This is the fifth article in a series on furniture placement. The first, Furniture Placement Tips, offered readers an overview of furniture placement tips applicable to any room shape. The following posts focused on a single room shape: the second post focused on placing furniture in a rectangular room; the third covered placing furniture in a square room; the fourth focused on furniture placement tips for an oblong room.
Today’s post is for those of you with an “L” shaped room. For the purpose of simplified illustration and universal application, the room layout provided today does not include any doors, windows or architectural features.
Most pre-1950 homes do not have an L-shaped room because this room shape came into style with the advent of ranch-style homes. Although it’s now a common shape in houses, the L-shaped room is also found in multi-unit dwellings. The challenge with an L-shaped room is getting the longer and shorter legs of the room to flow together. This can be accomplished with the furniture placement.
Placing Furniture in an L-Shaped Room
An L-shaped room generally serves multiple purposes, such as a living/dining combination. You may remember this is like a rectangular space. Yet furniture arrangement for an L-shaped room tends to be more like an oblong room than a rectangular space – because furniture is placed on an angle in both the L-shaped and oblong rooms.
The floor plans below illustrate functional and attractive arrangements for furniture in an L-shaped room – the first a living/dining combination and the second is the same living room arrangement paired with an office area.
Refer back to the above floor plans as you follow these step-by-step instructions for placing furniture in your L-shaped room. Note: I’ve used a living/dining layout and a living/work area – but if you need more conversation area or a play area then replace the dining room and office setup with a pool table (replace the dining table with the pool table and in the corner add a tall bar table and two chairs), or another seating area (place a loveseat on an angle to replace the credenza and a add a coffee table instead of a dining table plus add one or two more chairs).
Here’s how to place your furniture in an L-shaped room:
1. Place the largest seating piece (usually the sofa or loveseat) across from the room’s focal point (the fireplace, the window, the TV, the art wall, etc.). Next place the next largest seating pieces at a 90 degree angle from the large piece (usually a love seat or two chairs in a living/family room) so it forms an “L”.
2. Angle the dining room table so it runs diagonally from the corner (if the room is large enough). If the table is too large, you can leave it centered in the room parallel to the longest wall, but that is not ideal.
3. Now place secondary seating across from the sofa. Expand or contract the furniture in the seating area to fill the space while creating a comfortable proximity between the pieces for conversation.
4. As in the previous shaped room arrangements, after placing your seating, fill in open spaces around the room starting with your largest pieces of furniture. Be sure to consider the size and shape of the open space and the furniture pieces you still need to place. This is the time to consider television placement if there will be one in the room (unless you’re doing a family room and it is your focal point so furniture is already placed around it).
5. Next, place smaller pieces of furniture such as end tables, sofa tables, ottomans and such so they relate to the seating areas.
6. Use area rugs to anchor furniture groupings or extend furniture pieces and enhance an entry or hallway.
7. Place any large trees or potted plants so they tie into the furniture arrangement – don’t isolate them by relegating them to empty corners of the room.
8. Now add table lamps and floor lamps to your room – aim for a 3-point or triangular light placement so you have an even spread of light to anchor each furniture grouping.
10. Double check your furniture placement – make sure you are not blocking any doorways or passageways. Can people walk through the room without cutting through the middle of your conversation area? If not, reassess your placement decisions and alter them as needed. Make sure your lighting creates a triangular or diamond pattern and that good lighting is available in areas that you expect to read or do things like needlework, knitting or computer work.
We’d love to hear how your L-shaped room is working for you. Is it a living/dining combo or a family room /office or perhaps even a master bedroom? What works for you in your space and what doesn’t?
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Next Thursday is the last post in this series on furniture placement. We’ll be taking a look at odd angle rooms – so if you’ve got a room with a bit of an unusual floor shape be sure to read next Thursday’s post.