Decorating Dilemma: Bonnie’s Family Room

Bonnie's small narrow living room layout

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,

I’m not sure how to place new furniture in my living room. I have a fireplace that is flush to the wall, and I have a large window almost 12 ft across. Do I place the largest piece of furniture, like a 3-seat sofa, in front of the large window? Do i have room for an L-shaped sectional? Or do I place one sofa and a couple of accent chairs?

I don’t want to overcrowd the space, but I want to have enough seating. Please help!!!


Dear Bonnie,

Thank you for referring your design dilemma to our design team. You have a beautiful open space room, and we have some great ideas on how to add more seating and place new furniture in your living room.

We started with a floor plan to show you that you can fit a 3-piece sectional which will instantly give you more seating. We suggest our slipcovered Graham sectional for its great lines and comfort. Consider it in an Indigo Microfiber or Indigo Twill. Adding two of our Leather Poufs in Moss will provide additional seating. They’re fun and can be moved around the room or put away when not in use. For the rug, let’s tie the blue and green of our upholstery together with our Abby Rug.

We would love to add extra pillows covered with Queens Velvet Leaf, Queens Velvet Chartreuse and Vivian Navy for more color and pattern. For lighting, we added our Sloan Wood Ball floor lamp in grey wash next to the sofa. And to complete this area, we like our Morgan Coffee Table in Antique White which has a generous serving space and hidden storage.

Bonnie's living room layout

Behind the sofa, a narrow sofa like our black Ananda Serving table will anchor the space. Underneath you can store baskets or the poufs when you’re not using them. Two of our Lauren lamps in Cream on each end of the table will serve as task lighting when reading on the sofa.

On each side of the fireplace, we love our Dehavilland 2-Door Consoles in Grey to create depth and more interest to your focal wall. Hanging our blue Cassidy Mirrors above the consoles will add more illumination and balance. We suggest our Hannover Adjustable table lamp on top of the consoles for more lighting on the room. ‘They Call Me Yellow Art’ which will compliment the colors in the room, would be perfect on top of the fireplace mantel.

To finish up the space we suggest our Tuscan Corner Bookcase on each corner on the back wall to provide height and space for books, toys and picture frames.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Bonnie's small narrow living room layout

Do you have a decorating dilemma? Send us your own questions here.

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.