Furniture placement ideas for a living room with a sliding door leading out to the patio

A living room with a sliding door leading out on to the patio is usually bright and sunny. Considering this type of door when arranging the furniture means you can create a space that feels much bigger than a regular living room. In the summer, you can make the patio can seem like an extra room that leads out from a seating or dining area. If you have a small living room, that must function in several ways, consider moving just a couple of key pieces of furniture seasonally, such as a dining table or sofa. This takes advantage of a patio view, which may be pretty in summer but dull and grey in winter.

Al fresco dining

With space at a premium, many people have a combined living and dining room. This can benefit from sliding patio doors, in creating a summer room that gives the feel of al fresco dining every day. Simply place a dining table close to the window and open the doors wide on warm days. Sliding doors give the effect of the wall not being there, rather than just being open. Keep the wall space near the windows clear, to create a space dedicated to eating. Group soft furnishings, and tall furniture, like bookshelves, at the other end of the room to create an inside area to retire to. This works well in the UK climate where it is hard to keep furniture outside, even in the summer. It creates the feel of the outdoors but with a little shelter.


Creating a seating area around the sliding doors gives a comfortable conservatory feel. For a really cosy and relaxing area, think about type of furniture as well as placement. A sofa or comfortable chairs could be positioned so they look out on to the patio, with doors open or closed. Alternatively consider positioning large floor cushions and pouffes close to the doors in the summer, rather than solid furniture. Done simply, this could create a lazy summer house environment, or use lavish rugs and fabrics for bedouin style interior glamour.

Feng Shui

Those interested in creating a harmonious and restful environment for their living room, often use some basic Feng Shui principles. This is ideal in a room with sliding patio doors because Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese practice to balance energies, puts an emphasis on clean and bright spaces. Take advantage of the sun and daylight that sliding doors let in by not cluttering the room with too much furniture. Place seating around the walls, neither blocking the daylight, nor with their backs to the window. Tall and heavy wooden pieces could be placed at the far end of the room, or against walls to encourage the maximum amount of light and clear space.


Make a sunny patio the focus point, rather than a fireplace or the television. Group seating so that it faces towards the scenery, rather than in to the room. If you have a very large room, you could even use dividers, such as a pretty screen or freestanding bookcase, to give the illusion of an extra conservatory-style space. Smaller living rooms benefit from having a more open furniture arrangement so that the whole room looks like a summer house. Although there are huge benefits to having the bright room that sliding patio doors offer, position expensive furniture away from direct sunlight. Strong sun can cause wood to split and fabric to discolour. Also keep electrical equipment at the far end of the room, and position the television so that sunlight does not fall directly across the screen. This makes it hard to see the picture.

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About the Author

Shefali Choudhury is a qualified make-up artist and nail technician, with more than 12 years experience of professional makeup in beauty, film and theater. She graduated in fine art from Central Saint Martins and has been writing professionally since 2007.