As the main living space in your home, your living room is often the heart of the action. It’s where you chat, relax and entertain friends, and generally spend most of your leisure time when you’re at home. The look and feel of your living room affects your mood, so if it doesn’t feel homely enough, it’s time to make a change. Here are some of our top tips on how to make your living room feel cozy and relaxing.
The feeling of any room can be totally transformed by your choice of lighting. Light bulbs often come with a choice of cool or warm lighting; if the light in your living room seems stark or particularly white, you probably have cool lights. Change them for warm alternatives and you’ll feel instantly cozier.
The homeliest living rooms have more than one option for lighting. Making your main ceiling lights dimmable is a good option for changing the level of lighting in the room at any one time. Also add in a selection of lamps across the room to create a different atmosphere, depending on which ones you switch on. Having one brighter lamp by an armchair is ideal for those who like to read. A selection of other lamps with warm colored lampshades is the perfect accompaniment, especially to brighten up the colder and darker months of the year.
Living rooms can often lack a homely feel because they feel flat and one-dimensional. This can be because a sofa has no cushions or throws. It can be because there is only one color in a room, rather than some different shades complementing each other. A ‘flat’ feeling in a living room can also stem from there not being enough different types of furniture pieces.
Adding texture to a living room is relatively easy to do. Offset a neutrally colored sofa with splashes of color from bold cushions. Layer up some soft blankets and throws too, and you’ll feel the sofa area of your living space become a three-dimensional feast for the eyes. Apply the same texturing concept to other parts of the living room. This could be by adding a plant pot and inspiring books to a coffee table, or building a couple of shelves on a plain white wall.
Not everyone agrees that technology makes a living room feel homely. However, if you like watching movies with family, or listening to music with friends, you will likely have a television and stereo system in your living room. Many newer TVs and sound systems have high design credentials, and can even be a focal point in your space. But if you feel like the visuals of your technology lets your living room down, hide them away in cabinets until you need to use them.
Apply the same concept to the more functional technology you may have in your living room, which could include climate controls,
home security monitors and baby monitors. If they don’t need to be constantly visible, find an elegant storage solution for them so your living room feels cozier. For monitors that need to be in easy eyeshot, place them amid other items on a stylishly arranged shelving system, so they don’t become too much of a focal point.
Curtains and Blinds
Even if you have a magnificent view out of your windows, there will always be a time when
curtains or blinds are needed. In a practical sense, they help to keep the heat inside during colder months. But even at warmer times of the year, curtains and blinds help transform windows into a stylish focal point. Choose a bold color of curtain or blind to create some contrast, which gives a homely distinction between indoors and outdoors.
Closing curtains when it is dark ensures a living room will always have a homely feeling in the evenings. If you live in a warmer climate, lighter fabrics – both in terms of color and weight – will give a homely feeling. However, those who live in climates where there are some definite cold months, heavier fabrics will always give a better feeling of coziness.
If a living room doesn’t feel as homely as it should, hard flooring is usually partly to blame. The easiest way to counteract this is to add rugs. Choose thick, fluffy rugs for the best effect. Even if you generally like hard flooring, the living room can be the one room you decide to make an exception and go for full carpeting. It’s a space you want to make truly cozy, and carpet does wonders for creating a warm feeling, as well as for keeping the heat physically in the room.
If you ever plan on doing some renovation work to your living room, consider having
underfloor heating installed too. This is excellent for making a living room a warm and inviting space, and means you can remove unsightly radiators at the same time.