More from the lost file of "before" photos. I've also added the pic of the original bookcase across the room (which I restyled earlier this month).
When we first toured this house, we walked out as quickly as we came in. Even our agent thought there must be something wrong with the house design, given its awkward furniture placement. After all, the current owners had lived there 30 years and still hadn't figured out how to squeeze in a table! They removed all accessories, yet a pair of chairs completely blocked the entrance from the front hall. The TV (not shown) sat on a stand not a foot from the sofa. Just walking through gave buyers an uncomfortable feeling.
A month later I started thinking about this house more seriously. For the right purchase price, I was sure I could find pieces to fit. Fortunately, we didn't have to buy anything except this garage sale rug. It "squared off" the room's narrow shape. Technically, we lost floor space, but who wants an ocean of carpet with seating that drifts along the edges? Pull furniture away from the walls. You'll create a comfortable island of seating that anchors the center of the room.