Living room layout options and some tough decisions… where does the dining room table go?

We are in the part of our renovation where I feel like we are working constantly {so. many. decisions. to make!} but we aren’t seeing much progress day to day. I know that’s totally normal for any construction project but man does it take the fun right out of it sometimes… I’m ready to see some transformation!

But that starts to change as of this morning {!!!}, our existing kitchen cabinets are coming out and we start on our week or two with absolutely no kitchen so that we can prep the walls and be ready when the new cabinets get here. Part of me is so excited, because it means we are that much closer to our new kitchen and feeling this transformation be real, and the other part of me wants to hop right into the future to the other side of this kitchen renovation when our new cabinets are in and we aren’t living on top of a {shredding} layer of paper on the floor anymore.

In the meantime I’ve been plugging away working on so many other things… I need paint colors for all of the other rooms, I have to select door hardware and get going on our closet transformations… and there is oh so much designing and decorating to be done {we are seriously lacking in furniture right now}. The living space {which for us is living and dining room in one big area} has been slowly coming along, and since this will be the first area that really starts to feel done, right along with the kitchen, I need to make some decisions about the layout stat.

We had some friends over before dinner earlier this week and they asked us how we were going to arrange the space, like which side would be living space and which would be dining space. The question kind of took me by surprise. It’s just one big open area so it can be whichever way we want, but I really hadn’t given it much more than a passing thought until we ended up talking through it and now I’m questioning everything, so I thought it would be fun to share the options and get your vote on it today, because I’m officially paralyzed by indecision.

The original plan had that big ventless fireplace directly adjacent to the kitchen, so most people had that area as the living space, and whatever dining area was behind it. That fireplace took up a lot of room! Here is the original plan again so that you can see it.

Hubbard_existing plan_1The fireplace looks smaller in the drawing than it actually felt, and now that it’s gone the living space feels noticeably larger, and I find myself really wanting keep furniture at a minimum to help keep everything feeling as big and open as possible. 

The biggest challenge with any layout we decide on, is that the opposing walls of the living space aren’t parallel. They aren’t off by much, but when I started laying out furniture, it really becomes apparent.


If we keep the furniture aligned, something will be off-center at one end or the other, which is really putting me in a kerfuffle over here… do I line things up with the wall, or do I line the furniture up in the space and things are off center at the walls? This girl likes her symmetry and I don’t know the answer!

And, let’s not forget the other big question, which side is living room and which side is dining room?!

Here are the options if we have the living room on the right, on the same side as the kitchen, and the dining on the left. We have some of our furniture but not all, so the side tables and coffee table are just placeholders for now…

In the first plan, all of the furniture is aligned with the media console, that is centered on the wall {wall on the far right}. The second plan has all the furniture aligned but everything is centered on the dining room wall on the opposite side of the room, so the media console would be off center by a noticeable amount…

hubbard layouts.jpg

Plan three has the media console centered on the far right side wall, but all of the other furniture is aligned with the dining room furniture and credenza which is centered on the left side wall… the last plan treats the dining area and living area as separate, so the furniture isn’t aligned with each other, but just with each wall and their own groups. The dining area is centered on the left wall, the living room area is centered on the right wall.

Honestly, I think I will have more certainty about this once I can just put the furniture in the space and actually feel and experience everything, but looking at the plans I do like having the furniture lined up across the room, I’m just not sure how I feel about having that media console not centered. Another factor to consider is that as of right now we are planning on having our antique credenza against the left wall, but it might feel too crowded once the dining table gets here so we might nix that all together, which might solve my asymmetry problems anyway…

The other option is to flip everything and have the dining room on the right and the living room on the right, which is kind of blowing my mind right now…

hubbard flipped layouts.jpg

The layout on the left keeps the spaces ‘separate’ so they align with each wall and not with the other furniture… in all of these options the furniture is just so close to the counter it’s uncomfortable to even look at, there’s no way it will feel any better in real life! The option on the right aligns everything starting with the wall on the left, so again the wall on the right has furniture that is not centered.

Here are elevations of the right hand wall. I think this is what you will see the most when you walk into the space, so it seems like more of a focal point than the opposite wall. In these elevations I’m assuming a media console and the TV are going here, just to visualize the placement. ModelMy gut says ~ center it on the wall!!! loudly ~ ha. What do you think?! I’m going to tape it out this week to try to get a better sense of what it feels like in real life… or maybe I  just put the dining room on this side of the room and then all I have to worry about is moving a piece of furniture if I’m still uncertain?!



  1. Rebecca Anderson

    Put the dining table on the kitchen side! And move it away from the counter. Everything with the media console centered on the right hand wall feels like it is on TOP of the kitchen.

    1. I’m having such a hard time wrapping my head around that option… dining table doesn’t get here for a while but we’ll be rearranging the rest of the furniture to test drive the options for sure. maybe it really is the best one!

  2. Old, old friend-type person

    Rebecca is right. Do as she says.

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