We all have that awkward corner space or piece of furniture we’re not sure how to best use. And no matter how long we scour Pinterest, we can’t seem to find the right way to make it work in our home. We’re here to help with our new series, Design Dilemma. In this series, we’ll explore different floor plan options for all your design challenges. First up on our list? How to position that super comfy, super big L-shaped couch.
We tapped Seattle interior designer Brianne MacLean of Hoedemaker Pfeiffer for some easy-to-execute ideas. With her tips and three different designs to pick from, you’ll be ready to rearrange all that furniture in no time.
This floor plan is the most common (and the designer’s fave!). “I like this layout because it opens up the entire room and provides ample flow between the adjacent spaces,” MacLean says. By placing the couch in the corner, you get plenty of space in the center of the room for a coffee table and additional seating options.
The designer offers some suggestions on how to ensure the couch fits in with the rest of the room, with fluidity being key. “In order to avoid making it feel too disconnected with all the furniture pushed up against the walls, I would tie the entire space together with a large rug and provide floor pillows or small cube ottomans to encourage people to use the flex space in the middle of the room,” she says.
This design is a little more unexpected, and offers a small nook for a kid’s play area or plant zone. MacLean draws on her own experience of living with a toddler to give advice on how to make this doable for your space. Her number one tip? Map out the area effectively. “Making space delineations by using furniture is incredibly efficient, and in my case, allows me to corral all the toys out of sight,” she says.
Sometimes you need to put a desk in the living room, and just because you have a big L-shaped couch doesn’t mean you can’t do it. “I always find ways to incorporate desks into my projects because they are so helpful in keeping oneself organized for success during a busy life. Unfortunately, many of us do not have room for a dedicated office, so we have to get creative,” she says. By placing the couch in the corner, you can add a desk (preferably a secretary one) to the opposite wall and STILL keep everything in sync. “The key is to make sure everything looks tidy by using cohesive containers to organize all the bits and pieces,” MacLean says.
Ultimately, determining the purpose of the space will help you discover which of these three layouts works best for you. “If you are clear on what is most important and can achieve the functionality, then the rest will fall into place,” MacLean says. Consider us in the market for an L-shaped couch.
(Illustrations via Torii Burnett / Brit + Co)