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With open layouts in demand for modern homes, one of the most popular space blends is the living room, dining room and kitchen. The living room is the place to sit, talk, relax, read, watch a movie, greet guests or cozy up to a warm fire. The client likes to join the two social spaces to make gatherings a more organic affair, where guests can wander freely between the two areas, enjoying good food and topmost comfort in one smooth space. The living room gives a private and personal space as well as a relaxed and free social setting for group events.

Coming Into The Space

The entry from the foyer immediately provides the guest with a clear visual map and path between the living and dining rooms. Careful grouping of furniture and architectural millwork along with interior construction define the space in a more dramatic and useful way.

Open Design

The human eye needs visual signs to mark the limit of an area and focal points in order to define a space. Those signs and focal points decide whether or not, a person is at ease in that space. We use furniture, decorative accessories, bulkhead and millwork to visually describe and portray the space and to create a sense of order and warmth. The living room is defined without closing it in with walls.

Laying Out The Living Room

One of the most vital roles of the living room is to give family and guests a place to sit and talk to each other. The first things that I think about when laying out a living room, are the architectural parts of the space.

The seating lay-out gives a relaxed self-contained area while still allowing the proper access to the doors and garden views. This makes a seating area a stopping place where people relax and enjoy each other and the space.


I placed the see through fireplace on the window wall and kept the size down so as to not limit the outdoor views.


The TV and gadget hiding built-in cabinet are on the inside wall. A careful choice of window coverings controls the mid day sunlight for viewing ease. The larger part of the seating is placed around both the TV and fireplace.

Reading & Relaxing

I have created a reading area within the living room for the clients mother to enjoy a good book or just watch the sun set while listening to music. The custom cabinet displays the book collection and favourite collectables all the while hiding away back issues, grandchildren’s toys and knickknacks that find their way to the living room.


The kind of light needed to read by, or display art, is not the same as the light we prefer when watching TV or just relaxing with friends. Therefore in my design I switch back and forth between lighting schemes. A somewhat glare-less indirect light is better for relaxing or watching TV (recessed hi-hats, wall sconces, cove lighting). While a more directed light is used in the areas as needed for reading or to display items (recessed hi-hats, track lighting and various types of lamps). And remember, some time somebody is going to have to clean this room. So I make sure to allow for a good general light level. All of the above is brought about with the right light fixtures and switch placement for the desired lighting scheme. I also use dimmers to add freedom to the lighting scheme.

How To Use Me

In your gjConstructs designed home, you live in a world of beauty… beauty that is achieved by grace and line, skillful combining of materials and harmonious blending of colours. “Simple Elegance” is the expression used by customers in describing first impressions their gjConstructs designed home.

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