Decorating Dilemma: Long, Narrow Family Room

Lizzabeth's living room collage

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

We just gave our 30+ year old home a much needed facelift. While I have been successful in re-doing most of the rooms in the house, I can’t seem to get anything to work in the long, narrow family room.

First, I purchased a new sectional. I liked it, but then I felt the accent chairs needed replacing so I purchased 2 new recliners. Now I find that the sectional just doesn’t fit in the space. I can part with the sectional (and what little else there is in the room) but there is no way my hubby will let me ditch the recliners! HELP?!?

What sofa should I use? What accents? Accent tables? I was actually thinking of a smallish sofa and maybe a long narrow bench under the window, but at this point I’m too paralyzed to commit to anything. I would like for the room to look polished, but also inviting. And I’m not afraid of color.



Lizzabeth's living room decorating dilemma

Dear Lizzabeth,

Thank you for your question! We’d like to change the sectional to a sofa. Our Eton Sofa is a smaller scale that will fit the room. We think you could cover it in Trilby Basketweave in either Claire Gray or Drift, whichever blends with your recliners.

Under the window, we chose 2 leather X-Benches for additional seating. We also changed the floor plan:


In between the recliners, we chose our favorite “go to” accent tables – the Durham Bunching Tables. In front of the sofa, the Morgan Cocktail Table with baskets would be great for extra storage.

We would place the Julian Apothecary Floor Lamp in the corner next to the sofa. It will provide plenty of light to read. We also picked our Ellis Lamp in Amber to be placed on the side tables between the recliners.

Add some pillows covered in Mandarin Linen for a bit of unexpected color, and we think you will have a winning look.

Happy Decorating,

The How To Decorate Team

Lizzabeth's living room collage

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.