Design Inspo

Long Narrow Living Room Layout Design and Suggestions

Some rooms come with unique challenges. A long, narrow living room can be difficult, but we give you layout and design tips to make it work. 

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Your dream home (or your “for now” home) may have all the stylistic features you love and some you have trouble working around. After all, it’s hard to find anything that is completely perfect. (And that’s part of what makes the the house hunt even more fun!)

The living room version of a galley kitchen (long and narrow) can make it more challenging to figure out furniture arrangement so that the room looks inviting and fosters conversation and relaxation. 

A narrow space doesn’t mean less comfortable; it just means you’ll need some more creative living room design ideas. You want them; we’ve got them! e’ve put together some living room ideas to help you take control of your living space and make the room feel like a dream. So sit back and take it all in!

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Create Stations

One of our favorite layout ideas for long living rooms is to delineate the length into smaller spaces or zones. Who doesn’t love a little organization? By using this method, you can create a conversation space or seating area separate from where you watch television (this usually feels more inviting too). 

Not sure how to do it? Try placing your sofa in front of a long, barren wall in your living room. That wall is perfect for television placement. Use the other half of the room for seating or even as a dining room if your home doesn’t have an extra space to use as a dining area.

Need a place to work? Add a desk to one end of your room, and you have a home office. You can also add a gaming table or card table to one side and instantly create the feel of a family room or game room.

Perhaps you’ll want to further separate spaces by adding area rugs, console tables, and bookshelves. Certain pieces of furniture can serve as markers that help you distinguish one area from another when cleverly used in your layout. 

Small Living Room Ideas

A room that is long, narrow, and small can be an exciting challenge (although it might not always sound like it). Here, the best hack is to keep your designs simplified. Don’t attempt to fit a massive amount of furniture into a small space.

Consider dialing back your furniture, opting for one or two larger pieces, and focusing instead on stylistic finishes like paint or a large piece of art on one wall. The good news is that you can 100% splurge on that gorgeous fainting couch (or just about any other statement piece that will center your room). Paint me like one of your French girls!

Stay in the Middle of the Room

It’s tempting to fill an entire living room with extra side tables or armchairs to make the space feel cozy. Instead, try using the furniture pieces you have and arranging them in the middle of your room. 

Using the width-wise living room furniture layout, arrange your sofa and chairs around a focal point, like a coffee table, in the middle of your room. The excess space on either side can be used for floor lamps, bookshelves, or ornate floor mirrors for decorating and added warmth. 

Go Wide, Not Long

Avoid placing your furniture lengthwise, which will highlight the length of the room and make it seem longer and more narrow. Instead, place furniture width-wise, which will instantly push the walls away and make the room look wider and more balanced. 

Avoid clutter. Too much “stuff” in a long space will make your room look even more narrow. Dial down your home decor in a long and narrow floor plan to help make the room look instantly wider. 

Update Your Sofa

A sofa that doesn’t fit in a space can make the right living room look wrong. If you’ve tried every method of furniture placement and can’t make your sofa work, consider a new one. For long living rooms, L-shaped sectionals are a fantastic solution. An L-shaped couch can be placed in a corner, anchoring the space at the end of the room and helping use the space efficiently (and it will give your guests a dedicated place to sprawl out). 

In narrow rooms, avoid using a sectional with a chaise or one that wraps around in a “U” shape, as this can close off the area and dash your hopes of creating an open concept look. Opposite your sofa, you can create a sitting area with a loveseat, table, table lamp, or chairs. 

Use Light to Your Advantage

Sometimes longer living rooms can feel awkward, especially if they are dimly lit. Sheer curtains can help you increase the amount of light flowing through your space, but if you are limited on natural light, opt for brighter light bulbs and additional fixtures. 

Brighten up dark corners of the room by placing table lamps, sconces, or floor lamps in these otherwise gloomy areas. It’s also a smart idea to use mirrors to help reflect light and increase the width of the room. When facing each other, mirrors can create the illusion of additional depth — which is exactly what you want in a small space. 

Play With Paint

One of the best decor ideas for rooms that are hard to design is to use paint to create the illusion of a differently shaped space. For long rooms, try painting both short ends a darker color than the long walls, naturally making the room feel more square than rectangular. 

Relying on paint to create a separate space in a long room can also help you distinguish between different zones. For instance, try painting a framed square behind your television or behind a bookshelf to make things really pop. 

Take a Cue From Feng Shui

Experts in feng shui say that energy is channeled through long, narrow spaces. A room can develop an unrelaxing, unsettled feeling if the furniture and art aren’t properly placed.

To fix this, use feng shui techniques to force energy to circulate in the room instead of disperse:

  • Place mirrors and reflective surfaces on the long walls, not the end walls. 
  • Avoid placing furniture against all four walls. Instead, stagger furniture around the room (or in the middle of the space) to create a flow of energy with an “s” shape. 
  • Choose round art, rugs, or other decorative features to balance the room's rectangular shapes. 

Hints from feng shui can help the room feel more settled and encourage guests and family members to linger longer. A good host’s dream.

Avoid Common Pitfalls

When remodeling your room, avoid these common mistakes that can make your design efforts look less than optimal. 

Squaring off the Room

Placing your furniture against the long walls of your room and having additional pieces against the short walls can square off the room and make it seem boxy and uninviting. Instead, stagger the furniture around the room. Staggered furniture can help change the foot traffic from straight through to an “s” shape and help you better utilize the floor space. It also makes for a more interesting room layout.

Get Interior Design Help

Interior design is complex, but you don’t have to be an interior designer to create a beautiful and unique space. Spoak is here to help.

Our interior design suite is easy to use and enables you to transform any room into your very own work of art. At the end of the day, you are the artist behind the masterpiece! From creating a gallery wall to helping you with furniture layouts, our design tools give you guidance while still allowing you the freedom you want.

Need more inspiration? We’ve got that too. Our discovery feed is literally filled with things to inspire you and help you connect with like-minded people who share a passion for home decor. 

Photo Credit (Left): Setting for Four


What to Do With Long, Narrow Rooms | South Coast Today 

Feng Shui Principles and Tips for Beginners | The Spruce

How to Organize Your House and Rooms by Zones | SFGate

Start designing your living room by becoming a Spoak member today.

Date Posted
March 10, 2023



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