5 Ways To Make Your Large Living Room Feel Cozier

Who doesn't like a cozy living room space? For years, one of the first and best ways to show someone's character on a TV show or in a movie was to depict them living in a renovated loft. Invariably they were outfitted with enormous living rooms that seemed simultaneously welcoming and homey while exotic and full of mystique.

But you don't have to be a Netflix character to understand how to bring the size of a large room down to manageable comfort. While interior designers are trained to see how these spaces can be tamed, you can, too, by paying attention to the same guidelines they use. 

Filling a room that, at first glance, looks like an empty museum may seem like a daunting task, but it's solved the same way every other problem is, with a single step at a time. The decorators at 1825 Interiors suggest some simple solutions, starting with breaking the room into different functions. You can map out places to relax, watch TV, eat, read and work from home. You can also change your living room's colors, lighting, furniture, and décor to create a cozy space. 

Cozy colors

Start by assessing the warmth of the living room, preferably without furniture. If you haven't built this home to your own specifications, the style of the dwelling is already going to provide hints about how to proceed. What you want to do is plan how to warm the space up and proceed from there.

One of the first tools at your disposal is paint. Certainly, color cannot alter the physical dimensions of your room, but color directs the eye and pulls focus, per Paintzen. It's a handy rule of thumb, no matter the project, that lighter colors make a space feel more roomy, according to Kylie M. Interiors, while darker ones absorb more light and create a cocoon of intimacy. They do add a caveat, however. Darker hues also tend to "blur" corners because there's less illumination.

One way to achieve the effect of coziness is to paint an accent wall a lighter color while the other walls get a darker complimentary color. The result? The accented lighter wall pulls you in, while the surrounding walls provide a welcoming security. Or make your ceiling appear lower and cozier by painting it a darker color and the walls lighter. You can also consider decorating the ceiling or installing a false lower ceiling. 

Warmer windows

Even if you're one of those homeowners who love floor-to-ceiling windows, they don't do much to create coziness. One remedy is to install drapes or curtains that run from the ceiling to the floor. If you have an ultra-modern place, consider investing in some high-quality blinds — maybe even horizontal ones that will make your décor pop even more.

According to Home Decor Bliss, is that either of these misused can have the opposite effect. Color is just as important as mentioned earlier, but now you'll also need to incorporate texture into your deliberations as well. Lighter fabrics will make your room look even larger, they caution, and choosing too dark or heavy a fabric can leave a room looking funereal and have you wanting to keep the drapes open throughout the day. Tip Top Blinds also suggests that blinds and wall colors should be chosen according to their contrast and that one should be at least one shade lighter or darker than the other.

Listen to the professionals at Budget Blinds. They recommend that you work with the color variety at the warmer end of the spectrum, including fawn, dusty charcoal, or a shade of brown. They also suggest that pleated shades, Roman blinds, and blinds made of faux wood do a great deal to make a room appear cozier. Even the once-dreaded mini-blinds of yesteryear have become much more pleasant, cozy, and contemporary.

Think areas

Divide, and you will conquer. One of the most effective ways to bring a room size down to something cozy is by breaking up the space. The pleasant surprise is that there are several ways to do so with panache.

A large sectional sofa is a quick fix because a large one solves so much of the problem in one fell swoop. A huge sofa dominates the room and reduces the decorator's job to simply fill in the details. Apt 2B explains that the way to best use your sectional is to place it either at the center of the room or, if the area is still too open, off to a third of the room, where you can create other cozy nooks with themes that reflect your lifestyle. However, as the site warns, you will likely notice how much time you spend getting around your sofa when it occupies so much real estate.

Now consider creating more intimate dining spaces or work or media areas. Another way to break up your space, says Dea Vita, is to create different levels within the room. That means you can re-do the floors to create a sunken living room or build an elevated part of the room up from the existing floor.

Cozy furniture

Regard a large room as an opportunity — or challenge, if you like — to think big in creating a cozy atmosphere. Say yes to that armoire that reminds you of "The Chronicles of Narnia" or the grandfather clock gathering dust in the basement.

Although it might not be common to see large pieces of contemporary furniture, there are still pieces out there waiting to be found. Chairish, for example, has a large collection of old and new pieces, including many more modern furnishings. You'll find cabinets, consoles, sideboards, desks, and credenzas, as well as exotic sofas and coffee tables.

The idea is to make choices that turn your room not into a museum of bric-a-brac but into a place with warmth and intimacy. If you decide to go with older restored furniture, great. But you don't want the room to look anachronistic. And the strategy for avoiding that is to choose among pieces that are more evocative of an era than definitive. 

According to Matter Brothers, picking a theme, like urban or rural, is a solid starting point. They also suggest limiting your color palette so that your living room doesn't look like the showroom where you made your purchase. You can start with a prized possession like an enormous antique desk or a mid-century teardrop coffee table and begin to fill in the blanks.

Art objects

And now you're at the fun part. When you've got an enormous room to warm up, let your imagination run wild. Sconces work. Sculptures are welcome, and even bits of the past can be brought out of retirement.

Ask the folks at Posh Pennies, and they'll tell you that the easiest way to accessorize is to think on a larger scale. They first suggest — then dismiss — the idea of a gallery wall, believing it's been done to death. Instead, they offer a terrific DIY alternative: create some art of your own to make the space feel intimate. Broad strokes on a canvas can be mounted and put on the wall just as easily as a collection of family photos or vintage paintings.

Then there's an idea that makes Mother Nature your ally in creating coziness. You can place large plants, even small trees, around the room. If you don't want to use real plants indoors, Pottery Barn has a selection of artificial plants that are so well crafted they'll fool anyone who isn't a horticulturist.

And finally, tapestries, murals, and bits of whimsy add intimacy and warmth. Luxe Deco offers an array of mirrors and cabinetry, including bookcases and rugs that can help you make the space cozier. And a chandelier makes the perfect final touch.