Floor designer

How can I make a large living room comfortable?

Having a large living room may seem like a luxury, but as the nights roll in and the temperature outside begins to drop, you’re probably wondering, “How can I make my large living room comfortable?” “.

It can be difficult to bring a sense of coziness into a large room, as it’s something you normally associate with more intimate spaces. But whether you have an open plan or high ceilings to contend with, there are cozy living room ideas you can adopt in order to turn your large living room into a warm and welcoming space.

We spoke to interior experts to find out the techniques and tricks they use in generous spaces.

How to make my living room cozy?

Making a home comfortable isn’t always easy if your rooms are large or tall. Sure, it’s wonderful to have airy rooms, but if you crave comfort, you might be wondering how to make them cozy and inviting. So how do you make a large living room cozy? Try these step-by-step techniques.

1. Break up the layout of a large room

Living room with blue sofas

(Image credit: Photography by Adrian Gaut / Stylized by Colin King)

First, you need to divide your large living room into different areas, rethinking your living room layout ideas based on how you want to use the space, as an interior designer. Shanade McAllister-Fisher (opens in a new tab) suggests.

“Start by mapping out your room to create zones, being careful not to place all the furniture against the walls, which tends to look like a doctor’s waiting room,” she explains.

“Use larger pieces of furniture, such as sofas, armchairs and lounge chairs to divide the space and create conversation areas and focal points.”

Make sure each of these areas feel relaxed by keeping their design relatively informal.

2. Create pools of light

Living room with colored lighting and furniture

(Image credit: Firmdale Hotels/Kit Kemp)

Difficult living room lighting ideas can disrupt the look of a room of any size, and with a large living room, you likely have multiple light sources to manage.

The secret to creating a cozy atmosphere in a large space is to provide living room lighting that avoids contrasts.

“One way to do this is to use an armed living room ceiling light or a chandelier that reflects light back into the room,” says Peter Legg, lead designer for Där Lighting (opens in a new tab).

“A large diameter drum shade works well as a soft light and specialists should be able to suggest a diffuser or baffle trim that will further dilute the glow and minimize glare.

“In a large space, you can also cut out different zones using accents such as a table or floor lamp and living room wall sconces to form wraparound reading nooks or cozy socializing areas.”

3. Start a fire

Living room with blue velvet armchair next to a fireplace bearing distressed wooden panels and an animal skin rug below

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Nothing says ‘cosy’ in a large living room more than a warm open fire, so if you’re able to incorporate one into your design, make sure it’s the focal point.

To do this, place seating (safely!) around the area – not only will this help create a cozy conversation area, but it will also draw attention to the warmest part of the room.

4. Layer, Layer, Layer

perch episode 3 - a living room decorated in pink and blue - PinkBlue_JAMES-MERRELL

(Image credit: James Merrel/Future)

Layering in interior design is key to making a large living room comfortable.

“Try to be more adventurous than incorporating just a few cushions and a throw,” suggests interior designer Juliette Thomas, founder of Juliettes Interiors.

‘In addition to beautiful textured fabrics, add depths and color tones to bring a larger space to life and make it welcoming and comfortable. The warmth of wooden floors or the glamor of metallic finishes can elevate an interior, while throws, cushions, rugs and lighting combine to complete your base layers,” she adds.

5. Create a corner

Books surrounding a window seat

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

If you like to snuggle up with a good book, use your extra space to create a peaceful and cozy reading nook. Install a large comfortable armchair next to a shelf, next to a small side table.

Complete the look by adding a table lamp or floor lamp with a reading lamp for darker evenings – and don’t forget to add a cozy blanket for good measure.

Even if you don’t use a reading corner, it will create an unbeatable feeling of comfort.

6. Use rich, warm colors

Patterned curtains in terracotta living room with accent chair by window and antique rug on floor

(Image credit: Emily Minton-Redfield/Nadia Watts Interior Design)

Rich, warm colors on walls and even ceilings (think fall colors) can help create an enveloping feel in a large room. Warm neutrals and earthy tones can have a comforting effect, so you don’t necessarily have to paint the whole living room in a dark color.

Also rethink living room ceiling ideas. If you have high ceilings, you can try using two tones on the walls in complementary tones, using one on the ceiling as well. Do this by painting different walls in different tones to help zone the room or by painting only one color halfway up the wall, as this can often help give the illusion of a lower ceiling.

7. Install rugs and carpet

Living room with a black and white striped rug and a gray sofa

(Image credit: future)

Living room rug ideas are an obvious way to soften a space, but if you’re hesitant to fully cover hardwood floors, consider adding a living room rug (or a few).

Not only will a rug be more comfortable underfoot, but it can also serve as a tool to help zone a larger room. Place it under a coffee table and chairs to create conversation space and help anchor the space.

“It’s important to consider the size, color and style of the rug because it’s an addition that will add warmth and change the overall aesthetic of a room,” recommends Lou Petersen, To live in (opens in a new tab)creative director. “Go for an option that suits your personal style and blends well with your existing interior,” she adds.

8. Make sure furniture looks and feels comfortable

living room with wooden storage, textured ceiling, brown sofa, blue and yellow cushions, drapes, pouf

(Image credit: Cabellero)

Make sure your seats are comfortable – after all, there’s nothing quite like sinking into a plush sofa after a long day. The same goes for other rooms in your living room to create a warm atmosphere.

For example, you can swap out your glass coffee tables for oversized ottomans, adding a tray to place coasters and candles.

9. Add more layers to the walls

Pale lavender living room with modern gray sofa, marble coffee table, coffee table books, bold printed cushions, contemporary artwork

(Image credit: Mylands)

Also think about how to fill a large living room wall: using living room art ideas and even fabric tapestries can create coziness that can be layered over warm paint colors.

Choose a few oversized pieces to fill the space and create focal points in the room, as well as a few smaller detailed prints for added interest.

10. Provide curtains with full curtains

Traditional interior with dark wood features, windows with sheer curtains, white painted walls, blue and white striped rug, brown sofa, cream armchair, leather ottoman

(Image credit: Heidi Caillier Design, photography by Haris Kenjar)

Heavy living room curtain ideas will not only help keep the cold out, but long fabrics will help soften the look of your windows and add texture to the overall scheme of the room.

Also consider layering your window treatments. Combine sheer shades with thicker curtains to allow you to control the amount of air and light that enters the room as and when you want.

What are the quick ways to make a large living room comfortable?

Quick ways to make a large living room cozy include a quick run around the house to gather some complementary pillows and throws that you can use to add warm, comforting layers to your furniture. Perhaps you could also consider replacing a rug from another room if its colors are warmer than what you currently have? And just like when looking for how to make a dining room cozy, replacing overhead lighting with table lamps and candles will quickly make your space more inviting.