When we have finally given up on the idea of an eternal summer and the commute from home or school becomes dimmer every day our thoughts turn to creating a welcoming respite. Start then with the scene of most of our waking hours with these cosy living room ideas.
Pattern always feels more cocooning than plain walls and surfaces. A cosy living room scheme offers lots of opportunities from patterned wallpaper or wall hangings to thick tufted or woven patterned rugs and carpets. Pattern can often feel less riotous and more calming when there is more of it; as it stands out less against plain surfaces. Mix up the scale of your patterns (so a larger print on your window covering against a smaller scale repeat on your wallpaper) or contrast stripes with something more fluid in shape like a modern botanical.
Objects of Desire
Living room decorating ideas should always incorporate the core premise that this is where people live their everyday lives and spend time together: a great way to inspire conversation and warmth is by creating areas of visual interest. Try coffee table decoration in the form of nicely stacked art books, a centrepiece to a mantel that combines interior accessories; ornaments or objets from travels make a witty alternative to flowers. Prevent these displays from looking messy by using a colour or object theme, like an overarching shade of blue or different types of wood.
Time to move the furniture placement around. To cosy up your living room layout move sofas and chairs away from the walls and into a more conversational grouping, making it feel more friendly and convivial. Place a coffee table or footstool between them for a more formal look (if facing each other) or if you still want a fire of television as focus create a curve. Quite quickly it closes the space down into something more intimate, an instant win when looking for how to make a room feel warm.
Light it Right
To let in as much evening light as you can before it fades but also control privacy, shades make it easy to manage the visibility levels. Consider the fact that rich colours like yellow and orange will warm up the cold, pale winter light when diffused through coloured window treatments. Creating a cosy living room atmosphere will rely heavily on your choice of living room lighting, which should incorporate a mix of side table lamps, wall lights and dimmers; avoid using overhead central fixtures as they illuminate indiscriminately, and you want to draw the eye lower to your cosy seating or fireplace. Also ensure your bulbs are a warmer hue; lots of modern bulbs can cast a blue light which feels cold so make sure they state clearly they are ‘warm’.
Dress Your Walls
Using wooden panelling, concrete or plaster finishes for walls will add much more warmth than a flat finish such as a matt paint or as alternatives to traditional wallpaper. The way light plays across the organic changes in texture, or the rise and fall of the surface, immediately makes the room feel richer. If you want a simpler seasonal change, adding lots of framed photos on a mantel or window ledge in varying shapes will eradicate cold empty space without looking messy. When looking at how to arrange pictures on a wall to add warmth, consider the proportions of your room and height of the ceiling; but keep the scale large and theme them, such as black and white photographs, or painted unframed oils so they don’t look chaotic. More is more here; a weedy single image in a frame lost in space will add to the feeling of airiness or coldness, not reverse it.
Warmth in Colours
Bring in the autumnal riches by selecting warm living room colours. Choose a colour palette that includes an injection of deep reds, black, chocolate or oranges. Don’t use them all in the same proportions (orange can be a highlight colour, for example, against black walls). Autumn colours naturally feel encompassing, so even if you don’t want to make larger changes you can borrow nature’s effects with minimal fuss. Make your autumn décor update by adding in a table centrepiece of russet leaves, acorns or branches rather than your usual flower displays.
A warm room never feels too formal, even if the furniture follows a more classical set up. Add in soft layers to encourage relaxation such as textured sofa throws or vintage wool blankets. Proportionally oversized furniture such as armchairs by the fire, vases or tablecloths draping onto floors add to the snug feel and encourage you to kick off your shoes and curl up. Surely what autumn and cosy living rooms were invented for.
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