18 cozy living room decoration ideas and designer examples

Great living rooms come in all sizes, shapes, styles and colors, but the one essential quality they all share is cosiness. The living room is where you earn your living, after all, so you might as well optimize it for snuggling and comfort, whatever that means to you. And while there are no hard and fast rules for making a room cozy, there are a few designer tricks that we keep seeing. Get inspired by 18 cozy living room examples and jot down your favorite trends and ideas to try in your own space.

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This sunny living room designed by Thomas Callaway exudes warmth despite its size and high ceiling. Callaway zoned the space to enhance intimacy, then used a soft butter glaze on the walls to give the room a golden glow and layered rich but soft fabrics.

A modular sofa, white-painted paneling, and loose, beachy layering materials give this living room a relaxed and cozy personality that still feels sharp. And since the living room shares with the kitchen and dining room within a larger open floor plan, Studio DIAA added a curtain. The semi-transparent fabric allows for plenty of light but also privacy.

Cover size and available pieces

If you have a smaller living room — or if you live in a rental apartment and are trying to figure out how to incorporate existing quirks like funky tiles — consider this living room designed by Arent & Pyke. First of all, the cozy space manages to pack in enough seating and counter space, but doesn’t feel overcrowded. And the firm incorporated the eccentric tiling around the firebox, painting light pink columns on the mantel and choosing a gorgeous art deco floral carpet in complementary colors. The geometric cube table and contemporary lighting modernize the space. The bottom line proves that it’s best to embrace and improve what you have rather than fight against it.

Layer textures and styles

While colors can help make a room cozier, it’s not the only way. Take this neutral toned living room by Kristin Fine, for example. Soft and textured mix of upholstery with off-white colour, rustic wood pieces and lots of antique touches to create a surprisingly modern feel. Best of all, Fine shows that you can have a TV over the fireplace (movie marathon = instant cozy vibes) without making it the visual focal point. She created custom plaster sliding doors, and the asymmetrical design makes them look like abstract art.

Mirroring all of the walls to reflect light is a surefire way to make a room appear larger. And we’re here for that design trick, but we also love that designer Benjamin Dhong has done it in a way that doesn’t smother the cozy feel of a small space. The green monochrome approach keeps the space from looking busy, while a distressed treatment on the mantel and rich velvets warm it up.

A chunky knit throw blanket, a lopsided ladder for displaying and storing extra textiles in a dimensional fashion, and plenty of plush pillows soften the fancy elements in this Jeffrey Dungan-designed living room, like the coffee table and sideboard.

A warm wooden piano automatically makes a large living room a cozier corner, as it encourages togetherness and general happiness. Coral, gray and brass tones work well to bring a more dynamic yet accessible color story to this living room designed by Mona Hajj.

A rugged stone fireplace surround, rustic exposed beams and layered rugs make this living room approachable and cozy enough for the whole family –even, especially the dog!

Balance sturdy pieces with slim frames

This living room designed by Brigette Romanek is another strong case for wall-to-wall bookcases. The iridescent velvet and soft art deco rug make the room look like your nicest and coolest friend. The seat with slim legs prevents it from feeling crowded.

Nothing gets you relaxed and ready for a good time like a home bar in the living room. Designer John Fondas transformed a low-profile closet into a secluded bar nook with tons of wall storage by removing the doors and built-in closets and side shelves. The nautical and aquatic motifs are perfect for a Palm Beach party house.

A wall-spanning built-in bookcase made of warm wood immediately adds a personal touch to this contemporary living room designed by Studio Shamshiri. Neutral and moody with lots of nods to nature and large windows letting in the light, this living room is both formal enough to entertain guests and cozy enough to feel at home and relax. We also dig the accent chaise instead of a classic armchair.

Angle chairs to a fireplace

This Boston brownstone living room designed by Jae Joo is all about the fireplace. IF you can’t fit a large seat and a single couch looks awkward and stifles human interaction, opt for two extra-large and extra-comfortable lounge chairs with ottomans. Angle them inward and toward the focal point (the fireplace in this case), then place a small end table between them instead of a large coffee table in front of it. Fireside chats ahead!

We love the contrast of the whimsical tiles and realistic painting, which also kind of complement each other due to a shared color palette in this Madeline Stuart living room. Two small sofas facing each other make for good conversation but also provide a cozy place to curl up with a good book by the fire and natural light.

The sheepskin throw under the coffee table in this living room designed by Christian Burch and John Frenchette brings a softer and deeper element to the room. We also love how the couple played up period pieces, like the flinestone-like walls and wood-burning fireplace.

Speaking of fun angles, this eclectic living room designed by Montreal-based Les Ensembliers makes a plea for a unique layout. The sofas are all set at an angle to break up the monotony of a classic, symmetrical living room, and all the fun, luxurious fabrics warm the open and airy space. Aesthetically, it’s refreshing and unique, which in turn brings an unpretentious, fun energy to the formal living room that inspires creativity and puts guests at ease.

Though we’re big fans of floating furniture, this tiny Manhattan apartment designed by Miles Redd proves it’s not always the best approach. Wallpaper is hung horizontally rather than vertically for a modern look, and to make the space appear larger, a luxe blue sofa, mirrored brass coffee table and eye-catching art ensure it feels formal too.

Dark black walls and lots of warm gold and caramel tones make this Ariene Bethea designed living room super cozy, but also formal and regal – the ideal balance if your living room doubles as a family room.

Pretty much anything goes in a bohemian living room—but if you need guidance, try this formula: daybed plus side chair, armchair, floor cushions, and a few ottomans. In this case, Commune Design has also included a statement rug and task lighting.

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