Stay in and veg out with a few pointers from these cosy and enticing retreats
Houzz UK Contributor. Freelance journalist and interiors obsessive, renovating a… More
As a space dedicated to ‘living’, your lounge doesn’t need to work as hard as other areas. This leaves more room for creativity, aesthetics and comfort – but not at the expense of practicality. For example, if you’re at work during the day and rarely hit the sofa before nightfall, concentrate on colours and accents that work their magic after dark. For a light-filled space used mostly in the morning, pale neutrals create a calming environment. In either case, tactile fabrics such as linen, wool and velvet will invite you to lounge.
Those with young children may need to prioritise storage to promote a clear mind. Lighting is another important element to consider: aim to include four or five gentle light sources in a medium-sized room for an atmospheric effect.
Get the basics right and your living room will feel lovingly assembled and eminently enticing. This top 10 should set you on a path straight to cosytown.
Get in the zone
A contemporary wood-burning stove makes a suitable centrepiece for this light-filled living room. With an open-plan layout, it’s important to use furniture to section off a cosy lounging area. The two sofas here provide a physical barrier that distinguishes the seating ‘zone’, focusing attention towards the garden during the day, and the fire at night.
Check out some of the dreamiest winter homes on Houzz
Create clever cupboards
This cute corner sofa sets a relaxed tone for those looking for a little R&R. Built-in cupboards ensure seamless storage and a useful shelf for a reading lamp. Try charcoal grey woodwork when you want the TV to blend in but your artwork to stand out.
Three doses of hot pink triple the charm of this grand living room. Beautifully stuffed sofas with a blanket on each arm invite you to settle in for the afternoon, while an elegantly oversized light echoes the scale of the space.
The floor covering consists of four identical rugs positioned in a square – perfect for creating a carpeted effect without the commitment.
Don’t be afraid of the dark
Create a mellow and moody scheme using saturated shades and textured fabrics. The blackened walls in this living room lend themselves to evening entertaining and would work well – and warmly – in a north- or east-facing aspect where the light is cold.
A shag pile rug and smart velvet sofa lift the monochrome palette, while gold accents give good glitz. Choose warm metals over chromes and silvers if your aim is to turn up the temperature in a space.
Put novels in a nook
Books equal cosiness, so why not make a feature of yours? Library-style ladders allow shelves to be taken to the ceiling in this perfectly proportioned living room. A clever combination of prints enhances the homely feel, while a pink and blue palette adds candy-like colour.
Try bright and refined
If light and elegant are your watchwords, take some tips from this graceful living room, with its base of mood-soothing neutrals. Pale grey walls frame the space and set the room’s cool tone, which works brilliantly with blue accessories. Vivid artworks provide contrasting colour and brass side tables introduce further warmth.
A buttoned ottoman becomes a coffee table with the addition of a tray for displaying trinkets and balancing beverages.
Style with stripes
Hunker down for a winter by the sea with coastal-inspired stripes and wooden accents. Thick, interlined curtains made of linen with a graduated colour effect that mimics the line of the horizon beyond, as here, and will keep the room feeling toasty in all weathers.
Let the structure shine
In a cottage or period home with commanding features, such as exposed beams, bare bricks, a flagstone floor or an inglenook fireplace, a light hand works best. Stick to a neutral palette – dark or light – and introduce softness via upholstery and accessories.
Here, wood and iron are used for their rustic vibe, which plays off the more delicate pieces.
Play with prints
Weave in a warming touch of modern country via delicate patterns. In this living room, a natural jute rug adds cosiness to a stone floor and forms a neutral base that would work with any upholstery. Twin armchairs create a conversation-friendly circular seating area.
For subtle clashing, try mixing different small-scale prints and introducing one contrasting colour.
Settle on the right sofa
Probably the most crucial piece of furniture in any living space, your sofa has the power to make or break a design scheme, and will also determine its position on the restful scale.
Contemporary, straight-armed styles are a timeless choice for those with longevity in mind. For something more traditional, try a simple, rolled-arm chesterfield without too much buttoning.
See 10 ways to work your room around a classic grey sofa
What makes a living room restful for you? Share your tips in the Comments below.