You’ve probably spent hours rearranging furniture in a frenzied attempt to make your rectangular space look more square, but in the back of your mind you know that unless you knock down the walls and rebuild the room from scratch, there’s just little you can do. Never fear – with some clever small living room ideas (opens in new tab) and tricks of the trade, there are in fact tons of ways to help turn that awkward living room layout into something stylish and sophisticated. Make sure you keep your room tidy and organized by using clever small living room storage ideas (opens in new tab) to remove toys, plants, knickknacks and other unnecessary items, and your space will instantly feel bigger and more pleasant to be in.
Furniture in long living rooms can be a cumbersome business, so it pays to invest in the right pieces – and consider the arrangement carefully, as interior design firm Hoedemaker Pfeiffer (opens in new tab) have done in this small, narrow space.
A great tip is to choose a sofa and chairs with open arms and exposed legs, and a glass coffee table. Both will keep the appearance of a much more open and free space, allowing light to filter under and around the furniture far more easily.
Use the middle of the room to center the furniture arrangement, leaving the sides as open, but not dead, space. Scale the furniture to fit the size of the room and don’t block walking pathways.
If looking for apartment living room ideas (opens in new tab), try sheer window treatments or install white wooden blinds or shutters to let the natural light flow into your room during the day, while simultaneously providing nighttime privacy, like in this narrow space designed by Becca Interiors (opens in new tab). Not surprisingly, decorating with mirrors (opens in new tab) can make a long living room look a lot larger.
Hang a large mirror on a wall opposite a window or very near one to reflect the outdoors, broadening the feel of your room. Decorating small spaces (opens in new tab) with a rug can visually draw together the furniture, giving rooms focus and adding comfort.
While a focal point that contrasts with the rest of the scheme can be visually interesting, disguising the awkward layout, something like quirky piece of art, vase or striking lampshade. Walls that are covered with pictures and other wall hangings tend to make a room feel closed in or busy, so simply hang one or two large pieces of artwork to make the room feel wider and more spacious. Choose art that can sit wide but low over the sofa or fireplace for example, to bring the eye level down and help make the room seem wider.
By alternating furniture groupings – or by utilizing the middle of the room better – it will effectively force the traffic flow to take on an 'S' shape, and stops the space looking too straight and narrow, much like a hallway.