The Cabin Living Room Plan

March 9, 2020

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Cabin Living Room View with Corgi

Now that I’ve shared the general cabin design direction, I’m so ready to talk to you about what we’ve got planned for the living area (see the main floor tour for more on that). I’ve been noodling over this for MONTHS, making small tweaks, sourcing the right pieces and messing with the floor plan. There have been highs and there have been lows, and there have been a lot of gut calls. Read on to go through it all with me, it’ll be like you were there.

The Living Room Before

As I always say, it’s important to know where we’re starting when we’re talking about where we’re going. Here’s what the cabin living room looked like before we got our hands on the keys:

Jam-packed with things. All the things in all the styles.

Stone fireplace beside pine paneling

Cabin living room view from above.

Above is what it looked like while we were using and slowly moving/rearranging the existing furniture as an interim solution (sorry if this wide-angle shot from the loft makes you woozy). We’ve since donated most of the furniture and have replaced the carpet and vinyl tile with gorgeous engineered hardwood from Stuga – full install how-to coming soon!

The living room is oddly shaped and, understandably, lacked focus in its layout. The TV was smooshed into the space between the windows and the fireplace, making the windows, fireplace, and TV all battle to be the focal point. The windows win every time. Because the sale of the home included the furniture, we had a low-stakes chance to really try out living in and using the space (and assessing its challenges) before making any big decisions or purchases.

My favorite way to tackle a large, awkward space is to divide it into zones. Giving a room purpose (or purposes) and choosing and arranging furniture around that purpose results in a space that is functional and looks intentional.

Other than enjoying the view, the living area will be used to enjoy the fireplace and to watch tv. There should be room for both activities and there should be room for lots of people. The living room as purchased really only comfortably sat 2-3 people around a purpose, despite there being so many chairs.

After using the space for a few months, the goals that emerged were these:

Living Room Goals

  • Create a cohesive, inviting living area for relaxing
  • Provide seating by the TV for at least 6
  • Create a conversation/fireplace-enjoying-zone for at least 2
  • Use the space efficiently
  • Make it all cute

Odd-shaped Living Room Floor Plan

You knew there was a SketchUp floorplan coming, right?

Cabin Living Room SketchUp Layout

Version 1

The first version of the layout didn’t come together instantly, it took some solid messing around. I tried two sofas. I tried 3 sofas. I tried sectionals in different orientations. What I arrived at was a layout that allowed for a seating area near the fireplace (on the left above) and a large L-shaped sectional for sprawling. And because I’ve found people don’t always love to curl up next to each other (or me) on a sectional, chairs are very necessary. People like their personal space and I can’t blame them.

It was around this time that I started searching for the perfect rug. Should I go modern? Should I go traditional? I knew I wanted something low pile or flat weave for easier cleaning. As much as I love a distressed vintage rug, this modern jute rug from CB2 stuck in my brain and wouldn’t go away. When I popped it into my plan in its largest available size, 8×10′, it just wasn’t big enough to properly anchor everything else. I considered abandoning and then I remembered that people layer rugs and it can be a totally cool thing. Once I got over the thought of buying TWO rugs, everything fell into place. So that’s how a 9×12′ jute rug with an 8×10 CB2 rug over it became the way of things.

I was 100% set on this layout until I started trying to find a modern yet organic coffee table. I was willing to pay more than I’ve ever paid for a coffee table (up to $1000 which seems WILD) but still, nothing was right. True to form, everything I found and loved was $2k+ and I just couldn’t do that. I considered a DIY, I sketched out plans. And then I took a good hard look at why this layout may not be working and maybe, just maybe, it was a sign.

  • Pros:
    • Lots of seating
    • Chairs that directly face the view
  • Cons:
    • Requires a BIG coffee table around 60″ long (expensive and tough to find in the right style)
    • Seems a little strange to look down the long end of a coffee table
    • There’s just something about that coffee table situation that didn’t sit right with me

Cabin Living Room SketchUp Layout

Version 2

The great coffee table difficulty of 2020 resulted in a layout shift. What if I moved the lounge chairs so that they felt less dependent on access to the coffee table? What if they faced the sectional and made a conversation zone? Magic. A normal-sized coffee table would work!

Once the coffee table needs were reassessed, a whole new world of coffee tables opened up. We visited the new Anthropologie Home Outlet in Pittsburgh and I spotted a round travertine coffee table that had caught my eye online. It had damage on its travertine top (cracks at the edges), a solid knick, and a scratch on the top but was priced with all of this in mind.

  • Pros:
    • Able to buy a normal, easy to find a coffee table in a reasonable size.
    • Table access for all (every seat should have easy access to a table/place to put down a beverage).
  • Cons:
    • Not every seat faces the TV.

Ok, let’s get a better look at what furniture will actually be in the space!

Modern Cabin Living Room Mood Board

Cabin Living Room Mood Board

[ Mello Taos Brown Leather Sectional | Regis Juniper Green Lounge Chair | Anya Travertine Coffee Table | Jute Rug | Alexi Black Jute Rug | Black Side Table | Berkshire Floor Lamp | Madera Oak Sideboard ]

It’s gonna be great, right? Things are already on the way (I feel like we’ve been keeping such secrets putting this together without telling you) and I can’t wait for you to see how it’s all coming together. So hang tight, the reveal will be up NEXT WEEK!


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  • Reply Kristen March 9, 2020 at 10:22 am

    It looks great! You could also consider swivel chairs, that way they could swivel to look at the tv if needed and then swivel back for conversation. Just a thought!

  • Reply Alleira March 9, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    I can’t tell if Article sponsored this post or you just really like their furniture, but I am SO curious about the Mellos sofa. I feel like every review on the website says, “Why don’t these pieces fit together, the sofa moves all the time.” I’m very interested in buying that sofa, but I really don’t want to have to shift/move a piece of furniture on the regular. Anyway – if you are going to review the sofa at some point, I would love an honest review of how the pieces shift over time with use.

    • Reply thesweetbeast March 9, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      Hi! I am working with Article for our living room reveal post (next week!) and will be trying out the mello sectional – thank you for letting me know what you’d like to see addressed. I will cover the 2 unattached sofas aspect in my post.

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