How to Design and Furnish Every Living Room Dining Room Combo

How to Design and Furnish Every Living Room Dining Room Combo

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What we love about living and dining room combos—the openness and flow—can spiral into a nightmare of clutter or an inefficient jumble of furnishings.

Without walls, how do you make each space distinct yet cohesive?

Living room-dining room combos often have odd proportions that can make furniture layout seem like an impossible game of Tetris.

Following are tips and visuals on:

  • Dividing your living and dining room efficiently and effectively
  • Maximizing any living room-dining room combo layout
  • Decorating and furnishing in accordance with various design themes

First comes the battle plan, otherwise known as the room layout.

Living Room-Dining Room Combo Layout

Your living room-dining room combo floor plan determines furniture layout by showing:

  • Flow of traffic across the room
  • Available space for furniture 
  • Passage through and into  room 

Floor plan measurements give you a clearer idea of how to arrange furniture in your living room-dining room combo.

Long, narrow layouts are prone to awkward pockets of space, while small rooms can easily feel cluttered.

Open-plan kitchen, dining, and living room designs rely heavily on accurate layouts showing the:

  • Size and shape of furniture required
  • Seating capacity and placement
  • Division between living and dining spaces

Navigating various layouts boils down to effectively dividing the space.

How to Divide a Living Room and Dining Room Combo

Dividing your open-concept living room-dining room allows you to give individual character to each space and to create the illusion of a unique floor plan.

The structure also saves you from creating clutter magnets in your space.

But how do you divide a room with no walls?

Use Large Furniture to Anchor the Room

large modular sofa divides the living and dining areas


Sectionals, statement dining tables, and even console tables can clearly delineate your lounge from your dining area.

Embrace the Rug Life

layered rugs add coziness and visual interest

Living room-dining room combo rugs bring warmth, color, and character to your open-plan space. More importantly, they divide the room in a subtle, yet effective way.

Don’t shy away from mixing up your rug choices. To maintain harmony, choose one element that stays the same across rugs, like a specific color or natural fibers.

Highlight the walkways and access points to the room by using runners and smaller rugs.

Create a Focal Point in Each Space

Large pieces of art and lighting can shift the mood in a room, creating an unmistakable divide between the living and dining areas. 

large artwork above the sofa defines the living room

Expert Tip: Make sure your large artwork is a maximum of ⅔ the size of the largest piece of furniture in the space, be it the sofa or dining table.

Lighting is the frosting on the cake in zoning a room. Layered lighting ensures that light hits different surfaces in the room from top to bottom.

recessed lighting and pendant lights over the dining area create a dramatic air

Color in the Lines

Open-plan room designs can feel visually overpowering and cluttered if there are too many colors in the space. 

Pick one, at most, two dominant colors that run throughout the room. 

For example, bold blue wainscotting enhances this chic and retro space.

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How to Arrange Furniture in a Living Room-Dining Room Combo 

Larger pieces of furniture are typically the biggest headache when it comes to arranging living room-dining room combos. 

Expert Tip: Position your sofa opposite or perpendicular to the focal point of the living area. The focal point could be the fireplace, the TV, a large art piece, or a window wall with a gorgeous view.

HD Buttercup Sofa perpendicular to the fireplace

There’s no right or wrong with arranging your living room and dining room furniture. 


That said, remember the following tips if you want a cohesive design:

  • Group your furniture away from the walls to create smaller, inviting nooks and avoid that cold, cavernous feel.
  • Scale your furniture according to the size of the room. A large room with small furniture feels empty, while a small room with several small furnishings feels cluttered. Don’t fear that large anchor piece.
  • Tie the two spaces together with a common design element that runs across all your furniture.

This brings us to the next consideration. Should your furniture match?

Matching Living Room and Dining Room Furniture

Ditch the matchy-matchy look in favor of tastefully chosen furniture that tells a story.

Don’t do this…

overly matched living room furniture

The above living room-dining room combo is perfect for a hotel suite but lacks that individuality that gives a space true charm.

Do this instead…

neutral tones with a mix of materials and textures makes this living room more appealing

Instead of matching furniture, find harmony by:

  • Balance dainty pieces with heavier pieces for proportion
  • Repeat elements, such as lines, colors, or shapes, to bring the room together
  • Limit your color palette so that any color used really stands out
  • Mix 2–3 wood tones in a room and spreading each tone throughout to create depth in the design
  • Stick to all warm or all cool tones
  • Pick one interesting inspiration piece that will help you build and layer the room. 

Ideas and Tips for Each Room Size and Shape 

Each room layout will pose a unique challenge to your decorating skills. 

Let’s break down these challenges and the tips you can apply to achieve your dream space. 

Long Living Room-Dining Room Layout

A long living room-dining room layout is challenging in its narrowness and the long walls that seem endless and sterile.

Zone the spaces by arranging the furniture in little nooks away from the walls. 

Aim for a curved pathway through the room to counter the narrow living room, dining room combo floor plan.

Break up the length of the room with large area rugs and art to define each space.

fall colors in a cozy living and dining room combo

Natural Culture’s fall-inspired room uses the horizontal line of HD Buttercup’s Jianna sofa to divide the space into living and dining areas.

Square Living Room and Dining Room Layout

There are two ways to go about planning your square living and dining room layout:

  • Orient your large rug diagonally in the room and use it to divide the living space, while the dining area can float parallel to the rug
  • Center the living room with the dining nook in one corner of the square space

diagonally layered rugs break up this open plan living room and dining room

Rectangle Living Room-Dining Room Combo

Rectangular spaces lend themselves perfectly to formal living and dining room combos. 

Remember to scale your large furniture to the size of the room. 

Place either the table or one sofa perpendicular to the longest wall to balance it. Tall features, like floor-to-ceiling shelves or windows, vertically balance the long lines of the room.

Mix materials to achieve interesting layers in your space.

modern rectangle living room-dining room layout

Small Living Room-Dining Room Combo Ideas

Go on the hunt for furniture that can multitask. Combining form and multiple functions is key to how you furnish a small living room-dining room. 


Think dining chairs that mesh with your sofa for extra sitting. A drop-leaf dining table, tripod or drum dining table also saves space, allowing for a compact dining area.

The Canteen table below shows how to fit a dining table into a small living room. 

HD Buttercup drum dining table in a space efficient dining area

Every inch counts in a small living room. 

Learn how to measure your space.

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Lastly, take a chance on a big and bold piece to liven up your small room.


What does your dream home look like? An overarching theme is handy in helping you stay true to that mental image.

Minimalist Living Room-Dining Room Combo

Simplicity is the end goal of a minimalist theme. Every piece is deliberately chosen to skew towards clean lines and basic shapes.

Keep your color palette muted with minimal mixing of materials and tones to avoid visual clutter.

The Hay Mags modular sectional anchors the minimalist living room below.

minimalist living room in shades of brown and blue

Browse the minimalist collection by HD Buttercup.

scandinavian inspired minimalist dining area in black and natural tones

Farmhouse Living Room-Dining Room Combo

Farmhouse style hinges on simplicity, coziness, rustic charm, and functionality.  

Warm white walls and cozy sofas are quintessential to the farmhouse theme. Bring in natural textiles and materials such as wood, brass, cowhide, and leather.

white farmhouse living room with deep brown leather sofas

If the modern farmhouse aesthetic speaks to your nesting soul, shop HD Buttercup’s farmhouse collection.

farmhouse dining with black accents and natural wood tones

Formal Living Room-Dining Room Combo

For many of us, formal living rooms call to mind the stiff, uncomfortable rooms our parents reserved for guests.

Today, we strike a delicate balance between sophistication and cozy usability.

Keep your upholstery neutral but mix in other materials like leather to avoid that over-upholstered look.

edgy formal living room with gray sofa accented with brown toned furniture and rug

The Mateo Taupe sofa cozies up this formal living room.

edgy formal dining room with tan leather chairs that warm up the stark black interior

HD Buttercup modern living room furniture is the collection you need to put your space together.

In a Nutshell…

Divide and conquer is the way to master your open-plan living and dining room. Zoning the room gives you more decorating freedom. Remember to strike a balance between harmony and bold statement pieces. When you’re ready, design a living room-dining room combo that speaks to your heart.