Smart Ideas A long, Narrow Room Solution: Split It Up

M any homes with a long, narrow combination living room and dining room. Those rooms can be hard to decorate because they seem too slim and provide no natural division points. The challenge is to delineate the two spaces while keeping the look cohesive.



How do you combine the two without sacrificing function or aesthetics? Furniture arrangement, area rugs, and height differences can have a big impact on the way space works.



Use symmetrical design idea in the long room. “ The room could have felt crammed and busy, but by keeping the design balanced and simple, it looks less confusing.” But it works particularly well in a small space,”

How, do you make the narrow room work as comfortably?

Our starting point is usually what activities you want to take place in that room. “ Do you want a dedicated TV spot? Do you need a game table? Or do you prefer a conversation area? That will give you a jumping-off point for how you might break up the room.”



You can create distinct zones in a long, narrow room. If your dining room backs right up to your kitchen, you can also use this little trick. Setting a long table perpendicular to the line of cabinetry defines the dining space.

Delineating a dining space from the rest of a large living space can be as simple as painting blocks on the wall. This simple treatment creates a distinct dining “room” and adds a color punch to a white-on-white palette.

This technique also works with an island bar, placed to separate the two spaces visually and physically.

How do you fill the room without seating people too far apart?

Try using rounded shapes to offset the rectangular shape of a room like this. If your space is long and narrow, but not especially big, you can still get away with a single grouping. “Just add a couple of chairs with a round table between them, so you have another place to go,”

A circulation path hugs one wall — a good solution for narrow rooms. Allow a width of at least 30 to 36 inches for easy passage.

How do you prevent normal-size furniture from looking dwarfed?

A long living room often demands more than one sofa. Sometimes the best way to deal with a long, narrow space is to divide it into two seating groups. That will allow you to fill the space without giving up normal-size furniture. It also will give you the opportunity to customize each area for a different activity or level of intimacy.

Try putting your sofa at an angle to divide spaces and create a walkway between them. Balance the seating with an additional chair and ground the arrangement with a showy area rug.

Working with the long, straight lines can also be effective. The table sits perpendicular to the sofa so the spaces seem separate. The horizontal placement of the table also keeps the room from looking awkward.

Don’t overlook the opportunities a ceiling can offer.

Hanging fixtures help define each seating group within the open plan. Alternatively, you could just use a chandelier in the dominant grouping, to give it more prominence. within an open plan.

Try floating pieces in the center of the room, and be sure to maintain a consistent color palette and style, so space feels harmonious. Throw some occasional chairs into the mix, so guests can pull up a seat when they want to join a group.
Whether through the use of art, unusual furniture placement or small architectural changes, it is possible to make a narrow room work. When planning your room, remember to consider shape, furniture alignment, and color to design a space that works for you.


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