How to design a rectangular living room

Updated March 23, 2017

When designing any room, it is important to first consider its main function. A living room is a place for people to gather, watch television, or just relax. When you have a rectangular living room, shaped similarly to a short hallway, you have to arrange your furniture so that you can move around your living room efficiently while enjoying the space.

Decide on the central element of the room. For instance, some people choose to use the living room as a television viewing room; in that case, the television is your central element because everyone looks in that direction. Other choices may include artwork or a fireplace.

Position the central element first, then design the rest of your furniture and decor around the item. Place the central item (such as a television) against a short wall that's opposite the entrance of the room.

Place your long sofa against one of the longest walls of the rectangular room. If possible, choose a wall opposite the window so that people sitting on the couch can look out the window if they'd like. Position your other shorter sofa (if applicable) adjacent to the longer sofa so that it looks like the letter "L." Make sure the short sofa faces the television or other central element. It is fine if the size or set-up of the room require you to place both sofas up against walls.

Place your recliner or living chair (if applicable) on the opposite wall of the rectangular room. You can turn it diagonally in to face the television or other central element.

Put a long rectangular coffee table in front of the longest sofa if there is room. If placing a table there will make it difficult to walk through the middle of the rectangular living room, just place an end table at the side of each sofa or recliner for cups, plates, and other items. You should have at least a 60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 foot) wide walking space in your living room.

Place your smaller decorative items in the room after you're finished placing the large furniture. For instance, you can hang a large rectangular framed picture over the largest sofa or place a plant by the end of one of the sofas. Make sure the placement of the smaller items doesn't interfere with the central element or walkway of the rectangular room.


Consider purchasing an L-shaped sofa set for a rectangular room.

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About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.