They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but the living room is definitely the gathering space. Creating a living room that is inviting and set up for plenty of guests can prove to be a bit of a challenge. Those who are limited on space might find it even more difficult to create a layout that is functional for company, but it isn’t impossible. Here are some great tips and insight to help you create the perfect guest-friendly living or family room space.
Keep the decor in your living room simple if you want to have room for guests. A space full of statues, decor, and knick-knacks can be overwhelming and appear cluttered, making guests feel claustrophobic in your space. Decorate so that it feels like home, of course, but don’t overdo it.
When it comes to the floor plan and layout of a guest-friendly living room, an open floor plan usually works best. If you are limited on space, choose adaptable furniture or plan for a layout that can be modified when company arrives. For example, you might want to store some extra chairs in the basement or garage for bigger events when you don’t have room for more furniture. Also, consider removing unnecessary furniture and items from too-small living room spaces to make more room for guests.
The “Conversation Circle”
Also known as the perfect layout for a guest-friendly living room, the conversation circle is a standard design that can be found in a lot of homes. This layout includes a sofa with two chairs or a chair and a loveseat on either side, with an optional table in the middle. You can also flank the chairs or create an “L” shape with the loveseat and sofa, and then put the TV on the wall or in the corner across from the seating area.
Choose a comfortable, sizeable sofa that is going to accommodate more than just two or three people. Whether you intend on having just a few friends over or inviting the entire family for the holidays, seating is the big-ticket in creating an inviting living room.
Sectional sofas are popular right now, and there are plenty of designs and styles to choose from. They even come in all different sizes, making it possible to get a sectional for a smaller living area. You can also choose convertible sofas and furniture (such as ottomans that double as an extension to turn a couch into a chaise lounge) to add more space without actually taking up more room. A popular choice right now are the coffee tables that hide ottoman stools that can be pulled out and used for additional seating or stored out of the way when not in use.
Choose multiple lighting options for your living room so that you have the right light for any activity, from board games to a spooky movie night under the dimmed ceiling light. Have an overhead fixture and at least one or two lamps. Make sure that you keep curtains and blinds open to capitalize on natural light during the day and make the space look more inviting.
If you really want to create a unique entertaining space, you can even invest in smart lights that you can control through your own smartphone or tablet, or through voice controls with various virtual assistants like Google Home, Siri, and Alexa. This can reduce your energy bills, too, and it’s sure to impress all of your friends and family.
Choose a location for the entertainment center that is central to the room for maximum viewing range. If you put the TV in a corner where it can only be seen from one part of the room, it won’t be conducive to group movie nights or game-day get-togethers.
Keep board games, video game systems, and other group entertainment and activities stored away, but nearby. Storage coffee tables or benches with built-in storage are a great way to do this. You can also use baskets or those portable plastic storage drawers to keep guest items close at hand.
If you intend to have a lot of overnight guests, you may want to invest in a sleeper sofa or a high-quality futon. Having comfortable places to sleep can make your home much more inviting. If you are limited on space, consider oversized chairs that have pull-out twin beds or a double-high air mattress that can be stored away in a compact space when not in use.
Keep baskets of extra throw pillows and blankets by the sofa for convenient access. If you’ve got room in a coat closet or an office, make a special space where guests can store their belongings during their stay.
Creating the perfect guest-friendly living room isn’t an exact science. Everyone has a different sense of style, so no two spaces will be exactly the same. However, if you use these tips, you can guarantee that you will create a versatile space that is ideal for all kinds of guests and occasions. In fact, some of your guests may enjoy it so much that they never want to leave.