Daybeds in living rooms are the ultimate, multifunctional furniture piece. It can offer up as seating during social gatherings, create the perfect spot for an afternoon nap, and can even be moved around if you choose a light, freestanding design.
In terms of living room furniture ideas, a daybed can be a fantastic investment if you have the space. A daybed can be used as the primary seating piece in a living room; it can also be used to fill up a corner or used as an occasional chair in open-plan rooms.
There are plenty of ways you can style a day bed, and create a room layout around one. Take a look at these ideas and find out how you can fit in a daybed in your living room.
9 daybeds in living rooms to inspire the layout of your space
So what is a daybed? A cross between a chaise, a sofa, and a bed, it's a piece of furniture that is a staple of luxury living rooms. Daybeds are usually an additional choice to a seating set-up, especially in larger open plan spaces.
Daybeds come in all comes of guises, from freestanding slender designs to more substantial built-in styles.
1. Use a sleek design inside a modern living room
If you were to picture a daybed, you'd think of one with a back and sides, outfitted with lots of pillows, just like a bed. But with this furniture piece's growing popularity, several new styles have taken over the market, suited to a modern living room's aesthetic.
This fantastic furniture is great for reclining or leaning on to read, for playing video games, or working on a laptop. Many daybeds these days have chaise-like options that make them as good as a standard bed or like a lazy boy chair.
In this living room, the thin, sleek daybed in tan looks contemporary, and stylish and fits right into the design of the room. While the stairway painted in luscious red makes an immediate impact, the long seater, matching the wood tones on the floor looks classic and tasteful.
'It is a small corner, so it required a small custom-made corner banquet which wouldn’t have been very comfortable and only usable for different functions,' says Chad Dorsey, founder of Chad Dorsey Design. 'So I selected the day bed because it can be used as a bench for up to three or so people to sip their cocktails, and can also be used a napping lounge for one person on a Sunday afternoon with few glasses of Rose’. I also fell in love with the sculptural form of this Bassam Fellows Geometric Daybed. Its clean modern lines balance the traditional interior architecture, which is the perfect sight for me.'
2. Convert an existing four-poster bed into a daybed
If you have a spare (perhaps broken) bed hiding in your attic or garage, it might be time to do a little repairing and redesigning the living room. Find a local carpenter to fix the piece and use it as a charming addition to your living room. The daybed can be used as a second sofa or the primary seating. Add comfort with extra throw pillows.
Most daybeds have side rails or armrests, so you can easily lean or lounge around in them. Plus, the bottom cushion on a daybed is a standard mattress, so plenty of comfort and support is guaranteed.
'The four-poster beauty in the frame is an antique opium daybed sourced from Taylor B Fine Design in Singapore, and fitted with original Chinese lattice screens,' says Anjali Mangalgiri, founder of Grounded. 'While it is a large piece, it fits perfectly in the living room thanks to our high ceilings. I also love how it frames the windows behind. Having a daybed instead of a couch is perfect to really sink in, for lounging comfortably after a long day. It also gives me the opportunity to bring a subtle play of some lovely fabric and textile into the space.'
3. Bring in a daybed as a multifunctional piece
You'll be surprised at how many uses you can fit in with a daybed. An armless, backless option can be fit into a reading nook that doesn't quite feel quaint. You can place it next to the entrance door for people to sit and remove their clothes or shoes. It can be used to fill an awkward spot in the living room or to round out a seating arrangement. In a small living room layout, a daybed can also double as a guest bed.
'We knew we wanted a daybed in this area to serve as a bench for the entry (which opens right into the apartment) and also to provide some seating for the leather chairs that sit opposite,' says Tyson Ness, founder of Studio Ness (opens in new tab). 'The family is a young one with two small boys and they used this area for playtime and needed space for the adults to comfortably perch. The client was drawn to light and bright interiors so we chose a heavy-duty performance fabric for the light tone that would hold up to daily family activities and use.'
4. Use it as a partition between two areas
Want to break a floor plan or segregate two similar areas with separate functions? A wall isn't always the most practical option. And wooden or fabric screens can, in a way make a space seem smaller, especially if it's a small apartment living room. A backless daybed, in that case, can work wonders. The piece can act as a room divider that doesn't interfere with sightlines, provides extra seating, and segregates functions in an open plan.
'In this project, the backless daybed doubles as a transitional room separator in a large living space,' says Sabrina Albanese, founder of Sabrina Albanese Interiors (opens in new tab).
5. Swap a sofa for a daybed to fit in a small living room
Space is always at a premium in small to narrow living rooms which are why every single piece and element needs to work hard to earn its place in the room. The need is always for compact pieces that can do more in less space. This is where daybeds come into play.
Choose a small daybed with a low footprint, and swap it for those bulky sofas. To make the space feel visually light and breezy, choose a white frame and muted furnishings, and layout a neutral rug too. Add charm to the design with a hand-carved piece.
'The daybed provided function but also helped elevate the aesthetic of this space designed for the front of the house,' says Trish Lynn, principal designer of Colette Interiors (opens in new tab).
6. Fill a corner with a daybed
Most homes have awkward or empty spots that need to be filled up. While adding artwork on the walls of these corners may help, a good small living room furniture idea is a daybed. Not only will it add color, texture, and extra seating to the corner, but will also double as a storage spot, for you to keep extra cushions, throws, or accessories in the room.
Also, a daybed doubles as the perfect window seat, ideal for lounging and soaking up the sun. If you don't want this corner to stand out, then merge the hues of the daybed and its furnishings with the walls and floor, like in this image. This way, this furniture piece will stand in as a wonderful additional functional piece, yet not make your living room seem crowded.
7. Opt for a built-in daybed
A built-in daybed has its perks and can help design a cozy living room. It can maximize an entire wall or area for seating, and you can install storage or cubbies in its design. If you want your daybed to look more like a couch, you can add large sofa cushions on it to make it look more like a seater than a bed.
8. Fit a daybed within a niche
Another great use of a daybed is its ability to fit into any dull or unused space in the home. In this living room corner, the space between the two bookshelves is seamlessly filled by a daybed. Not only does it offer up space for socializing, but also doubles as a reading nook seating.
This also can become a great study spot with the addition of a small table. Post studying, the daybed can become a great spot for a quick snooze.
9. Create a lounging spot with a floor daybed
Sometimes a room may need a second sofa, but you may not want to interrupt the sightlines or make the space feel too crowded. This is the perfect time to get a low, minimalist daybed or even a futon sprawled on the floor. Throw in some soft cushions, and a blanket, creating the perfect farmhouse living room vibe.
The best part about ground seating is that it can be pushed against the wall, leaving more circulation area in the room. It can also maximize space in the room, making it seem larger than it is.
Can a daybed be used as a couch?
Absolutely! Whether you have a modern rustic living room or an elegant living room, a daybed can fit into any decor scheme. The furniture piece serves several functions, and can easily double up as a couch, a reading spot, a lounger, or even a guest bed. A twin-size daybed is the most comfortable seat in the house because it offers the luxury of a conventional bed.
For small apartments, having a multifunctional piece like a daybed is a better bet than a big, bulky sofa. Choose an upholstered piece, which features fabric on all three sides. You could go in for a tufted daybed, a nailhead trim, or a faux leather one that looks like a traditional sofa.
Where is the perfect spot for my daybed?
Daybeds are versatile pieces of furniture that can fit into any room, scheme, or decor. In the living room, a daybed can be swapped in place of a traditional sofa. It can also be used as the second category of seating, along with a couch.
The daybed can be placed in an awkward alcove, niche, or by the window and used as a spot for reading, or lounging. You can place it next to a bookshelf as a seating option or one where you can take work calls in, or even study.
If you're opting for a lightweight, floor daybed, you can move it around in the house, and use it in the kid's room, guestroom, or even in the balcony. The daybed can also be used essentially for storage, to keep extra cushions and throws on.
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.
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