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Ideas for Decorating a Long and Narrow Living Room

If your living room looks like a long hallway, use a few clever illusions to open up the space so you don’t feel like you’re living in a bowling alley. You may be tempted to push furniture up against the walls in a long, narrow living room to open up the space, […]

If your living room looks like a long hallway, use a few clever illusions to open up the space so you don’t feel like you’re living in a bowling alley. You may be tempted to push furniture up against the walls in a long, narrow living room to open up the space, but the effect will only highlight the shape of the room, making it feel longer and narrower. Minimize tunnel vision in your home with ideas to manipulate the space.

Form a Straight Walkway

Creating a pathway for foot traffic in a narrow room is tricky. By tweaking your arrangement, you’ll create an intimate atmosphere instead of an awkward footpath through the middle of your furniture. Arrange a seating vignette on one side of the long wall of your living room. For example, place a sofa up against one wall and pull close two chairs that face the couch. By creating a small seating area, you’ve created a clear path behind the chairs on the opposite long wall of the space. The effect is a well thought out sitting area that isn’t interrupted by foot traffic.

Create a Curved Pathway

Break up a lengthy space by creating a curved path through the room. Achieve this visual trickery by using both long walls for your furniture and dividing your space into two separate seating zones. You can quickly sketch this out for yourself or use a free room planning app so you can see the curvy pathway on paper. For example, here are two zones that create a curved flow in a long, narrow living room.

  • Zone one: Place a sofa and chair on opposite sides of the room against the long walls. Put the chair at an angle facing the sofa.
  • Zone two: Angle two chairs and a small table in a corner that’s on the same side of the room as the sofa

As a result, you’ve broken up the tunnel feeling of the room, maximized the space with two zones, and created an easy flow throughout the living room.

Pull Furniture Away From the Walls

Furniture pushed up against a wall in a narrow living room emphasizes the length of the space. Instead, pull all of your furniture away from the walls and float a seating arrangement in the middle of the room. It helps even if your furniture is only a few inches away from the walls. The result will be a cozy seating area with two narrow walkways on either side of the sitting area.

Use Circular Pieces

Eliminate long horizontal lines with furniture that has soft, rounded edges. There are several easy ways to break up an abundance of straight horizontal lines.

  • Use a circular coffee table or ottoman in the center of the seating area.
  • Place small round side tables next to chairs and the sofa.
  • Use rounded or bulbous light fixtures and lampshades.
  • Round mirrors and artwork on the walls give the eye something else to see other than straight lines.


Along with round furniture, consider upholstery with circular patterns and use round area rugs that call the eye to the floor.

Create an L- or U-Shape Seating Area

Place a sofa on the wall and put a love seat or two chairs perpendicular to the couch to break up the length of the room. Add another love seat or set of chairs on the opposite side of the sofa to create a U-shape seating arrangement. It’s another way to create a path along the opposite long wall of your room.

Divide the Space

If your room is particularly long, divide it into two separate zones. Consider two different conversation areas. A seating area and a small office or dining area is another option to make the most of the space. Use area rugs to define each area. Help the two spaces appear organized and orderly by placing all of the legs of each piece of furniture on the rugs.


Consider creating two zones in a long, narrow living room by using one piece of furniture. Place a sofa perpendicular in the room and put a console table or short cabinet against its back. Use the table or cabinet as a desk for a small home office zone.

Maximize Vertical Space

Draw the eye high by making the most of vertical space. A tall armoire or bookshelf breaks up an expanse of long horizontal space. Move the eye upward by creating art and photo arrangements that go high and close to the ceiling. Hang floor-to-ceiling drapery, preferably with vertical stripes, to create the illusion of height.

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