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 might be at present sitting in your front room, wanting round at issues and questioning why one thing feels off however you possibly can’t completely put your finger on it? If you need to take a second to consider it then this publish is for you. And in case you are assured that you simply’ve bought all the things 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. Nonetheless, in contrast to stated commandments typically design guidelines may be damaged and issues can nonetheless look good. We get it, it’s complicated, however we pulled these collectively to behave extra as tips to comply with extra so than guidelines. All of those “guidelines” beneath ought to enable you to reply the fundamental questions that we get requested day-after-day like, “how tall ought to my espresso desk be compared to my sofa” or “how large ought to my rug be if my front room is clean large” or perhaps “the place ought to I cling my TV”?

In case you want extra design guidelines, take a look at: Bed room Design Guidelines | Eating Room Guidelines

Right this moment we’re speaking front room structure, planning guidelines, and all of the fundamentals so that you simply and your front room really feel pulled collectively.

Furnishings Placement

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

RULE: Give 30″ to 36″ of a walkway between giant furnishings items (in case your front room permits for it) if not then no less than 18″-24″.

This rule particularly pertains to the massive items of furnishings in your area and is right here that will help you keep away from overcrowding your front room with too many giant items which can have you and your visitors making an attempt to squeeze between items. There’s lots of fairly furnishings on the market however when designing a room you need to ensure have sufficient area to stroll round it. Bruised shins are a bummer as is having your area really feel too filled with stuff and having to shimmy in between a settee and one other giant chair. In case your room is on the smaller dimension then go for items which might be extra small scale which provides you with the damaging area you (and your shins) want.

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

RULE: Ensure there isn’t any lower than 3.5′ and not more than 10′ of area between seating.

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


picture 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 respiratory room.

Whereas this rule may be powerful when you might have a small area since you’ll want to make each inch rely and it might sound opposite, it does assist the room really feel much less crammed collectively if you happen to can spare a couple of inches to get your couch off of the wall.

Espresso Desk

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

RULE: Your espresso desk ought to be no less than half the size of your couch.

Scale is essential in making any area cohesive. Ensuring your espresso desk is no less than half of the scale of your couch will be certain that the 2 items look nice and belong collectively.

picture by ryan liebe | from: cup of jo makeover | the residing/eating room

RULE: Your espresso desk ought to be not more than 4″ larger 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 a cause to have your espresso desk really feel like a excessive countertop or have it so quick that you simply damage your again bending all the way down to seize a drink.

picture 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 low desk.

Whereas each room is sized in another way you don’t need to have your espresso desk so removed from the couch which you can’t attain your drink or put your toes up after an extended day (relying on your home guidelines, in fact). Preserve them no less than 16″ aside so you possibly can stroll round it however not should stand up to stroll over to it.

Space Rug

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

RULE: Your space rug ought to be giant sufficient for no less than 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 making an attempt to suit into your denims from highschool. Positive, you could possibly squeeze into these pants however wouldn’t you feel and look higher in a much bigger dimension than one which doesn’t let you correctly breathe? The quick reply is YES to pants and YES to your rug. Most residing rooms want no less than an 8×10 with most needing bigger. Don’t attempt to “stretch” a small rug into the room after which have all of the furnishings floating round it.

picture 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 damaging area and respiratory room. Your rug isn’t wall-to-wall carpet, so don’t make it appear like it. In case you comply with this rule it’ll instantly make your residing really feel ethereal and light-weight whereas giving an outlined seating space to your area. This may even assist any furnishings (aka console, upright pianos) which might be towards the wall from being unsteady in a half on half off thick rug state of affairs.


picture by david tsay | from: rustic fashionable home tour

RULE: Ensure the shade of your ground lamp is masking the bulb when you find yourself sitting down.

Nothing is worse than making an attempt to have a soothing night on the couch and having a harsh gentle in your eyes each time you look over at your lamp. It’s stated that the perfect ground lamp top is 68″ however that each one will depend on the seat top of the couch or chair. Once you pair a lamp along with your seating be sure that the lamp isn’t so tall {that a} naked bulb is obtrusive down at you or so quick that whenever you go over to show it on the sunshine blinds you from beneath. Ideally, the sunshine ought 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 gentle!

picture 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 all the time be at about eye stage.

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

design by brady tolbert | picture 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 to be unusual and gained’t provide the proper sort of ambient gentle you might be on the lookout for. Placing them no less than 60″ above the ground is an effective rule of thumb so you possibly can simply keep away from this potential problem, and forged a pleasant glow into all corners and areas of the room.

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

RULE: There ought 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 area to breath and appears its finest, so does your sconce. By holding your hanging artwork and wall decor no less than  3″ to six″ away from the sconce it’ll give each items the area they should shine…pun meant.

picture by tessa neustadt | from: a spanish front room

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

One other manner you possibly can calculate the suitable dimension gentle is by utilizing 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 toes by 16 toes, your ceiling gentle ought to roughly be 28 inches extensive.

These useful formulation provides you with a beginning place for the correct dimension you will want to your front room ceiling gentle. Ordering the fallacious dimension is the worst and really annoying so hopefully this can take the guesswork out of sunshine purchasing and can enable you to within the course of.

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

RULE: In an open area the place persons are strolling, 7 toes is the minimal distance the underside of a dangling gentle fixture ought to be from the ground. However for ceilings over 8 toes simply add 3 inches of hanging top per foot. So in case your ceilings are 10 toes tall, the sunshine fixture ought to be about 8.5 toes from the ground.

As we said earlier than, bruised shins are a bummer however so are head accidents. This rule (until you reside with a VERY tall individual) will preserve you and your family members protected from hitting your heads on a ceiling gentle. It’s going to additionally make your property look extra spaciously conscious and really feel proportional.

Facet Desk

picture by tessa neustadt | from: griffith park sunroom reveal

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

That is kinda a no brainer however simply in case, ensure your aspect desk is not any deeper than your couch. It’s a clumsy look have a aspect desk that appears too large for a settee.

picture by david tsay for ehd

RULE: Preserve 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, e-book, or no matter else you might be holding down with ease.


picture 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 “e-book overhang” disaster ensure any bookshelves bought or customized made are no less than 12′ deep. Your books and “shelfies” will thanks. And if you happen to don’t have a bookshelf that’s that deep than attempt to avoid displaying any books or gadgets that may hang around from the cabinets.

Accent Chairs

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

RULE: You need round 42” (dimension of your room prepared) 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 area in between items of furnishings? 42″ is a good normal to provide the correct amount of area between your aspect chairs.

design by ginny macdonald | picture 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 related seat heights in a front room in order that when your loved ones and associates are all sitting in the identical area nobody is awkwardly at a really totally different top. Plus it simply visually seems to be higher within the room.

Couch Console Desk

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

RULE: Ensure your console is identical top or a couple of inches shorter than the again of your couch. It must also ideally have about 6″ of area on both finish.

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


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

RULE: An optimum top for the middle of the display is 30 inches above the bottom seat top 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.

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

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

All of us have totally different preferences in the case of how shut we prefer to be to our beloved televisions however an excellent rule of thumb is 7′. Your eyes will likely be very glad, and also you gained’t really feel like you might be 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 tips and a few of these guidelines may be damaged and the room can nonetheless work cohesively collectively, however hopefully these provides you with an excellent basis to your front room structure. Tell us when you’ve got any questions beneath or if there are any guidelines that we neglected that you really want answered. Now what room ought to we deal with subsequent? Tell us your burning questions beneath.

Try the remainder of our design guidelines: Bed room Design Guidelines | Eating Room Guidelines

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

The publish 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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