I need help rearranging furniture in my L-shaped living room

Debbie Graham
by Debbie Graham
My living room is also open to the dining room. Both rooms are narrow. My sofa and love seat are also quite large as is the lazy boy chair.
  42 answers
  • Helen Helen on Aug 26, 2016
    First of all, I'd say you need to remove to somewhere else a couple of the heavy pieces of furniture such as the 2 recliners or 1 and the love seat. For the size room, they crowd out anything else. There is so much heavy furniture in there & the dining area. Plus, behind the love seat there's a dresser/table with a large picture. Everything except the small chair is the same color as well. I'd put a slip cover in white on the sofa and love seat. Raise the picture behind it higher. About 12" up from the sofa back. Remove the Picture on the right dining wall by the china cabinet. Center the china cabinet. A nice rug under the coffee table to center it and add color to the room. Lighten up and brighten up in the rug colors.
    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 27, 2016
      Thanks Helen for your suggestions. I know some things need to go to make everything work and I like your idea about removing the two recliners; however, I don't get excited about slipcovers. The reason the china cabinet is not centered is because there is not enough room to pull out the chairs from the table without them bumping into it. Any other ideas you have would be appreciated!
  • Susan Franks Susan Franks on Aug 26, 2016
    The scale of the furniture in your living is far too large for the size of the room. I would take out the lazy boy chairs and put them in a family room if you have one. Placing the sofas facing each other on each side of the fireplace will create a cozy space. The other chair and the small table may work in the corner that is now free as a nice spot to read a book. The dining room table is a little small compared to the china cabinet and living room furniture. Possibly an area rug under the table would make it look larger. Remember to have room to pull out the chairs and still be on the rug. I might even turn the table the other way and please take the scarf down. The light is way too small and too high. Try twice the size and lower at least 18". At the front door I would lay a nice runner, possible with the same colours or pattern as the rug in the dining room. At least that is what I would do. lol
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    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 28, 2016
      Very helpful Susan. Thank you for your suggestions.
  • Colleenlatta Colleenlatta on Aug 27, 2016
    Helen and Susan have good solutions for you, especially to remove the recliners from your living room (if you don't have a family room, how about in bedrooms for a reading spot?). I love the oval-backed chair - it needs to go in front of your window by the round side table, with your couches facing each other and coffee table between them out from the fireplace. If you like color, you could make the biggest change by taking some risks in these rooms. A large beautiful, bold rug can become the focal point in your living room, centered in front of the fireplace to anchor your two sofas. I would then pull one or two of the colors of your living room rug to select a complimentary rug for under your dining room table. (I've had good experiences ordering large area rugs online at deep discounts. They really make the room!). Take those colors and another color cue from the focal point rug to select fabric in a pretty geometric or floral for lined window coverings for both rooms (do you have a friend who sews?). Do hang your drapes just below the ceiling on pretty rods and extended out from window sides at least 10" if possible for more impact. Add a few bright accent pillows in your new colors to your sofas and chair. A large gilded framed mirror over the mantle with assorted silver, brass and crystal candlesticks would look pretty, offset with a topiary or large green leafy silk stems in an unusual vase. Be bold and enjoy your space!
    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 27, 2016
      Hi Colleenlatta, Thank you for taking the time to address my decorating challenge. Everyone has had some great ideas and I certainly appreciate yours. However, I still need help because of the narrowness of the room and the large picture window created an off-balance feel when I moved the sofas as you and others have suggested, and it also blocks off a much-needed walkway between the two rooms. I love your window treatment ideas and will certainly try to find something along those lines. And in the meantime, please keep your suggestions coming. I need all the help I can get to get these issues solved.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Aug 27, 2016
    Hi Debbie! You have a lovely space with a lot of nice pieces in there. The suggestions above are quite on target- editing would be the best way to make the space work. However, if you really want to keep all of the pieces, then I would rearrange like this: Make the fireplace the balanced and centered focal point by pulling the sofa and coffee table back over- sofa should face the love seat flanking either side of the fireplace with the coffee table in between. I would find a small area rug to define that space. Move the arm chair over by the window (now facing the fireplace) with a nice table and lamp. That furniture all works well together and complements the fireplace style. Take the two more modern style recliners and create a second "reading nook" where the sofa is right now on that wall next to the china cabinet with a table and lamp in between them . Slide the china cabinet more into the dining room to give it purpose to the dining room and define that space. Good luck!
    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 27, 2016
      Hi Sue, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my decorating challenges. I've already tried some of them but couldn't seem to make them work well because the large picture window makes everything look off-centered and interferes with a much-needed walking space we need into the dining room. I welcome any further suggestions you may have.
  • Lindy Lindy on Aug 27, 2016
    Spot on advice and I have to add that you've closed it in with the drapes unless they're closed for the photo shoot only. Yes, the scarf in the dining room should go as someone else suggested as well as moving the hutch to center on that wall. You have browned out the house and need color. Adding the slipcovers on the sofas in a light color as suggested is also a great idea.​ Think of it as putting your living room on a "diet" of less is more. Guess we're all saying the same thing. Good luck with the great ideas. You can't go wrong with any of the advice from the Hometalk responders.
    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 27, 2016
      Hi Lindy, I appreciate your response and suggestions to my decorating dilemma. Adding more color is something I've been intending to do.
  • Charly Charly on Aug 27, 2016
    First of all let me say that your livingroom furniture looks very inviting and comfy. Secondly, listen to the previous ladies because they absolutely have it all going on! I want to know when they are coming to my house to fix my livingroom? Good luck and let us see the final results.
    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 27, 2016
      Yes, everyone has given me some great advise. I only wish I coincate some of them but the limited space between the walls prevents this from happening. Thank you for your interest and response.
  • Terri Terri on Aug 27, 2016
    Add a couple of area rugs. Maybe two 5x7's. This can anchor the spaces. Give each area a finished look. Arrange furniture in the rugs. This can also give an inviting look into the spaces. Hope this helps.
  • Geri Ann Geri Ann on Aug 27, 2016
    If the window is not centered use curtains across the wall larger than the window itself...
  • Catherine Bridges Catherine Bridges on Aug 27, 2016
    My suggestion would be to move the dinning table closer to the was that does not have the China Hutch, take the picture on the wall the China Hutch is on down-slide the hutch more center with the table and swag the current light fixture over the table or buy one to swag. Also, all furniture does not have to set against a wall, you could make move one of your two chair arrangements where the large sofa is, put the other two facing each other ( with end table with the smaller one and your other sitting arrangement at the end. Also I would opt for a larger piece of art hung higher on the wall that the large soft now sits on. Hope this helps.
    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 27, 2016
      Love your suggestions Catherine, but I just don't have enough space on either side of the dining room table to do that as the space is narrow.
  • C C on Aug 27, 2016
    Debbie, Have you tried floating your loveseat to seperate your dining space from your living room? If you shift you couch a little closer to the front wall.... and place the loveseat to it's left {as a divider} Add a sofa table behind the loveseat {on the dining room side} Then you are free to position the lazyboys closer to the door {and facing the fireplace} Good heaven's I hope I explained that ok?
  • Alice Alice on Aug 27, 2016
    Can you rotate dining room table 90 degrees?
  • Jackie Hendricks Jackie Hendricks on Aug 27, 2016
    Lovely room! Albeit crowded. I didn't see a tv in there so assuming that is not your tv space. I would lose the recliners and the possibly chair next to the fireplace. Next, I would work with floating the sofa and love seat into an L shape configuration with an end table cornering them together. Make that a start and work the smaller pieces into that scheme. There are really too many pieces of furniture in that room. In the dining room, the hutch really should be where the picture is. Moving the table and chairs even a few inches more away from the hutch should help. Table can always be moved out more temporarily during a meal. Good luck!
  • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Aug 27, 2016
    Maybe remove the love seat or recliner. Or leave those and remove the couch. I love your furniture but it is large and I don't think it will all fit in a way that doesn't look crowded. If you have a guest room or large master bedroom maybe you could use the removed piece in there for a small sitting area.
  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Aug 27, 2016
    I agree with Jackie - too much furniture for this space. Decide what you do without and move it to another room or get rid of it.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Aug 27, 2016
    The arrangement is not so bad. I find the pieces 'çlunky'. They looked glued down by Ozzie for Harriet. Everything needs to 'lighten up'. I would consider first painting the door to match walls. Next consider also painting trim and even the furniture wood to lighten it all up and make it 'float' in the rooms. The wood has kind of a 50-ish look. White or even black would modernize it and lift it off floor.
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    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 28, 2016
      I'll give it a try. Thanks!
  • Penny Stumpf Penny Stumpf on Aug 27, 2016
    I too would take down the picture in the gining room and move the China cabinet further into the dining room. I would put the large sofa on the longest window wall and the live seat where the sofa is now. That leaves the chairs angle to the inside of the mining room. I think it would look less crowded upon entering the room.
    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 27, 2016
      I've done that before but I move my furniture around a few times a year and want to try something new. I appreciate your thoughts.
  • Irk8415906 Irk8415906 on Aug 27, 2016
    sofa in front of the fireplace with the love seat making an L to the left of it. the 2 recliners if you want to keep the where you have the sofa now with a table between. YOU NEED AREA RUGS IN THE LIVING ROOM ( HAVE IT CLOSE TO THE SOFA AND LOVE SEAT.) AND THE DINING ROOM. A RUG ANCHORS THE SPACE AND DOESN'T LOOK LIKE THE FURNITUREIS FLOATING AROUND.
  • Emily Emily on Aug 27, 2016
    It seems to me that the china closet is out of proportion to the table and chairs. The wall to the left of the dr window is not shown, so don't know if there is room for the cabinet there. You actually have the furniture arranged in the best way if you intend to keep all the same pieces. The recliners also seem to be too large for the space and the other furniture. Although this is something you do not ask about, I would consider painted the closet door and its trim to match the wall color. One less thing going on.
  • Lizzy L Lizzy L on Aug 27, 2016
    I have a similar floor plan. Here's what I did.
  • Helen Helen on Aug 27, 2016
    In order to center the cabinet I'd move the small table and pull the table, etc. away from the wall. The small table could be better used elsewhere in the living room or elsewhere. OR if you center the cabinet you could put the small table on the right of the cabinet. One thing, if you can manage it, would to hang a nice chandelier over the table. Stay away from ones that drip with crystal on it. Something simpler would help immensely to make a great statement there. I wish we could use email because it would be far easier to do this. As for the slip covers, I'm not a big fan, but in summer months especially, they add more flair to the room. NOT the stretch ones though. Try the cotton duck that ties. If you have other questions, please let me know. mhelenmh@gmail.com Just for you.
  • A Reiber A Reiber on Aug 27, 2016
    I would also eliminate a few pieces. Remember less is more. I would eliminate both recliners, the rectangular table by the door, and both small tables or plant stands from the dining room. It looks as though the fireplace is just decorative.....if so, I think my design that I have drawn out may work. I would also anchor the new floor plan with an area rug. Move around your pictures to see what works best with the new design. I hope this helps!
  • Candiapple Candiapple on Aug 27, 2016
    I recommend moving the faux fireplace with the hutch. Remove either one chair or loveseat. Move sofa near door entry or under window. Raise pictures 3". Place area rugs under dining table and seating and seating. Add decorative pillows. Problem is too monochromatic color scheme and furniture. Go to Houzz and look for ideas.
  • Michelle Geiger Michelle Geiger on Aug 27, 2016
    I have the same style home as you and I change my furniture every season. Yes I agree that you should take down the picture and move the china cabinet to the middle of the wall and remove the right chair and put it in the corner angled into the dining room do the same with the left chair on the left side of the window. move that table to the small wall between the kitchen and living room and move the lamp from the right corner to the right edge of the dining room near living room. Now move fireplace to the middle of the full wall in living room and put the two large recliners on either side of the fireplace. behind the chair near the dining room is the lamp from the dining room and chairs are angled into living room on each side of the fireplace.Now move the two seater to the small wall where the fireplace was and the three seater to where the twoseater was. take that table under the pic and move it to the entrance under the mirror. leaving the table with the lamp and the captian chair in front of the window. and you can put a picture on either side of the fireplace over chairs and if you want a nice mirrow above the fireplace. I hope I gave you some insight it was fun.
  • Sharon Sharon on Aug 27, 2016
    I go to http://www.homestyler.com/designer to rearrange furniture, before I move anything. Give it a try. You can move things, to see how it fits and looks, before you move a single piece.
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    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 28, 2016
      Thank you Sharon. That's what we've been trying to do - make room for our friends with comfortable seating.
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Aug 27, 2016
    You have a beautiful home, but I agree, less is more. The oversized dark furniture makes the room appear small. I'd eliminate the fireplace and the couch. I'd also remove the hutch to create more space, then turn the table the other direction. Space is priceless. Stuff is stuff. I've been in the same dilemma myself. Mama always said material things are only important to the ones who own them. Letting go of stuff is 'freeing'. Best of luck.
    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 28, 2016
      I have no problem letting go of stuff. The only problem is that our friends have often commented on how comfortable the seating is for them when they come to visit. Thank you for your suggestions!
  • Bernadette Staal Bernadette Staal on Aug 27, 2016
    I also support the "less is more" theory. You have too many chairs in a small confined space. Work out what chairs you actually use e.g. the LazyBoy chairs and remove one couch or remove at least one LazyBoy chair and the lovely antique chair and foot stool. Do not get rid of the antique chair as that is far to lovely and should be a family piece but something has got to go - maybe this will fit in a corner of a bedroom or similar. The coffee table while practical also just seems to be in the way. Open up the room - allow the room to breath.
  • Carroll Carroll on Aug 27, 2016
    I would put the chesterfield under the large window facing the fireplace and I think the love seat or some chairs have to go. A love seat is one of my least favorite pieces of furniture I would get rid of it. Your chairs will then fit on either side of the chesterfield. Remember everything does not have to be against a wall. Happy arranging.
  • Gwen Barham Loftus Gwen Barham Loftus on Aug 27, 2016
    My thought is to start 'small' and maybe get rid of the two recliners...they are huge and boxy and unappealing in your living room. Once they are gone, I think you will find inspiration with the other pieces.
  • Liz Liz on Aug 27, 2016
    Debbie, I like your living room. It looks comfortable and inviting for entertaining guests. You have a nice amount of room for seating family and friends. People who have suggested getting rid of your recliners don't realize how comfortable they are! I like your couch and love seat, too. The only thing that seems to block the flow of traffic from the L.R. to the D. R. is the beautiful chair by the fireplace. Could you possibly move it to the D.R. or to a bedroom? Pretty area rugs in the L.R. and D.R. would serve to "unite" the furniture in each room. Have you thought of adding a couple of small tables with reading lamps on the right side of your couch, and between the recliner and the loveseat?
    • Debbie Graham Debbie Graham on Aug 27, 2016
      Thank you for your kind comments about my living room Liz. I know I've done a number of things right with the space but I think the others who have posted have some valid suggestions too - like relocating some of the furniture to another room. I have the area rugs. I removed them for the summer because I thought it would open the room up more and give it an airier feel. I have several small tables to choose from and a variety of reading lamps that I could incorporate as you suggested.
  • Debra Lynn Kime Venezia Debra Lynn Kime Venezia on Aug 27, 2016
    Yes, I think I would put the love seat in another room...maybe a bedroom? I think the couch is always nice opposite the fireplace...it kind of grounds everything. Then try putting your recliners where the love seat is now. Maybe put the white upholstered hard back chair over by the little table or desk you have as you come in the house? I agree with Liz that an area rug in each room would help pull everything together.
  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Aug 27, 2016
    Have you tried putting the love seat in the entrance to the dining room to give the impression of separation? Leave sofa where it is and move the chairs where love seat was or leave them alone but then you don't create separation and fall into room. It's actually your China cabinet that is to large but leave alone. Is it a real fireplace or decorative and do you use it because if it's movable switch out with sofa,leave love seat alone and move recliners by fireplace opposite of loves seat. Play with your coffee table and other side table because right now it's floating in center of all the furniture. Have you tried sofa and love seat opposite each other by fire place and chairs by back wall and make 2 sitting areas then coffee table could be between sofa and love seat and the table from back corner between chairs and the single chair opposite fireplace next to table that is there. Hope it helps.
  • Mari hart Mari hart on Aug 27, 2016
    I would put large sofa under the window. Love seat on far wall. Recliner can go with its back to front door. Would also move breakfront further into dining rm. if you do have a second recliner it would need to go next to the fireplace opposite 1st recliner. There is room next to the love seat for your occasional chair.
  • Kposies Kposies on Aug 28, 2016
    Ditch the recliners! If you must keep the recliners, leave them as is. Paint all doors and air conditioner, wall socket/switches the same color as walls. Love seat and sofa should form an 'L' in front of fireplace with the coffee table. Moving that love seat will open up the entry into the living room and make it look less crowed with the recliners still there. Lower dining room chandelier (it's much too high). Move china closet to where the soaf is now. Use as display not just for dishes. Move the dining room picture over so it centers off the dining table. Your prints should always be at eye level (for the average height person). Move the beautiful oval back chair next to your front door where you now have the bulky table. Or, if you have two of them, use them in place of the recliners that you should ditch! LOL! Add a carpet under the coffee table and another under the dining table, if possible. Your room is too monotone. Since your draperies must clear the heating unit, don't use long draperies. Use a valance or a covered cornice; there are many ways to make them inexpensively. Coordinate the valances with pillows, etc. that you can change seasonally. Add some flowers. Have fun shopping 'til you drop.
  • Maddyw Maddyw on Aug 28, 2016
    don't ditch anything but make the fireplace wall as a statement, not just mantle, with maybe changing picture for mirror and put pictures surrounding it, paint or refinish the coffee table. agree with all the other suggestions except ditching recliners
  • Sue Ryan Sue Ryan on Aug 28, 2016
    Not knowing the size of the rooms. There is two ways to go about it. First I would suggest starting with removing all of the furniture. Then you could add one piece at a time. Second, take the measurements of your rooms, draw it on a piece of paper, cut out shapes to mimic your existing furniture and place them one the drawing. That way you can play with it. But the biggest issue you have is two much furniture for the size of the room.
  • D fuhrman D fuhrman on Aug 28, 2016
    it seems there is waaaay too much furniture plus the furniture that is there is large. if, say the recliners were moved or the love seat, it would make the room look so much larger. plus it would be easier to navigate.
  • Veronica Atha Veronica Atha on Aug 28, 2016
    Embrace the soda and love seat in front of the fireplace, face to face, with coffee table in the middle. Move the recliners and accent chair over to the far wall that runs into the dining are to make a separate sitting area.
  • Dkm6402089 Dkm6402089 on Sep 01, 2016
    Too much furniture. I would exchange places of the lazy boys and couch. Put the coffee table in front of the couch and get rid of the wood upholstered chair. This would clear your walkway in front of the fireplace.
  • Helen Helen on Sep 09, 2020

    I just wouldn't have such heavy furniture in such a small place! Surely there has to be lighter looking furniture you could get. Smaller around legs on sofa & chair and not so "stuffy" looking. Legs on the tables would help also. Blank space, so to speak. Keep all dining room furniture focused on dining area. NOT on living. room.

    • Pattyscastle Pattyscastle on Apr 01, 2023

      I agree you need to anchor your living room furniture with an area rug, however, first thing I would do is flip your living room and dining room. Lose the dining room window covering and balance the loveseat or sofa (which ever one fits better) on the window. Then, place the sofa/loveseat on the kitchen wall. Place the fireplace on the outside wall with queen Anne chair next to it. Next, get a large green plant to place under your A/C unit. Continue on this wall with the China hutch balanced with the 2 little corner tables on each side. Now place the dining table in the center in front of the window. Leave the piece and picture next to the front door. Last, buy the area rug, a new ceiling light, and a blind or a woven roll up shade for the now living room window.

  • Mogie Mogie on Apr 03, 2023

    Looks like too many big pieces of furniture and the room needs color. i would remove one love seat and add two smaller chairs in its place. You could add color by hanging some art work that is colorful. Slip cover the other love seat and you could bring in color there also.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 16, 2023

    Mix the furniture around between both rooms. I SUGGEST YOU MAKE A PLAN OF THE ROOM AND FURNITURE PIECES. Makes redesignng the layout less of a physical workout!