How to Create a More Social Living Room

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Historically, the kitchen has always been “the heart of the home”. After all, eating and drinking are certainly among life’s greatest pleasures. But also high on the list is socialising. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the living room has overtaken the kitchen as the heart of the home in recent years (the other obvious reason being that glowing box in the corner!)

However, what do you do if your living room isn’t quite providing that warm and fun social vibe you are after? Here are some helpful tips and tricks to consider before you host your next social gathering.

social living room

Images by Chalon Handmade & spreegirl97

Point of View

When friends and family come over for a visit, it's important to make sure the living room furniture is arranged in a way that encourages conversation. This means facing the sofas and chairs on an angle towards each other, not the television. People tend to focus on what is in front of them and we all know how tempting it is to get distracted by the television.

That said, your living room is still, well, your living room! Obviously, you will want to watch television when no one is around. So make sure the television is still accessible or that your furniture can easily be turned back to your regular arrangement.

facing sofas

Get those couches facing each other! Image by Cynthia Classen

Soft and smooth

Music is a must for any social gathering. But when it comes to decibels, there is a right level and a wrong level (and not just for the neighbours’ sake!) Always ensure that the music softens the background by creating ambiance.

A good way to detect the perfect music volume for your living room is to turn on the television to a News channel where people are just talking at a normal level. Then, turn on your stereo and adjust the volume until it becomes background music and you can still hear the television clearly.

Pillow limit

Yes, a sofa adorned in beautiful and stylish pillows looks stunning in your décor. But have you ever tried sitting on a sofa that has more pillow than space? It's not fun and it makes for a very uncomfortable sitting situation for your guests. They never really relax and, therefore, won't enjoy themselves. Keep the pillows to a minimum, allowing adequate seating space for the guests.

too many pillows

Don’t break the pillow limit Image by Fastily

Clear that clutter

The living room is not the place to store your junk. We all know how easy it is to let old magazines and other debris take root in the living room, but at least clear it out for social gatherings. No space is sociable when you're sharing it with clutter.

Also, tidy up and clear any small surfaces like the coffee table, television area, and mantle pieces. Not only will this make the living room a more appealing area to gather, it will also open it up and make it appear larger than it really is.

cluttered living room

Image by GeorgHH

Cover it up

If you're one of those hosts who constantly causes a fuss over drink coasters and potential spills, then perhaps it is best for you to invest in some inexpensive sofa throws. They come in all sorts of trendy colors, patterns, and thread counts.

A good tip when shopping for furniture covers is to look for a tight knit or thicker fabric. They will be a bit more protective when it comes to food and beverage stains. When you're expecting people over, throw the covers on the furniture and let your guests enjoy themselves without worrying about spillage.

Obstruction

Generally, a social living room is arranged around a coffee table of some sort. It's where guests can place their beverages and food and still face one another for conversation. But that conversation won't be happening if your coffee table is decorated with a tall floral arrangement or bulky centrepiece.

Keep your coffee table arrangements simple – a small snack bowl or a stack of interesting coffee table books is more than adequate. While on this topic, having a deck of cards or a few board games placed on the coffee table may also entice guests to interact.

social living room

Image by Pam Kueber

Placing

Make sure that everyone who may possibly be in the living room has a place to set their drinks. Consider end tables flanking the sofas, a centered coffee table, and a cleared ledge for guests who prefer to stand and lean. This allows guests to free up their hands and lap to engage in conversation, take a trip to the bathroom, or join in on any other activities.

Posted in Armchairs, Contemporary Sofas, Interior Design, Sofas, Uncategorized on 1st Aug 2014

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