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9 Long and Narrow Living Room Ideas

When decorating or designing, it’s rare that any room has the perfect dimensions for your needs or style preferences. Some rooms are trickier than others, such as long and narrow rooms which are notoriously difficult to design, and this becomes even more of a challenge in living rooms.
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Sofa in a long living room.

By default, lounge areas should be comfortable, cosy and functional, but this can be difficult to achieve in narrow spaces. Long rooms can make furniture placement difficult, which can contribute to them feeling uncomfortable or impractical. However, there are ways to make your space work for you. To get you started, we’ve put together 9 narrow living room ideas to help you make the most of your lounge.

Roomy pillow back snuggler chair with yellow rug

1. Divide your space

While long living rooms can feel impractical, they do offer a great opportunity to divide your space into separate areas. Creating different living areas in your lounge will help to widen your room visually, as well as creating a feeling of ‘flow’. You could try creating a sofa section in one area of the room, placing your sofas perpendicular to your walls and adding a coffee table to complete the look. If you have the enough room, try placing a tall and narrow console table behind your dividing sofa, this will really emphasise that this is a separate area of the room. On the other side, you could add a dining table if you don’t have a dining space elsewhere in your home. Alternatively, a small armchair and bookcase creates a beautiful reading nook away from the television.


2. Create a walkway

Walkways are essential for creating a practical and comfortable living room. After all, you don’t want to be bumping into furniture every time you enter the room! Because of their shape, long and narrow living rooms often have a straight walkway from one side or end of the room to the other, this can draw the eye inwards and make the room feel smaller than it really is. To combat this, try to create an ‘S’ shaped walkway. Linking in with dividing your room into areas, this can be achieved by placing your different living areas diagonally at opposite sides of the room. If this isn’t possible, another long living room idea is to have your walkway to one side instead of in the middle. This creates a cosier feel and prevents your living room from feeling like a bowling alley.

3. Use the middle of your living room

Another long and narrow living room idea is to place your dominant furniture centrally, this is ideal for rooms where it isn’t possible to create different sections. For example, place your sofas, coffee table and television in the middle of the space. On the shorter walls, introduce tall bookshelves or display cases to draw focus to the central area. This room layout draws the eye to the centre of the room, making it feel squarer than it really is.


Contemporary fabric sofa with slim arms
Large tall wooden display and TV entertainmentunit

4. Create height

Narrower room can tend to feel closed in and this can make the space seem a lot smaller. To combat this, try to create as much height as possible in your living room. Hang your curtains at ceiling height rather than at window height, this creates the illusion that your ceilings are much taller than they are. Another clever narrow living room idea is to use tall furniture. Invest in floor-to-ceiling bookcases, tall display cases or lofty floor lamps to create a sense of height and space in your lounge.


5. Use colour to create space

Colour is another great tool for decorating your long living room. It can be tempting to use white or pale neutrals to create a feeling of more space – however, while it is certainly true that these shades help smaller areas feel larger, it’s actually better to make use of colour in narrow or long spaces. On the longer walls, use neutral or pale hues, then on the shorter walls, choose a slightly darker colour or statement shade. This technique with colour will help your space to feel squarer and more in proportion.

Beige Scandi or Nordic style snuggler armchair
Generously cushioned grey fabric recliner sofa

6. Create space with light

Your lighting is another important factor when decorating a narrow living room. As with any living room, it will be important to make the most of the natural light you have. Longer rooms can feel a lot darker, particularly if there are limited windows, with this in mind, avoid using blinds or heavy curtains that could prevent or reduce the natural light you have available. It’s also important to think about artificial lighting, as the key is to get as much light as possible into your space. Floor lamps work particularly well, particularly when placed in the corners of your room. Try to include plenty of other lamps too, as well as overhead lighting.


7. Choose the right sofa

Your sofa or sofas will also impact the overall look and feel of your living room. Keep your pieces as much in proportion to your room size and shape as possible and avoid choosing items that are overlarge or too small for the space you have available. When thinking about narrow living room ideas, consider choosing a corner sofa. These work particularly well in rooms of this shape and will help to create a natural divide in your lounge. If you’re really limited on space, there are other options. For example, instead of a traditional 3-seater sofa, you could choose a 2-seater sofa or a couple of cuddle chairs.


8. Break up lines and shapes

By definition, long and narrow living rooms tend to be angular. Too many rectangle shapes can make your room feel smaller or out of proportion. Break up angular lines with a variety of contrasting shapes, try adding in a round coffee table or side table. If you intend to have a dining area in your living room, think about choosing a round dining table rather than those with a square or rectangle shape.


Two tone round extending dining table and chairs
Wooden TV and entertainment unit with drawers

9. Utilise storage

When putting together your long and narrow living room ideas, storage should be at the forefront of your mind. The key to creating a cosy, welcoming and spacious lounge in rooms of this shape is to ensure that everything has its place. Clutter and everyday knick-knacks will make your room feel overcrowded and small, so it will be important to include plenty of functional storage options.

Choose a television stand that has drawers. These are perfect for storing remotes, magazines, game controllers and other items you wouldn’t necessarily want on show. Similarly, a coffee table with storage options is another great way of including dual-purpose furniture in your space. Think about incorporating a storage ottoman or footstool too, these are perfect for extra seating and can store toys, blankets or other items easily.


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