Anyone with a favorite nook on the couch can attest that there is an art to whiling away the day doing absolutely nothing, and it all starts with having an extra-cozy living room from which to laze around guilt-free. Luckily for homebodies, a penchant for comfort doesn't have to mean a sacrifice of style. Thanks in part to hygge—the Danish concept of coziness and contentment that's made its way into American interior design—a comfort-minded space is downright trendy and chic, and comfy pieces are easy to come by.
So whether you're switching channels solo or hosting friends for an impromptu get-together, these 42 tricks will make your living room feel ultra cozy.
Pick a Peaceful Palette
The first step in creating a cozy oasis is choosing a color palette that fills you with a sense of calm. Whether that means a range of light neutrals, saturated darks, or something in between, that's entirely up to you. Just be sure to pick colors that put you at ease and bring a smile to your face.
Keep It Casual
There's something to be said for a sophisticated formal living room—it's an impressive space to host guests and a satisfying spot to unwind with a glass of wine. But when you're looking for somewhere to veg out and burrow yourself in a pile of blankets, you probably want a more casual space. Avoid furniture and decor that feels too fancy, opting instead for pieces that relax you as soon as you walk in the room.
Aim to have all three types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient is your basic lighting—ceiling lights and natural light fall into this category. Task lighting, such as lamps, helps you accomplish tasks (duh). Accent lighting, like sconces and pendants, adds extra ambiance. Mix and match to give yourself options when setting the right mood—bonus points for dimmable lights.
Supersize Your Sofa
If you're considering a sofa upgrade, opt for an extra-deep one that's both great for entertaining larger crowds and nap-friendly. While you don't want your sofa to overpower your space, you also don't want one that's too small or too narrow to be comfortable.
Pile On the Pillows
Whether you use them to rest your head when a Netflix binge turns into a Netflix nap or to prop your feet up when you're tired of sitting up straight, pillows are the foundation of a cozy living room. Toss a few pillows on your couch and chairs, and don't overlook the floor: Overstuffed floor pillows can double as extra seating for guests.
Easily update the look of your throw pillows as often as you like with removable pillow covers. Purchase a few or DIY some extras to swap out seasonally or whenever you're craving a refresh.
Appoint Accent Tables
Make sure everyone involved in your Netflix binge has a side table at their disposal. Position tables within arm's reach so that everything your guests need to relax is nearby, whether it's their phone or a glass of wine. You'll be thankful when no glasses are spilled because someone was balancing one awkwardly on a sofa armrest.
Light a Fire
Nothing sets the mood for a cozy night in quite like the flickering of a fireplace. If you don't have the luxury of a hearth, light a candle (or more than one) to channel the feel of an afternoon by the fire.
Black It Out
If you want to really give your living room a cozy feeling, nothing accomplishes that quite as easily as painting the walls a dark, moody color. Whether pitch black, blue-gray, or forest green, a darker color will make you want to hunker down and unwind.
Opt for an Ottoman
Let's face it: Sharp edges and hard materials are just not conducive to comfort. Instead of a solid coffee table that you'd probably stub your toes on constantly, go with a soft and cozy ottoman as your centerpiece. Place a tray on top for a solid surface, then move it out of the way when you want to plop your feet up or create extra seating.
Add an extra layer of padding underfoot and create more visual dimension by layering rugs. This is especially useful when you have one large room-sized rug and would like to further define an area with a smaller rug. This divides the room into functional zones visually without actual barriers.
Is there anything more luxurious than velvet? Spring for a velvet sofa or a pair of velvet armchairs to give your room an instant chicness factor that's still insanely cozy and inviting. Contrary to what many people think, velvet is super durable and easy to clean, thanks to its low pile and lack of looped threads.
Multiply Your Seating
Comfy, come-hither seating is a must when designing a cozy living space. Couches should be deep-seated, chairs should be cushy or ergonomic, and there should always be ample seating to go around—no one should have to resign themselves to sitting on the floor (unless they're nestled upon a cushy floor pillow, of course).
Infuse the Air
Aromatherapy is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to set the right mood. Light a candle, burn some incense or pick up an essential oil diffuser to put you and your guests at ease simply by breathing in. A few fool-proof cozy scents include cinnamon, vanilla, lavender, or anything that smells like fresh-baked goods.
Beyond pillows, layer different textures to make your space feel extra cozy: Think soft rugs, knit blankets, and touchable cushions—all of which will add to the comfort factor that will contribute to your ultimate lazy day.
Nestle Into Nooks
If you're lucky enough to have an alcove, nook, or recess in your living room, make the most of it by outfitting with cushions, pillows, and blankets for maximum comfort. Just like that, you've gained more seating and the perfect spot to curl up for an afternoon nap.
Curtains are such an easy way to add an extra layer of warmth to any room. It's simple, really—the more textiles you layer, the cozier your space will feel. Curtains can also filter harsh light to soften a space or black out your windows for movie night, depending on your preferences.
Bring in Books
There's something very comforting about being surrounded by books. They add a worldly feeling to your room and suggest that a good story is right at your fingertips. All that's left is to curl up on the sofa with a fuzzy blanket and a cup of hot tea.
Scatter Cozy Throws
In addition to supplying a dose of warmth and comfort when needed, throws can provide a room with added texture and color. Drape a throw across the back of your couch to give your space some extra style, or neatly fold a few in a floor basket near the foot of a chair. Bonus: You can change them out with the seasons or on a whim.
Adding art to the walls instantly gives off a personalized, lived-in feeling to make your space more inviting. A well-curated gallery wall is an especially great way to create a focal point, and it can fill a large wall space, which can make a room feel less empty and more intimate.
Adopt a Plant Baby
Plants are a foolproof way to add lush, laid-back vibes to your living room. Beyond the cool, casual feeling they give, some houseplants' leafy foliage also offers a plethora of health benefits, like aromatherapy and air purification.
If you have any fur babies or young kids around, do your research ahead of time to avoid plants that are poisonous to people and pets.
Refresh Your Fireplace
A fireplace is one of those cozy features that demand attention. That being said, while brick or vintage tile can be completely charming in some spaces, it can also date a room by decades. If you're finding yours to be an eyesore, refresh it with a coat of paint or whitewash treatment. You'll be amazed at the transformation.
Warm Up With Wood Tones
Wood is another surefire way to add instant warmth and character to your space, be it through furniture, walls, or decor. Go with light woods if you tend to lean towards open and airy spaces, go with darker woods for a more moody and cozy ambiance, or mix and match for the best of both worlds.
Play With Pattern
Be fearless in playing with pattern, texture, and color. Pick pieces that feel like they belong to the same era, but don't feel like you have to stick to one style or color palette. While you want everything to coordinate, avoid going too matchy-matchy for a more high-end look.
Piece It Together
If you and your friends prefer to really stretch out, consider investing in a sectional. The best part about sectionals is that, true to their name, they come in two or more pieces that are typically smaller than your average couch. That means if you're worried about a tight door or narrow hallway, a sectional might actually be a better choice than one long couch.
If you prefer late nights spent deep in conversation rather than camped out in front of the TV, emulate a classic conversation pit to spur dialogue. Start with a fluffy rug comfy enough to sit on, and then add low-to-the-ground furniture positioned around a common center point, like a coffee table or fireplace.
It can be hard to make a living room feel intimate, especially in an extra-large room or open floor plan. Create the illusion of separate spaces by assigning specific zones—perhaps a dining area, TV space, office nook, etc. Be creative and realistic about what your needs are. Use rugs and furniture groupings to define areas.
Round Things Out
For maximum comfort, choose furniture with soft lines and rounded edges. Not only will your room be cushier and less hazardous, but the appearance of soft lines can actually trick the brain into perceiving a space as more comfortable and inviting.
Symmetry can be a beautiful thing, but it can also have the unintended effect of making a room feel more formal. Keep things somewhat asymmetrical and unexpected for a more casual (read: cozier) look.
Kick Up Your Feet
Are you really relaxing if your feet aren't up? Stretch out and give those legs a break by opting for chaise lounge furniture, cushy ottomans, and poufs perfect for kicking your feet up after a long day. They'll even double as extra seating in a pinch.
Get Touchy Feely
Some fabrics just scream at you to touch them—bouclé, sherpa, knits, and faux fur are a few that come to mind. Incorporate these kinds of luxurious, touchable fabrics through furniture and textiles, and the result will be an in-your-face kind of comfort that no one will be able to resist.
Leave no question as to what you want your guests to feel in your space by giving very literal cues through suggestive artwork—serene landscapes, photos of people relaxing, and calming word prints are just a few ideas. It's a simple, but effective way to set the tone for your space.
Carve Out a Music Corner
The right tunes will always set the right tone. Dedicate an area in your living room to being a music hub so that you're ready to rise to any occasion with the perfect track. Plus, guests will have fun browsing your collection and taking turns playing their favorites.
Infuse your living room with personality through wallpaper. Whether you prefer a subtle geometric pattern or bright floral motif, there's just no replacement for the drama that a graphic wall treatment adds. Choose one statement wall or go crazy and wallpaper the entire room—either way, you'll love the added atmosphere.
Paint Your Ceiling
Craving drama but scared to commit to painting all of your walls? Opt for a more subtle effect by painting your ceiling. It'll still bring the moody drama you desire but on a more toned-down level—and with less work required, we might add.
Invest in Leather
It may seem counterintuitive, but leather furniture automatically adds a warm, comfortable vibe to any room. Worn leather—particularly in shades of brown—creates a certain ambiance that is difficult to replicate. Snowy days and roaring fires come to mind.
Incorporate Earthy Touches
Want to replicate that feeling of peace and well-being that comes from spending time in the great outdoors? Bring elements of Mother Nature inside to create a down-to-earth oasis in your living room. Earthy touches like stone, wood, and organic fabrics will help transform your space into a calming retreat.
Highlight Architectural Details
Take advantage of the natural assets in your home by highlighting architectural features like fireplaces, beams, and trim work. These details add loads of character and up the coziness factor with minimal effort on your part. Consider playing up woodwork, tiling your hearth, or styling your room with cues from the existing architecture.
Fill Open Space
While you never want your living room to feel cramped or over-stuffed, filling the space appropriately will go a long way towards conveying that cozy vibe. Avoid too-small furniture and wide-open spaces. That might mean investing in an extra armchair or bookcase—just make sure things feel balanced.
Bring in Shelves
Just because you don't have a massive book collection, that doesn't mean you can't benefit from bringing in some open shelving. Display things like art, bowls, baskets, trinkets, collections, and anything else that makes you happy—the more fun you have styling, the better it will look.
There are no rules—if you want hot pink furniture or teal walls, go for it. Spice things up and embrace your weird side. When you're really true to yourself and comfortable in your space, that sense of satisfaction will be infectious to everyone around you.
Light It Up
For those of you who crave individuality, this is your time to shine—literally. Impress the pants off of anyone that walks into your space with a luminous neon sign. Not only does it add a custom, high-end feel, but it also gives off a warm glow for an added dose of cozy and cool.
Do What Makes You Happy
At the end of the day, what's most important is that you feel at peace in your own space. If you're stumped on what direction to go with your living room, follow your gut, and pick pieces and projects that make you happy. The result will be a space that is perfect and 100 percent you.
Improve Air Quality Naturally With Plants. North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. May 4, 2016