Winter living room ideas – 10 easy ways to make decor feel cosy

These beautiful winter living room ideas will turn your space into a comforting retreat for the winter months
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • These stylish winter living room ideas can work for traditional, modern and country-style rooms alike. A winter living room should feel comforting and warming; a welcome retreat to escape the cold outside. You can seasonally transform your space by creating a cosy feel with the right decorating scheme.

    If your living room is pale and interesting, it can still look cosy come the winter months. A flickering open fire or stove will give even the most neutral of rooms a lovely warmth. For simple living room ideas for winter, look to grouping sumptuous sofas and chairs around the fireplace and add texture with throws and a luxe rug.

    Winter living room decor ideas

    A winter living room needs to be a retreat from the outside world, so the space should be as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

    Whether you’re looking to refresh the space with seasonal paint colours or simply looking to rethink your furniture layout, these simple winter living room ideas will help turn your summer lounge into a cosy snug set for the colder months ahead.

    1. Snuggle beside the fireplace

    A grey living room with fireplace and large mirror

    Image credit: Future plc

    If your living room has a fireplace, working or not, use it to anchor your furniture and make it the focal point. It can make a small living room feel even cosier and brings warmth to a larger space too.

    Set the scene to evoke a sense of keeping warm by a roaring fire – even if it’s not working, it’s more about the emotional element. Rethink your furniture layout to make to the fireplace the draw of the room.

    On colder winter evenings retreat to a cosy living room complete with a sumptuous sofa, facing armchairs, woollen throws and plump cushions to relax beside the fire.

    2. Set the scene with ambient candlelight

    A country cabin with exposed brick walls, a log burner and a grey sofa

    Image credit: Max Attenborough

    Turn down the lights and adjust to the darker evenings with a softer living room lighting idea. If you have a working fire, great – use that to emit a cosy glow. But fear not if you don’t have a real fire – all you need is candlelight. Create a point of focus, whether that’s on the coffee table or mantelpiece. Cluster candles together to form a base of centralised candle light.

    A flickering flame will always make you feel cosy, especially when styled in a curated display. It goes without saying, always take care – never leave a naked flame unattended.

    3. Cocoon the room in colour

    dark green painted living room with painted fireplace and shutters teddy material chair

    Image credit: Paint and Paper Library

    A popular living room trend is seeing a move towards rich, saturated shades and darker comforting tones, as can be seen in this cocooning modern living room.

    ‘This move to a cocooning, sheltered warm feeling sees colours such as blackened denim ‘Kigali’, charcoal toned blue ‘Squid Ink’ and rich and welcoming brownish red ‘Masai’ rising to the for. Being embraced not only on walls, but on ceilings and woodwork too,’ explains Andy Greenall, Head of Design, Paint & Paper Library.

    This leading paint trend for 2022 is known as ‘colour drenching’.

    4. Adjust the lighting balance

    A deep blue living room with rich metallic coffee table, log burner and grey sofa

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Turn off the overhead lights, or at least dim them where possible, and seek softer lighting alternatives. Thoughtful living room lighting plays a key role in adjusting how you feel within the space.

    Low levels of light help to set a more intimate and comforting vibe, essential for feeling cosy and content within the space. This living room fireplace idea mixes traditional style with a modern appliance, helping to add warmth and soft light to the room.

    Switch to lamps and wall lights to gently add pools of light to the living room without awaking the space with harsh overhead lighting.

    5. Layer warmth underfoot

    A coastal living room with a log burner and an exposed brick wall

    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Even the most summery of decorating schemes, such as this coastal living room, can be transformed into a cosy retreat for winter months.

    While the room has light textures which can sometimes appear cold, the use of layered rugs on the white-washed floor instantly provides a warming element to the scheme. The log burner provides a central source of warmth, with an armchair positioned beside to set the scene for a cosy spot to curl up with a cuppa.

    6. Insulate with window treatments

    A green living room with green blinds and a green sofa

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Smart window treatment ideas provide the perfect finishing touch to any living room. Not only adding a decorative finishing touch, a good window treatment helps to insulate the room, which in winter can go a long way.

    From patterned living room curtain ideas and blinds to solid wooden shutters, all window treatments can act as a barrier to the cold outside.

    7. Introduce an abundance of easy layers

    Stacked throws on a tan leather armchair

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Keep a basket of throws on hand to give out on colder winter nights where extra layers can go a long way. Snuggling up under a heavily knitted blanket is an easy, not to mention highly affordable, way to feel instantly cosy within a living space.

    Choose designs that can also enhance the decor, such as pops of a strong accent colour, to perk up your existing decorating scheme.

    8. Choose sheepskin-style accessories

    A grey living room with a tan leather sofa with sheepskin rug and grey footstool coffee table

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Welcome in textures that ooze a sense of warmth. Faux sheepskins add a luxuriously cosy feel to any decor. Layer them on floors, chairs and even footstools-cum-coffee tables to introduce a softness to the decorating scheme. Sleek, modern furniture is softened with sheepskin accessories.

    9. Use rich colour and luxe materials

    A bronze living room with jewel coloured furniture

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore

    Rich colours are the perfect way to make your living room feel warm and cosy. Floor-to-ceiling curtains, cushions, throws and rugs in rich shades are ideal for adding warming accents. Choosing soft furnishings that ooze a tactile quality makes you want to cuddle up and get cosy. High-sheen velvet fabrics are ideal for enhancing jewel tones to exude an extra warming quality.

    Choose neutral soft furnishings and reflect light with accessories, such as an overmantel mirror, glassware or metallic finish accessories.

    10. Embrace plentiful storage

    A dark grey living room with a storage wall unit

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore

    Stash away clutter and create plenty of space for a traditional armchair, complete with soft throws and an upholstered footstool, as shown in this grey living room.

    Make a feature of bookshelves in your living room. Pull up your favourite armchair, like this classic design upholstered in an eye-catching modern fabric, for a space where you can simply sit back and relax.

    How do I make my living room cosy for winter?

    To make a living room cosy for winter you can follow easy steps that don’t require any decorating. For instance, simply welcoming more tactile layers to your sofa will help to transcend the space from summer to winter. Layering the floor with rugs will help not only t0 add warmth underfoot but also add texture that can help to make the look feel more cosy.

    Lighting plays a key role in creating the right ambience for a cosy living room setting. Dim overhead lights where possible and change the focus of lighting by adding accent lighting via floor and table lamps. Avoid harsh overhead lights – you want to make the environment feel restful and tranquil.

    How can I decorate my room in winter?

    Use colour to decorate your home for winter. We’re not suggesting you have to repaint a room – instead swap soft furnishings to add richer autumnal accent colours. Like a seasonal wardrobe, change things up to reset the decor for a cosier feel for the  darker months.

    Paint walls in a shade that makes your heart feel warm and layer up colour on soft furnishings and accessories. Or perhaps go for a Highland-inspired scheme with soft green, heather and plaid paint and fabrics for a cohesive feel.

    In a contemporary living room, soften sleek modern pieces by adding texture, such as faux fur cushions or a luxe sheepskin rug.

    One way of creating your own winter wonderland is with a large nature-inspired mural or artwork. Painted wall panels lend a coastal feel and looks snug alongside woollen accessories or you can create the illusion of this with wallpaper.

    All the latest from Ideal Home