Making a large room more cosy

Starting out

The prospect of decorating a big space and making a large room more cosy can be quite daunting. Instead of thinking about what suits their tastes or what they plan to use the space for, many people will simply fill their larger rooms with lots of objects; sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, bookshelves and suchlike.

This is best avoided, as it prevents the space from being adaptable. If you have a large room which you want to be a functional space as well as a place for tranquillity and relaxation, then it is important to take some questions into consideration:

  • What is this room going to be used for? It is advisable to decorate and accessorise a room so that it fits in with the styles or themes you like, as well as suiting its function.
  • Do your plans for décor fit with your lifestyle? For example, valuable breakables, sharp corners and light-coloured carpets are not advisable if you have young children or energetic pets!

Soft Furnishings

Remember that cosy means comfortable, and soft furnishings can really enhance your comfort in a large room without too much expense. In a living room, throws for armchairs and sofas, scatter cushions and floor cushions can make the space inviting and perfect for relaxation.

How should you light a large space?

Light is vital in setting the mood of a room. A space which does not receive much natural daylight will be shadowed and dull, making it difficult to indulge in any relaxing activities like reading. Lamps can be used to add a soft glow to your space, and will be a welcome change from overhead lighting, which can often be too stark and artificial.

If the room allows it, think about having lamps on different levels – perhaps combining taller stand-alone lamps with table lamps, as this can really add a sense of atmosphere, making your space look warm and inviting. Additional cosy touches can be added with tea lights and scented candles.

The importance of colour

With all the choices available for giving the walls of your room some colour, it can be tempting to go straight for your favourite, or for the standard (and quite boring) magnolia! Thinking carefully about which paints or wallpaper to use is, however, essential in creating the character of a room.

Remember that white, magnolia and beige-based or light walls will reflect natural daylight and thus make spaces look a lot larger than reality. In your large space, you can afford to go for a colour scheme based on much deeper tones, if comfortable, relaxing area is what you're seeking.

For your walls, warm reds, dusky oranges and yellows can bring a taste of the Mediterranean. Blue and green are colours most often associated with bathrooms, but they can be equally well used in a bedroom or a living room, as they are reminiscent of calming water. However, if you want to enhance the comfort of your room whilst keeping the expense low, warm notes can be added simply by using a throw, wall-hangings or cushions.

How should you set up your space?

Feng Shui

The traditional Chinese art of feng shui is one very fashionable way of deciding how to set out items in the rest of your space. Now popular with many celebrities, feng shui is based on the principle that the way in which objects are arranged in a space has a bearing on how harmonious that space is to be in.

Bad placing draws all of the energy out of your environment, and this can affect your wellbeing. If the feng shui way of thinking appeals to you, then take some of the following pointers:

  • Avoid clutter – especially on tabletops. In Chinese tradition, this is seen to represent stress or bad luck that you might then carry around with you.
  • Avoid straight lines, sharp edges or corners as far as possible. This is especially important if they point in a direction where people might sleep or sit.
  • Decorating a space with wind chimes and crystals will be relaxing and is also believed to help focus good energy in the room.
See our feng shui basics article for more information.

Divide up your space

In a large room, you can dedicate at least a small corner to simple relaxation. Think of something which really calms you after a busy day, for example reading a book, or playing a leisurely board game. Lots of soft fabrics and the pieces of a board game set out and ready to be played could be an innovative alternative to the usual coffee table books.

Dividing up your room into areas for specific activities can help you to maintain order and can also increase the function of the space. Another option is to create a space for watching television, one for reading, one for playing board games and so on.

This might sound time-consuming, but it can be done in a number of ways. For example, you might use rugs in different shapes and colours to highlight separate areas of the room. You could also divide the space with well-placed plants, or maybe even screens. Be creative with furniture too – sofas and tables don’t have to be kept against the walls, so why not angle them? This will fill up space and add an inventive edge to your décor.

What makes you cosy?

In the end, how comfortable a room is for you depends a lot on how much of your personality you are able to put into that room. Having a large space to decorate shouldn’t be scary – instead, why not see it as an opportunity to put many of the things which you find relaxing and soothing in one room?

Small mementos of your family and friends can provide a personal touch, and are entirely original as they can take the form of children’s drawings or old photographs.

If you are a music lover, why not mount a copy of your favourite record on the wall, or even display a musical instrument which you associate with relaxation? Essentially, it’s up to you, but do keep in mind these three fundamental rules:

  1. Avoid clutter to avoid stress and restlessness.
  2. Keep your room warm, either by making use of your fireplace or by including a deep, luxurious carpet – or both!
  3. Choose complementing colours to decorate and accessorise your space, as this will bring a sense of harmony.

If you follow these, then you will be well on your way to making a big room altogether more snug and comfortable to be in.

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