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Creative Ideas for Decorating a Narrow Living Room by Alisa Davis
A long, narrow living room can be a decorating challenge even for a seasoned design professional. How do you make efficient use of a narrow space and make if feel cozy and inviting at the same time? Consider the following tips to turn a potentially problematic space into one with promising possibility.
1. Pre-plan on Paper: You won’t be able to achieve the best results described in the following suggestions if you don’t know what you are dealing with in terms of space and dimension. You’ll find it much easier to re-arrange your furniture on paper. Using ¼ inch graph paper, recreate your room in ¼ scale: One inch equals four feet; or, one ¼-inch square on paper equals one foot. Be sure to include all permanent features like windows, doors, stairways, electrical outlets, built-ins and fireplace. Now draw your furniture to scale; you can cut these out in colored paper.
2. Break the space into zones: How do you use the living room? Do you watch TV or is the area used for reading, conversing and entertaining friends. If you use it for television viewing, move your furniture around on paper to find the best space for viewing. Let go of assumptions; the cable outlet can always be moved. Perhaps you can cluster a sofa, chair and recliner at one end of the room with the TV armoire and the other end of the room can be arranged into a conversation or reading area.
3. Centralize furniture arrangements: When creating your zones, don’t be afraid to use the center of the room. Pull furniture away from the room’s perimeter to create comfortable, cozy seating arrangements. Keep in mind that furniture in a conversation area should be close enough for everyone to speak at a comfortable level.
4. Use area rugs to define the zones: The room will seem cozier and more intimate if each of your zones is arranged around an area rug. Typical rug sizes are 5’x7’, 8’x10’ and 11’x 14’ in rectangular or oval shapes. Draw templates for area rugs and see how they can fit into your graph paper configuration. Experiment with furniture placements around the rugs.
5. Use mirrors and patterns to widen narrow walls: Cleverly placed mirrors can make walls seem wider; placing a bank of mirrors along the wider walls reflects the width of the space, making the entire room seem wider. Using horizontal patterns, in wall paper, furniture or window treatments, will also make those areas appear wider. For example, a sofa with horizontal striped fabric set against the narrow wall will make that wall appear wider.
6. Create a neutral backdrop: Similar neutral tones that are carried from walls to flooring, windows and even wood trim will make a space feel more expansive. Punch up the look with bolder colors in area rugs, furniture, window treatments, wall art and accessories.
7. See through your options: If a wood or marble topped coffee table makes the seating area feel cluttered and dense, consider a glass top table that lets you see through it; this reduces visual clutter and expands the space. Low open consoles verses closed door cabinets and armoires can have the same effect.
THIS MIGHT BE SOMETHING WRITTEN BY ALISA DAVIS, BUT I POSTED THIS TO SPAM THE SIGHT FOR INDIANAPOLIS PAINTERS.
EDIT: However, someone changed my post here at the bottom and rubbed out the link.