11 Cozy Apartment Living Room Ideas, According to Designers

updated Oct 19, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

It doesn’t matter if you live in a tiny studio or sprawling mansion, everyone wants their house to feel cozy — especially the living room, where everyone gathers to snuggle up in front of the television or read a good book on the couch. While one of the secrets to a cozy home is creating a warm and welcoming environment for your guests, there are also several design tricks you can do to make a small apartment living room seem cozier.

And as winter’s right around the corner, there’s no better time than the present to turn your place into a dreamy, oh-so-cozy oasis. Grab a mug of tea and peruse these 11 designer-approved tips for cozying your home.

1. Add some color to the walls.

“[If you can paint] you can add coziness with the right colors on the wall. I love blues and greens. I try to stay away from grays and whites because those can sometimes be so cold and sterile. Smoky blues are always nice. You can also do an accent wall a deeper darker color,” says Michelle Paranteau of Michelle Lee Designs. “Another way to make a space feel cozy is texture, and wallpaper is always nice. That’s going to make it feel cozy, and can help sometimes with an echo if you have high ceilings.”

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Bring in some nature.

“For this time of year I’ll get pine cones and acorns and put them in a bowl. It’s free go for a walk and get things like birch branches and put them in a vase,” Paranteau says.

Credit: Jessica Rapp

3. Change out your window treatments.

“In spring and summer you want window treatments that bring in a lot of light, but in the fall and winter it’s a good idea to swap in heavier window treatments to make it cozier and warmer,” Paranteau says.

4. Add a rug (or two).

“We’re always a big fan of having a generously sized rugs in every room of the house to set the tone for cozy and comfort. Also try layering rugs to maximize the warmth of a room,” says Jean Liu of Jean Liu Design.

Credit: Tessa Neustadt

5. Use a neutral color palette.

“A great way to incorporate coziness into any home is to employ a cool neutral color palette. This leads to a space that is both sophisticated yet welcoming for any homeowner or guest. By adding nature elements and soothing scented candles it creates a cozy and organic look and feel in your home,” says Vanessa Alexander of Alexander Design.

Credit: The Urban Electric Co.

6. Layer lighting.

“Layering lighting is a great way to make a home instantly cozy. Adding a table lamp like ‘The Rex’ is perfect for getting just the right warm glow in the space,” says Michael Amato, Creative Director of the Urban Electric Co.

7. Add some plants.

“Real or fake — there are some great faux options out there, like Sprig — autumnal or winter blooms and stems with deep reds, purples, and blue tones can give a lovely heirloom feel to a tablescape, side table, or mantel. Try darker hued peonies, hydrangea, or autumn berries,” says Jess Cooney, interior designer.

8. Implement texture.

“I would recommend a combination of cozy textures like velvet, boucle, and cashmere paired with wintry patterns, animal print, and strong bright colors backed by navy like our Melio,” says Danielle Walish, interior designer and furniture designer for the Inside.

Credit: Fabric and Steel

9. Layer textiles.

“The ‘layered look’ is taking claim and in my opinion, this is easiest to achieve with textiles. And, floor pillows! They allow another place to sit, rest, get cozy, and are both functional and stylish,” says Michele Dopp, founder of Fabric and Steel.

10. Add a wool or knit blanket.

“To help these colder days feel cozier, I like to have a thick wool knit blanket (like this chunky version from Etsy) laying around at home to curl up into. I look forward to bringing it out every winter. It’s like having a favorite pair of Christmas socks you wear only in the winter time. I would suggest getting a large wool knit blanket so the whole family can fit in it for story time or movie nights or for sitting and drinking hot chocolate in front of the fireplace or Christmas tree. Real wool is so warm, you won’t need to turn up the heater too high!” says Stephanie Hauptli, principal designer at Hauptli Haus.

11. Drape a sheepskin throw.

“We love adding sheepskin (like this faux version from Wayfair) to dining chairs to make them ready for colder weather. Draping a sheepskin throw can make a simple dining chair feel more luxurious and sophisticated and also adds a nice softness,” say Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez, founders of Dekar Design.