It’s called the living room for good reason: a lot of time is spent in this room, relaxing and entertaining guests, and in large part it sets the tone for the rest of your home. Make it inviting and friendly so that family and friends who come to visit immediately feel at home. Here are 7 ideas to implement in your home that will help you do just that; be warned, however. Some people might feel so at home that they won’t want to leave.

Soften with Textiles. Few things are more inviting than a plush rug or a cozy throw. For maximum comfort, layer textile on textile; put down a couple rugs and find furniture that you sink into. Cover lampshades in faux fur. Get some floor pillows and soft ottomans and watch as even floor spaces become luxurious spots to take a seat. Relaxing visitors won’t know what him ‘em.

Bring in the Barn House Feel. Go rustic and traditional with a classic barn door complete with barn door hardware. Barn houses and all things country have a knack of instantly being welcoming, and a barn door especially has the ability to do this. Choose bookshelves and picture frames made from raw, natural or reclaimed wood. Find ways to incorporate the earthy, homey feel that is the classic barn house.

Choose Things to Last. Your living room will be getting a lot of traffic, and if you’re not careful about the materials and finishes you use, the room will reflect the wear and tear. Walls can take a beating, especially if you or your guests have kids. Choose paints that can be easily wiped when dry, like eggshell, satin or semigloss. Fabrics that are easy to care for include leather, vinyl, pleather, ultrasuede, twill, denim, and other natural fabrics made with some synthetic fiber.

Incorporate Personalized Touches. Your friends come to your home to visit you, and your home is an extension of you. Have your home speak for you and who you are by decorating with personalized, unique touches. What you do is purely subjective, but let it represent you. Reupholster a chair in a fun fabric. Hang framed photographs of your family on your walls. Bringing bits of your family’s personality into your living room will make everyone who relaxes there feel more at home.

Clear the Clutter. Do your best to get rid of clutter in your living room (this can go along way in other rooms as well). Stacks of old magazines or piles of mail and bills are just stressful to look at, weather you’re the one paying the bills or not. Put anything contributing to clutter out of sight. Use baskets and bins for easy and attractive organization. And if you can’t keep the stacks from piling up, tuck them away before guests come over.

Work Your Green Thumb. Bring a little bit of the outdoors in with living plants. Potted plants bring life into a space, making a room feel welcoming and comfortable. They’ll also contribute to cleaner and fresher air. If growing plants isn’t your thing, freshly cut flowers on occasion will also have the same effect though not as lasting.

Choose a friendly color. Certain colors are more friendly and inviting than others. Rich browns paired with lighter colors like yellow and pale blue or a more vibrant green make for an instantly welcoming room. Experiment with different colors and with how they make you feel and then consider these swatches when painting and choosing rugs and furniture.

Making use of different tweaks and techniques, you can give your living room a friendly and inviting feel for everyone who spends time there. You’ll notice the difference, and your guests will, too.

Want to make more m
indful connections? Come to our workshop on How To Build & Maintain Meaningful Relationships on February 10th!

Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, beauty and fashion. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.

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