Jo Simmons shares 7 tips to make your living room more sociable.
Living rooms can sometimes be overlooked now that so much of our at-home socializing takes place around a table in an open-plan kitchen space, but nothing beats being able to sit comfortably with friends and family, to talk, enjoy a drink or watch a movie.
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.
1. Provide Different Types of Seating
If sociable means entertaining friends and family of all ages, work in more than one seating type. While squishy sofas may suit those who want to kick off their shoes and snuggle down, older visitors may prefer the support of an upright chair. Children may prefer floor cushions or stools.
2. Light a Fire
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.
3. Face Each Other
Sofas that face each other, rather than a 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 sizable couches opposite each other, then replaced an ottoman with a glass coffee table to make the rest of the space feel lighter.
4. Provide Several Surfaces
Tables on which you can pop a mug, glass or bowl of snacks are essential to a sociable living space.
5. Consider a Corner Sofa
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 toddlers to get cozy.
To make this type of seating even more functional, consider a coffee table that can doubles as a footstool. The extra surface will provide even more opportunities for everyone to stretch out.
6. Get the Lighting Right
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.
7. Install Sliding Doors
In this home, Nick Taylor of IMBY3 Architecture & Design designed sliding barn doors between the kitchen and living space. When closed, the living room feels cozy and intimate. …