Some Simple Ways to Divide a Long Living Room
A Long Living Room can be broken up into dining and seating spaces.
A long living room can feel awkward and can be difficult to decorate. If you aren’t careful, it can end up looking like a bowling alley. It also can be difficult to create seating areas that aren’t disrupted by the flow of traffic. Breaking up the space, both visually and physically, by creating sensible traffic patterns and using visual tricks to make the space feel more square will go a long way toward making your Long Living Room look and feel inviting.
Divide and Conquer
In a Long Living Room with ample width, create multiple seating areas to visually divide the room. Turn a sofa so it sits perpendicular to the long walls. Place a coffee table and a pair of chairs in front of the sofa to create a traditional living room seating space. Behind the sofa, place a sofa table or room divider screen to visually complete the seating space and mark the beginning of a new space. In the new space, place a grouping of four chairs around a coffee table or consider creating a new dining space. Alternatively, place a desk and bookshelves in the space to create an office.
Break up the long living room space using furnishing tricks to make it feel more square. Turn all seating areas so the main seating, such as a sofa, loveseat or chair grouping, are perpendicular to the length of the room. Alternatively, if the room is wide enough, place furniture at an angle to the walls and float it away from the walls. Use circular coffee tables, ottomans or end tables to break up the long lines of the room. Group furniture together to create defined breaks between the spaces.
Try breaking up the long living room visually without using physical barriers. Use rugs to create visual breaks along the floor to avoid the bowling alley feel. Paint the short walls a darker color than the long walls, which will create the illusion that the longer walls are receding and the darker walls are coming into the room. Hang a large mirror or a group of mirrors along one long wall to trick the eye into thinking the space is wider than it is. Round mirrors work particularly well to visually break up the long lines.
Cutting between a coffee table and a sofa to cross a room is a pain. Long narrow living rooms are particularly prone to this problem because they require you to provide access to a long space without the benefit of hallways or doors. Place furniture in groupings to break up the space, but leave a defined traffic pattern, at least 3 feet wide, outside of the grouping. Place the entertainment area, a sofa table or bookcases on one side of the traffic line and the seating on the other side or leave the space in front of the coffee table open, rather than placing furniture on both sides of the coffee table.