8 Awkward Living Room Layout Designs

Take a look at your living room layout. Do you like what you see? Have you ever even thought about it? Far too many homeowners just move in and put their stuff down without thinking much about how their living space is set up. Awkward living room layouts can make the entire home feel off.

The truth is that arranging your living room furniture correctly is about more than just creating a visually appealing room. It’s a key element in creating a harmonious and functional living space. Your living room serves as the heart of your home. This room is where family and friends gather to relax, socialize, and make memories.

The way you arrange your living room furniture not only impacts the room's visual appeal but also plays a significant role in optimizing comfort, functionality, and flow. Thoughtfully designed living rooms can enhance the overall atmosphere of your home, encourage conversation, and even make the room feel more spacious. A small living room can feel larger if set up correctly.

With this in mind, let’s explore the importance of arranging your living room furniture in a way that not only reflects your personal style but also maximizes the utility of the space, contributing to a more inviting and enjoyable home environment. Let’s dig deeper into a few awkward living room layout ideas you can implement in your own home.

Photo of a Living Room

Awkward Living Room Layout Ideas

Awkward living room layouts can create challenges for both aesthetics and functionality. Here are eight examples of awkward living room layouts, as well as clever interior design tips to make the room layout seem more spacious and inviting:

#1 The "Furniture Against the Walls" Layout

We see this most often in a small living room. You may believe your living room isn’t awkward — just too small. Maybe you think there’s no way to arrange furniture any other way. Professional interior designers will tell you that placing all furniture against the walls can create an empty, disconnected space, making it difficult for people to engage in conversation. Rather than think of your too-small room as an awkward space, think of it as a potentially cozy environment.

Arranging a small living room area to make it seem larger involves strategic design and decor choices that maximize space, light, and functionality. Light-colored paint and furniture can make a room feel more open and airy. Choose smaller area rugs and furniture that fit the room's proportions. Avoid oversized, bulky pieces like a sectional sofa that overwhelms the space. We also encourage you to use vertical space. Utilize wall-mounted shelves, wall art, and cabinets to free up floor space and keep clutter off the ground.

#2 The "TV Dominates" Layout

You want a focal point, but what should it be? When the TV is the primary focus, and all furniture is arranged to face it, it can lead to a lack of intimacy and make it challenging to converse with others. Create an intimate seating area — perhaps with a coffee table or corner fireplace — rather than simply staring at the TV. We love the idea of using swivel chairs so you can change the direction of your focus based on whether you’re entertaining or alone.

#3 The "Mismatched Scale" Layout

Using furniture that is too large or too small for the room's dimensions can result in a visually unbalanced and awkward look. This can happen in both large living rooms and small ones. In fact, we see it often in a large room that has a unique shape. Whatever the size or shape of your space, ensure that the proportions of the furniture are in harmony with the room. For instance, a large sectional sofa may not be suitable for a narrow living room, while small accent chairs might look lost in a spacious room.

Similarly, area rugs can define seating areas and provide a sense of scale. Make sure the rug is appropriately sized for the seating arrangement, with all furniture legs either on or off the rug for a cohesive look.

#4 The "Traffic Jam" Layout

Perhaps the problem isn’t the size of the room but the furniture arrangement. Furniture that obstructs natural pathways in and out of the room can lead to an uncomfortable and awkward experience for everyone in the space. An interior designer will avoid this by considering the room layout as well as its function.

Do people walk through it to get to the dining room on the other side? Can some furniture pieces be removed to create more movement? You want to leave clear pathways for easy movement throughout the room. Arrange furniture to ensure that people can walk from one area to another without obstacles.

#5 The "Cluttered Corners" Layout

Overcrowding one area with furniture and leaving other areas empty can create a lopsided, unbalanced appearance. On the other hand, focusing on scale in your living room is important for creating a harmonious and well-proportioned space.

Determine the main functions of the room, such as seating, entertainment, or storage. Allocate space for each function, ensuring that there is a purpose for every area. A well-proportioned focal point, such as a fireplace, accent chairs, a piece of art, or a television, can help anchor the room and guide the scale of other furniture around it.

We also encourage you to create a conversation zone. In larger rooms, use furniture to create separate spaces. You may want to use a room divider for this. Then, group seating arrangements in a way that fosters interaction and defines distinct areas for the various activities people will be doing in the room. Place area rugs under furniture groupings to visually separate spaces while providing a cohesive look.

#6 The "Floating Furniture" Layout

You may feel inclined to avoid the corners and put everything in the middle of the room, even if you have enough space to do so. Placing furniture in the center of the room with no clear focal point or anchor can make the space feel disconnected and disorganized. Arrange your room in a way that makes sense, both functionally and aesthetically. You may want to even create zones to ensure this doesn’t happen.

#7 The "Mismatched Styles" Layout

Combining furniture and decor with clashing styles, such as contemporary and traditional, can result in an awkward mix that lacks coherence. Start by determining your preferred design style. Research various design aesthetics, such as traditional, contemporary, rustic, minimalist, bohemian, or transitional, and identify which resonates with you. Decide on the overall theme, color palette, and mood you want to achieve. Having a clear plan will guide your choices and help you avoid clashing elements.

In cases where you have mixed preferences, consider selecting one dominant design style for your space and introducing elements of the other styles as accents. This maintains a sense of balance. We recommend you use a neutral color palette for larger, long-term investments like furniture or wall art. These pieces can provide a versatile backdrop for introducing smaller decor items or accents from different styles.

#8 The "Obstructed Views" Layout

Our area is world-renowned for its views. Why block the scenery outside? Positioning furniture or decor items in a way that obstructs natural light sources, windows, or scenic views can hinder the overall appeal and functionality of your living room. Even a small living room has the wall space to avoid blocking natural lighting and views of the area. It’s all about arranging furniture and adding light fixtures in a way that makes sense.

Begin by sketching a floor plan of your room, including the window locations, doors, and architectural features. This will help you visualize where your furniture should go. Place seating and key pieces of furniture in a way that doesn't obstruct the window area. These pieces should be thoughtfully chosen. Select furniture with lower backs or open, airy designs to maintain an unobstructed view of windows.

Photo of a Living Room

Avoid oversized, bulky pieces that can hide windows. Placing mirrors on walls adjacent to windows can reflect natural light, making the room feel brighter and more spacious. They can also create the illusion of additional windows.

Experiment with your living room layout and arrangement. Don't be afraid to try different furniture arrangements until you find the one that works best for your room. Consider the location and size of the windows, the size of your space, and the function of the room. Those mentioned above are only a few awkward living room layout ideas. If you're struggling to achieve a harmonious look or you're uncertain about design choices, consider consulting an interior designer for guidance and expertise.

Hire Professional Interior Designers

It's essential to consider the room's dimensions, natural focal points, and your own lifestyle when arranging your living room furniture to avoid these awkward layouts and create a more comfortable and visually pleasing space. A circular layout or the need for extra seating can create a mess. If any of the awkward living room concepts mentioned above seem all too familiar, it’s time to reach out to a professional interior designer.

These professionals do much more than arrange furniture. We can make the space inviting, comfortable, and reflective of your personality. You may even find you have more space afterward. Here at JAC Interiors, we specialize in redesigning living rooms like yours.

Interior design is our passion! It doesn’t matter if you have a studio apartment with a dining table in the living room, an eclectic home with odd corners, or a penthouse with more vertical space than horizontal. We can work with your living room space to make it a beautiful room. Contact us at 213-397-0206 today to inquire further about our services. Say goodbye to that awkward layout and hello to a living area you adore.

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