Living rooms have undergone significant changes over the last century. Once reserved for formal occasions and special guests, modern living rooms now serve as multifunctional spaces that are suited equally as well to lively entertainment as they do to quiet relaxation time with the family. Thus, how you go about designing your living room can have a huge impact on both your ability to entertain your guests successfully and to wind down in the evening.
To help you create a more cozy and inviting space, we pulled together a list of our best living room design tips. Whether you primarily use your living room for watching movies, reading on the couch or playing pre-dinner games with guests, these designer tips will bring a whole new level of warmth to your space.
1. Fill the room with soft blankets and pillows
Throw blankets and pillows are a super easy way to “cozify” your space and add pops of color to an otherwise neutral living room. Plus, they’re easy to change out with the seasons (see #5 below). For ultimate relaxation and contentment, consider investing in a weighted throw blanket. These stress-busting blankets apply gentle pressure to the body that many people find soothing. (Pro tip: Buy more than one to keep family members from fighting over it.)
To style your sofa pillows like a pro, opt for pillows of varying sizes and textures. Just make sure to keep your color palette cohesive!
2. Choose the right rug
Rugs can play a major role in how comfortable you feel in your living room, especially if you have hardwood floors. But all too often, people end up getting the wrong rug for their space. Perhaps the biggest style mistake that people make when buying a rug is choosing one that’s much too small for their space. Large area rugs can be pretty expensive, we know. But settling for a smaller rug that doesn’t fit your space can make your entire living room feel disjointed and cheap.
If you ended up buying a too-small rug for your living room, consider investing in a larger rug and layering the smaller one on top. Layering rugs might sound intimidating, but take heart — it’s super easy to pull off and looks amazing when done right!
3. Keep your space clutter-free
The very thing that makes living rooms so wonderful is the same thing that can make them stressful: a functional layout. Many people use their living rooms as a space for playing, relaxing, entertaining and possibly eating. Given its many functions, it’s no wonder that the living room seems to attract so much clutter.
Sure, you probably tidy up your living room for guests — but why not keep it clean for yourself, too? Clutter is a huge contributor to stress, so try keeping it out of the living room by downsizing your items and investing in smart storage options for the things you want to keep.
4. Refresh your room with seasonal tweaks
Rotating your décor is a fun activity that allows you to take advantage of all the gorgeous colors and patterns of the season. These seasonal colors can make your living room feel more inviting by bringing about a sense of nostalgia and happy memories.
Making seasonal tweaks to your living room can be practical as well. For example, you could make your home feel cozier in the winter by replacing your standard curtains with heavier ones in luxe velvet. And in the summertime, you could swap your weighted throw blanket for a cooling weighted blanket made with moisture-wicking fabrics.
5. Use black accents to get that ‘wow’ factor
Incorporating the color black into your living room may seem like the last way to make your space feel more inviting, but in small doses, it can add amazing dimension and contrast to your living room. Black accents can enhance the surrounding colors in your living room and highlight negative space, making your room feel bigger and brighter.
An easy way to keep black accents from looking depressing is to 1) use them sparingly and 2) contrast them with warmer accents, such as wood, fresh greenery and warm whites. Dip your toe into the trend by adding a black vase on your mantel or a black end table next to a light-colored piece of furniture.
6. Put a tray on your coffee table
If you don’t already have a tray for your coffee table, we highly recommend getting one ASAP. We mean, what’s not to love? They’re perfect for holding decorative items, like candles and vases. Plus, they can corral things like remote controls and coasters. To keep things visually interesting, try choosing a tray in a different shape than your coffee table. For example, if you have a square coffee table, opt for a round tray (preferably in a contrasting color).
7. Layer your lighting
Interior designers tend to pay extra attention to lighting, and for good reason. Not only can lighting influence your mood and comfort, but it can also add dimension to your living room and draw attention to certain spots.
The key to creating a pleasant lighting plan in your living room — and any room, for that matter — is to layer your lighting. A good lighting plan will typically include three types of light: ambient, accent and task lighting. Incorporate each type of light in your living room and you’ll be amazed by how much more soothing it feels.
Prime Your Living Room for Relaxation
We can’t always control what happens in our lives, but we can control our interior spaces. If you want to make your living room a space of calm and contentment, implementing a few of these tips is a great place to start!