Planning Spaces in a Living Room

Planning Spaces in a Living Room

(please note clicking on the illustration will give you a larger view)

This article follows on from the first steps to planning a living room.

Here planning a living room has had the “bubbles” defined into areas. We determine the size of the area by measuring the furniture, allowing for the space and circulation and then drawing rectangle to that very approximate size. Planning is not an exact science. We start very broad brush and then through measurement and consideration of all the factors define each space as required adjusting the plan and elements in that plan until we are comfortable with the layout. Don’t be disappointed if with your first, second or third attempt things don’t work out, it takes practice and time to become a good planner. This article is intended as a guide only. It is a matter of practice makes perfect.

The Spaces Defined

Having completed  planning a living room through bubble diagrams to rough spaces, the furniture can be added to the plan.

This is illustrated below and another more formal living area is illustrated with ideas and questions on the layout for you to consider. (please note clicking on the illustration will give you a larger view making the notes readable)

A number of items that warrant consideration in this plan are as follows.

  1. The television has been kept away from the sun.
  2. Space has been allowed for around the fireplace for others wanting to stand. (Think about the function and the habit of warming your back from the fire.)
  3. Clear circulation has been allowed for adjacent to the doors and to stop interruption of people passing in front of viewing or discussion areas.
  4. Generous allowance has been given to the main circulation area in a family room because of the amount of traffic.
  5. Areas are defined by focal points. In this case the television, the fireplace, and the coffee tables.

Other considerations are the psychological effects that design has on people and the reasons good considered design works. A subliminal action and reason that designers use is to ensure the room feels secure. We do this by including formality or order to a space. Have you ever thought why its hard to relax in a mess (at least for the majority of people) and why we want to tidy up. It is because of this reason apart from cleanliness and being able to move about the room. Human beings like order not chaos.

Here is a grid format and  two layouts of the same room. They are for a more formal living room where high traffic is not considered important but the space is limited and maximizing it for guests and entertainment is.


The two different layouts both have their merits and downfalls. It is the designers responsibility to get the best out of the space for the user. Click on the drawings for a close up of the ideas and space allocations that make the designs work.


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