Every living room is unique and used in a unique way. The way a living room functions plays as much a role as its shape when it comes to placing the furniture.
Structural elements like a fireplace and wall outlets also play a key role in how the space should be furnished in order to maximize usable space while giving a boxy shape some character and dynamic.
It may sound like a big production, but the majority of these changes can be done with a few able bodies and little planning.
Directing Traffic Flow
The lack of natural flow in a completely symmetrical space means it’s up to you to direct the flow of traffic through the room. Although living rooms are not typically the most heavily trafficked rooms in the house, it shouldn’t be a chore getting from one side of the room to the other.
Stand in front of one door and imagine a straight line from to the other door wide enough for you to walk through.
Place the living room furniture, reading lamps, and tables to one side of the line and any bookshelves or storage cabinets to the opposite side. Not only will this allow easy travel through the room, but the segmentation of the room into smaller areas will give an otherwise symmetrical geometry a sense of movement.
Make Outlets Accessible
Making sure all the outlets in the room are accessible is crucial for easy operation within the room. Wires from lamps and chargers left plugged in should be tucked out of site, while remaining within easy reach.
End tables are perfect for this job, and are usually not too far away from where people will be sitting and using a laptop or phone.
The Quiet Work Area
A square living room shape lends itself to centricity and balance. If your living room is typically used as quiet place for reading or working, avoid putting too many places to sit when arranging your furniture. It may seem tempting to cram as much seating as possible into the space, but if only one or two people typically use it at the same time, extra seating is just wasted space.
Instead, maximize flat surface area for books, papers and laptops by placing end tables to either side of each chair, with a large table in the middle. Not going overboard with places to sit leaves plenty of space for things like bookshelves and reading lamps.
The Meeting Place
If, on the other hand, your living room is a meeting place when friends are over or for family game nights, try for a more centered layout. Everyone should be included in the conversation or game, which means all the seating should be facing a focal point near the center of the room.
This will subconsciously engage everyone sitting in the room in the conversation. Be sure to make every chair about the same distance away from this center point. Being even a few feet farther away than everyone else is off-putting and will make whoever is sitting there feel disengaged and excluded.
A more socially-oriented room should focus more on seating, but again, don’t overdo it. Make sure everyone who sits has a flat surface within arm’s reach for drinks and the like, and be sure there is enough lighting.
Main Ideas to Keep In Mind
What a square space lacks in a natural sense of purpose and movement is made up for in full by its versatility, making this boxy geometry easy to design for.
Maintaining flow and a sense of purpose is crucial for a square space, and placing living room furniture correctly is key to transforming a blank palette into exactly what you need.