Living Room Design Ideas So You Actually Use That Room!

My living room right now is kind of like, meh.  It’s functional without really having a specific function.  It’s got the couch the kids sprawl on when they are scrolling on their phones.  The cat uses that room a lot.  He sits on the couch, the chair and the coffee table without discrimination.  But it’s not a spot that anyone is really drawn to.  It’s not cozy.  I’m going to change that.  I’ve got some cozy living room design ideas that I want to use to perk the room up and make it a destination.

Where It Stands

I saw a picture a while ago of a room that had orange and blue and at the time I loved it so much that I painted my nightstands orange.  I regret that decision, but I also for some reason decided to move those orange nightstands to the living room as end tables.

Ok so, one couch that really has a terrible, terrible slipcover. Three DIY table fails.  Dark paint color that I’m not really in the mood to change because it’s one of those deals where if I paint this room I basically have to paint the entire downstairs and I’m really not in the mood for that.

And I actually love dark paint.  My house is naturally dark as it is surrounded by pine trees and gets very little sunlight and the dark paint I think gives it sort of a moody feel.  But, right now, everything in here is kind of dark.

To lighten it up a little, I’m thinking white slipcover for the couch and I have a bit of a weird idea for the spot above the couch.  I’ll save that for the after pictures, ok?

This side of the room is more of what I would like the room to look like.  Soft throw blanket on that comfy chair.  Dark and light colors.  This is the feel I’m going for in this room.

I want to sit in that chair with my blanket and a book and take a nap.

There are definitely a few items that will stay in here.  The chair and the sofa are locked in for now.  The tables may all go.  The glass vase I love.  It will stay.  I also love the lamps, although they need new lampshades.

I need a new coffee table or ottoman of some sort.  Potentially some new end tables, unless I can make the orange one’s work and then some tidbits like new pillows, a new slipcover and whatever other cozy items I decide I need.

Cozy Living Room Design Ideas

One of my favorite things to do to figure out where to start with changing up a room is to scroll through Houzz for inspiration.  Houzz is a compilation of thousands and thousands of pictures of beautifully designed homes and it’s a great place to find inspiration.

You can sort by room and style and even keyword.  It’s a great way to spend a few, well, hours, if I’m honest.  It’s kind of like Pinterest except just rooms.

When I’m scrolling through I just save whatever gives me a little thrill and then I go back and try to figure out what it was that thrilled me and how I can add that to my room!

The first room that caught my eye has a similar feel to my room because it has dark paint on the walls and a big window.  So, the lighting felt similar.  I also love the bright pops of color in here.  There’s even an orange tv stand which tells me, maybe I can learn to love the orange end tables again!
Up next is this borderline stuffy room (except that red plaid blanket kind of messes with you, doesn’t it?).  This is a tiny bit blah for me, but there are two things I love. That coffee table and the layout.  I can’t decide if anyone actually has ever been comfy in those chairs, though…  But the layout peaked my interest, so I saved it.  I’m not buying another chair so it’s not like I would try to replicate this.
But this picture got my brain thinking about switching up the layout of the room, so it got saved.
This room I adore.  The lighting is beautiful.  It feels like a tucked away corner.  It feels small, but think about all of the things you could do in this little room:
  • Lie on the sofa and watch tv (you didn’t even notice the tv, did you?)
  • Sit in the chair with the sun on your face and read a book
  • Play a board game on that coffee table.
  • Rearrange your books in your bookcase

See what I mean about cozy?  That little lamp next to that chair?  The light you need for your book is there.  The tray on top of that coffee table?  That’s so you can easily move all that stuff out of the way so you can play your board games.  That is the cozy life! Easy.

This room has really nothing to do with the future plans for my living room, however, I’m obsessed with that color on the walls so maybe that color works it’s way into the room somehow. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it in the form of blankets, throw pillows and whatever else comes in that dreamy blue/green.
I know it seems like I have a bit of a split personality when I have this beautiful bright white room right after that dark and moody one above, but, basically, what I would really love to do is meld those two things together.  I don’t honestly know if it’s possible.  It seems very unlikely, but I’m going to try.  This blue and white room is a smidge stiff for me, but I do intend to go for the white slip covered sofa look and I also love the idea of an ottoman instead of a coffee table.  Coffee tables are far more practical, though.  See, split personality.
I saved this room for one reason.  Texture.  The basket, the chenille looking chair, the blankets the pillows that look like they would just cradle your head.
That room is like a cozy explosion.
More of that moody blue and I can’t decide if I love or hate those paintings above the sofa.  Which is very appealing to me.
I love little rooms and this one is fantastic.
I have this thing about lying in a spot where the sunlight from the window hits your face while your eyes are closed.  
But that’s not why I saved this room. I saved it because I absolutely adore the four little graphics above the fireplace.  Unfortunately they are not linked to in Houzz, but I think those are easily made in Picmonkey or Photoshop if you’re handy in the graphic design world. Maybe I’ll give them a try!
This is the room that made me feel like it would be possible to pull of that crisp blue and white look while still mainting the dark and moody vibe. Not the coziest chairs I’ve ever seen, but books and a fireplace are basically instant cozy.

Living Room Design To Do List

Now I have to get to doing things.  Getting the inspiration is the fun, easy part.  Pulling it all together is usually where I tend to falter.

  1. Clean the room.  I like to start with a good, deep clean of the room.  I’m probably going to be moving the furniture around, so I might as well give the floors and baseboards a good cleaning while I’m at.  Maybe even the walls.  (boo) Start fresh.
  2. Declutter.  This room doesn’t have too much going on, although those end tables I’m sure have some crap in them and there’s also a little hutch in this room that has become a catch all, so that should be decluttered as well.
  3. Think about the things the room is used for and what it should be used for.  What do I need to do to make this room do the things I want it to?
  4. Research possibilities for coffee table or ottoman and possibly end tables.  Make purchases.
  5. New lampshades
  6. Hang the surprise behind the sofa.
  7. Shop for cozy accessories, pillows (or pillow covers), another throw blanket.  Keep textures in mind.

I’m really excited to get going with this and make this room more of a cozy family hub.

Oh, PS!  I should definitely show you the real before of this room.  When we bought the house the appraisers took pictures and this is what this room was before we moved in:

Surprise!  It was a dining room!

You know what I want to do now?  I want to hear about your cozy living room!  Drop me a message and let me know what you’ve done to make your family room a destination room for your family!

If you loved this, I would love it if you would pin it!

Let's curl up on that chair with some coffee and scroll these comfy and cozy living room design ideas.

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