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A welcoming home design should greet visitors in your living room

March 06, 2014

AA243-17522 Oak Hardwood FloorWith all the activity in a modern household, many homeowners want their living room to be the one room that's always ready for company. But It takes a special touch to avoid creating a cold, distant atmosphere in a room that's set aside for visitors. The right mix of colors and furnishings offset by the warmth of Anderson's Vintage solid oak hardwood floors, can help create a welcoming living room for family and friends.

If there's one thing to avoid it's stuffiness, according to If homeowners want a bit of formality, they can retain a symmetrical look in the main part of the room and surround it with cozier arrangements. In front of a living room window or in a corner of the room, for instance, a small niche can be arranged with two chairs and a small table between them.

Another suggestion is to use furniture that's already in the home, but upgrade pieces with new upholstery, a selection of pillows or slipcovers, which can be changed seasonally. The fabrics on a sofa and a loveseat can be different as long as they're well coordinated.

For a totally different - and more casual - look, the whole living room can be set up in an asymmetrical arrangement.  One such room featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine had two styles of chairs - one hardwood, the other a deeply cushioned side chair - across from a full-length sofa. The coffee table and a side table next to the sofa were also different in style.

Focal points
If there's a fireplace in the room, it can serve as a focal point with an equally weighty piece of furniture - such as a large bookcase or hutch – to counteract it across the room. Having two love seats face each other in front of the fireplace is often more inviting than placing one long sofa along a wall.

Sometimes, a large expanse of windows is a natural focal point that's immediately seen when someone enters the room. A wood cornice installed across a sizeable window brings an architectural detail into the room. For a softer touch, a valance may be upholstered in a fabric coordinated with other patterns used in the room design.

A living room can also be warmed up by a selection of accent colors that brighten, but don't overpower neutral wall and upholstery hues. Introducing different textures, like a soft woven area rug over wood floors, is another way to add warmth to a living room.