Try floating pieces in the centre of the room, and be sure to maintain a consistent colour palette and style, so the space feels harmonious. Throw some occasional chairs into the mix, so guests can pull up a seat when they want to join a group.
In this example Jeffers Design Group created a large, formal seating area and supplemented it with a small, informal grouping designed around a central ottoman. That way just two people can sit in this room without feeling swallowed up by the space. The low club chairs prevent the rear space from feeling cut off from the rest of the room.
The coffee table is extra large to accommodate the room’s scale, as is the wing chair in the corner. The latter’s elevated stature helps break up the furniture plane, so all the pieces aren’t the same height.
Portable chairs, like the green pair seen here, allow guests to pull up a seat whenever they want to join a conversation.
The centre table divides the seating group from the game area, while matching rugs, upholstery treatments and wood tones help unify the space so it feels like a single composition.
Architectural elements – like the archway bisecting this room – can be helpful in breaking up a large space, as can bookcases and folding screens.
Don’t overlook the opportunities a ceiling can offer. Installing a recessed ceiling over one or both halves of a room can help define seating areas within an open plan.
In this example more chairs augment the main sofa and a daybed takes the place of a second sofa, allowing views into the space and making the seating group seem more open and welcoming.
A circulation path hugs one wall – a good solution for narrow rooms. Allow a width of at least 75 to 90 centimetres for easy passage.
In addition to being long and narrow, this living room also has a high ceiling. The hanging lights do a nice job of lowering the ceiling’s perceived height, so the space doesn’t feel so daunting.