Decorating and styling small spaces isn't easy and a long narrow living room can be even trickier to get a balance between comfort and style. We’ve come up with some ideas to get the most out of a long narrow living room and maximise the space to create a cosy and stylish feel.

Long rooms can be a blessing in disguise. We all love the feel of an open plan space – they get all the feels on insta right? And a long narrow lounge can offer the ability to zone areas into insta-worthy spaces. But first let’s tackle the basics and talk about colour.

Narrow Living Room Colour Scheme

As a general rule, light colours make a room feel spacious by reflecting light. Darker colours tend to feel as though they are closer (and cosier), it’s all to do with how your brain perceives colour. The short explanation is that we can use colour to trick the brain into seeing a space as bigger than it is. By painting the longer walls in the room a slightly darker shade than the two shorter walls, it will make the room feel wider or more square.

Paint the skirting and any radiators the same colour as the walls. You’re aiming for as little distraction for the eye as possible because you want to pull the viewer into the room using the zoning of the furniture. White skirting also acts as a horizontal line which has the effect of making an already long wall look even longer! I know it goes against everything your dad ever taught you about decorating but believe me it works!

Light colours add space
@homewiththedarlings uses light colours to create a space and reflect natural light. Shown here is our Miami Glass and Chrome Coffee Table

Use Vertical Space

Use the full height of the room for curtains and avoid any patterns with horizontal stripes – horizontals again. Go for a long curtain pole and pull the curtains pulled right back to allow as much light into the space as possible. Try a tall bookcase or use art on the walls to draw the eye upwards. A ‘gallery wall’ of smaller pictures will help to create height, rather than one larger piece in the centre of a long wall.

A narrow living room decorated to enhance the space
image credit vecislavas-popa

Organise Your Room Into Zones

When buying your furniture, think about how you’re going to place it first. A functional space needs to have a walkway through it but the last thing you want to do is create a ‘corridor effect’. Avoid pushing all of the furniture against the longer walls or all on one side of the room. Organise your room into zones using the furniture. For example, create a cosy sofa area at one end of the room by placing a sofa across the width of the room as a divide with a console table or low shelves behind it.

The Madrid console table being used in a narrow living room
The Console Table in this room acts as the perfect breaker to zone the living and dining areas. Image credit @hannahs.home.styling

Another sofa opposite with a rug in between will offer a cosy solution to squaring off the room. Fireplace or window in the centre of one of the longer walls? Use the centre space in the same way with space at either end of the room, this will create a focal point and a functional space. If you have to place your sofa along the longer wall then choose a fabric a similar colour to the wall – that old eye-trickery thing again. Lighting can also be used effectively in the zoning of a space. The low light of a few smaller lamps will emphasise the zoning of that area and will add interest and balance to the room.

Divide a long room using furniture
our_family_home has used a small sofa to cleverly divide her living room and dining area.

Choose Your Living Room Furniture Carefully – Less Is More!

You may think that lots of smaller items of furniture would be the best idea to break up a space but many interior designers advise to the contrary. A few larger items placed carefully can make a small space feel bigger than it is. Also mix up the materials to add to the feeling of light. A glass coffee table for example will ‘disappear’ and reflect light adding to that feeling of light and space.

A white and cream living room space with a decorated coffee table
Sandro Coffee Table. Image credit @lifewithrachelrose

A mirrored side table or console table will work just as well. Use round or oval furniture to soften edges, round light fixtures or a large round mirror on one of the longer walls will increase the feeling of light. When choosing your furniture, try to pick items which have visible legs which raises the bulk of the furniture off the floor. The theory is that the more of the floor space the eye sees, the more space it perceives. An added bonus being that it’s easier to vacuum under!

Be Clever With Storage

Clutter is the enemy of the long living room. Remember the tip about seeing the floor space? Furniture with storage is your friend when styling a long narrow living room.

An example of a living room that uses storage effectively for the space
Image credit @labonneviehome. Miami Glass Coffee Table.

It’s all about balance. Think textures, colours and materials that help to reflect light. Here at Furniturebox we have you covered.

Visit our Instagram page for more customer images!