Almost every home in America has a living room. The living room is a room where the family gathers, where guests are invited, and where you chill on the couch when you’re home alone. But how big is the average living room?
Living Room Vs. Family Room
Despite popular belief, a living room and a family room aren’t always the same. There are differences between a living room and a family room. Some homes have both, while others interchange the term.
Living rooms are older than family rooms, while family rooms haven’t been used for more than a century. It all started when families decided to invite children into the living room, letting it be their space too.
When this happened, new rooms were designed to accommodate children and adults alike. Games were added, extra televisions, and furniture made for comfort. Whereas living rooms are primarily for guests and made to prioritize looks over usability.
Average Living Room Size In United States
In 2018, Paul Skema of Roth Design Build Inc. NYC says that there is a large range for living rooms. The smallest living room size is about a 7×10 room. But of course, this isn’t the average, this is simply the smallest acceptable living room.
Tiny Living Room
Paul said, “this would be a tiny room and would only really allow a small 2-seater sofa on one side of the room in the layout. But if there’s only 2 or 3 of you then this can work well in a small space.”
Small Living Room
According To Mr. Skema, a 10 x 13ft is the next size. “This arrangement would allow 2 or 3 people to watch TV comfortably if it was mounted on the wall behind the sofa.” However, this is still a small living room.
Medium Living Room
This is when we start getting into a normal living room size. A 12 x 18 ft living room is a rather average size living room. Paul states that this living room, “would fit between 6 and 10 people in a conversation area with about 5 of the seats facing the TV.”
Of course, this is for a 1500-sqft home. A larger home would need a larger living room. Homes over 2000sqft would consider a 12 x 18 ft living room smaller, while those under 1000-sqft would think it was extravagant.
Large Living Room
Any larger than 300sqft and you’re fortunate. Most large living rooms are around 300 sqft or 15 x 20 ft. Even most celebrity living rooms aren’t much larger than this. If you have space, it’s great, but it’s not really necessary.
“If you’re lucky enough to have a living room size with dimensions larger than 15 x 20ft,” Paul states. “Then there is the possibility of bringing the sofas away from the walls, having deeper, more luxurious sofas, and creating secondary furniture groupings.”
Living Rooms In Other Countries
Each country has its own average and its own set of guidelines. Living room size is no exception. Each country has a unique average living room size, some of them vastly different than the US. Here are some of those numbers.
While the living room size in the United States is growing or staying the same, the average size of a living room in the UK is shrinking. In the 1970s, the average living room size was about 250sqft. The average living room size in the UK has now shrunk to under 200-sqft.
Unlike the United Kingdom, the living rooms in Australia are growing, as are house sizes in general. The average living room size in Australia is about 270-sqft and growing. Australia has the biggest house size in the world, so this is really not surprising.
Because of the large differences in classes in India, it’s hard to rely on an average. But the range is generally between 200sqft to 400sqft. Living room ratios compared to the rest of the house are larger in India than in other countries.
In Spain, they have laws regarding house size. In order for a building to be considered a house, the living room has to be at least 9 sqm, or just under 100sqft. If the living room, kitchen, and dining are combined, this number is doubled.
There is a wide range of living room sizes in Hong Kong, but in general, they have one of the smallest house sizes in the developed world. Hong Kong has an average living room size of about 160-square-feet.
It gets worse in certain areas, where the living room size is under 50-sqft on average. Most Americans and Australians can’t even fathom a living room that small, but it’s normal in Hong Kong.
Types Of Furniture
Of course, in order to figure how much room a living needs, one needs to figure what is taking up that room.
A couch is definitely the most important part of a living room. This is the primary seating and can seat up to ten people, depending on the type of couch. A standard couch is around six to seven feet long.
Sectionals are much larger but can separate a space. A sofa, similar to a couch in almost every way, takes up the same amount of space. Find out the difference between a sofa and a couch here.
A love seat is a small couch that seats two people comfortably. It is half the size or two-thirds of the size of a standard couch. It is a great option for smaller living rooms that can’t fit a normal couch or sectional.
A coffee table isn’t necessary but it does help balance a room. You can also get an ottoman, which can replace a coffee table for those who want to put their feet up. Putting your feet on a coffee table isn’t recommended.
An area rug doesn’t really take up much room because things can be placed on the rug. But knowing the size of rug you need is important. Find the perfect living room rug size for you with this living room rug guide.
Entertainment Center Or Stand
All living rooms have some sort of entertainment system. Sometimes, it’s a large cabinet with video game systems, TVs, and more. But sometimes, it’s a small shelf and wall-mounted television. What used to be rare is now standard.
Lighting doesn’t usually take up much room. Ceiling-mounted lights add a nice dispersion of lighting. While standing lights gives you more control over the light. Table lamps, on the other hand, are great for personal lighting.
End tables are necessary if you want many home decor accents in your living room. You can add table lamps to them, pictures, or other home decor items. They usually go at the ends of the couch or next to a chair.
Accent chairs are perfect for taking up that extra space while adding character. If you want a small piece of furniture with a lot of personality, you can find an affordable accent chair that suits your taste perfectly.
A recliner is different than an accent chair. Accent chairs are made for their looks and refined taste. Recliners are made for comfort. They are larger and always the choice for those who want to crash and watch TV.
How To Free Up Space
If you’re afraid your living room is too small, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways you can make it look, feel, and actually be bigger. These tips are part-illusion, part-reality, all magic!
Make Everything Smaller
It sounds strange, but downsizing all of your furniture can make your room look smaller. If the furniture takes up a lot of space, the room will look small. Avoid this by getting smaller couches, smaller rugs, and smaller tables.
Keep It Low
When the furniture is low to the ground, the room looks more open. As we discussed before, an open room always looks bigger. That’s why we keep the furniture small. Open space is space that you would normally ignore.
Yep. Exposing the legs of furniture can make a living room look bigger. Couch skirts can bring a room in and make a living room look small and closed-in. Keeping the entire floor exposed makes sure you get the most from your space.
Mirrors reflect light. They can make a room look bigger easily. Adding one or two to your living room, or dining room in an open concept home, can make your living room look much larger. Use large mirrors for a greater effect.
Keep It Clean And Sleek
Try not to add too many busy details. Busy patterns can make a living room look cramped. Opt for simple patterns or solid colors. This can really open up a room, especially when the patterns are on large pieces like couches, rugs, and curtains.
Light colors make a room look bigger than dark colors. This doesn’t mean you can’t use dark colors, but if you want your living room to look bigger, then focus on light colors. This is most important on floors and walls.
Light colors are important, and so is lightweight furniture. Bulky furniture weighs a room down, to no surprise. So, try getting sheer curtains, light couches, and whimsical accent chairs for a larger-looking space.
Vertical All The Way
Vertical lines bring the eyes toward the ceiling. It’s an illusion that can make ceilings look tall and rooms look bigger. Too many horizontal lines can have the opposite effect, making the room look squashed.
Most importantly, create a good flow. Flow is about movement and direction. It is about controlling toe focus and making a room feel natural and relaxed. It is the most important part of opening up space in a living room.
Who cares about the average living room size when your living room size is perfect for you!