When searching for a home, it can seem like there are a lot of trade offs: a large backyard may mean a small stoop in front; a sunny Southern exposure may mean less trees and privacy; a large kitchen and great room may mean another adjacent room that’s long, narrow, and may pose a decorating challenge.

Narrow Kitchen

A long, narrow room may seem like a double-wide hallway, but it can be transformed into a cozy room to serve many uses with a little planning and creativity.

11 Creative Decorating Tips

1. Decide what kind of activities you’ll use the room for and divide the space into separate areas or “zones.”

2. If the room is also part of the entrance to your home, you can designate that zone – which could be a table or landing strip along the wall next to the door.

3. Mounting the TV on the wall will save on floor space. You can group seating around this activity in one area of the room.

Narrow Living Room

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4. Large seating pieces like the sofa are best placed perpendicular in the rectangular space to break up the length of the room and creative one area or grouping.

5. For an office area, think about placing a desk or table behind the sofa to demarcate another zone for an office or study area. Or, “float” a table or an oversized ottoman with some occasional chairs for another seating area.

6. Allow for a passage area along one wall so that navigating through tight quarters is less of an issue.

Narrow Bedroom

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7. High ceilings? Use hanging lamps to lower the ceiling. Light fixtures over each “zoned” area help define each space.

8. Coordinating colors in the same color family will make the room feel unified.

9. Stay grounded. Area rugs can anchor seating areas.

Narrow Living Room

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10. Reduce clutter by having fewer tchotchkes in a space-challenged room. Consider downsizing your collection, rotating them for display or storing trinkets behind cupboard doors or in drawers.

11. Create built-in storage to create a peaceful palette, or moveable storage pieces placed at the ends of the room.

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