How To Design A Living Room – Our Go-To Rules (And When It’s Ok To Break Them)

How To Design A Living Room – Our Go-To Rules (And When It’s Ok To Break Them)

It’s pop-quiz time, what number of of you’re at the moment sitting in your front room, trying round at issues and questioning why one thing feels off however you possibly can’t completely put your finger on it? If it’s a must to take a second to consider it then this submit is for you. And if you’re assured that you just’ve bought every thing all collectively in your front room then it is a good quiz so that you can take to see how your front room measures as much as “EHD’s Dwelling Room Guidelines”. Consider these as the ten Commandments of arranging furnishings in your front room though technically there are 22 guidelines. Nevertheless, in contrast to stated commandments generally design guidelines might be damaged and issues can nonetheless look good. We get it, it’s complicated, however we pulled these collectively to behave extra as pointers to observe extra so than guidelines. All of those “guidelines” beneath ought to aid you reply the essential questions that we get requested daily like, “how tall ought to my espresso desk be compared to my sofa” or “how huge ought to my rug be if my front room is clean huge” or possibly “the place ought to I grasp my TV”?

In case you want extra design guidelines, try: Bed room Design Guidelines | Eating Room Guidelines

In the present day we’re speaking front room format, planning guidelines, and all of the fundamentals so that you just and your front room really feel pulled collectively.

Furnishings Placement

design by brady tolbert | photograph by zeke ruelas | from: brady’s front room reveal

RULE: Give 30″ to 36″ of a walkway between massive furnishings items (in case your front room permits for it) if not then at the very least 18″-24″.

This rule particularly pertains to the big items of furnishings in your house and is right here that will help you keep away from overcrowding your front room with too many massive items which may have you and your company attempting to squeeze between items. There’s plenty of fairly furnishings on the market however when designing a room you wish to make sure that have sufficient house to stroll round it. Bruised shins are a bummer as is having your house really feel too filled with stuff and having to shimmy in between a settee and one other massive chair. In case your room is on the smaller dimension then go for items which might be extra small scale which will provide you with the destructive house you (and your shins) want.

design by melanie burstin | photograph by tessa neustadt | from: mel’s front room reveal

RULE: Ensure that there is no such thing as a lower than 3.5′ and not more than 10′ of house between seating.

This rule lets you house out your seating for optimum enjoyment. We’ve all been on that awkward date the place stated date leans in WAY too near ask you questions and discuss to you throughout dinner. It’s an invasion of privateness and simply too shut for consolation. So it goes along with your front room format. This normal rule helps ensure you aren’t too cramped or have a lot house that you find yourself shouting on the individual throughout from you.


photograph by david tsay for ehd

RULE: If attainable sofas ought to by no means be flush with a wall. Pull it out 3-5″ and provides it some respiration room.

Whereas this rule might be robust when you’ve a small house since you might want to make each inch rely and it might sound opposite, it does assist the room really feel much less crammed collectively in the event you can spare a couple of inches to get your couch off of the wall.

See also  Clever Ways to Redesign a Small Living Space

Espresso Desk

photograph by bethany nauert | from: earlier than & after of glee creator’s Ian brennan’s comfortable television room

RULE: Your espresso desk needs to be at the very least half the size of your couch.

Scale is vital in making any house cohesive. Ensuring your espresso desk is at the very least half of the dimensions of your couch will be certain that the 2 items look nice and belong collectively.

photograph by ryan liebe | from: cup of jo makeover | the dwelling/eating room

RULE: Your espresso desk needs to be not more than 4″ greater or shorter than the highest of your couch seat cushions.

To keep away from the awkward visible of getting your espresso desk too excessive or low in relation to your couch’s seat cushion use the 4-inch rule. There isn’t any motive to have your espresso desk really feel like a excessive countertop or have it so quick that you just harm your again bending all the way down to seize a drink.

photograph by tessa neustadt | from: how we styled our household room and kitchen to promote

RULE: 16″ to 18” is the perfect distance between the couch and occasional desk.

Whereas each room is sized in another way you don’t wish to have your espresso desk so removed from the couch that you would be able to’t attain your drink or put your ft up after an extended day (relying on your home guidelines, after all). Maintain them at the very least 16″ aside so you possibly can stroll round it however not must rise up to stroll over to it.

Space Rug

photograph by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a contemporary and natural front room makeover

RULE: Your space rug needs to be massive sufficient for at the very least the entrance legs of the couch and all chairs to relaxation on prime of it.

Rugs which might be too small for a room are like attempting to suit into your denims from highschool. Certain, you might be able to squeeze into these pants however wouldn’t you feel and look higher in a much bigger dimension than one which doesn’t permit you to correctly breathe? The quick reply is YES to pants and YES to your rug. Most dwelling rooms want at the very least an 8×10 with most needing bigger. Don’t try to “stretch” a small rug into the room after which have all of the furnishings floating round it.

photograph by tessa neustadt | from: how we styled our front room to promote

RULE: Permit about 24″ between the wall and the rug in a big front room, and between 10″ to 18″ in a smaller one.

We’re speaking in regards to the want for destructive house and respiration room. Your rug is just not wall-to-wall carpet, so don’t make it appear like it. If you happen to observe this rule it is going to instantly make your dwelling really feel ethereal and lightweight whereas giving an outlined seating space to your house. This may even assist any furnishings (aka console, upright pianos) which might be in opposition to the wall from being unsteady in a half on half off thick rug situation.


photograph by david tsay | from: rustic fashionable home tour

RULE: Ensure that the shade of your ground lamp is masking the bulb when you’re sitting down.

Nothing is worse than attempting to have a calming night on the couch and having a harsh mild in your eyes each time you look over at your lamp. It’s stated that the perfect ground lamp peak is 68″ however that every one relies on the seat peak of the couch or chair. While you pair a lamp along with your seating ensure that the lamp isn’t so tall {that a} naked bulb is obtrusive down at you or so quick that while you go over to show it on the sunshine blinds you from beneath. Ideally, the sunshine needs to be at round eye stage when seated, which brings us to our subsequent rule. Additionally, porcelian bulbs are a good way to keep away from harsh mild!

See also  This Bedroom Trend Is Going To Make All Our Lives Much Easier
photograph by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a contemporary and natural front room makeover

RULE: For a lamp sitting on a aspect desk the underside of lamp shade ought to at all times be at about eye stage.

It’s the identical idea as the ground lamp rule. You wish to have the sunshine improve your front room time not make it uncomfortable with harsh mild in your eyes. Take the seat peak of your cushion, aspect desk peak and lamp peak to determine what will be the best choice for you and your house.

design by brady tolbert | photograph by sara ligorria-tramp | from: brady’s front room refresh with the citizenry

RULE: Place wall sconces between 5′ to six′ up from the ground.

A sconce hung too low or excessive not solely seems unusual and received’t provide the proper type of ambient mild you’re searching for. Placing them at the very least 60″ above the ground is an effective rule of thumb so you possibly can simply keep away from this potential subject, and forged a pleasant glow into all corners and areas of the room.

photograph by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the lounge replace

RULE: There needs to be 3 – 6″ between a wall sconce and the sting of a mirror or piece of artwork it’s subsequent to.

Very similar to how your furnishings wants house to breath and appears its greatest, so does your sconce. By conserving your hanging artwork and wall decor at the very least  3″ to six″ away from the sconce it is going to give each items the house they should shine…pun supposed.

photograph by tessa neustadt | from: a spanish front room

RULE: For figuring out ceiling mild width: Multiply your ceiling peak by 2.5 – 3 to get the really helpful measurement in inches. So when you’ve got a ten ft ceiling you’d multiply it by 2.5 providing you with 25″. That needs to be your approximate hanging ceiling mild width.

One other means you possibly can calculate the best dimension mild is through the use of the room dimension. Simply measure the size and width of the room. Then add these two numbers collectively and convert the overall into inches. For instance in case your room is 12 ft by 16 ft, your ceiling mild ought to roughly be 28 inches broad.

These useful formulation will provide you with a beginning place for the correct dimension you have to to your front room ceiling mild. Ordering the improper dimension is the worst and really annoying so hopefully this can take the guesswork out of sunshine purchasing and can aid you within the course of.

photograph by tessa neustadt | from: how we styled our front room to promote

RULE: In an open house the place individuals are strolling, 7 ft is the minimal distance the underside of a dangling mild fixture needs to be from the ground. However for ceilings over 8 ft simply add 3 inches of hanging peak per foot. So in case your ceilings are 10 ft tall, the sunshine fixture needs to be about 8.5 ft from the ground.

As we acknowledged earlier than, bruised shins are a bummer however so are head accidents. This rule (until you reside with a VERY tall individual) will hold you and your family members protected from hitting your heads on a ceiling mild. It can additionally make your house look extra spaciously conscious and really feel proportional.

Aspect Desk

photograph by tessa neustadt | from: griffith park sunroom reveal

RULE: Aspect desk shouldn’t be deeper than the depth of couch they’re subsequent to.

That is kinda a no brainer however simply in case, make sure that your aspect desk is not any deeper than your couch. It’s an ungainly look have a aspect desk that appears too huge for a settee.

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photograph by david tsay for ehd

RULE: Maintain your aspect desk shut sufficient to set down a drink with ease. Which is usually 2-3″ from the peak of the arm.

One other no-brainer. A aspect desk is supposed for use by the seat it’s subsequent to. You need to have the ability to set that cup, guide, or no matter else you’re holding down with ease.


photograph by tessa neustadt | from: 3 steps to styling out your cabinets

RULE: 12” is the perfect minimal depth of a bookshelf (or 15” to suit oversize artwork books).

To simply keep away from a “guide overhang” disaster make sure that any bookshelves bought or customized made are at the very least 12′ deep. Your books and “shelfies” will thanks. And in the event you don’t have a bookshelf that’s that deep than attempt to avoid displaying any books or objects that may hang around from the cabinets.

Accent Chairs

photograph by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the lounge replace

RULE: You need round 42” (dimension of your room keen) between a set of front room accent chairs to have the ability to match a small desk (or classic trunk on this case) within the center. For a smaller room simply place chairs aspect by aspect.

Do you sense this theme of giving sufficient house in between items of furnishings? 42″ is a good commonplace to provide the correct amount of house between your aspect chairs.

design by ginny macdonald | photograph by zeke ruelas | from: ginny’s front room reveal

RULE: When pairing a settee and accent chairs select seat heights which might be inside 4″ of one another.

It helps to have comparable seat heights in a front room in order that when your loved ones and mates are all sitting in the identical house nobody is awkwardly at a really totally different peak. Plus it simply visually seems higher within the room.

Couch Console Desk

photograph by bethany nauert | from: lisa’s home: front room

RULE: Ensure that your console is similar peak or a couple of inches shorter than the again of your couch. It also needs to ideally have about 6″ of house on both finish.

It simply seems unusual to have a settee console desk that’s taller or wider than your couch. Maintain it a couple of inches shorter and magnificence away along with your favourite keepsakes.


photograph by tessa neustadt | from: the design milk household room reveal

RULE: An optimum peak for the middle of the display screen is 30 inches above the bottom seat peak within the room.

Give your neck a break and use this rule to keep away from hanging your television being hung too excessive on the wall.

photograph by genevieve garruppo | from: a boathouse makeover with the body

RULE: The space between TV and couch needs to be about 7′.

All of us have totally different preferences with regards to how shut we wish to be to our beloved televisions however a great rule of thumb is 7′. Your eyes shall be very pleased, and also you received’t really feel like you’re both within the entrance or again row of the movie show.

Phew… we made it out alive. As talked about earlier than these are all pointers and a few of these guidelines might be damaged and the room can nonetheless work cohesively collectively, however hopefully these will provide you with a great basis to your front room format. Tell us when you’ve got any questions beneath or if there are any guidelines that we overlooked that you really want answered. Now what room ought to we deal with subsequent? Tell us your burning questions beneath.

Take a look at the remainder of our design guidelines: Bed room Design Guidelines | Eating Room Guidelines

Opening Picture Credit: Photograph by Sara Tramp | From: My Dwelling Room Replace

The submit How To Design A Dwelling Room – Our Go-To Guidelines (And When It’s Okay To Break Them) appeared first on Emily Henderson.

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