How to Decorate a Long, Narrow Living Room

In living rooms that aren't much wider than a bowling alley, furniture arrangements and design options may feel limited. Certain design plans may impede foot traffic flow or make the room appear even longer than it is. Conquer the design dilemmas of a long, narrow living room by breaking the space into sections to create intimate seating areas and vignettes.

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Step 1

Locate the room's main focal point on the longer side wall, rather than on an end wall. A focal point on an end wall will only serve to make the room look longer. In living rooms that already have a focal point on an end wall, such as a picture window or a fireplace, create a small seating area facing it, then add another eye-catching element, such as a flat-screen television or a piece of artwork, in the center of the longer side wall to refocus the attention of the room.

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Step 2

Create stations within the room that serve different functions, such as a writing desk, a reading corner or a place to watch television. For example, arrange the main sitting area in the center of the room, then add two chairs facing the fireplace or picture window one end of the long room and a small writing desk on the other.

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Step 3

Use multiple area rugs to further divide the sections. An easy way to break up a space visually is to put down different but coordinating area rugs, such as rugs with the same design pattern but with a different dominant color. Each rug will define its own space and break up the bowling-alley feel of the room. Avoid using runners and stick to square and round area rugs.

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Step 4

Consider the traffic pattern of the room when deciding how to arrange your furniture. Avoid placing furniture in the way of obvious traffic patterns, and group your furniture according to those frequented paths. For example, avoid placing a television on a wall where there is heavy traffic or arrangements that result in a walkway that cuts through a main seating area.