Ready to redo your living room? A new project can be exciting, but it may also feel a bit overwhelming. We’ve put together a guide that will help you strike the perfect balance between stylish and cozy, so you can have the living room of your dreams.
Why Create a Cozy Living Room?
First and foremost, you should create a living room that makes you feel comfortable and at home. This will likely be your main space for reading books, watching movies, and chatting with friends.
For that reason, going for a comfortable, cozy style will help you relax and not keep you as on-edge as you may feel if you go for a very formal, polished living room. You want to feel like it’s ok to kick your feet up, not like you have to sit daintily on the edge of the couch to avoid disturbing anything.
The second reason it might be a good idea to go for a cozy living room vibe is to make your guests feel at home. Hospitality seems to be a lost art, but it’s more important than ever.
After a hard two years, most people are longing for a sense of community. Believe it or not, your living room setup can encourage community, sharing, and a sense of togetherness.
Why Is Community so Important?
Community is important for many reasons. We are social creatures that crave connection with others.
Here are a few good reasons why you should invest in building community:
- Learning and Growth. Surrounding yourself with others who have different interests and viewpoints helps you learn and grow. This isn’t selfish, as your unique gifts and interests add to the learning and growth of others as well.
- Support. This is important everywhere, but especially if you live far away from family. Having a close community of friends that can help support you through life’s struggles is crucial.
Fun. Last but not least, having a community is fun! Game nights, movie nights, dinner, and conversation… All of these are so much better with a good group of friends.
Investing in your living room space can be a great step to finding your community and building strong bonds. If you love your space, you’ll be more likely to invite others to come over and enjoy it with you. When you decorate it in a way that makes it cozy yet stylish, you’re putting your best foot forward as a host who obviously cares about making people feel welcome.
So now that we know the why of cozy living rooms, let’s dig into the how.
Starting basic, let’s talk about the lighting situation in the living room. Do you have bright, blinding overhead lights? Is there natural light available? Take stock of what your living room is already equipped with, and then make adjustments from there.
The way you light your living room can have a big impact on the overall feeling. Did you know that lighting impacts our decision-making?
We feel our emotions more intensely when we’re in a brightly lit room or outside on a sunny day. This is both positive and negative, as it can boost a good mood but cause irritation to blow up into anger.
The Wonder of Natural Light
Our favorite option for lighting your living room is natural light, but not everyone has that available. If you do, embrace it. Go for long, flowy curtains that don’t block out the light. (If your windows cause glare on the TV, consider adding in an additional blackout shade for when you pop in a movie.)
Natural light is great for our bodies and can actually help us have a better flow to our day. Seeing the sun in the morning helps kickstart our body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your internal clock and circadian rhythms. This will help you fall asleep later in the day. It also contributes to a better mood.
Finding the Perfect Accent Lamps
Whether you have abundant natural light or not, eventually, the sun will go down, and you’ll need another light source. Soft overhead lighting isn’t a bad option, but accent floor and table lamps are a great way to show off your personal style while also providing a non-blinding light option to the room.
Lamps are one piece of furniture that many people are shocked to find out are actually quite expensive. But they don’t have to be.
Here are a few ideas on where to find the perfect lamp:
- Thrift Stores. Go to your local thrift store or charity shop and take a look at what they have to offer. There are a few great times of year to hit these stores and have a better chance of getting a great find. Back-to-School, the end of the school year, and right after Christmas are all good times to go bargain hunting.
- Facebook Marketplace. This platform is ever-growing and can be an easy way to shop secondhand without even leaving your couch. Just be sure to shop smart and be safe when picking up your items.
Friends and Family. If you let your friends and family know what you’re looking for, you might be surprised to find that one of them may have exactly what you want—and were planning on getting rid of it soon.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match lampshades and bases. You might find the perfect base at one store, but it has a hideous shade. Get it anyway, and then swap out the shade for a thrift store find or another shade you have at home.
There are so many options for living room color, but we’re going for something warm and inviting for your cozy room. Stick to neutrals with some nice, warm accents or even a whole accent wall.
Let the way you decorate the room do most of the work and leave your walls as a blank canvas for photos, paintings, and other decor.
When it comes to seating, consider two things:
- Would you want to have a conversation here?
- Would you want to watch a movie here?
Choose your seating based on these two questions, and you’ll have a comfortable living room that anyone will enjoy relaxing, talking, or binge-watching Netflix in.
If you’re planning to host people often, get a few moveable seating options as well. You don’t need a sectional that fits 12 people if you live alone. But if you plan to host parties or get-togethers, you will need that extra seating somehow. Bean bag chairs, throw pillows, and other easily moveable items can help you find some extra seating space.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good footstool, too. These can take the comfort level of your couch, bean bag chair, or sectional to the next level. They also provide a great way to subtly say to your guests, “Kick your feet up, but please don’t put them on my couch.”
If you can help it, avoid storing too many things in your living room. The less clutter, the better. This will help the room stay clean and organized, and you won’t feel stressed out to put everything back where it belongs before your company comes over.
Avoiding clutter has tangible mental health benefits, so before you dive into redoing your living room, it might be a good idea to spend some time decluttering it!
You may need to utilize your living room for storage. If that’s the case, look into creative hidden solutions. Bookshelves or TV cabinets that have a few closed-door shelves are a great option.
Speaking of bookshelves, a great accent piece to impress guests and help build your book collection is a stylish bookshelf. Gone are the days when bookshelves all looked the same. You can now find them in thousands of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Another good storage option is a few strategically chosen end tables. They also make the perfect place to put down your drinks or prop up your devices.
Once you have all the main pieces decided on, it’s time to add some final touches. This is where things really get fun.
Here are a few ideas for what you may need to pull it all together:
- Plants. Adding tall plants can help hide boring corners. They also can boost your mood and improve your health!
- Blankets. Who doesn’t love to snuggle up under a cozy blanket?
Art and Photos. Add some personal touches by putting up photos of your friends and family. Or, find a cool painting from an artist you love.
There are hundreds of ways to create the perfect living room space for you. We hope these ideas from CordaRoy’s sparked some creativity in your mind and gave you a good place to start.
Remember the importance of good lighting, finding cozy chairs, and making intentional choices that will help you stay stress-free when it comes time to host guests.
Lighting and Decision-Making | University of Toronto
How Clutter Affects Our Mental Health | VeryWell Mind