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Rectangular Living Room Designs: Solutions for Tight Spaces
Recently updated on February 7th, 2024 at 02:36 am
Sometimes, when you move into a new place, the rooms aren’t the shape of your old family home. You might even find yourself in properties with rectangular living room designs, a different beast to tackle compared to open-plan kitchen living rooms or the classic square layout of most living rooms. But don’t fret, as a rectangle room layout still has plenty of potential for interior design expression, it just requires a few creative hacks. That’s precisely what we’ve laid out in this blog, with 9 rectangle living room ideas so you can make the most of your lounging space.
Rectangular Living Room Designs: Use Your Vertical Space
The narrowness of rectangular living room design means that you might have less floor space than you might like, but it also provides the potential for you to make the most of your vertical space. Including decorative elements, such as cozy nick-nacks, trinkets, or family photos on shelving units along the walls, is a great way to use your vertical space effectively, splitting up the elements in your eye-line. A nice, healthily-filled bookshelf is also helpful for incorporating this tip, especially if you plan on using that reading nook!
Insight – Use what you have: A rectangle living room can feel a little constrictive, but your focus shouldn’t be on what it’s lacking, but rather the space you have. Make use of every inch you can.
Make Use of Your Corners
When learning to arrange furniture in a rectangular living room, you must focus on your corners. Similar to the tip about creating zones, this is about making the most of the space you have at your disposal. The corners are usually reserved for floor lamps and plants in larger or square living rooms. Still, with a rectangular living room design, it will feel more rewarding to place seats, desks, coffee tables, and other functional furniture and decor in your corners for added use.
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Create a Focal Point to Draw in the Eye
Having an obvious focal point is crucial in knowing how to decorate a rectangular living room, and if you’re lucky, the room might already have it. Things like fireplaces or large windows make for good focal points to arrange the room around, while an entertainment center with a nice television or a flashy mirror can have similar effects, with the latter also helping to increase the sense of space in the narrow room.
Insight – Consider the purpose of the room: Some of these tips are better suited to social homes, while others might suit a more solitary existence better. Think about what your living room is for.
Center Your Key Pieces
When coming up with narrow rectangular living room design ideas, the automatic instinct is generally to place your main pieces of furniture up against the wall, but we consider this a mistake unless you literally have to. It’s better to center your main elements, leaving space on either side and the walls free, to create the sense of a more traditional, inviting living room. Just make sure there’s still plenty of space to move around if you do so.
Rectangular Living Room Designs: Use Rounded Furniture
A rectangle living room layout can make everything feel slightly too straight and horizontal, but an excellent way to combat this is by incorporating furniture and decor pieces with round edges.
With rounded tables, chairs, and even sofa units, you can make your living room feel more inviting, softening the abundance of straight, harsh edges that come with a rectangular living space. Similarly, round and circular light features, such as table and floor lamps, will help create the same effect more decoratively, as round mirrors and artwork on the walls will.
Create Distinct Zones
Whether enjoying your living room with your family, housemates, or guests, you should plan your space around the foot traffic it will experience. Similar to our tip about pulling your furniture away from the walls, you must consider how people can move through the room, especially during social functions. This is especially important if the living room leads outside, with glass doors leading onto a patio or deck, as you want people to be able to get out for some fresh air with ease.
Rectangular Living Room Designs: Plan for Traffic
Making the most of the space in a living room can be a challenge, especially with a narrow layout, but a surefire way to do so is by creating distinct zones. Generally, you’ll find the main sofa and TV centered in the room in one way or another, but use the space on either side of the couch to create areas for different things. A small coffee table with some stools makes for a good conversation corner, while a comfy chair and a lovely floor lamp can create a good nook for some casual reading. You can also use rugs to help distinguish areas.
Insight – Comfort over style: Everyone wants a stylish living room, but put yourself and your comfort first. Your house isn’t a showroom; it’s your home, and it should be treated as such.
Use Space-Saving Furniture
While the rectangular shape of your living room doesn’t always mean that you’ll have less space, it’s often the case, which is why we recommend using innovative, space-saving furniture.
Items like disguised storage bins in chairs and coffee tables are a great place to start for this, as they can hold things like blankets if a friend has to crash on the couch. Similarly, corner shelves are a great way to load your living room with decor without taking up too much of the valuable floor space. Make the most of the length and shape of your living room.
Hopefully, with these creative hacks, you can now feel confident approaching the layout and decor of your rectangular living room designs! Remember that opening yourself up to the possibilities that new and unfamiliar room shapes bring is a great way to grow as an interior designer, along with giving you opportunities to infuse flair and expressionism into a space. When designing your living room, you can think outside the box, there’s no need to be square!
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