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Cosy living room ideas

Create your own cosy haven with these cosy living room ideas and tips to help transform your space.

6 min read

© Matt Gamble

When it comes to creating the ultimate comforting space in your own home, start with making your living room somewhere you’re truly happy to unwind in. If you’re struggling to find inspiration, look no further: we’ve rounded up our favourite cosy living room ideas to help you start creating your dream space.

What is a cosy living room?

Before we make a start on cosy living room ideas, let’s nail down what exactly we envisage when we talk about a cosy living room. As many of us know, the living room is a dedicated space for relaxing and socialising alone or with other household members. It’s everything from the feel of the room as a whole to the intricate details and how they influence your mood and sense of wellbeing when you’re in your living room. Let’s dig into some of the key factors to consider when you’re exploring cosy living room ideas.

Cosy living room ideas: the key elements

When we think ‘cosy’ we think ‘soft’, not ‘harsh’ – so let’s unpick what that means when it comes to the main components of our living rooms: lighting, texture, size and colour.

Get the lighting right and the rest will follow

The hygge-aware among us may associate cosy living room lighting with the gentle golden glow of flames. And that’s certainly an option if you’re lucky enough to have the space, safety and means to install a fire, a log-burning stove or a modern electric fire. If any of these options feel just out of reach but you’d still like a whisper of that deep golden glow, get your hands on some beautiful candles (even better, get some soothing-scented options for extra unwinding). Flames in the home at all may not be an attractive option for everyone – for example, if you’re cautious about other household members’ safety or simply uneasy about the risks yourself. Why not try flameless lookalike candles to complete the look instead?

A cosy living room in Waltham Forest complete with a comforting tabletop candle

© Matt Gamble

Other ways to manipulate the light in your living room include mixing up the light sources – for example, in the completed Resi project above the homeowners have a freestanding lamp as well as a stylish pendant lamp. This not only ensures enough light when needed but also offers the option of flicking only the floor lamp on once daylight disappears and revelling in the gentle glow. And, depending on your design preferences, fairy lights draped over a mantlepiece or around a window frame in a living room can introduce a cosy, festive feel that needn’t only be reserved for the lead-up to Christmas.

Pay attention to texture

One of the keys to creating cosiness in the home is texture. When it comes to creating your ultimate cosy living room, look for fabrics that feel great to the touch as well as fitting the design of the space. A simple sofa can totally transform the ambience of your room simply by you choosing the fabric and softness of the cushion that satisfies you most.

A great example of this can be seen below in an outtake from a completed Resi project where the homeowners have enhanced the cosiness of an otherwise bright and beautiful room with a few comforting touches. These include a soft, velvet-finish sofa and a squishy armchair as well as a textured fluffy rug to complete the space.

If you’d like to create a sense of cosiness in your own living room but you don’t have the budget for larger items like a new sofa or rug, pick up fluffy throws, soft cushions and doormats.

Various soft textures at a completed living room project in Haringey

© Matt Gamble

Adapt to the size of the space

Whether you’re working with an open-plan space or a poky living room off the side of your hallway, the cosiness of the room shouldn’t be totally dictated by size. Granted, it’s likely easier to create a cosy feel in smaller square metres but we believe it should also be achievable in an open-plan layout.

If you have a large open-plan space that you’re struggling to create a soothing, cosy environment in, here are some ideas for how to bring that hygge vibe to your living room:

  1. Break up the space with either room separators, glass doors or bookcases to craft “zones” that you can dedicate to specific areas of unwinding.
  2. Don’t be afraid to fill the space. Yes, you might have finally splashed out on that open-plan living dream but it doesn’t mean that you have to keep every surface spick and span.
  3. Inject some personality with items that bring you comfort. Whether it’s a faux fur pillow that’s perfect for dozing off on or an old family photo that you can frame and appreciate each day, adding details that express who you are can be the difference between you feeling at home or not in your living room space.

Select a soft colour palette

In our article listing our predictions for the top interior design trends of 2023, we noted how neutrals would remain in but were likely to get a little more toasty. Let’s look at that in more detail: subtle, natural colour palettes are here to stay. To contribute to a more cosy feel, opt for warmer, creamy shades of whites, greys and beiges to soften the edges of the room and reduce the sense of clean, stark lines and overtly minimalist spaces.

A soft colour palette at a completed Resi project in Croydon© Matt Gamble

Cosy living room ideas

We’ve been experimenting with our free AI Sketchbook tool to see how it can take real-life Resi portfolio projects and turn them into something a whole lot cosier in just a few quick clicks. Try it for yourself today or explore some of our very own AI-generated examples below.

Living room project by Resi

After: We used our AI Sketchbook tool to reimagine this ultra-modern living room in Bexley as a cosy, warm space that’s perfect for unwinding.
Cosy living room transformation

Living room project

After: See how our AI Sketchbook tool picks up the key outlines of a real-life room and transforms them into a brand new style like this reimagining of a modern Islington lounge into a zen-like living room space below.
Cosy living room

Home extension or renovation cosy living room ideas

If you’re thinking about embarking on a home renovation project or getting a home extension, it could be the perfect opportunity to begin creating your ideal cosy living room. Here’s just some ideas for how you could make your cosy living room come to life through construction.

Install an oriel window

Oriel windows (pictured below and taken at a completed Resi project in Waltham Forest) are similar to bay windows but differ in that they jut out from the property and don’t require support from the ground. Their unique structure means that they’re perfect for transforming into a cosy reading nook that’ll make your living room feel delightfully cosy.

Cosy lounge ideas - oriel windows offer a modern take on reading nooks© Matt Gamble

Opt for a side extension

If you choose to extend your living room with a side extension, you free up the option to add more glazing and increase the amount of natural light that pours into the room. Another plus, which really amps up the feeling of cosiness in the living room, is that when it rains you can watch it pour while feeling snug and listening to the soothing pitter patter from inside.

Convert open-plan to broken-plan

Open-plan living spaces are still some of the most sought after layout options today. However, we’d like to make the case for broken-plan living: a subtle re-thinking of the popular open-plan space that introduces some barriers through freestanding structures like bookshelves or curtains or other separators like internal glass doors. This in effect creates separate spaces that provide different members of the same household privacy and calm, without completely eliminating the social benefits of open-plan living.

If you’re still seeking inspiration for your home renovation or extension, try out our free AI Scrapbook tool today or book a free advice call to discuss your ideas with one of our experts.

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How can I make my living room cosy?

To create a cosy living room, there are many things you can try to complete the space such as choosing warm lighting or including furniture with soft and comforting textures.

What colours are the best for a cosy lounge?

Natural and more subtle colours are the way to go for a cosy living room.

Where should I start to create a cosy living room?

If you’re not sure how to transform your living space into a cosy one, you can try our free Scrapbook tool which will give you plenty of ideas for how to make your space feel more cosy.

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