8 Tips for Making Your Home a Place to Gather – Pt. 2 – The Living Room

No matter what you call it, living room, den, great room, sala, lounge, or family room, it is easy to make a living room inviting with a few thoughtful elements. 

  • Have plenty of seating. Nothing makes a space less inviting than people awkwardly standing around without a place to sit.
  • Go for the longest sofa you can fit. Just make sure walking paths have plenty of clearance; between 36” - 42” is a comfortable walking path for most residential spaces.
  • A unique pair of chairs can be pulled over to add more seats when gathering. They can also be used at a gaming table or reading nook. Don’t be afraid of chairs or sofas with an unusual shape or fabric to create interest in your room. Make sure the build and material fit your lifestyle. We’re in the business of real design, which means that if it’s not functional, we don’t want it!
  • Ottomans, benches, and poofs are the best way to add seating that doesn’t take up much floor space. They can be tucked away under the coffee table, in the corner of a bedroom and pulled out as needed.
  • Wisely placed accent and coffee tables are always useful to hold your drinks and snacks, but can be easily moved if you need to rearrange to accommodate a crowd.
  • Choose a dining table that fits your space and family comfortably. Ideally there should be a space of 36”-42” between the table and surrounding walls. When determining how many people will fit at the table, a general rule of thumb is 18”-24” between people. We always design homes for everyday use over special occasions, a table with a leaf or extension is our ideal mix. You can open it up for crowds and close it down for the nuclear family.
  • Pillows, pillows, pillows, you can never have too many! We love to buy really great quality inserts and swap the covers seasonally or when we want a refresh. Covers are easy to clean (read the cleaning instructions!) and store when you’re not using them. Layer in some that are larger in size and can be dropped on the floor to become an extra seat. Choose colors and patterns that you love and try to mix up shapes, scale, and, most essentially, textures.
  • Decorate your tables with pieces you love like books, plants, candles, and fun artistic objects. The best collection is the one you curate over time, so be patient. Visit local art festivals, antique shops, farmer’s markets, and pick up pieces when you travel. Mix new and old pieces for balance. Don’t stress too much about these pieces matching, a cozy home is filled with unique items you love.
  • Don’t forget photos! Pick frames that have a common element (color, size, material, pattern) and make groupings all over your home. What’s more comforting than pictures of the people, pets, and places you love?
  • Be sure you have plenty of lighting to play games and read. Place a table or floor lamp to add style and usefulness. Make sure that the diameter of the lamp shade is not bigger than the table it is placed on, that will make the scale look too large for the space.
  • Opt for warmer tone bulbs (2700K is an ideal warm tone) and dimmability to make your space feel cozy.
  • Be creative with ceiling lighting. Some open-plan spaces won’t have a great place for a floor lamp, so look up. A beautiful chandelier is similar to jewelry, use it to accent the overall design. Perhaps your books are tired of fighting for nightstand space, instead of a table lamp, hang a beautiful pendant that floats above the table. 
  • Sconces and art lamps are a beautiful way to highlight art and create soft indirect lighting to the whole room. They also make great directable bedside reading lights, make sure to add a switch next to the bed so you don't have to get out of your comfy bed to switch off a light.