6 Tips for Designing a Long Narrow Room + Photos

7 min

A carriage, a pencil case, a tunnel – as soon as they do not call long narrow rooms. Unfortunately, they are frequent guests in domestic apartments. If the problem cannot be solved by redevelopment and demolition of the wall, then you will have to act more cunningly. Small, narrow and long spaces are a challenge for many experienced designers, let alone ordinary people! But do not despair – the correct choice of colors, the correct placement of furniture and a few win-win tricks will help organize a drawn-in room and even bring its shape closer to the ideal square one. So, the design of a long narrow room: what can be done and what must not be done under any circumstances?

# 1. Color scheme and finish

The main friend of all small and non-standard rooms is light shades. If you don’t like white, you can use light gray, beige and light shades of other colors. Dark and bright colors should only be used in small amounts.

The most effective technique is to paint long walls in light colors, thereby pushing them apart, and highlight short walls with a more saturated color, bringing them closer to each other. Two shades can be either in the general tone or contrasting. It is desirable to make the ceiling as light as the floor.

To prevent the interior from looking boring, you can use bright color accents: paintings, vases, textiles, small pieces of furniture of prominent colors will attract attention and distract the visitor from the true geometry of the room. At least that’s what designers say, supporting this fact with psychology.

Floor elements are best laid out parallel to short walls or generally diagonally. Thus, the space of the room can be visually made a little wider.

One of the long walls can be decorated with photo wallpaper with perspective. Urban and natural landscapes will do. This solution can be recognized as ingenious and universal, since due to the perspective, the room expands significantly, and due to other techniques, it is possible to completely turn the trailer into a harmonious room of the correct shape.

Mirrors do a good job of correcting the room. By placing a large mirror on a long wall, you can also achieve the effect of expanding the space. It is important not to overdo it, and not to use wallpaper and a large mirror in the same room. An interesting solution is to use mirrored inserts along the top or bottom edge of the wall, making the partitions airy and giving the illusion that the room is actually much larger than it is. In addition, mirrors reflect light perfectly, making the room more illuminated, which is very important in our case.

Some designers advise to use horizontal stripes in the decoration of one of the short walls, which will partially “run in” on the adjacent long wall.

# 2. Correct zoning

Another effective technique in the design of a long narrow room is zoning and highlighting two functional centers in one room. The main thing is not to use bulky cabinets and solid massive partitions to divide the space.

For zoning an elongated room, you can use:

  • carpet in a contrasting color to the floor covering. In this case, all corners of the room will be calmly illuminated by sunlight, but at the same time the living room area, for example, will be clearly separated from the working area with a desk;

  • the podium can be used to place a bed or workplace on it. The space under the podium can be used to organize storage. It is important to choose the optimal height of the “pedestal” so that, when entering it, you do not bang your head against the ceiling. Additional separation can be obtained due to the different colors of the walls;

  • a small sofa set across the room. Most of the area will turn into a living room of the correct square shape, and the smaller part can be used as a study;

  • a shelving unit with open pass-through shelves works the same way as a sofa. The main thing is that it is airy and does not block the light;

  • mobile partitions, screens and curtains are suitable when in a narrow long room you need to allocate a place for sleeping and receiving guests, for example.

No. 3. Correct lighting

A well-lit room seems more spacious than a dark room of the same size. In a tram room, it is better to highlight every corner and use sunlight to the maximum, therefore, light compact curtains are chosen to frame the window. Roman and roller blinds, blinds, which make it easy to open completely the entire window opening, and, if desired, to protect themselves from street light, are perfect. If necessary, you can supplement the window with a delicate translucent tulle.

In artificial lighting, it is better to provide several levels: a chandelier for general light, spotlights, floor lamps and sconces for highlighting individual areas, as well as an LED strip for creating decorative lighting.

No. 4. Arrangement of furniture in a long narrow room

This is the most difficult question in the design of pencil case rooms. On the one hand, I want to fit all the required pieces of furniture to ensure a comfortable life. On the other hand, if you sideways and zigzag your way from door to window, then there is no talk of any convenience.

The most effective techniques that designers use when arranging furniture in long narrow rooms:

No. 5. What other tricks can you use?

There are a number of other ways to change the perception of space and give a long room a more correct shape:

  • to make the room visually a little shorter, an obstacle located almost at the far short wall will help. It can be a screen, bench, small table, etc .;
  • the use of round objects allows you to visually smooth the corners and get rid of the tunnel effect;
  • if possible, you can create small niches in the walls. The difference in the depth of the walls will make the interior more dynamic. For this purpose, coarse textures are also used, such as decorative stone and brick;
  • asymmetry works well in long rooms, so feel free to experiment;
  • the number of pieces of massive furniture is best kept to a minimum. The best option is furniture that can be transformed, or one that is easy to move;
  • Carpets with stripes parallel to short walls are a great way to expand the space. Rows of lamps located perpendicular to long walls have a similar effect.

No. 6. Features of different rooms

The rules described above are equally valid for all long and narrow spaces, but nevertheless, when arranging different rooms (living room, bedroom, etc.), some nuances should be taken into account.

Narrow and long living room

The largest room in the apartment is usually allocated for the living room, because this is a gathering place for all households and guests. If only a long narrow room remains at your disposal, then it will be difficult. It will be doubly difficult if the room is small in area.

If the living room has a decent length, then it is best to equip several zones. One will have a sofa with a TV and other attributes of the living room, the other will have a dining room, a desk, or a play area for children.

If the living room is in the shape of a pencil case, and at the same time it is also small, then you may have to abandon the traditional large sofa. It can be replaced with a pair of compact sofas or several armchairs. They must be placed in different planes: parallel and perpendicular to the long wall. Light coffee tables and multifunctional furniture will come to the rescue. Storage places are organized on open shelves and in a small console, which can also act as a TV stand.

Narrow long bedroom

In the bedroom, you can’t do without a bed, so they think over its location first. It all depends on the size of the room and the bed itself. The standard length is 1.9-2 m. The width of a single bed is about 90 cm, a lorry – up to 140 cm, a double bed – 160-170 cm.Do not forget that you must also leave space for movement near the bed – at least 50 cm with each sides, and preferably 70 cm.

As a rule, there are no problems with a single bed. If you want to put a bigger bed, you will have to carefully calculate everything. It is best to place it with a headboard against a long wall, but another option is also allowed. As a last resort, you can move the bed with one side against the wall.

If the bedroom is very long in length, then you can give part of it to create a dressing room. The remaining space on the opposite side can be used to set up a work or dressing table.

Long and narrow kitchen

Arranging a long kitchen is the hardest part. As a rule, a linear layout is used and all kitchen furniture and appliances are installed along one wall. It is great if you can use a short wall with a window and install an L-shaped kitchen. In this case, the geometry of space will be partially saved.

Only a part of the long wall can be given under the kitchen set. The remaining space at the short wall can serve as a dining area. This is a pretty good decision. You can also recommend using translucent chairs.

If the kitchen is small, then it makes sense to move the dining area to the next room, but if this cannot be done, then compact bar counters and folding tables will come to the rescue.

Finally, we note that it is worthwhile to think over the design of the pencil case room in advance, and during the renovation, act extremely carefully so as not to steal the usable space, therefore, it is better to refuse drywall as a means of leveling the walls if possible.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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