Some rooms are tricky to furnish, and one such room is that which is long and narrow. The shape of the space presents a challenge to many home-owners, particularly those who will be furnishing the space without the help of an interior decorator. If you are going to decorate the space on your own, here are a few things to keep in mind to make the job easier.
Make sure foot traffic is on one side
The first thing home-owners like you should remember when furnishing a long and narrow area is to direct foot traffic over a single side of the room. Think of the room as a rectangle, and when you decide on a floor plan or layout, keep the traffic on either of the longer sides. Provide a straight line through the entire length of the space.
Why is this important? The room you are about to furnish is horizontally limiting thanks to its short width. If you don’t direct foot traffic on just one side, you and other occupants of the space will be forced to walk between furniture. This may result in you and the others bumping into things and hurting yourselves. In addition, not having traffic on a single side will make walking to and fro the room more difficult. The last thing you want is to limit your own movement in such space.
Make use of area rugs that cover the entire pass-through line (as well as its width) or at least keep the rugs away from the area. Either you walk on the rug or on no rug at all. It is awkward to walk with a foot atop a rug and then another off of it.
Consider the different ways you can arrange furniture
Keeping the one-side foot traffic in mind, you need to arrange furniture in such a way that you can walk through the length of the room with ease. One way you can do this is place pieces like the sofa against the wall and move the coffee table or ottoman closer to the sofa so there is enough space in front of both pieces for you to walk through. If your room is a bit wider, you can place the pieces on the centre or near the middle of the room to put the pass-through line on the back of the furniture instead of the front.
Another way you can place furniture in the space is by situating them perpendicular to the room’s length. Have the seating pieces (like armchairs or loveseats) face each other in front of or against the wall. If your room is wide, a long sofa will work; if not, stick to smaller, more compact choices. This is a good idea because you will also have a pass-through area on one side.
If you intend to have more space in a long and narrow room, consider situating the furniture in a corner.
Group furniture in a corner to get more open space. If you are not going to leave a space between the wall and the furnishings and the corner has windows, it would be ideal for you to choose window treatments like blinds that you can open or close without difficulty even with the furniture there.
Meanwhile, if you have a wider room, you may put the furniture at an angle. You should do this if you don’t want the space to be all straight lines.
Pick the right kind of furniture
Just because the room is long doesn’t mean it should be crammed with many things. Carefully choose each piece you bring into the space so you need not put too many. Double-duty furnishings like ottomans and expanding tables are great because they offer more function.
When it comes to tables (either for dining or as coffee and side tables) for long and narrow rooms, think circular. Circular tables are best for these kinds of spaces because they provide balance in what would have been a too linear room. But if you still prefer a rectangular shape for your coffee table, at least pick a narrow coffee table. You can also forgo a traditional coffee table for stools or cubes that can serve the same purpose.
Utilize vertical space
Don’t let vertical space go to waste, especially since using this can afford you even more floor space for furniture. Rather than have bookcases or cabinets, have open shelves built high on the wall. If you place the shelves high enough, you can place a couch or daybed underneath and not worry about hitting your head when you sit up.
This article was written by Marilyn Stephens. The author is a contributor for StyleRite Blinds in Bathgate.