This Is How to Furnish a Long Living Room


Last year, around 75% of Americans embarked on some sort of home improvement project. Are you set to continue the trend for 2021?

Reshuffling and revamping your interiors is a great way to give your home a fresh new look, but what do you do about those awkwardly-shaped rooms?

A long living room’s one of the most daunting design challenges for sure, but you can overcome it with a little creativity.

Here’s how to furnish a long living room, so it doesn’t look like a school hallway.

How to Furnish a Long Living Room Using Zones

The best way to avoid lining your furniture up against the long sides of the room is by creating two or more zones in your room.

Set up your television on one end of the long wall, with a sofa and two chairs at right angles in front of it. Then, create a seating area on the other side of the room using a couple of chairs or recliners facing each other with a coffee table in the middle.

If you stagger these arrangements, you help to create the impression of two smaller rooms instead of one long continuous one. You’ll probably need some extra furnishings to pull off this design. So, online furniture shop here you come.

You can emphasize the division using floor rugs too. Place all the legs of the furniture on top of the rugs to complete the impression of two different areas.

Break Up the Thoroughfare

Staggering your zones like this creates a curved passage through your room, rather than a narrow alley.

Another way to avoid the corridor effect is by leaving space behind your furnishings on one side of the room. Pushing the thoroughfare back like this helps prevent your living room from looking like a bowling alley.

Shapely Seating Areas

You can also use L- and U-shaped seating arrangements to create zones and break up the lines in long living rooms.

Place a sofa on one long wall with two chairs perpendicular to it. Then add another two chairs opposite the sofa, leaving a pathway along the short side of the room and around the back of the chairs.

Another trick is to use the short side of an L-shaped sofa to create a divide in your room. You can place a short cabinet, or console table against the sofa to create a home office space seperate from the seating area.

Avoid the Walls

Another way to modify the appearance of a long room is to float your seating areas in the middle of it.

When you place all your furniture away from the walls, you leave a passageway on either side. In this way, you help break up the long visual lines of the space, creating cozy seating areas instead.

Use Geometry to Your Best Advantage

Too many long, rectangular pieces in your narrow living room only emphasize its unusual shape. Make sure you break up the straight lines wherever you can.

A circular coffee table, round side tables, and living room furniture with rounded edges should do the trick. Round mirrors, artwork, light fittings, and throw pillows also help even things out.

One of the more discreet furnishing tips is to choose upholstery and floor rugs with rounded designs to help soften the edges.

Optical Illusions

Mirrors are one of the best ways to create optical illusions in oddly-shaped rooms. Avoid placing them on the short ends of your room, they’ll only make it look longer.

Instead, opt for large mirrors on the long walls to help the space appear wider.

You can also attract attention away from the length of your room using tall furniture. Large pieces like an armoire or bookshelf draw the eye upward and emphasize the height of the ceiling.

Floor-to-ceiling drapes, preferably with a vertical striped design, and artworks arranged high on the walls can also help create this effect.

Add Another Aspect

One of the benefits of a long narrow living room is that it usually has some extra space. You can maximize these extra square feet by installing a bar with its own seating area.

Another option is to set up a reading nook, family dining area, or an e-games space for your kids with a second TV and chairs.

Use Focal Points to Break Up the Room

If your room has a fireplace or a large bay window, you can use these to your advantage. Simply cluster your furniture groupings around these eye-catching features.

That way, you create a cozy place for after-dinner drinks or reading around. A bay window brings opportunities to set-up a scenic viewpoint for sundowners or morning coffee.

Should your room have no discernable focal points, you can create them using artworks, sculptures, a portable fireplace, or interior water features.

The Basics Behind Furnishing a Long, Narrow Living Room

Although every room has its own quirks, there are a few basic guidelines when it comes to furnishing a particularly narrow living room.

Try this:

  1. Place your sofa against the largest wall
  2. Place side tables and lamps on either side of it
  3. Add a narrow console table on the opposite wall of the sofa
  4. Put accent chairs or small wooden stools around the sofa
  5. Fill any blank wall space with shelves, bookcases, artwork, and extra tables

There are bound to be some awkward empty spots remaining. You can fill them up with container plants or decorative plinths.

Tackling the Next Challenge

Experimenting with how to furnish a long living room is one of the more difficult design challenges for homeowners to master.

You’re bound to come across plenty more head-scratching obstacles in your quest for creating ideal interior spaces.

For more inspiration and assistance, keep browsing our website. We’re committed to bringing you the best interior and exterior design tips.

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