How to Decorate a Narrow Rectangular Living Room

Updated April 17, 2017

Deciding on a way to decorate a narrow, rectangular-shaped living room is not always easy. You need to find a way to fit things into the room so it does not seem cramped and you can move easily throughout the room. Furniture placement, wall decorations and colour will all play an important roll in your efforts, as will lighting. It is possible to create a very attractive room by paying close attention to these details.

Paint the room using light colours, such as blue, to make the room look and feel more spacious. Use an off-white colour to paint the trim. Another alternative is painting all but one long wall the off-white colour, then painting that one wall a light colour such as green. Place large furniture along this wall.

Use smaller pieces of furniture in a narrow space to allow for more than one placement option. Place the furniture in the room for easy traffic flow. Try to keep the furniture in the room to a minimum as well. Use a sofa, a chair or two and a few stands. Find a small entertainment centre that will hold all electronics, and consider hanging a flat screen television on the wall above this.

Place the sofa directly across the room from the television and place the chairs so they are angled to either side. The stands can be placed between the chairs and the sofa against the wall or in the corners.

Create lighting by placing lamps on stands or floor lamps in corners. Be sure to use energy efficient choices that are easy on the eyes while giving plenty of light. Use curtains rather than heavy drapes, as they tend to make the room look lighter.

Hang 8-by-10 inch or 10-by-13 inch framed photographs lined along the wall just behind and above the sofa. Leave 5 inches in between each photo. Place wall sconces to either side of the television on the opposite wall from the sofa. Hang a shelf on either side of the window or windows for the placement of small nick-knacks or books. Put candles on one stand and a water feature on the other.


Be sure to place dust sheets around the room so as not to splatter paint on anything.

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About the Author

Shannon Buck is a freelance writer residing in the small town of Milford, Maine. Her work has appeared on several sites including, where she writes The Green Mom column. She has written on many subjects including home improvement, gardening, low-income living, writing and homeschooling.