Taming Your Space: Awkward Living Room Layout Ideas

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By Jason The Painter

Every home has its unique personality, and with that comes character-filled quirks like an awkward living room layout. But instead of viewing these peculiarities as irritating roadblocks, consider them opportunities for creativity. In this blog, we reveal insightful and practical awkward living room layout ideas that can help transform your space into a piece of art.

Common Awkward Living Room Layouts

Sometimes, pinpointing the kind of awkward layout you’re working with can influence the success of your solutions. Here are some common awkward living room layouts that homeowners often encounter:

Long, Narrow Living Rooms

long narrow living room idea

Long, rectangular living rooms can quickly morph into something resembling a hallway if not handled correctly. The key challenge is learning how to divide this stretched space into separate, functional zones without making it feel constricted or disjointed. To counteract the runway vibe, you might find success in anchoring the room with strategically placed furniture or arranging seating areas at either end of the room, incorporating rugs to inspire conversation areas.

Living Rooms with Lots of Doors and Windows

Living Rooms with Lots of Doors and Windows living room ideas

While they profess their own charm and bring light and accessibility, doors and windows can constrict your furniture placement and limit your layout choices. The trick here is to strike a reasonable balance that doesn’t disrupt the natural flow of foot traffic but instead provide neat pathways around your furniture, even if it means your sofa doesn’t get to rest against the wall.

Open Floor Plan Living Rooms

Open-Floor-Plan-Living-Room ideas

The lack of defined space makes open plan living rooms a double-edged sword. On one hand, the sense of capaciousness is refreshing; on the other, it can be quite a challenge to earmark distinct areas for different functions without breaking the open feel. Rugs, bookcases, or distinctive lighting can subtly demarcate spaces by giving a visual clue about the purpose of each section.

Living Rooms with Off-Center Fireplaces or Features

off center fireplace orange wall painted living room

When your living room features an off-center fireplace, television, or another focal point, it can toss a wrench into your furniture arranging plans. The impossible task is trying to establish a symmetrical, centered feel, which can often result in an off-balanced room. By downplaying the off-center feature and creating alternative focal points, you may be able to achieve harmony.

Corner Fireplaces

off centered fireplace living room idea

Corner fireplaces, while adding character, can lead to placement dilemmas for furniture – with the main objective of utilizing your entire space while still showcasing the fireplace. Consider placing the furniture at different angles or introducing curved pieces to adequately address the shape of the room while inviting the fireplace into the arrangement.

L-Shaped Living Rooms

L shaped living room idea

The unconventional shape of L-shaped living rooms can be tough to figure out, attempting to effectively utilize the unique space is where the challenge arises. Achieving a cohesive look in both segments without wasting valuable square footage is crucial. Modular furniture and smartly chosen decor may be the bridge to creating a seamless flow between the two areas.

By identifying your specific awkward layout from these commonly occurring ones, you can better seize the challenges and use our keys on furniture usage, visual design tricks, and storage solutions to conquer them. Remember, even the most challenging spaces can become places of beauty and functionality with some creativity and thoughtful planning!

Understanding Awkward Living Room Layouts

L shaped living room ideas

Awkward living room layouts are diverse, with some of the most common challenges being:

  1. Awkward corners: Rooms with irregular or curved corners, which can be difficult to use effectively.
  2. Odd angles: Spaces with non-rectangular or trapezoidal shapes that complicate furniture placement.
  3. Irregular floor plans: A combination of unusual elements – nooks, alcoves, or multiple levels – that make measuring for and positioning furniture a challenge.
  4. Unbalanced architectural features: Architectural elements, such as off-center fireplaces, wall cutouts, protrusions, or large beams, can make creating a balanced layout tricky.

Understanding your specific layout challenges will allow you to adopt the right design strategies to maximize the space’s potential.

Making the Most of the Space

awkward-living-room-layout-ideas-L shaped living room idea

Utilizing Furniture for Awkward Spaces

Furniture selection is a vital aspect of managing difficult room layouts. Some tips for choosing the perfect furniture include:

  1. Opt for modular pieces: Modular furniture can be easily rearranged and reconfigured to fit into tight spaces or accommodate unusual layouts.
  2. Utilize multi-functional furniture: Pieces with multiple uses, such as a sleeper-sofa or a bench with storage, can make optimal use of limited space.
  3. Choose furniture with clean lines: Simple and streamlined furniture designs may look better in awkward spaces compared to heavy or ornate pieces.
  4. Equip furniture with adjustable features: Furniture with flexible height or angle settings can be adjusted to fit each room’s unique needs, such as an extendable dining table or swivel chair.

Experimenting with Furniture Placement

awkward-living-room-layout-ideas-large furniture

When working with an awkward living room layout, keeping an open mind and being willing to experiment with furniture placement can lead to optimal results. Consider the following techniques:

  1. Float furniture: Instead of pushing furniture against walls, try floating it in the room’s center. This can improve the flow, create distinct zones, and make the room feel more inviting.
  2. Change the room’s focal point: If the space has off-centered or competing focal points, create a new one using a statement piece of furniture, art, or a tall plant. Doing so can help unify the room.
  3. Diagonal placement: Placing furniture diagonally can be a creative solution to irregular angles or a room lacking symmetry. It also adds a dynamic visual element.
  4. Layer your furniture: Overlaying furniture (e.g., nesting tables or an ottoman tucked under a coffee table) can free up valuable floor space while increasing functionality and visual appeal.

Remember, it may take some trial and error to find the perfect furniture arrangement for your awkward living room. Don’t be afraid to swap items around or test various alignments to achieve the ideal balance, functionality, and aesthetic appeal.

Visual Design Tricks for Awkward Living Rooms

awkward-living-room-layout-ideas-color tricks

Color and Lighting Techniques

The interplay between color and lighting can dramatically alter the perception of space:

  1. Lighter shades: Opt for light, neutral colors on walls and large pieces of furniture to create an airy, spacious feel. Conversely, avoid using very dark or bold colors, as they may make your room feel cramped or closed in.
  2. Accent colors: Integrate accent colors sparingly to create visual interest without overwhelming the space. You could employ throw pillows, curtains, or rugs for this purpose.
  3. Strategic lighting: Layer your lighting with a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting. This helps create depth in confined areas, highlight specific zones, and make the room appear larger and more inviting.

Mirrors, Artwork, and Perspective

Thoughtfully placed mirrors and artwork can markedly enhance an awkward space:

  1. Mirrors: Utilize mirrors to create an illusion of a larger room, reflect natural light, and brighten dark spaces.
  2. Artwork: Arranging artwork in a gallery wall or at varying heights can distract from awkward architectural elements while fostering visual interest.
  3. Perspective: Use lines, shapes, and patterns in your decor to draw the eye towards desirable focal points or create the illusion of height and space.

Storage Solutions for Awkward Spaces

Inadequate storage can contribute to the cluttered appearance of a living room. Conversely, repurposing awkward spaces can optimize organization and enhance functionality:

  1. Built-in shelves: Convert recessed walls or awkward corners into functional storage areas with custom-built shelves.
  2. Floating shelves: Use floating shelves to transform unused wall space into a stylishly practical storage solution.
  3. Multipurpose furniture: Opt for furniture that provides storage, such as an ottoman with hidden compartments or a sofa with drawers.

Incorporating Plants into Awkward Spaces

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Integrating plants into your living room can inject life and color into awkward areas:

  1. Varying heights: Display plants of different heights to add visual interest and create a sense of depth.
  2. Soften hard lines: Position plants near sharp corners or unusual angles to soften their appearance.
  3. Coordination with the room’s style: Select plants and planters that complement your room’s aesthetic to create a cohesive look.

Professional Help: Interior Designers

Tackling the challenges of an awkward living room layout can be both exciting and overwhelming. Enlisting the help of an interior designer can offer unique and personalized solutions you may not have considered:

  1. Expertise: Professional designers possess the training and experience to analyze the nuances of your living room’s layout.
  2. Creative ideas: Designers have a wealth of creative resources to draw from, identifying possibilities you may not have thought of.
  3. Time and effort: Collaborating with an interior designer can save you time and effort, ensuring your awkward living room is transformed into a functional, aesthetically pleasing space.


In the world of interior design, awkward living room layouts aren’t necessarily hurdles; rather, they provide an opportunity to craft unique, personalized spaces filled with character and charm. With some creativity and thoughtful planning, these unconventional spaces can become your home’s standout feature.

The key lies in embracing the challenge and seeing endless possibilities amidst constraints. By carefully selecting multi-functional furniture that complements the space, taking advantage of color and lighting mechanisms to craft the perception of roominess, employing visual elements(including mirrors and artwork) to add dimension and divert attention from less-flattering areas, you can successfully enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your space.

Moreover, seek to exploit every available space, including the often overlooked corners and walls, to incorporate additional storage solutions. This will not only ensure optimal functionality by reducing clutter, but it will also bring a clean, orderly look to your living space.

Incorporating greenery adds another dimension to the room. Plants inject freshness, soften rigid lines or corners, and serve as living decor that can bring a sense of harmony to the space.

Yet, it’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to these design quandaries. Every living room comes with its unique shape, size, architectural features, and lighting conditions. Thus, what works for one may not work for another. Continually experiment with different approaches until you find the one that resonates with your taste while appropriately addressing the room’s challenges.

For those feeling daunted by the task ahead, professionals like interior designers can offer expertise and a fresh perspective, assisting you in seeing your living room’s potential and transforming it into a lively, inviting, and comfortable space.

In all, embracing an awkward living room ultimately boils down to seeing the extraordinary in what seems ordinary. It’s about looking beyond any design dilemmas and seeing potential for a designate that truly reflects your personality and style. With the right mindset, patience, and ingenuity, an awkward living room can indeed become the most attractive space in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Do I Arrange Furniture in an Awkward Living Room?

The key to arranging furniture in an awkward living room lies in experimentation. Start by identifying potential focal points, and then place the large pieces of furniture around that. Don’t be afraid to float furniture in the middle of the room or place them diagonally—it can help create a dynamic visual element. Keep trying different arrangements until you find one that offers balanced visuals and functionality.

How Can I Make My Awkward Living Room Feel Larger?

Using light colors, strategic lighting, and mirrors can help make your living room feel larger. Light colors reflect natural light effectively, while mirrors create the illusion of a larger space by bouncing light around. Also, decluttering and optimizing storage can make a room feel more spacious.

What Type of Furniture Works Best in an Awkward Living Room?

Modular, multi-functional furniture with clean lines tends to work best in awkward living rooms. These pieces can serve multiple purposes and fit into odd corners or angled spaces. Opt for furniture with adjustable features to easily tweak them according to room requirements.

Any Tips for Dealing With Rooms With Irregular Architectural Features?

If your room has irregular features like off-centered fireplaces or beams, consider creating a new focal point using a statement piece of furniture, art, or tall plants. Alternatively, you can use large rugs, room dividers, or furniture to define space and balance out the irregularities.

Can Lighting Help in Handling Awkward Spaces?

Yes, incorporating a mix of ambient, accent, and task lighting can greatly enhance awkward spaces and make the room appear larger. Thoughtful lighting placement can highlight specific zones or create the illusion of depth in narrow spaces.

How Does Color Impact the Perception of My Space?

Light colors tend to make a room feel larger and airy since they reflect light effectively. Conversely, dark colors can make the room feel cozy but also a bit closed-in. Using accent colors sparingly can add visual interest without overwhelming the space.

How Can I Use Plants in My Living Room Layout?

Plants can be used to add freshness, create a sense of depth, and soften hard lines or corners. Opt for plants of different heights placed strategically around the room. Remember to choose plants and planters that match your room’s aesthetic.

How Can I Make Use of the Wall Space in an Awkward Room?

Built-in or floating shelves can be a great way to use wall space effectively, especially for storage. Alternatively, consider creating a gallery wall with assorted artwork or photos to add a personal touch and divert attention from awkward areas.

How Do Professionals Like Interior Designers Help?

Professional interior designers bring expertise and creativity to the table. With a sharp eye for detail, they can offer unique solutions harnessing the potential of your awkward living room. Collaborating with a designer can save you time and effort, ensuring you reap the best possible results.

What If Nothing Seems to Work for My Awkward Living Room?

Don’t be disheartened—and remember that patience is crucial when dealing with awkward spaces. If DIY solutions aren’t working, consider seeking the help of a professional interior designer who specializes in tackling such challenges. They can provide fresh insights and suggest suitable changes to transform your living room.

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