Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by bethrmartin
There’s nothing quite like coming home to a cozy living room at the end of a long day. The warm glow of the fireplace, walls of books, and overstuffed armchairs can make all the stress of a long day just melt away.
If a cozy spot like this feels too good to be true, think again.
You don’t need to be an interior designer to create the perfect cozy living room. With a few essential design tricks and surrounded by your favorite things, your living room can become the ultimate relaxing sanctuary.
This post will show you everything you need to know to style the ideal living space in your home. Whether you’re looking for cozy living room ideas to decorate your existing space or need help creating a new one from scratch, I’ve got you covered.
Get ready to be warm and cozy because this list will have you feeling all the vibes!
How To Create The Perfect Cozy Living Room
With these simple cozy living room ideas, you will never want to leave your home:
1. Pick a Color Palette That Makes You Happy.
To set the right tone, start by selecting a color palette that will set the stage for a cozy atmosphere.
Neutral warm putty and sage green are excellent choices for an earthy cozy living room. You can also go for moody, dark colors like charcoal and navy if you want something more daring.
No matter which colors you choose, make sure they complement each other and create a cohesive look. Color is a very personal choice, and you should pick the colors that make you feel the best.
*Interior Designer Pro Tip:
Try The 6:3:1 rule when selecting your next color palette.
60% of your space will be filled with your dominant color, 30% with the secondary color choice, and 10% with accent colors. Select the same tones for the dominant and secondary colors, but then you can go crazy with the accents.
2. Choose Comfy Seating.
Selecting the correct seating is crucial because this is where your whole family will be spending most of the time, and it will also be the room’s main focal point. It’s necessary to make sure it’s cozy and comfortable, and stylish.
The size of your sofa is one of the most pivotal choices you will make. A sectional sofa is a fantastic option because you can pick the perfect components to suit your space. A large sectional with extra deep seating will make your room feel comfortable.
Learn about all the things you should consider before buying a sectional sofa in my ultimate guide here.
The second is the style. I recommend a plush, overstuffed sofa for a cozy living room if you have the space. A large sectional is the ideal living room furniture, creating a relaxing and inviting look. It’s also the perfect place to curl up with a book.
Finally, think about the fabric. A cozy living room should be welcoming and warm, so choose an upholstery that is inviting but extremely easy to care for. Performance velvet is always a good upholstery choice for creating a cozy vibe because it looks super lush but is stain resistant, so you won’t have to worry about spills during movie marathons.
Leather is a great choice because it has a relaxed chic vibe and it’s very durable. You can learn more about the types of leather used on furniture here.
3. Layer up the blankets.
Add plush blankets for cuddling to take your couch to the next level. Not only will this make your sofa extra cozy, but it will also add a pop of color or pattern.
Blankets are an easy way to change the look of your living space, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and textures. I love the way a chunky knit blanket looks draped over a sofa.
Keep a basket filled with cozy blankets and plush throw pillows near your couch so you and your family members are always warm and cozy.
4. Embrace Texture.
Layering textures will add depth to the design of your room and make the overall space feel more inviting. Natural elements like wood, marble, brass, and stone are effortless yet luxurious.
Mix different textures to create an appealing and cohesive living room design. Balance hardwood floors with layered rugs to give the whole room a softer feel. Pair the clean lines of Midcentury modern furniture with sculptural wall art to add contrast to your space.
A statement chair is also a great way to introduce texture and act as a focal point, especially in a small space. Many designer chairs use bold materials and shapes that still feel cozy (the Womb Chair has to be the comfiest of all seating styles). Don’t feel like you need to splurge to get something nice – beautiful chairs are available at all prices.
5. Don’t Forget the Throw Pillows.
Take your furniture to the next level with super comfy throw pillows. Available in many sizes, fabrics, and textures, finding the perfect fit for your cozy living room has never been easier.
Using natural fabrics with a soft texture for your pillows will elevate your room. Extra large pillows can even work in a pinch for additional seating during game nights or movie marathons.
Pillows are an easy way to change the look of your room without spending a lot of money. If you’re ever bored with your space, switch out the pillows!
*Interior Designer Pro Tip:
When buying an insert for throw pillows, buy one size larger than the pillow. For example, if your pillow is 18×18, buy a 20×20 insert. Your pillows look fuller and will hold their shape better over time.
6. Make Space for a Fireplace.
If you’re lucky enough to have a living room with a fireplace, take full advantage of it. Nothing beats the cozy feel of the warm glow of a fire, especially in the winter months.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a real fireplace! You can still create the look with an electric fireplace insert or a faux fireplace. These come in all different styles, so you can find one that fits the overall design of your room.
You can also create a design feature by filling the opening with candles or books – let your imagination run wild!
I live in Charleston, SC, where it can be 70 degrees in January, but our non-working fireplace is a charming focal point in our living room either way. I purchased an antique summer cover to match our Art Deco light fixtures, and I love the style it brings to the room.
7. Include Candles and Scents.
Engage all of your senses by adding some candles to the mix. I love changing scents throughout the year long with the seasons. This subtle change can help to set the mood in your cozy living room.
I like using cozy scents like vanilla, cinnamon, and pine for the fall and winter months. These warm scents create an inviting atmosphere during the colder seasons.
If you are worried about an open flame, reed diffusers are a terrific no-stress way to add scent and make a living room feel just as welcoming.
8. Enhance Your Windows With the Right Curtains.
Window treatments are not only a great way to dress up your windows, but they can also help make your cozy living room feel even more charming. Heavy curtains will help block out any unwanted noise or light and add a layer of warmth to the room.
Use sheer curtains in addition to heavy curtains so you have better control of the natural light in your space. This easy addition will make your living room cozy no matter the time of day.
9. Load Up On Books.
There is just something about a moody space filled with books that makes it feel cozy and inviting. All those pages practically ask you to sink into your favorite accent chair and stay awhile.
Books are one of my favorite things to buy while traveling, so being surrounded by my memories makes my living room feel extra special. Old books are a designer favorite for decor because they perfectly blend functional beauty.
If you’re short on shelf space, try styling a large coffee table or mantel with a few of your favorite titles. Stacks of books layered with other accessories will make your living room feel more personal.
10. Bring Nature Indoors.
Adding plants to your cozy living room is a great way to connect with nature and bring greenery into your home. Houseplants even purify the air in your home, so they are beautiful and may even provide health benefits!
Make your life easy by choosing plants that are easy to care for. Succulents, pothos, air plants, and snake plants are all excellent choices because they are low-maintenance and add a relaxing vibe to any space.
11. Choose the Right Lighting.
The lighting in your room can make a big difference in how cozy it feels. Avoid a harsh overhead fixture as your primary lighting. A well-balanced room should have at least three lighting sources. Consider using wall sconces, table lamps, floor lamps, and ambient lighting options, like natural light, candles, or a fireplace.
Remember to include task lighting around your sofa or favorite reading chair. A reading nook is an easy addition that can create a warm and cozy living room you will never want to leave – but the correct lighting is critical.
*Interior Designer Pro Tip:
Always use dimmable bulbs with soft, warm light tones to create an inviting ambiance in your cozy living room. Bulbs close to 2700K will be a warm white and ideal for a living room.
12. Bright it All Together With the Right Rug.
A cozy living room is not complete without an area rug. Not only does it tie the entire space together, but it also makes the room feel cozier and inviting.
Make sure you select the correct size living room rug to complement your space and furniture. You want about 18 inches of space around the rug’s perimeter so it doesn’t look too small or cramped.
Opt for a soft rug with a thicker pile when creating a cozy space. This will feel extra great under your feet and may encourage you to lounge on the floor.
13. Center Everything Around Your Coffee Table.
Your coffee table is one of the essential pieces of furniture in your cozy living room. It serves as a place to set down your coffee or wine and a great place to style with books, plants, and other décor items.
Since the coffee table will be the central focus of your living space, make sure it’s the right size for the room. You don’t want something too big or too small, or the proportions of the entire room will feel off.
14. Surround Yourself With Art.
Adding a personal touch to your living room will make it feel like home, and one of the best ways to do that is with wall decor. Choose pieces that have personal meaning or that you love looking at. Wall art doesn’t have to be expensive, either. You can find affordable prints online or even make your own!
Another great way to personalize your space is by hanging family photos. They add a touch of warmth and make the room feel more pleasant. Print them in black and white and hang them as part of a gallery wall for a cohesive, modern look.
The only rule regarding art is that it makes you happy. So surround yourself with pieces that make you smile, and your cozy living room will be complete.
15. Go Bold With Pattern.
Cozy doesn’t mean plain, so don’t be afraid to layer many patterns. Your living room should be a reflection of your style, and that includes bold prints and patterns.
Wallpaper is a great way to add visual interest and texture. You can also find beautiful printed furniture, like an upholstered chair or ottoman. Ensure the overall design is cohesive by sticking to a limited color palette.
If unsure where to start, find your favorite prints and pick a color family. Then, start mixing and matching until you find the perfect combination.
*Interior Designer Pro Tip:
When pattern mixing, keeping some negative space in your room so the eye can rest is essential. Otherwise, the room will feel too busy and cluttered. Balance out dominant patterns with solid colors or a minimal contrasting pattern like a stripe or dot.
Everyone deserves to feel relaxed and comfortable in their living rooms, and hopefully, you found some inspiration to add to your own cozy living room.
Remember, cozy doesn’t mean boring!
Have fun mixing and matching different textures, patterns, and colors to create a space that is uniquely yours.
Sometimes, you need a little tweak to make a huge impact in your space. A new cozy candle and chunky blanket can go a long way if you don’t have time (or money) for a full makeover.
The best rooms come together over time, so don’t feel rushed or afraid to experiment until you find what makes you feel at home.
Thanks for reading!