Solving Little Problems: The Long and Narrow Family Room

As time without the children is always at a premium around here, I am shelving the shoe rack project for now (ha ha).  I thought I’d tackle a smaller problem that’s been bugging me – the furniture arrangement in our family room.  Here’s what it currently looks like:

Family room, before.

Now, there are a lot of things I don’t like about this room, and dozens more you could probably add to that list yourself.  The mess is one.  The television as focal point is two.  Three is the fact that the couch setup interferes with the way my husband and I prefer to watch movies – cuddling and seated together.  Not that it can’t be done right now, but someone inevitably ends up with a crick in the neck.

I can’t do anything about number one until the kids move out (and as you can see, it will be a while).  I can’t do anything about two because the previous owner put all of the outlets for electronics on that narrow wall and I don’t  have the time or expertise to move it to the long wall, where it should be.  So this mini-project involved solving problem three.

My goal was just to arrange the room so that we could be on the same couch and not interfere with the flow of traffic through the “bowling alley,” as so many websites referred to this dreadful layout (mine is about 11 x 17).  I was happy to learn I was not alone in finding such a room a decorating headache.

In the ten or so minutes of research my kids tolerated (both were much more interested in the furniture moving part), I made use of a room planner and found a few useful tips (best advice was from  I decided that by just moving the love seat I could solve my problem in about fifteen minutes.  Not so.  Midstream, I tried to change things up – the sofa in front of the window, the love seat under the TV, the love seat where the sofa is, etc.  Do you think I discovered any kind of magic arrangement?  Nope.  Just that my furniture is too big for this room.  Take that arm chair, for example.  It’s wide enough to have a room of its own.  Whatever were we thinking on the floor at Bob’s Discount Furniture?  I also should have just gone with my first instinct – to move the love seat at a right angle to the sofa.  ‘Cause that where it all ended up two hours later.

Here’s the big reveal:

Family room, after

Discouraging, really.  But it will serve it’s purpose.  Mission accomplished.  As rookie decorator and home owner, I welcome any and all suggestions to improve upon this, of course.

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One Response to Solving Little Problems: The Long and Narrow Family Room

  1. Long and narrow rooms can be the toughest, and it rally depends on your needs as to the best way to lay it out.

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