Make the Most Out of Your Space With These Genius Living Room Layouts

updated Dec 19, 2019
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Credit: Chinasa Cooper

Furnishing an open layout living room can be tricky, but designing one in a small apartment can be downright difficult.

To help you make the most of your living room layout, we rounded up some multipurpose living rooms from our house tours that manage to make two rooms out of one. From a kitchen island that moonlights as a living room dining nook, to a living room with a hidden built-in bedroom, here are nine living rooms that pull double duty.

Credit: Emma Fiala

1. Love Thy Lofts

Working with a limited amount of square footage in your open layout studio? No problem. The clean-lined, lofted bed in Andy Koch and Danielle Boachie’s studio creates a distinct sleeping zone inside even the tiniest of living rooms without taking up too much floor space. 

2. Separate Spaces With a Sleek Screen

A thoughtfully placed antique screen breaks up the space between the living and dining rooms inside Rebecca Williams’s eclectic Australian home, plus it offers a surprisingly chic place to hang bags, hats, and scarves.

Credit: Chinasa Cooper

3. A Triple Threat

Believe it or not, one well-placed furniture item can turn an open layout living room into three unique spaces. Case in point: The bedside desk we saw in Elaine Burns’ 500 square foot Brooklyn studio. It divides the open living and bedroom space while creating bedside storage and a proper workspace.  

4. Eat-In Oasis

Who cares if your studio apartment is so small that the kitchen is in the living room? A tall bar table doubles as a kitchen island and a breakfast nook in any size of living room. Theodore Venable’s New York City rental is decorated for dinner and a show!

Credit: Jessica Isaac

5. Choose the Right Rug

Stuck with a large living room and little to no kitchen space at home? Use an eye-catching rug to create a distinct dining zone inside a spacious living room, as we saw in Erika Carlock’s Los Angeles rental

Credit: Nasozi Kakembo

6. Get Creative With Curtains

When all else fails, you can always count on curtains to help you designate a sleeping zone in an open living room. Forge a distinct sleeping nook inside any living room by closing off the space with curtain panels. Let Natasha R. Johnson’s Brooklyn studio show you how it’s done.  

Credit: Franke Chung

7. Pull up a Partition, Please

Searching for a small-space savvy way to score a proper sleeping pod in your studio apartment’s living room? In Emily Krutz’s 400-square-foot Chicago studio, a bedframe creates a unique sleeping nook as well as some extra storage.

8. Make Your Furniture Multifunctional

Never underestimate the impact of multifunctional furniture pieces when you’re trying to make two rooms out of one. An extra tall platform bed with built-in storage—like the one we saw in Danny and Joni’s Brooklyn loft—moonlights as a room divider in a lofty living room.  

Credit: Viv Yapp

9. Grow a Garden in Your Living Room

If you thought there was no room for an indoor garden in your living room, then think again. Place a tall open bookcase in front of a living room window to forge a freestanding plant wall-slash-houseplant garden inside any size of space. Rhonda Drakeford’s East London flat is packed with inspiration.