Your home is the perfect place for entertaining friends or catching up with your loved ones. No matter your style of socialising, few spaces in your room see as much action as your living room.
Larger abodes may have several entertaining spaces, such as a media room with a big screen or a family room where kids – and their paraphernalia – can run wild. But even if you live in a smaller home and your living room is called on to fulfil several functions, your primary goal should be to create a comfortable and cozy space that encourages your visitors to engage with each other.
Here are some tips to help you create a living room that is the heart of the home and where you can create lifelong memories with your nearest and dearest.
Arrange seating areas suited for conversation
Seated furniture, such as sofas, ottomans, or armchairs, occupies the major real estate of your living room. The size of your room and its layout will likely play a big part in dictating the type of furniture you can include and its location. But you can arrange furniture to encourage your loved ones to socialise and make conversation easier.
If your living room is large, do not hesitate to divide your space into a few groups. You can bridge the gaps by adding moveable smaller chairs. If you keep a casual setting, floor pillows are easy to move around and can be piled up when not in use for a more bohemian atmosphere. This can be a great affordable option, especially if most of your guests are younger and can get up and down easily.
Make sure seating options are plentiful and face each other to encourage exchange. It is A-OK to let furniture “float” towards the centre of the room rather than being set back against the wall to make your space cozier. Place your furniture close enough so your guests can talk without having to shout at each other. Angle sofas are an excellent way to include plenty of seats in a tight space.
Avoid making your TV the focal point
Unless you have a dedicated media room, your TV probably occupies a place of choice in your living room. While some seating will be turned towards it (we love a late-night binge sesh), avoid making it the star of the show if possible. Try matching your TV unit to the rest of the furniture to make it blend in more easily. A fireplace is a much better focal point if you have one.
Light it up
Overhead lighting is great for getting things done but can also be very harsh. That's why placing several softer light sources make your space more comfortable and intimate. It's the perfect combination to encourage conversation.
Create several pools of light throughout the room by putting table lamps in strategic places. Adding a dimmer to some key lighting fixtures can also be a great way to create cozier spaces.
Include cozy fabric
Soft throw pillows and cuddly plaids and blankets aren't only a fantastic way to bring texture into your space. They also invite everyone to relax and exchange. Even the most challenging conversations can be easier by adding a glass of wine, a cup of cocoa, a soft blanket, or a huggable pillow. Throw pillows can be arranged to create a cozy nest and relieve pressure points, while plaids will - literally – warm up your space.
Do not hesitate to opt for highly tactile textures, such as lush velvet, thick faux fur, chunky knits, or boucle furniture. They are particularly welcome additions during the colder months. Finally, to avoid adding clutter, have appropriate storage space such as buffets, baskets, or storage ottomans.
Do not forget to add convenient surfaces
Nothing hinders an animated conversation like the delicate act of juggling your cup filled to the brim with your beverage of choice. Make things easier by adding side tables or a coffee table in convenient areas. Such as next to the sofas and between armchairs. This will provide your guests with the perfect place to keep their essentials close at hand. Plus, it'll save your furniture and rugs from over-enthusiastic spills, or provide a box of tissue for more emotionally-charged moments.
In smaller spaces, it is often a better choice to provide several smaller side tables rather than a bulkier coffee table that could clutter the centre of the room.
Add some conversation-starting decoration
Your living room should be a personal space. It is the perfect spot to display your most treasured possessions, such as mementos from your travels, your collection of curios, your favourite books, or coffee books on your hobbies. Not only do these elements create a more personalised space and add decorative elements, but they are also an excellent way for guests to get to know your better and keep the conversation flowing.
They are the best way to turn your house into a home, making you feel more comfortable and encouraging visitors to open up about their interests.