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10 Ideas for Decorating a Long, Narrow Living Room

Castlery|Mar 20, 2024

If you have a long, narrow living room, arranging furniture in a way that maximizes space and style can be a daunting task.

How can you make the space look wider than it actually is? How do you arrange furniture so that it’s still cozy without the awkward spaces?

If you have these questions, fear not! With a little creativity and some practical tips, you can transform your challenging space into a functional and inviting oasis. In this guide, we’ll explore some ideas on how to arrange your furniture in a long living room layout.

10 long living room layout ideas

Opt for long furniture

Longer furniture can create a more streamlined and cohesive look in a narrow room. When you have a single, long piece, it can visually simplify the room and reduce clutter, making the space appear spacious and balanced.

For example, instead of opting for a square or round coffee table, pick a rectangular coffee table instead.

The Sloane Rectangular Coffee Table will make the perfect addition to a long and narrow living room.

A lengthy sofa can also provide ample seating without having to squeeze multiple armchairs or ottomans. This allows you to accommodate more people comfortably even in a narrow space.

Invest in an L-shaped sofa

An L-shaped sofa can efficiently make use of the corner space, which is often underutilized in long, narrow rooms.

@prepandrally places the Jonathan L-shape Sectional Sofa in the corner to utilize the dead space.

Place the long side of the L-shaped sofa against one of the long walls to keep the walkway open along the length of the room. Consider placing a coffee table in front of the sofa and armchairs along the open side of the ‘L’. This adds versatility and functionality to the seating arrangement.

If your long living room has an open floor plan, you can also use the L-shaped sofa as a visual divider between the different zones.

Create distinct zones

As longer rooms often have an open floor plan, you can create distinct zones within the space. This approach is great for creating a multi-functional space instead of one big and empty living room that looks like a hallway. Think entertaining, reading, and dining all in one space!

Use sideboards or rugs to separate and delineate spaces to create a greater distinction between these ‘zones’.

@home.emphasis delineated a seating area with the Lorenzo Wool Area Rug. Also pictured: The Simone Performance Bouclé Chair.

Ensure that there's a clear and unobstructed path between the different zones. A well-defined traffic flow will make the room feel more open and accessible, even in a narrow space.

Float furniture away from walls into the middle

Floating furniture away from the walls can create a sense of flow in a long living room. By placing furniture in the center of the space, you create a straight pathway on either side of the room that tricks the eye into thinking it's larger.

For instance, you could do a combination of a sofa, a coffee table, and two armchairs anchored by an area rug for an intimate seating arrangement.

@designlovesdetail creates a seating area in the center of the room with the Hamilton Chaise Sectional Sofa, Paloma Bouclé Armchairs, and Jonathan Leather Ottoman.

The possibilities are endless, so experiment with different arrangements until you find the one that feels just right.

Play with color

Color plays a crucial role in shaping the ambiance and aesthetics of a long living room. When used effectively, it can help create a visually larger and more inviting space.

Paint (or use wallpaper) vertical stripes on your wall to draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of a taller room.

For a classic and sophisticated look, consider using tonal or monochromatic shades like light gray and a slightly darker shade of gray, or pale blue and a deeper blue. If you prefer a subtle and airy feel, use a neutral color like beige or light taupe as the base color and white for the stripes.

Create a curved pathway

This creates a curved pathway in the shape of an ‘S’ to break up the linear feel of the space and improve traffic flow.

The key to creating a curved pathway is to incorporate furniture with curved edges. Consider a curved sectional sofa or a set of rounded accent chairs placed in the center of the room. These pieces will naturally guide the flow of movement along a curved trajectory.

The Marlow Performance Bouclé Curve Sofa creates a natural curved pathway.

Alternatively, you can place seating zones at diagonally opposite ends of the room to create a natural curved path.

Allow ample natural light to enter the space

Natural sunlight will be your best friend in a long and narrow space because it helps to visually make the space seem more open and airy. Instead of blackout curtains, opt for sheer curtains to allow light to filter into the space while still maintaining a degree of privacy.

Recommended read: How to Choose Curtains for Your Home

@joannafleming basks in the sunlight on the Adams Chaise Sectional Sofa.

Incorporate mirrors to reflect light

If you aren’t blessed with lots of natural sunlight, using mirrors to reflect any light in your space can make the room seem bigger. Mirrors and reflective surfaces can work wonders in a long and narrow living room as they bounce light around the space, making it feel brighter and more open.

The Theo Round Dining Table has a glass tabletop that can reflect light. Picture credits: @duanmackenzie

Place them on walls that are directly across sources of natural light to reflect and amplify the incoming daylight, making the room feel brighter. You could also incorporate furniture with reflective finishes like glass tabletops or silver hardware.

When placed strategically, the Miles Mirror can bounce light around the room.

Alternatively, if you have a long, uninterrupted wall, consider placing a large mirror there to create the illusion of more space and enhance the overall brightness of the room.

Arrange furniture symmetrically

Achieving balance in a long, narrow living room is key to making it feel visually appealing. Use symmetrical arrangements of identical or matching furniture pieces to create a cohesive look.

You could place identical sofas on either side of the room and position a coffee table in the center of the seating area.

@theverestplace creates a mirror effect with two Hamilton Sofas.

This symmetry creates a sense of balance and order, helping to counteract the room’s elongated shape.

Maximize vertical space

Since floor space may be limited, making use of your vertical space is an excellent strategy in a narrow room. It allows you to make the most of the available space and adds storage, functionality, and visual interest to the room.

Install tall shelves or wall-mounted cabinets to store books, decor, and other essentials. This not only adds storage but also draws the eye upward, making the room feel taller and more spacious.

A long living room can be a design challenge, but with the right approach and some creativity, you can transform it into a space that's both functional and visually appealing. Whether you choose to divide the room into zones or arrange furniture symmetrically, these long living room layout ideas will help you maximize space and style in your home.

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