Design Ideas for a Long Narrow Living Room

A long, narrow room provides a challenge when it comes to design. It is easy enough to make the room decorative, but doing so may come at the price of functionality. The key thing to remember when decorating a room that isn't ideally designed is that the world of interior design is filled with just as much illusion as the world of Hollywood blockbusters. Many tricks are easily performed to make your room look less like a tunnel.

Create a Conversation Hall

Functional furniture grouping in a long, narrow space is essential for cutting down on the feeling of the length of the room. Try placing your couch against the wall and your largest chair at a right angle to the sofa so that those sitting on the sofa are looking at the profile of the chair. This arrangement creates the illusion of a hall when you place the rest of the furniture against a wall to either the left or right of the sofa so that it faces the big chair.

Widen the Room

Furniture arrangement is also drafted into work to make the room seem wider by creating a corridor behind the furniture. Place your largest furnishings in the middle of the room at right angles to each other so that it creates the sense of a wall with a corridor behind it. Placing a large sofa with its back to the corridor space creates the illusion that the length of the room is smaller than it actually is.

Reverse Reflection Effect

Create a sense of perfectly symmetrical balance and harmony in the long, narrow room by decorating it mirror style to create a reverse reflection, which could run into more money than you may want to spend, but the effect can overwhelm the disadvantage of the narrow quality of the room. Decorate the right side of the room so that it is a perfectly reversed carbon copy of the left side. Reversal is provided via your choice of colours, fabrics, arrangement of furniture and even whimsical art. For instance, hang a painting of a ship sailing beneath a hot summer sun at one end and a poster for the movie Titanic at the other end. Get creative in your concept of reverse mirroring because the whole point is to take attention away from the tunnel vision of the design.

Bowling Alley

A small, narrow room is actually not a problem at all but the perfect design opportunity for bowling enthusiasts. The shape of this kind of room calls to mind a bowling alley, so if bowling is your thing, let your bowling mind go wild with decorating ideas to bring about the feel of the alley. A perfect decorating touch is a trompe l'oeil painting of the waiting bowling pins on the wall of one end of the room. Install flooring that mimics the waxed wood of the alley. Lamps made from bowling pins and a low coffee table with bowling balls as the legs are two ideas to get you started on your very special room.

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About the Author

Timothy Sexton's more than 10,000 articles have been published on sites ranging from USA Today to CareerAddict, from PopEater to His writing has been referenced in books ranging from "The Reckless Life...of Marlon Brando" to "Brand New China: Advertising, Media and Commercial and from Scarface Nation to Incentive!"