Breathing Room: Long Living Room ….

Kelly is back with another edition of Breathing Room, where she tackles furniture and space planning solutions.  This week, she tackles the dreaded “long living room”.  So many clients contact designers to ensure they avoid the “ballroom effect or border effect” where everything is pushed up against the walls and you are left with a massive space in the center of the room — perfect for impromptu dance parties but not really for living.  Check out Kelly’s tips and examples on how to battle this scenario…..

Now that we’ve discussed the basics to drawing up a floor plan, I thought it would be interesting to discuss individual space issues.  First up, long living rooms that require more than the typical sofa and chairs seating arrangement.

The key to making a long living room feel comfortable and cozy (as opposed to sparsely furnished and cold) is creating a space plan that incorporates multiple seating areas.  The seating areas can have a variety of functions and should be customized to work for the owner of the space.

For example, I’m designing the space plan for a living room that is very long and open to the entry and kitchen (so a few restrictions on where furniture can be placed).  The most important function for this room is to take advantage of the great city views.   Unfortunately, the entire room doesn’t have access to the city views so I will incorporate another seating area that is great for conversations.

C:UsersOwnerDesktopLiving Room.pdf

In the alternative, a long living room that has the focal point of a fireplace would have a completely different space plan.   You would want to create a seating area that focuses on the fireplace and additional seating areas could incorporate other interests – conversations, gaming, etc.

Pic 4 -Deborah Needleman Pic3-Kerry Delrose Pic2-Traditional Home

How about a long living room without a focal point?  You can create different seating arrangements completely based on the interests of the owners.  It could be focused on creating great conversation, watching television, or playing games.

Pic7 -Nuevo Estilo Pic 5 nuevo-estilo

Pic6-Vicente Wolfe

A long living room is a great opportunity to create multiple functional spaces in one area.  It is important to plan out the space prior to purchasing furniture to ensure that your furniture proportions allow multiple seating areas.   A little pre-planning with result in a space that is inviting and well-designed.

Thank you Kelly!  I will leave you all to start rearranging your living rooms now that you are inspired.  I, on the other hand, will be cleaning my kitchen as we embark on yet another weekend styling for a photo shoot…story of my life now (and I love it!) ……

[picture credit: New York Magazine//House Beautiful//Traditional Home//Nuevo Estillo/Architectural Digest]

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3 thoughts on “Breathing Room: Long Living Room ….

  1. Pingback: Loving a Long Living Room | the joy of design

  2. When you’re trying to combine two seating areas in a large living room, it can be hard to know where to set up the integrated space since the areas are oriented in different spots in the room. The best way to choose a location for your combined seating areas is to identify a central focal point for the room. It can be a fireplace, large picture window or eye-catching chandelier. Base your combined seating area around this feature — place your largest couch so it faces the focal point and arrange all the smaller pieces around the couch. Your new seating area will be large, but still have a focused, ordered feel.

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