It isn't easy to transform a long, narrow living room into a cozy, relaxing space that your family can enjoy. If you don't plan your furniture and decor placement carefully, your living room could end up resembling a big, cluttered hallway. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to create a warm, inviting space that fits all of your family's needs.

Paint the Walls

When you have a narrow, rectangular living room, you need to choose your wall paint wisely. The type of paint and the color determines whether your space will appear smaller or larger. When choosing paint for your walls, keep these tips in mind:

  • Opt for light colors over dark hues. Dark walls will make your rectangular living room feel even narrower.
  • Use satin or semigloss paint instead of paint that has a flat or matte finish. Satin and semi-gloss finishes are more reflective -- the light in your room will bounce off of the walls, making the room appear more open and airy.
  • Choose a paint color that helps you create the type of atmosphere you want. For example, choose a warm buttercream yellow or antique white if you want to create a warm, cozy atmosphere or opt for light blue or bright yellow to create a cheerful space. If you prefer a neutral color palette, opt for light beige, tan, light gray, or white paint.

Additionally, you need to take your photos and artwork into consideration when choosing a paint color for your walls. If you plan to hang bright, colorful art prints in the room, keep the wall color neutral so that space doesn't feel overwhelming. If you plan to hang a variety of black-and-white prints from your local copy center, choose a more vibrant hue to bring color into the space.

Artwork and Photos

Displaying a variety of family photos or pieces of art that you love brings some of your personality into the space. However, you don't want to overdo it. When you have a rectangular room, less is definitely more. You don't want the room to look cluttered. Instead of hanging a multitude of smaller photos or art prints, take the prints that you want to display to your local copy center to have them enlarged. Many copy centers, like Jensen Blueprint Repro Ltd copy centre, allow you to order poster-size prints, which are perfect for long, narrow rooms because you can hang a couple of prints side-by-side to cover the majority of your wall space.

Furniture Placement

Proper furniture placement can prove difficult in a rectangular room. However, breaking up the space into two separate areas makes it easier. If the room is long enough, consider separating the space by placing open bookshelves in the middle of the room. This divides that space without closing off a portion of the room completely. Once you have two defined spaces, you can decorate the room accordingly. Consider creating two separate seating areas -- one for watching television and playing video games and one for entertaining guests. Alternatively, you can transform a portion of the room into a play area for your children.

Don't allow your long, narrow living room to discourage you. By opting for larger photos or artwork, light paint colors, and dividing the space, you can easily create a living room that your family will love.