In our Layout Guides series, you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. This week we set out to find two design solutions for a long, narrow living room layout with the added challenge of a fireplace.

The Space: A long, narrow living room with a fireplace

The Style: Rustic Southwestern

The Challenge: Creating a functional, uncrowded layout in a long, narrow living room design with a fireplace.

narrow living room design

There’s no other way around it—long, narrow living rooms are a design quandary for even the savviest decorators. Even a basic living room design requires a fair amount of design savvy to ensure that it functions well and fits everything you need. And if you are filling out a long, narrow space, you have some extra concerns to address.

When you’re designing a long, narrow living room layout, think about how you’d like to divide the space. Will you want to keep it open as one single space or divide it to have two distinct areas that flow into each other? What is the ideal layout for the functionality you need? Are you leaning toward cozy, lounge furniture or a more formal setup? It can be tricky to fit your furniture into a long room without overcrowding it—and a living room with a fireplace is even more challenging. Here we tackle a narrow living room with two totally different designs—take a peek and start brainstorming for your own space!

narrow living room designLayout Idea #1: Dual Purpose Living Room

Layout Idea #1 makes smart use of the space to create a dual-purpose living room. We sectioned the large space into distinct areas, which is a great way to maximize square footage if you have limited rooms in the house. The spaces include multiple conversation zones—the main sofa and living area, a cozy fireplace seating arrangement and a dining area. Guests can choose to kick back and cozy up by the fire or take a seat at the table and enjoy the beautiful view!

We love how this layout creates multiple zones for different uses. The intimate seating area near the fireplace is great for conversation while the seating table in the back of the space works for games/homework/crafts or as a more formal dining spot. The main focus of this layout is to break up the space to create functional and different seating arrangements that still feel cohesive and flow together.

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narrow living room designThe Key Elements:

Designing a long, narrow space is all about choosing furniture pieces that don’t overcrowd the space. The rattan chairs are the perfect size to flank the fireplace. They add cozy seating that is light and easily moveable—setting them across from the sofa also creates a warm conversation circle.

We went with the “Floating Sofa” setup, which places the sofa in the center of the room instead of up against a wall. This serves as another comfortable place to sit and it faces the chairs and fireplace for conversation and entertaining. This placement calls for a low profile sofa that divides the space into two zones without blocking the view. A round kitchen table adds additional seating and provides a place to do different activities while still being a part of the living room/conversation.

narrow living room designWill this narrow living room layout work for you? Yes if…

  • You need to maximize the use of a single living room/dining room space.
  • You like to have multiple conversations areas.
  • You want a table for games, homework, happy hour drinks, etc.

Layout Idea #2: Open Lounge

Our second layout makes the most of the big space by using the openness to create a lounge-like feel. It has lots of extra seating, making it a great layout for entertaining—guests can relax by the fireplace or on the large sectional sofa with plenty of poufs for seating galore. It also leaves a lot of floor space open for reading/games, etc.

This living room has a relaxed and luxurious lounge vibe in both distinct seating zones. You can have two separate areas to hang out, the sectional sofa and the fireplace seats, but they’re also open to each other and cohesive in style. The layout doesn’t interrupt the flow of walking through the space. The fireplace lounge area has chairs that are easy to slide over to the sectional area if you need. Either way, the sofa provides a  great area for large groups to lounge together.

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The Key Elements:

This living room looks great with the enormous “L” sectional that fills up the corner and maximizes seating. Pushed back against two walls, it creates a cozy corner without wasting any space! A furniture piece like this makes the room feel immediately inviting and also keeps a large space from feeling too sparse.

The armchairs flanking the fireplace are stylish and cozy, great for reading, intimate convos, and fireside warmth. Having another seating nook at the far end of the room means you can get a little privacy here while others hang out on the sectional. This living room layout also makes use of one of our favorite design tricks—area rugs! You can subtly “divide” the different seating zones by using rugs to visually delineate them. It divides space while keeping the design cohesive and the room extra cozy.

Will this living room layout work for you? Yes if…

  • You love to have friends over and entertain!
  • You live with kids/pets and want some open floor space.
  • Your fam likes a big space to sprawl out.
  • You like having more than one comfy space to kick back and relax.

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