a long time!” Well folks, the weeks have flown by. There has been massive progress. There is also so much left to do. Don’t worry, it’s going to get done! Thanks for being along for the ride.

Our couch came in this week (yay! just in time!) and it reminded me of something that I wanted to make sure to write a blog post about.

When I first started this challenge I asked what living room issues people were experiencing. I wanted to make sure to highlight those aspects of my living room and offer solutions to people. The #1 issue that people mentioned to me was LAYOUT. “Where do I put my TV? Where do I put my couch? Where do I put lamps? Ah! Advice please!”

It’s coincidental that people said this because the reason why I did not work on my living room for months was because I could not figure out the layout. Now that I have my layout figured out, I would like to provide you with some tips and guidelines. I hope these are helpful to you!

Living Room Layout Tips

  1. First figure out where your TV and couch should go. Most people primarily use their living rooms for sitting and watching TV. Therefore, I recommend first figuring out where these two items go so that you can optimize the space for it’s primary purpose. Then fill in all the remaining, less significant items.
  2. The TV should go straight across from the couch. The TV should ideally not be opposite a window. For optimal TV viewing, place your couch directly across from your TV. This might not be possible in every space but often it is possible and it quickly narrows down your options. Ideally your TV should not be placed on a wall opposite windows to avoid a reflection on the TV.
  3. Consider how many people can view the TV while sitting comfortably. This one can get tricky. Think about how many people are normally viewing the TV at the same time. Think about if you want to have guests over frequently. Naturally the size of your space will put limits on this but figure out one configuration and count how many people could comfortably watch TV. Next figure out another configuration and count how many people could watch TV. This simple exercise completely changed the layout plans for my living room!
  4. Don’t be afraid to put your TV in a corner or put your couch floating between rooms. It’s okay to put a TV in the corner if it better meets your needs. It’s also okay to put a couch floating in an open space because that’s how you’ve chosen to define where the living room ends and the dining room begins. Experiment. Break rules. It’s okay.
  5. Buy a smaller or larger TV to better fit the size of your room. This one is key and often overlooked. If your TV is too large or too small it isn’t going to look right no matter where you put it in your living room. If your budget allows it, buy a TV that fits the size of your room. A general guideline is “Viewing Distance from TV / 2 = TV Size.” For example, if you generally sit 10 feet (120 inches) back from the TV, your TV should be 60 inches. If you have a narrow living room and sit 5 feet back from your TV, your TV should be about 30 inches. Of course this is just a guideline. Get the TV that you like best that makes you feel good about the room setup!

My Living Room Layout

Below you will see my living room layout as designed by Ash & Ember Design. My living room is part of a large open-concept space that includes my dining room and kitchen. You can see the dining room table and the kitchen on the left side of the layout. The square room on the top right is the living room with the layout they recommended.

Guess what? This layout places my couch in front of a window and my TV across from the window. What?! Didn’t I just say not to place your TV opposite a window? Well folks, I also said to break rules 🙂

Why did I choose to place my couch in front of a large window and my TV across from the window? I chose that because about 20 people can comfortably sit and watch TV then. About 10 more people could sit on the floor and watch too. I have a lot of family in the area and when I invite them over to watch the Super Bowl or something else, I want everyone to be able to see the TV. Putting my TV in the only other place it could go in the room would have limited the TV viewing to about 4 people sitting comfortably and everyone else on the floor.

Break rules. Make it beautiful and make it functional.

More Questions?

I hope that these tips helped you at least a bit in your living room layout dilemmas! Still have questions? Comment below and ask. I’d love to help you out.

What’s next for the ORC?

I have high hopes for this week of the One Room Challenge. Below is the my to-do list.

  • Complete the pony wall shelving
  • Complete refinishing the TV stand
  • Paint the TV feature wall
  • Make a final decision on what to do around the TV on the wall
  • Start buying or upcycling lamps, throw pillows and knick knacks so the details can get finalized

If I get this all done (high hopes over here!), the only major project I’ll have remaining is my coffee table. Here’s to a busy and productive week!

Don’t forget to check out how the other ORC participants are doing! Their rooms are looking amazing and some people are actually nearly done without rushing!