One Room- 5 Ways – French Country Cottage

One living room with 5 different layouts? Can it really make a difference in how the overall room and seating area feels?

Our living room is basically a room that has kind of made me crazy since I first started trying to place the furniture. It is probably something that you haven’t noticed – I focus on the good points and details rather than what drives me crazy. But make no mistake- there are things that drive me crazy. Today for Friday Favorites- we are revisiting this favorite post of yours and mine and chatting about room layouts and ideas for changes.

The Room

This is a fairly roomy room and is a wonderful size to work with for a living room space. It has a center fireplace and lots of natural light with the French doors and windows. I love the design of the room with the wood planked walls, peaked open beam ceiling and hardwood floors.

Currently- we have the dining room and living room in one room- and to be honest- the center fireplace is actually ‘center’ on one of the long sides of the room- rather than one end- and it creates a bit of a conundrum for furniture placements. This is one of the things that drives me crazy about the space being shared – because to ‘center’ the seating group around the fireplace – the seating needs to be smack dab in the middle of the room. Which doesn’t really leave much space for the dining area on one side -but leaves a lot of extra space behind the other sofa on the other side.

Honestly – the better layout of the room when they were building would have been the fireplace at one end of the long room – seating area at that end – dining at the other. But since this was originally built as a vacation house- I don’t even think the dining room as a separate area was a concern. We are actually talking about expanding a bit to create a separate area for the dining room- which would be perfection for the living room And the dining room. But until that happens- they share the space and the seating group is moved slightly off center of the fireplace.

#1. Living Room as Usual

This is how I usually have the living room furniture set up. As I mentioned I am a big symmetrical furniture kind of girl- I love two sofas across from each other and the seating group is arranged around the fireplace.

But for fun- let’s play with a few different options. Funny note- My husband kept walking in from working with the pea gravel patio install by the cottage while I was moving things and the room looked different each time he came in (and his dusty boots were leaving me all kinds of fun to clean up in between haha) He looked around each time and was a little confused as to what exactly I was doing I think – but hasn’t weighed in on which arrangement he liked best just yet but I know he is voting for chairs and making some changes. Here is a super quick idea of ​​what the room looks like- forgive my terrible graphic skills and the placements kept moving – but you get an idea- and yes- the sofa is offset on the one side- to allow for the walkway behind/in between the table to the French doors which we use all the time. And now of course- we have that big long antique china cabinet in place on the whole wall behind the dining table instead of the chubby cupboard that was there. The large opening to the entry is actually centered on that wall and there is an antique armoire on one side and the mirrors stacked up on the other. Pardon everything looking wonky in the graphics!

#2. Two sofas & Two chairs

Yep, I mean why not just add a couple of chairs in there to create more of a ‘U’ shape seating area? It can work- though to be honest- I would love to have less busy in the living room as far as furniture goes but I have also had this same arrangement before and did like how it felt.

* Side note- these are small side chairs (more like dining chair size) that I bought in from the cottage to show placements- we are actually shopping for a pair of cushy sink in and relax type chairs that we could add to this space. Hopefully this also shows enough of the space- my wide lens is out of commission at the moment- so showing as much as I could capture (standing in the kitchen haha)

#3. Two Sofas & Two Chairs- option 2

Also showing another option for a ‘U-shape’ layout. This makes the sofas feel more like a ‘sectional’ with one on the side and one facing the fireplace. It works with a small table in between.

This is already getting confusing, right? 2 chairs, 1 sofa, 2 sofas, 1 chair etc. ? In this arrangement- the two chairs then face one sofa on the side and create a ‘u’ around the fireplace.

#4. One Sofa- Two Chairs

Of course, you could flip the sofa and 2 chairs to be on the other side as well.

#5. One Sofa -Two Chairs- 2nd way

Another way of arranging one sofa with the two chairs. This seating group has several opportunities to shift and change the layout to utilize these pieces- but as you can see- the two chairs are in place of one sofa

and then they are across from the sofa by the fireplace. We have done this before with larger ‘fireside chairs’. I love sitting by the fire so this is always a fun way to arrange a room -even with 2 sofas as well. And that is another way to do it- just a lot of furniture!

#6. More Chairs- No Sofa Or 1 Sofa

What about just 4 -6 chairs? To be completely honest, I do like a group seating with just chairs- outside. I prefer this around the fire pit. Sofa’s can be cumbersome in a room sometimes- and visually, I love the idea that you can layout 4 chairs in the same symmetrical way and take up less visual space. But- this is such a large room- we would need 4- 6 pretty large cushy chairs to make the scale feel right. So it remains to be seen how the rooms will come together. But also- several chairs with just one sofa works.

Others: Love seat & seating groups

I haven’t addressed that I am not a big ‘seating group’ type of person. I don’t love the classic seating group you can walk into a store and purchase to set up your living room. I am referring to the usual ‘Sofa, Love seat and chair’ all in one group. Don’t hate me- but I actually don’t love a sofa and loveseat together- remember that love of symmetry? That imbalance drives me crazy.

You might notice that I also don’t have a love of sectional sofas. I have wanted to love them. I really have. I have sunken into them and cozied up while traveling and have thought they were amazing and they are great for chatting -but for my style- I haven’t found anything that I feel like would work with the look. I prefer the more traditional look.

But of course – those are both also options that you could bring in and center around the fireplace and get away with a different layout- and frankly might be easier to work with in some way.

Most Important Consideration?

Regardless of what you style, arrangement or look you think is the ‘right’ way to arrange a room- the biggest consideration and the key is to find what works for YOU and your lifestyle And what makes you smile when you walk in the room- and then just go with it. It is your living room- you need to be happy with however you set it up and how it works best for your family.

Wrapping it up

So, there you have one living room with several different layouts that are easy to swap and change- and that shows you just how versatile furniture can be. As much as I love beautiful furniture- I also love comfy furniture and love a room that is visually open and airy in layout- so that balance.

So where am I with on the quest for super comfy seating that speaks to my design sensibilities and fits my space like I would like? Well, we are looking at adding a couple of chairs that are super comfortable to sink into and relax. But also as I mentioned -also looking at enclosing a porch to create a dining room area as well- which will give me the freedom to design this room differently and play up those features that I adore about it.

I hope that this quick change visual helps you envision ideas and options for your own spaces. Which layout do you like the best?

Shop the Look














I linked a couple to get the looks for the mirrors – stay tuned for a peek at a new antique French mirror I just brought home next week. Happy Friday Favorites all.

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