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Meet the challenge of designing a long room with flooring and color choices

October 23, 2013

Hardwood FloorsWhen home decorators are trying to create a room design for a long, rectangular space, they can meet the challenge by coming up with activity zones and playing up the room's best features. Some of those features may be the hickory hardwood flooring in Anderson's Hickory Forge collection and a well-coordinated color scheme. The end result will bring balance to the room by evening out its shape.

"If you have a long room, you can give it a balanced look by painting one of the walls at the long end a much darker shade of whatever color you choose for the room," wrote designer Kathy Burns-Millyard for Decorating Your Small Space. "It will bring that one wall closer in, and make the space seem more uniform in shape."

If painting an accent wall isn't to homeowners' liking, but they're big fans of bringing the outdoors inside, they may arrange wall displays of house plants on one end of their narrow rooms. Doing this will have the same effect as painting the wall a darker shade and adds texture to the home design as well.

Colors that are kept in proportions that are nearly equal between walls, draperies and upholstery prevent one hue from dominating the room. Accessories in bright colors can be used to complement furnishings, or darker colors may be chosen for area rugs to anchor the room, without overpowering the overall space.

Separate activities
One good thing about a lengthy space is that it lends itself to different activity areas. While kids play in one designated zone, their parents can stretch out to relax on the sofa elsewhere in the room. Using small rugs to break up the sections, while leaving some flooring exposed between them, is an effective way to separate the zones.

According to, the awkwardness of walking between pieces of furniture in a narrow room can be eliminated by creating space for foot traffic only on one side of the room. 

To make a relaxation zone more cozy, it helps to face a sofa away from more active areas and make the separation as a "getaway" spot more pronounced.

Differentiating sections of a room can also be accomplished by using partial dividers that allow one to see the whole space from end to end. The open design atmosphere is enhanced when shelves have no backing, which allows the room to be seen beyond the items on display.