Your living room should be one of the warmest, coziest, and most welcoming rooms of your house. It’s where you and your family will gather most evenings, and where you’ll host your closest friends and most important guests. But what makes a room inherently “cozy,” and what can you do to make your living room cozier?
Placement and Access
Depending on the structure of your house, there may not be much you can do about the placement of your living room, but it does matter for that subjective “cozy” feeling. A cozy room is usually one that’s accessible. It’s not so isolated that it feels totally disconnected from the rest of the house or hard to reach. But at the same time, it has its own character, and feels somewhat enclosed. You can’t relocate your living room, so you can make up for its inherent advantages or disadvantages with the placement of furniture, privacy dividers, and other features.
Warmth and Ambiance
A cozy living room should also be warm, even in the coldest winter months. If you plan things right, you can add a heat source to the room and simultaneously give it a more inviting, unique feel. The quickest way to do this is to install a fireplace, which doesn’t require a full-scale remodel, and is likely less expensive than you think. There are also many types of fireplaces available. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend and what kind of environment you want to foster, you could have a traditional wood-burning fireplace, or one that runs on gas or electricity.
Music and Speaker Placement
Whether you’re watching a movie or just listening to some background music while hanging out with friends, the quality and placement of your speakers can make a massive difference in how the room inherently feels. If you plan on playing a lot of audio, try to invest in the best-quality speakers you can afford. Better speakers will provide you with richer sound, deeper bass, and a room-filling overall sound. You can also improve the effects of your music and sound by placing your speakers correctly. Try to place speakers at different, inward facing angles, all around the room (and as high up as possible).
Lighting and Control
Good lighting can also make your living room cozier, but different types of gatherings demand different types of lighting. Accordingly, the coziest all-around living room is one that gives you a fair degree of control over the brightness, shape, and color of your lighting.
In some situations, bright lighting will be better—like if you’re working on a puzzle with your family. In others, sparse, dim lighting will be better—like if you’re hosting a wine tasting party. Don’t be afraid to utilize multiple bulb shapes and multiple colors so you can have the perfect atmosphere every time.
Oftentimes, the best lighting is natural light. Make sure your windows and window treatments allow you to take full advantage of the sun when it’s shining.
Invest in Plants
Plant life in your home isn’t just about establishing a certain look; studies suggest that plants can actually reduce stress and anxiety. Provided the overall design and character of your living room can support them, try to include a handful of potted plants in the room. The type of plant depends on your personal taste and the aesthetic you’re aiming for.
Hang Minimal Decorations
To make your room uniquely cozy, invest in some original decorations. Your first priority should be keeping your design minimal; it’s much better to have one or two strong central pieces on the walls than it is to overload them with dozens of fixtures. There’s no limit to your creativity here, so shop around for the perfect piece of art, or create one of your own.
Prioritize the Comfort of Your Guests
Finally, think about the subjective comfort of your guests. You can instantly make a room cozier by investing in furniture that’s softer and more supportive; while sitting in the right chair or lounging on the couch, feeling relaxed can make you feel more at home. You can add to this by including plenty of pillows and blankets for your guests to use—especially in winter, when the extra warmth will be even more appreciated.
You may not be able to take your living room from boring to cozy overnight, but if you start investing in the right décor and the right ambiance, eventually you’ll find the right collection of items to make this room stand out. And don’t feel limited to adhere to others’ expectations of coziness; if your personal taste warrants a bold or nontraditional addition, go ahead and experiment with it. You may stumble upon some exciting combinations.