Decorating & Design

December 3, 2008

Long Living Room

Q. We have a very long 25’ living room that is cut into two separate spaces based on where the entrance to the room is (we have a centre hall plan). I would like to find a way to make it feel like one big room instead of two and I would like it to feel much warmer than it is right now. This is more of a formal living room space as we have a finished basement that houses our television.

— K.G., Toronto

A. Because this is a fairly narrow room and you need some space for circulation, consider creating two separate seating areas that have a similar look and feel. You can incorporate decorative items throughout the space that possess complementary design elements such as scale, colour, shape and pattern to greatly improve your living room’s sense of continuity.

Think about moving one of the loveseats currently by your fireplace to the opposite end of the room and replace with two armchairs in complementary upholstery. The second loveseat will replace your leather chaise, which is a gorgeous piece but looks awkward on its own. (Could it work in your bedroom as a reading chair?)

Purchase or make 4 to 6 throw pillows in the same bold fabric, and place on the loveseats at both ends of the room. This will help tie the two areas together through colour and texture.

Purchase an armchair or club chair to place perpendicular to the loveseat in your new conversation area. You will likely need to create more space by removing the small cabinet you currently have in this corner.

If possible, purchase another rug exactly like the one in front of your fireplace (or if another isn’t available, purchase two new ones). Place the second rug at the opposite end of the room to create an overall sense of balance in the space and to ground the new conversation area. To finish off this corner, hang prints with similar colours and frames as the ones already hanging at the fireplace end of the room.

To make this space feel warmer and help lead the eye around the entire room, dress your three windows with luxurious drapery panels in a neutral colour, perhaps in Thai silk fabric; hang these from wood drapery rods in an espresso stain that will work with the rest of your furniture. This will up the luxe feel in the room, add some texture and give the space a pleasing sense of harmony.