8 narrow living room ideas to make the most of an awkward space

Use these narrow living room ideas to design with intention and creativity

Narrow living room ideas like this intentional and bright space with slim coffee table by Veronica Garcia Rodriguez make the most of awkward spaces
(Image credit: Veronica Garcia Rodriguez)

You can still decorate with narrow living room ideas, even though you may think you're stuck in an awkward-sized place. As one of the most high-traffic areas in a home, you want your living room to feel functional and spacious.

If you’re working with a small, narrow living room, there are a few ways you can achieve these elements without making many sacrifices (you can still totally add a credenza or entertainment center under your TV). 

We spoke to experts to find tips and tricks for decorating with these small room ideas

Narrow living room ideas

Decorating a narrow living room can seem a bit tricky but, if you’re up for the challenge, it is entirely possible to curate a space that feels elevated and functional. You can even find furniture to make your small living room look bigger.

While the overall blueprint of your living room will help guide you on the best design for your space, these expert-approved narrow living room ideas are a great starting point. 

1. Mount your TV on the wall

A small white living room in an apartment with a wall-mounted TV, built-in shelf storage, white table, houseplant in white planter, magenta pink beanbag cushion and cyan blue throw pillow decor on white upholstered couch

(Image credit: Getty Images / Jasmin Merdan)

When you don’t have a lot of space to work with, consider all of the ways you can take advantage of vertical space. One of the most obvious — and impactful — is to mount your TV on the wall, opposite your couch, as it's one of the best places to put a TV in a small living room.

According to Alex Bass, an interior designer, art curator, and founder of Salon 21, this can add additional space to your living room and allow you even more flexibility with furniture, too. “Try to find seating options that can be moved or arranged easily, depending on how many people need seating around a TV,” Bass adds. 

If the space looks sparse, incorporate the TV as part of a gallery wall idea. Nowadays,  brands including Samsung have brought out innovative products (including the Frame) to display art, family photos, movies, and memories. Simple but great features such as a slim-fit wall mount, and customizable bezel, mean it won't stand out like a sore thumb.

Alex Bass
Alex Bass

Alex Bass is an interior designer, art curator, and founder of Salon 21, a NYC-based fine art and design studio that provides curated cultural experiences for the contemporary consumer. 

2. Buy the right sized rug

Flatweave jute in white living room

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Rug size matters in all spaces, but it’s vital in a narrow living room. “Make sure you’re taking measurements and are buying the right size rug,” says Alex, noting people often make the mistake of purchasing rugs that are too large or too small for their space. 

“Find a rug that fits part of the space, rather than one large rug for the entire room,” she adds, explaining large rugs can actually make a space feel smaller. 

Shop our favorite Target rugs for a wide selection to choose from, including this nuLOOM abstract shag rug.

3. Get creative with seating

Bench with throw cushions and a black lamp

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Alex also recommends looking for creative ways to fit more seating into a small space, as this can make your narrow living room more functional. 

Adding versatile furniture pieces with storage (like this Nederin Rain Cloud Gray Oak Bench from Article) is always a good idea but, beyond that, you can switch up the traditional living room look. 

Swap a full couch for a love seat and accent chairs, or a lounge area that allows you to get comfortable when watching TV, but also works well as a reading nook or living room office

4. Consider using a runner

A jute runner rug sits on a gray herringbone floor

(Image credit: Wayfair)

If you’re having a hard time finding a rug for your space, Bethany Struble, a lead designer at Totum Home, says to consider purchasing a runner (like this washable option from Amazon) for the walkway. In addition to using a runner, Bethany recommends vintage rugs as they often “come in longer but narrow lengths.” 

When in doubt, a runner rug like this Verena rug from Ruggable, should fit in a narrow living room as it's much longer than it is wide.

Bethany Struble a while woman with shoulder length light brown hair in white shirt and jeans
Bethany Struble

Bethany Struble is an interior designer at Totum Home and a set and prop designer for bands such as Paramore and Plain White Ts. 

5. Opt for a sleek couch style

Neat and slim gray couch with round rug in front on hardwood floor

(Image credit: athima tongloom/Getty Images)

Bethany says to steer clear of bulky furniture pieces as this can take up too much space in a narrow living room. “Use a sofa that isn’t too bulky at the back so you have more depth in the cushion for sitting,” she says. 

There are many excellent options for a sleek couch or sofa, like this Sven Sofa from Article, which features a mid-century modern design and comes in several different sizes, allowing you to choose which one best fits your narrow living room. 

6. Create zones

Small living room with brown leather sofa

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Creating zones in the room like a reading nook or dining area is a good idea in any space, but it works particularly well for decorating narrow living rooms. 

The eye tends to take in this elongated room all at once, so creating separate zones helps create boundaries and makes it seem bigger.

“I like to use multiple rugs to establish these zones,” Bethany adds, noting the zones help break up a space and create the illusion of more room. 

You can even use a room divider to help break up the space, like this four-panel divider from Amazon.

7. Use narrow furniture

Living room with black sofa, slim gray upholstered armchair and slim wooden coffee table

(Image credit: Article)

It might seem obvious but narrow furniture in a narrow room is a must, and Bethany says it will make your space feel a lot wider. 

“Assuming you have your sofa and TV across from each other, I would use a long narrow bench-like coffee table so as to not block the flow of traffic,” Bethany adds. 

Luckily, there are lots of narrow coffee table options to choose from, including ones with storage for a touch more functionality (like this mid-century modern table from Wayfair).

8. Create a focal point

Living room bookshelves with fireplace

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Focal points help lead the eye around the room, and this can be as simple as a gallery wall or shelving above the couch. Bethany says, “Consider creating an additional focal point at the end of the room so you can take it all in.”  

This could be a large piece of artwork — which can help elongate the room — or a stunning window treatment

These framed landscape canvases from Target really work with an elongated room and help utilize the space.

Best narrow living room buys

We shopped around for the best narrow living room decor and furniture to add to your space. See our top picks, including small living room buys under $100.

Prices were correct at the time of publishing.


How do you make a narrow room feel wide?

To add more depth to your space, designer Alex recommends adding mirrors. “Mirrors are a great way to make a space feel larger through reflections,” she explains. Instead of opting for one mirror, Alex recommends incorporating a collection of different shapes and sizes on the wall to create this illusion of space and add a little bit of personality. 

How to decorate a long narrow living room with TV

When decorating a narrow living room, Alex says to mount the TV whenever possible to add additional space to your living room. In addition to mounting the TV, designer Bethany adds it’s important to focus on the walls in general. “Maybe create a gallery wall or something that leads your eye around the room,” she notes, adding that creating an additional focal point at the end of the room allows you to take it all in and create the illusion of a larger space. 

Thesr great tips not only make a narrow living room feel functional, accessible, and inviting, but also make a small room look larger. In a narrow space, experts recommend mounting the TV on the wall and opting for a small credenza underneath for storage. 

They also advise avoiding bulky furniture whenever possible and, instead, going for smaller pieces that work well in the room and don’t make your space feel super cluttered. It also helps to create a focal point — either a gallery wall, large piece of art, or collection of mirrors — to open up the space and lead the eyes around the room. 

Now you’re all set with our designers’ narrow living room ideas, check out these five outdated decor trends to kiss goodbye in 2024, and get sortibg with these great organizational hacks for small living rooms.

Jessie Quinn
Freelance Writer

Jessie Quinn is a lifestyle writer with words published in The Spruce, Byrdie, Well + Good, Shape, PEOPLE, and more. Jessie has a Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Journalism from Academy of Art University and leans on her background in fashion to inspire readers to hone their personal decor style as if it's their wardrobe. When she's not writing, Jessie can be found browsing the aisles of her local antique stores, creating DIY home decor projects, and taking care of her dozens of houseplants. Her eclectic decor style balances vintage, modern, and artisanal pieces that reflect her artsy style and love for handmade goods.