Summer entertaining is one of our favorite activities of the season! We love when our family and friends come together to catch up, interact and make memories. To help you host your own summer party, we’ve put together a list of dos and don’ts for laying out your living room when entertaining guests:
Do: Example AIn this example, take note of the multiple seating options for guests, the elements that add warmth to the space, the furniture appropriately sized for the space and the ample walking space between furniture and doorways. Hover your mouse over the hotspots in green (or tap the hotspots on your mobile device) to learn more.
At Archipelago Hawaii, we’re big fans of maintaining an open floor plan. In any room, it’s important to keep the entryways as open and free from clutter as possible. This layout will make the room appear more inviting than will a space with an exit blocked by a sofa or loveseat. We recommend allowing two to three feet of walking space along the perimeter of the room to allow your guests to walk with ease around the room without knocking into furniture or bumping into walls.
2. DO give your guests multiple seating options
When entertaining a large group, don’t leave your guests standing around the room. Make sure they have a variety of seating options. We recommend investing in ottomans that can be positioned at different points in the room or tucked away under a dining or coffee table. It’s also important to reconfigure the furniture in your space to encourage conversation and not hinder it. Because the TV isn’t the focal point when you’re entertaining, you can maneuver the furniture to open up the space and allow guests to interact with one another.
3. DO bring back light and life
Practicality is always top-of-mind when we tackle any project, and proper lighting is essential to establishing an inviting vibe in your living room. Create additional ambient light by adding a lamp to an otherwise dead space or corner—this will produce a friendlier atmosphere for your guests. To breathe life into the room, also consider adding a plant or vase of flowers, which brings color and visual interest into the space.
Don’t: Example BIn Example B, notice how the armchairs awkwardly face the wall and make the sectional feel crowded with addition of a bulky coffee table. These elements push the sectional toward the sliding door, shrinking the walking space. Hover your mouse over the hotspots in green to learn what not to do with your space.
Keep your entryways clear and free of clutter to maximize the indoor-outdoor layout when entertaining guests. Blocking your doorways with furniture makes the room feel tight and cramped, making it difficult for people to walk in and out of the living room.
5. DON’T crowd your room with furniture and fixtures
Too many bulky furniture pieces crammed in one room will have the same effect on a space as will blocking the entryways. Don’t occupy every empty space in your living room with furniture; instead, allow for some breathing room to avoid establishing a cluttered vibe. Position your furniture deliberately to facilitate conversation, and not prevent it.
6. DON’T create awkward dead spaces
Let your furniture float throughout your space, rather than pushing everything against the wall. Though you may think you’re opening up the room, the resulting space actually appears more cramped and limited. Avoid pushing your sofas or chairs against the walls like in the examples above; this will prevent you from creating a warm, welcoming space.
Don’t: Example CIn Example C below, take note of the overstuffed sofa and sectional crowding the space and the placement of the sectional that blocks traffic coming in and out of the sliding door. Hover your mouse over the hotspots in green to learn what else not to do with your space.
You don’t have to undertake an extensive interior redesign project to make your home more inviting. Take the stress out of entertaining with these tips for laying out your living room. Your summer get-togethers are sure to be the hit of the season!