Here’s How One HGTV Expert Transformed a Living Room Layout to Accommodate a Family of 8

published May 7, 2021
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Credit: Lula Poggi

Can a family of eight happily chill in the same living room, doing different activities and having separate conversations? One HGTV expert says yes, with a few expert tips.

On a recent episode of “50K Three Ways,” designer Tiffany Brooks discusses a common dilemma: figuring out the most functional layout for your living room. The family she was working with refers to themselves as the Brady Bunch, with six kids and a dog to accommodate. Their large living room lacked a focal point, and furniture wasn’t grouped for optimal use. Brooks solved their living room disarray with a few doable tips that you can try at home, even if your family is significantly smaller.

Credit: Courtesy of HGTV

First, she moved the television to above the fireplace, creating a single focal point around which she could arrange the other furniture (check out how to use an old kitchen cabinet as a living room focal point, too). This eliminated an awkward situation where one couch faced completely away from the television, with peoples’ backs to it. By establishing a focal point in your own space, you can create a direction where everything can face or revolve around, establishing a smarter, more comfortable layout for all to enjoy.

Brooks’ next move was to set up the living room in a way that allowed for separate activities to take place. She positioned a set of two chairs behind and off to the side of the sectional/TV watching zone, then placed a cozy chair in another corner of the room to create a reading nook. This meant that their large family could have a conversation going in the two seats, with someone resting and reading in the nook, while everyone else watched TV on the sectional. Accommodating three separate activities amongst eight people was no small feat, but Brooks pulled it off.

Some other quick tips for refreshing a living room’s vibe? Modernize your banister with ease by applying a fresh coat of paint in an up-to-date color (this family went from red oak everywhere to a white banister and staircase). Clean or replace carpets (and these other key spaces), or opt for hardwood floors if your budget allows.

For more tips on living rooms and renovating other spaces as well, you can catch “50K Three Ways” on HGTV.

$50K Three Ways airs Mondays at 9/8 central on Discovery+ and HGTV.