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Make your living room inviting

Encourage friends and family to hang out at your place by making sure your living room is the only place to be.

By Anna Tobin, Houzz Contributor
Opinions expressed by Houzz Contributors are their own.
Original article on Houzz.

Is your living room the social heart of your home? If not, it’s time to transform it into a space where everyone wants to hang out. Think of the room as a stage and fill it with scenery that will instantly make your guests feel at home. Here’s how to create a great social life, all from the comfort of your sofa.

Slot in lots of seating

Original image on Houzz : Folio Design London

Make sure you have a variety of seating options in your living room that will work just as well for a few as for a crowd.

When it’s just you, your family or your housemates, you can sprawl out on the sofas, but when you have guests around, you want to ensure everyone has a seat. That might mean having a couple of spare armchairs that can be called upon or, if space is tight, turning a footstool into a perch.

When extra seating is needed in this room, the two armchairs can be simply moved sideways and the window seat comes into play.

Browse armchairs and accent chairs

Create a feet-up mood

The most welcoming living rooms actually invite guests to put their feet up, be it on an upholstered pouffe, a chaise longue or an indoor lounger, as seen here. If you’re worried about getting footprints on your furniture, ask your guests to remove their shoes, which will make them feel even more at home.

Discover footstools and ottomans to help you put your feet up

Original image on Houzz : Sigmar

Add an extra layer of cosiness

Original image on Houzz : Alex Findlater Ltd

Dress the sofas and chairs with plump cushions to add an additional layer of comfort. Drape a throw over an arm of the sofa, as seen here, so people can pull it around them on cooler evenings and choose a thick-pile rug or carpet that was made to dig your toes into.

Get a fire going

Sparking a fire in the hearth, or in a wood burner as shown here, is an instant conversation starter. It’ll create a welcoming atmosphere and everybody will be keen to learn how to fan the flames. Guests will also come in closer to enjoy its warmth. If a real fire isn’t an option there are some great electric wood burners on the market that look cosy and create a similar feel.

Original image on Houzz : Hart Design And Construction

Include perches for drinks

Original image on Houzz : Wickenden Hutley

If friends and family often descend on your home, it’s probably because you’re known not just for having a comfy living room, but for your excellent hospitality, too. So as well having a coffee table, make sure you have side tables at either end of the sofa for guests to rest their drinks and nibbles on. A nest of tables can also come in useful.

Weave in a cocktail cabinet

A permanent home bar might be going too far, but if you’re entertaining, an impromptu cocktail bar will give your room that boutique-hotel honesty bar feel. Here, the sideboard is the perfect spot for a cocktail shaker and some drinks.

Original image on Houzz : LEIVARS

Fit mood lighting

Original image on Houzz : Boscolo Interior Design

The latest lighting technology can transform your living room at the flick of a switch, giving it the air of a romantic hideaway before transforming it into a sophisticated night club.

If you don’t have the budget for high-tech lighting, a simple dimmer switch and targeted side lights can help to create your desired mood. Here, the floor spotlight will illuminate the coffee table as the sun sets, while the overhead pendant is dramatically reflected in the mantel mirror to throw a warm glow over everything.

Make it super comfy

If you want to encourage people to spend time in your living room, not only do you need extra seating, it also needs to be cosy and comfy. For extra snugness, opt for sofas in rich, tactile fabrics, such as velvet. If you flopped onto this sofa, you’d never want to leave.

Want to revamp your living room? Mix and match your chairs

Original image on Houzz : Honey Bee Interiors

Cue the music

Original image on Houzz : Inspired Dwellings

Get the party going with a tune or two. Install the latest integrated sound system and choose music to suit the mood via your smartphone or tablet. In this room, sleek speakers have been discreetly fitted into the ceiling.

Find out how to stylishly integrate audiovisual gadgets into your home

Flow into the dining area

Having an open-plan living and dining area like this will create a hang-out mood, as the party will naturally spill back into the living area once everyone has eaten. When you’re entertaining a crowd, it’s natural for different clusters to emerge and an arrangement like this allows each group to find its own space.

Original image on Houzz : Paul Craig Photography

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