How to Make Your Living Room Sociable
From family film nights to full-on entertaining, here’s how to ensure your living space scores on sociability
Comfort is key to creating a relaxed, sociable living space, so concentrate on getting the style and position of the seating right, then build up from there, adding fun touches, handy side tables and just the right lighting.
If sociable means entertaining friends and family of all ages, work in a variety of seating, as the team at Rebecca Hayes Interiors have done here.
While squashy sofas may suit those who want to kick off their shoes and snuggle down, elderly visitors may prefer the support of an upright chair. Children, meanwhile, often appreciate the simplicity of a floor cushion.
Humans have gathered around fires for millennia, to eat, talk, warm up and feel safe. Lighting one in your living room produces the same sense of sociability and comfort.
In this cosy Welsh cottage, Eilir Sheryn of van Ellen + Sheryn Architects installed a modern wood-burning stove in the original stone fireplace. “I like the juxtaposition between old and new,” he says.
See more of this sensitive renovation.
Sofas that face each other, rather than the TV, promote conversation. Make sure they’re positioned close enough together that you and your guest aren’t shouting at each other across the divide.
Just because you’re squeezing in two sofas doesn’t mean you need to scrimp on size, either. In this room, Beth Dadswell of Imperfect Interiors positioned two sizeable couches opposite each other, then replaced an ottoman with a glass coffee table to make the rest of the space feel lighter.
Take a look around this beautiful Georgian home.
Tables on which you can pop a mug, glass or bowl of snacks are essential to a sociable living space.
In this scheme, Jessica Preston of Colour + Shape decided to choose smaller tables rather than a larger central surface. These help to maintain the light, airy feel of the room and are easier to move around.
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Nothing says sociable like a corner couch. This flexible, space-efficient form of seating works particularly well for big families with modest living rooms. It provides a large expanse of comfy seating, which encourages teens to lounge and tiddlers to cosy in.
To make this type of seating even more functional, consider a coffee table that doubles as a footstool. The extra surface will provide even more opportunities for everyone to stretch out.
A sociable living room needs lighting that creates a warm atmosphere, but without being too dim. You want to be able to see your guests, after all. Weave in a flexible mix of lamps and ceiling lights to create a soft, layered look.
If you prefer a calm, uncluttered aesthetic, go for wall lights, as Celine Erlam of Indie & Co has done here (there are three more out of shot). These give a more diffused light than the central pendant without the need to add lamps to other surfaces in the room.
Tour the whole of this elegantly updated Victorian home.
If you’re considering completely renovating your home, how about this for an idea. In this Edwardian house, Nick Taylor of IMBY3 Architecture & Design fitted sliding barn doors between the kitchen and living space. When closed, the living room feels cosy and intimate…
Learn more about the clever design of this broken-plan home.
Do you have any tips for creating a sociable living space? Share them in the Comments.