Your living room says a lot about your sense of style and even your personality traits. Since it’s the room where many people may occasionally come together, it just has to be cozy.
But the tricky thing is, each apartment has a different configuration: Some of you may have a 9-square-meter living room, while others literally own a mansion and their living room has tall ceilings and panoramic windows.
Here’s the good news: Any living room can be designed in such a way that it will look nice and reflect your style and vision. These ten tips below will help you achieve that.
#1 Define Zones
First things first. You need to zone out your living room with your habits and proposed functions of this area in mind. Will you use it to dine in front of the TV? Will it function as a cinema on nights-in? Will there be a corner with your working desk? You need to ask yourself questions like these in order to better understand how you want this room to look.
Once you have your zones figured out, here’s how you can make them clear:
- use racks, folding screens, and console tables to separate the zones;
- choose different decoration materials, e.g. flooring, paints, and wallpapers;
- don’t skimp on storage areas, as they will allow you to combat the mess more efficiently.
#2 Arrange Seating Groups
The main items in the living room are a sofa, armchairs, and a coffee table (or you can replace the latter with an oversized ottoman and a tray on top of it), so they need to be appropriately arranged. Depending on the configuration of your living room, here’s what you can do:
- For a small room, you can even skip the sofa and use only the armchairs and the coffee table. Or, invest in a recliner for sleeping with a wall-saving mechanism, which will combine a daytime snoozing spot and a comfy sitting area.
- Although square rooms typically ask for symmetry, you can think outside the box and place you sitting group in the corner to allow more space for other objects.
- Rectangular and large narrow rooms are the most problematic to zone out, but you can invest in several small seating groups instead of buying one bulky sofa.
“You may opt for flexible and multifunctional furniture — such as a modular sofa — which allow to rearrange them in different configurations and don’t take much space.”
#3 Light Up the Main Things
While the right amount of natural light undoubtedly contributes to the inviting atmosphere of your room, artificial light isn’t inferior when it comes to creating coziness. Sconces, floor lamps, and string lights can easily make the room space more layered and comfortable, and their warm light provides the feeling of serenity and peace.
#4 Use Color Accents
Even though natural, earthy colors are trendy today, they can often feel bland and elusive because your eyes cannot point out the objects in the room.
Bold colors and bright accents, on the contrary, will attract attention and may have an impact on the overall atmosphere in the room and even your mood.
- Painting your walls until several inches below your ceiling will help make the room smaller, while painting a few inches of the ceiling itself will make it look larger.
- Bold and contrasting colors on the wall opposite to the entrance can create an illusion of a smaller and cozier space.
- Painting the ceiling two tones darker than the walls will ‘drop’ it a few inches lower, so your room will feel more compact.
#5 Scale Your Furniture
This point is pretty straightforward:
Don’t try to stuff a tiny room with a sectional monster sofa and bulky armchairs. Also, don’t place a hundred small ottomans in a large living room. Both options won’t look right. Instead, repeat the proportions of your room in your furniture:
- Tall ceilings? Use the chairs and sofas with high backrests and visible legs to create the feeling of airiness.
- Spacious room? Place a couch that can accommodate 5 or 6 people along the wall.
- Panoramic windows? Leave more room for air and try to use backless sofas.
Photo by Clinton & Associates, PC Landscape Architects
#6 Play With Patterns and Textures
An interior that motivates you to explore it consists mainly of details, textures, and patterns. Here’s what you can do to create eye candy for your guests and yourself:
- Choose complementary materials. For example, if you have brick walls, opt for wallpapers with geometric patterns on the other wall.
- Play with contrast. A glossy hardwood floor and a soft and fluffy area rug will create an eye-catching combo.
#7 Fill In the Wall Space (But Don’t Overdo)
Empty walls may provide a controversial feeling. In a small apartment, they leave room to breathe, but if you have a large living room, it’s easy to overdo with space and end up with cold and lonely premises.
So, here’s how you can make use of your wall space:
- hang paintings or your photos;
- use mirrors (another trick to get more space for a small room);
- place drapery around the windows.
#8 Add Bookshelves
Another way to hide empty walls and make the living room more cozy and warm is to use bookshelves and racks. They typically take a lot of space, so by placing them in a room and filling them with decor, you practically solve the ‘boring room problem.’ Also, they can serve as a separator between different functional zones.
#9 Introduce Your Hobbies
Your living room may serve as a place for different activities, so you can easily incorporate your hobbies in its setting. Place a guitar rack stand or an easel in one of the corners. Put your crafts and arts on the walls. Whatever your hobby is, showing it will contribute to creating a unique vibe and will result in a cozier feel, compared to the paintings and statuettes you buy at the store.
#10 Place Plants Strategically
Voluminous plants not only contribute to the feeling of comfort but also cover the empty spaces very well. Make sure that your room has enough light for your green friends to thrive, or opt for the plants that will feel good in shadow areas.