Room Arrangements for Awkward Spaces | Midwest Living

Room Arrangements for Awkward Spaces

Using smart floor planning to tame spaces in your home that seem too narrow, too boxy, too cramped or just plain awkward.


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Long and Narrow

The Problems

The fireplace, on one of the room's short walls, is the focal point. The long sofa can't be pushed closer to the fireplace because it would create a traffic block. However, lining up the furniture along the walls creates a static, waiting-room feeling and leaves too much distance between pieces for conversation. The piano is crammed into a small corner next to the fireplace, putting two heavy pieces on one end of the room. A large area rug overpowers the small room.

The Solutions

Replace the sofa with a love seat for flexibility in a narrow room. This one can be snuggled up to the fireplace. Pull the chairs away from the window -- where they block both architecture and light -- and let them flank the fireplace, encouraging conversation. For details, scroll down below the plan.

1. Turn a plain corner into a quiet reading nook with a chair, ottoman, and lamplight. 2. A narrow, low bookcase holds books and knickknacks without blocking light or traffic. 3. A small area rug bridges the gap between seating pieces to define and warm the conversation area. 4. Move big items, such as a piano, away from the room's focal point for better balance. 5. Push a love seat closer to the fire. Replace traffic-blocking end tables with a sofa table. 6. Don't have a fireplace to anchor your scheme? Create a focal point with a wall unit or armoire.

See Midwest Living's tips for decorating small living rooms


Comments (1)

dkdabillo1 wrote:
We have an awkward L shape livingroom that I am confused by how to arrange it. When you walk in the front door, you are immediately faced with a built in curio type cabinet, but that is a supporting wall, so it has to stay. Turn slightly to the left is the main room, on the left a huge picture window that takes up the entire wall. Then at the corner there is about a 6' empty wall berofe an 8' wide marble fireplace, then another 6' space. on the next wall, aprox. 6' before a wide doorway to kitchen, after the doorway begins the leg of the L, an area aprox. 20x20. We have a buffet and piano in there now, but it looks awkward. For furniture we have a couch, loveseat and recliner as well as 1 lamp table and a coffee table. We recently moved the 50" TV to the wall before the kitchen as it was hard for people on one side of room to see it. Any suggestions?

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