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From Drab To Fab: Tips For Decorating Your Rectangular Living Room

Transforming a long, narrow living room into a cozy, relaxing place isn't always an easy task. After all, it's hard to enjoy spending time in a room that resembles a cluttered hallway. Don't let your awkward-shaped living room put you in a decorating rut. Create a functional space that's aesthetically pleasing by using these simple decorating tips.


Avoid dark wall colors. Unless you enjoy sitting in a room that feels like the walls are closing in on you. Instead, opt for light colors that make the room feel larger. Choose colors such as creamy vanilla, buttercream yellow, and light beige to add a warm, welcoming touch to the room. Or, choose light, cool colors, such as mint green, light blue, and light gray to create a brighter, happy space.

When you're decorating a rectangular room, the paint finish you choose also makes a huge difference. Choose a satin finish instead of a flat or matte finish. This creates a more reflective wall surface, which gives the room an open, airy feel.


Use furniture to break your living room space up into two separate spaces. To create to seating areas, place back-to-back loveseats in the middle of the room. Place chairs opposite the couches, and use ottomans or coffee tables to define each space. Alternatively, place open bookshelves in the middle of the room as a divider. This way, you can create two unique spaces without a closed-off appearance.

When choosing furniture, opt for smaller pieces. Choose loveseats instead of sofas so that you have more space to walk. Also, avoid solid, wooden tables. Instead, choose tables with metal legs and glass tabletops because they deliver a streamlined, visually lightweight appearance.


Use accessories and artwork to give the room a cozy feel, but don't go overboard. Rectangular living rooms look cluttered easily, so you need to limit the amount of decorations in the room.

Display large, custom canvas prints on your larger walls. Order either one massive print for each wall, or two large prints that you can display side-by-side. Using larger prints instead of covering your walls in smaller pictures, keeps the room from feeling cluttered. Also, turning a few of your favorite photographs into custom canvas prints adds a personal touch to the room. Order your custom canvas prints in black and white to tie all of the artwork in the room together, or order colored prints to brighten up neutral-colored walls.

When choosing other decorations for your room, keep these things in mind:

  • End tables don't need any decorations. Use them to display table lamps and hold coasters.
  • A bookshelf filled with labeled baskets is a great way to add more storage to your space.
  • Keep the clutter off of the coffee table by using a serving tray to create a small, tabletop display. Your tray can hold small items, such as a vase with a few flowers or a few of your favorite books.
  • Use a large potted plant to cheer up a bare corner.

Decorating a rectangular living room can be challenging, but it isn't impossible. Transform your narrow room into a bright, functional space that your family can enjoy by eliminating clutter, using light colors in the room, and avoiding large bulky furniture.