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

Follow our simple steps to turn your living room into a comforting retreat for the winter months
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  • A winter living room should feel comforting and warming,  a welcome retreat to escape the cold outside.  You can create a cosy feel with the right decorating scheme, to seasonally transform a living space. The right winter living room idea can work for traditional, modern and country-style living rooms alike.

    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 winter living decor ideas 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 needs to 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, we have a simple winter living room idea to help turn your summer lounge into a cosy winter snug – set for the colder months ahead.

    1. Snuggle beside the fireplace

    grey living room with fireplace and large mirror

    Image credit: Future

    If your living room has a fireplace, working or not, use it to anchor your furniture to make it the focal point. Set the scene to snuggle around the fire, 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 evening 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


    Image credit: Future PLC/ Max Attenborough

    Turn down the lights and adjust to the darker evenings with a softer living room lighting idea. If you have a real working fire great, use that to emit a cosy glow but fear not if you don’t have a working 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 candlelit.

    A flicker flame will always make your 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

    Image credit: Paint and Paper Library

    Popular trend is seeing a move towards rich, saturated shades and darker comforting tones cocooning our living spaces. ‘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’. Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director Little Greene. explains, ‘With the use of mid-strength tones, in one or closely related colours being used to create considered, cohesive enveloping interiors that elongate spaces, allowing the colour to remain the focal point and creating a strong design statement.’

    4. Adjust the lighting balance

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

    Image credit:Future PLC/  Simon Whitmore

    Turn off the overhead lights, or at least dim them where possible,  and seek softer lighting alternatives. Thought living room lighting ideas play the 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 coy and content within the space.

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

    5. Layer warmth underfoot

    Coastal living room with log burner

    Image credit: Polly Eltes

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

    While the room has light textures that can help colder, 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 with a cuppa.

    6. Insulate with window treatments

    Green livign room with green blinds and green sofa

    Image credit: Future PLC

    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 curtains 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 tan leather armchair

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Keep a basket of throws on hand to hand out on colder winter nights, where extra layers can go a long way. Snuggly 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

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

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Welcome 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 welcome a softness to the decorating scheme. Sleek, modern furniture is softened with sheepskin accessories.

    9. Use rich colour and luxe materials

    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

    dark grey living room with 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 upholstered footstool.

    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, it will 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 more autumnal accent colours. Like a seasonal wardrobe, change things up to reset the decor for a cosier feel for 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 panelled on walls lends a coastal feel and looks snug alongside woollen accessories or you can create the illusion of this with wallpaper.

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