Decorating a Long Narrow Living Room

Updated April 17, 2017

Living rooms often follow one of two types of designs: short and wide, or long and narrow. While each design has its own set of pros and cons, the latter may be especially difficult to decorate. Decorating a long, narrow living room requires a different way of thinking compared to how one might approach decorating a living room that is short and wide. By following a few tried-and-true guidelines, you can ensure the decorating process goes smoothly.

Carefully choose the colour you paint the living room walls. Wall colour can have a big impact on the feel of a room. In general, darker colours make a room feel smaller and more dull, while bright colours open up the room and create a sense of space no matter how large or small the room actually is. Long and narrow living rooms usually benefit from walls that are painted either bright yellow or stark white; while other colours may be used, they should be light in shade.

Plan lighting according to the space. Properly lighting a long, narrow living room may be a challenge, and even the smallest variable may make a difference. Track lighting is an excellent option for illuminating your living room, as it allows you to cover a long expanse without having to place a variety of lamps throughout the room. When correctly implemented, track lighting is subtle and relatively inexpensive.

Use furniture that fits the space. Generally, furniture and room shape should coincide, making long and narrow furniture ideal for living rooms that exhibit the same traits. Long coffee tables, rugs and couches may help to keep the space from becoming cluttered and busy. Avoid using round furniture in a living room that is long and narrow, as this takes up far too much space and affects the flow of the room.

Use mirrors. Long, narrow hallways can be difficult to decorate, as there often is not enough space or lighting for artwork to be used to its best effect. However, a long hallway is the perfect frame for a variety of mirrors, which can seemingly open up the hallway and make it feel like less of a tight space. Use a variety of differently designed mirrors for the best effect.


Always take foot traffic into consideration when designing a living room, leaving adequate space for people and pets to pass without restricting their flow of motion.

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About the Author

Based in Portland, Maine, Kurt Larsen began his writing career in 2008. As well as being proficient in constructing marketing and website content, he has been published in media outlets such as Buildipedia, an interactive community focusing on green and sustainable architecture. Larsen holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Vermont.