How To Make a Cozy Living Room Using Warm Decor
Your living room is the center point of your home. It’s where guests are invited to sit, where the friends converge for movie night and where everyone goes for the all-important family meeting – It’s where life happens. So go ahead and create a warm and cozy living room with these easy decorating ideas.
Living Room Sofa Ideas
Skip any overly structured, formal furniture that might feel stuffy or make someone think twice about getting comfortable. Instead, gravitate toward oversized sofas or deep sectional couches that will invite friends and family to pile on, put their feet up and make themselves right at home. A faux leather sofa feels both luxurious and welcoming and provides a nice foundation to layer in accent pieces that build your complete look. Or, a soft fabric texture is an added bonus.
If you are on a budget, bring new life to your current seating area with sofa & loveseat slipcovers. Instantly update the look and feel of your living room. Use couch pillow covers to bring new life to your old pillows.
Warm Paint Colors
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for updating your family room’s look, so this is a natural place to start. Trade-in standard, beige neutrals for light, saturated hues to invoke a fresh, clean look to your room. Look at whites with a hint of smoke gray or skylight blue. Crisp, cool undertones can do wonders in making your space feel open and bright.
If you want to stick with neutral beige walls, consider adding a warm accent color, like a pumpkin orange or apple red to instantly add a warm mood to the space. Better yet, peruse the warm side of the color wheel, from soft yellows to organic oranges and rich reds. See how a new coat of paint can warm up the whole room, or try painting only an accent wall to bring warmth and color to your living room.
Another option is to go monochromatic. Let one central hue color your world, then use accent pieces to add contrast. Even when you select one main color, there is a wide range of colors to select from within that color. For instance, a white palette can include ivory, ice, optic, cream, beige, tan, frost, silver, pearl and more. The subtle variance of hues is what can be your most intriguing design element.
Make Your Living Room Feel Bigger
Besides paint color alone, there are several interior design tricks that can make your room have the illusion of feeling bigger. Paint ceilings white and use lighter colors on walls to make the room appear larger. When you have a lot of window and door trim in a room, try painting trim and walls all the same color to make the room feel spacious. Keeping it all in the same shade will keep the eye from stopping at each color break.
Add a Pop of Color
It’s fine to keep that classic neutral brown sofa in your room. Just infuse a fresh updated color to the room’s overall color scheme. Vibrant teals, refreshing oranges, mossy greens all play beautifully off a neutral background and add a revitalized look to your space. An oversized piece of canvas wall art can instantly bring a dramatic element to the space.
Accessorize & Accent from the Floor Up
The little extras are often the elements that bring your cozy quotient up a notch or two. Area rugs for living rooms are a perfect way to bring in that fresh new color from your color palette while defining your conversation area. Add an area rug that features a sumptuous texture, like a deep shag, or choose one with an intriguing color pattern that complements your warm color scheme. Experiment with a completely new pattern to bring new life to your space.
Not sure what size rug to get? See our tips on how to pick the right size area rug.
Once you have your key furniture pieces in the living room, it’s time to “throw” in a few accessories. Be sure to accessorize your living room sofa with plenty of accent pillows and blankets that make it easy for guests to get comfy. Throw pillows for the couch are a decorator’s secret weapon. Scatter them in an array of patterns, textures and fabrics across your seating area to add interest to the room, while pulling it together with style. Think of decorative accent pillows as these perfect-sized pieces of approachable art. This is where you can add color, whimsy, mood and a welcoming look to your sofas and side chairs. And, maybe the best part of toss pillows is that when your mood changes, changing out new pillows is an easy and affordable switch.
Add texture and versatility with a sumptuous throw blanket draped over the back of your sofa. Select a complimentary color and texture. A trio of colorful vases or a floral arrangement makes a lovely accent that pulls together your room’s look.
Wall art is affordable and an easy way to shift the mood of a room. Let your walls do all the talking when you choose a dramatic piece of wall art or hang a beautiful oversized rug on a large wall. Choose an oversized, colorful piece that makes a statement and anchors the space. Or turn that boring wall into a gallery that features a bevy of smaller pieces that tells a story or shows off your own interpretation. Think spring flowers, gorgeous landscapes, or a flock of birds. Vaulted ceilings and tall walls are the perfect places to try this look that adds a visual focal point to any living room.
Keep houseplants to a nice manageable number. Too many of them, and just like any decorating accent, will feel like too much. Use colorful accents like dried botanicals to create a homey atmosphere.
There’s no better way to create ambiance than with well-placed accent lighting in your living room. Every room benefits from accent lighting. Try hanging chandelier lighting to add a warm glow to the space while drawing the eye upward. Or, add a ceiling fan light to further control the comfort level in the room.
But, don’t count on only overhead light to warm up your space. Instead, look to your lower accent lighting to add ambiance and warmth. Add floor lamps to brighten up dark corners and provide focused reading light near armchairs. Choose a fresh modern style with an expandable arm. It will add a modern industrial flair to your room’s mood. Wall sconces and wallchiere lamps add a soft glow along the walls. And of course, candles and wooden candleholders add an ambiance to instantly add warmth and interest to your room’s decor. Choose LED candles with timers to ensure your room always has this gorgeous illumination!
Update Your Coffee Table
The table is often the centerpiece of the living room. Change up your coffee table for one in a transitional style that bridges traditional style with a more modern one. A tapered leg coffee table elevates the table and brings some space between it and the floor, making the room feel airier.
Or, instead of the usual coffee table, try a pedestal table. The height adds an interesting element and more versatility to your room arrangement. Plus, it’s far more inviting to pull up two chairs for tea!
When rustic elegance feels like the right style for your space, try adding an interesting console table with apothecary-style drawers to stash coasters and wine charms for that impromptu get-together.
A Place for Everything
Warm-up your space by choosing an accent table that has a personality to complement your color palette and your home. The idea is to never feel stuffy. Try a tufted ottoman table or one with rustic elegance and interesting wheels. The same holds true for media storage. Shelving may be a practical necessity, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some with personality. Re-work your bookshelves so they have more visual impact. Add accents, group books by color and size, and place larger books on their sides.
Or, instead of shelves, try a glass-doored cabinet that can keep all those books, knick-knacks and figurines in an attractive space that fits nicely in a corner space and where you can still see its contents. Choose a media storage cabinet in an unexpected color or one that features the glow of a fireplace alongside cubbies to store movies and DVD players. What better way to add warmth than by adding an electric cozy fireplace!
Bench seats can feature built-in storage to hold magazines, pillows, and blankets. Magazine holders can add a touch of style while keeping things tidy, a shabby chic cupboard can hold plenty while still serving up a significant amount of charm.
Keep your storage stylish. Every room can benefit from some storage and what better way to improve your living room than with an attractive glass-door cabinet. Consider one in a color that supports your room’s new color palette.
Warm-up windows by adding window coverings. Curtains in welcoming jacquards or billowy sheers add to the warm and cozy ambiance of the space. Room-darkening panels turn your living room into a media room in a blink and make that cozy central hub take on another reason to gather friends and family together. Pull the room together when you add window treatments and decorative throw pillows in a complementary hue to your room’s palette.
Not sure about what your curtain length should be? We show you how to measure a window for curtains.
Add a Reading Nook
By moving furniture around, you can create different nooks in your living room. Nothing is cozier than a reading nook. Try putting a comfortable reclining chaise and small table over near the window to create a reading area. Add a decorative pillow, and set a warm folded blanket nearby.
These Pattern Mixing Tips to Give Your Living Room a Stylish Look
Sometimes picking out just the right patterns for your living room can be a bit intimidating. Have no fear. Our interior design experts offer seven pattern mixing tips and tricks on how to mix fabric patterns in a room to complement your new color palette and bring the whole room together.
1. Three Is the Magic Number
Interior designers often use the pattern mixing rule of three. There’s something about trios that just work perfectly together. Consider three different sizes of patterns all in the same core color range: a bold statement-making one that grabs the spotlight, one that finds some middle ground in terms of scale and proportion. And last of all, go the next size down in scale.
2. Mix It Up
Now that you have a general guide about the proportional size of the patterns, you can play with different kinds of patterns. Solids, florals, checks, plaids, stripes, geometrics, paisleys … the possibilities are endless. Don’t choose the same pattern style in multiple scales (like all florals). In fact, when you contrast patterns, it adds interest to the room. Try mixing florals patterns with plaids and stripes. Just be sure to keep the weight of the pattern consistent among them all, so that one isn’t too overpowering. Balance is key.
3. Keep It Steady
Stray away from mixing color intensity. For instance, don’t mix pastels with bold primary colors. A variety of patterns will all seem to mix and mingle like pros when they are living in the same color intensity and palette.
4. Test Your Energy Level
How do you want your room to feel? Busy patterns will rev up the energy quotient in a room, while simple, toned-down patterns will enhance a room aimed at being calm and serene. Take a look at your family room furniture and see how a mix of patterned pillows could add interest to the space and give it a whole new look. Also, be sure to see how your room’s accent mirrors reflect the patterns and colors you choose. Does it add an additional element of pattern to the space in a good way?
5. Don’t Mix Your Whites
Varying shades of white are surprisingly difficult to mix and match. Think about all those delicate shades from cream, ivory and bone to off-white and optic white. The spectrum is much wider than you think. When whites don’t match, the fabric stands out in an unflattering way, so keep to a multi-hued palette, when possible.
6. Layer Up
When you want to update by adding a whole new pattern to your room, sofa or chair slipcovers can deliver. Plus, if you’re a little hesitant to try patterned upholstered furniture, this is an affordable way to test it out and see if you like it.
Done With Your Cozy Living Room and Now on to…
Need help with room decorating ideas for other rooms in your house? Check out our Home Decorating content for inspiration and decorating expertise for every room.