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  • Writer's pictureGwen Canfield

5 Tips on How to Blend Comfort and Style at Home

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

This article by is excellent! Enjoy! —GC

comfy sofa with pillows and blanket

Have you ever seen a home featured in a magazine or online and had the impression that while it might be stunning to look at, it wouldn’t be comfortable to live in? When we design our living spaces, balancing aesthetics with comfort is key. After all, the aim is a home that doesn’t just look good but feels good too — whether that’s with soothing colors, tactile materials, clever lighting or furniture that has comfort at its core. Read on to discover our five top tips to help you create a living room that’s as comfortable and inviting as it is stylish, with some key advice from top designers.

comfortable and stylish living room

1. Prioritize Comfort

In any room, it’s important to create a space you can relax in, and no more so than in a living room, which handles everything from relaxing at the end of a long day to entertaining friends and family. And while you may think choosing furniture that’s big on comfort will limit you on style, the two needn’t be mutually exclusive. Start by opting for furniture that feels as good as it looks, with sofas that feature reclining seats for relaxing, along with luxurious, layered cushioning. Plush textiles that make you want to sink into them, whether it’s on furniture or the rugs underfoot, will help bring softness to your room, and adding seat pads to hard surfaces, such as benches and chairs, will ramp up the cozy factor.

room with versatile furniture

2. Choose Versatile Furniture

Comfort is key, and finding the right pieces for your home can take time, especially if you have a small space or tricky room layout to contend with. That’s why modular furniture works so well, as it’s flexible enough to fit any room shape or style, no matter how large or small. We all live in our spaces very differently. What works for one family may not work for another. Versatile furniture allows you to utilize your furniture pieces in a way that best fits your lifestyle. It’s important to note the overall size of each space, as well as other larger furniture pieces you want to layer in, to ensure your space won’t feel too congested.

Short on space? Extendable or folding furniture works well in smaller rooms, while ottomans that can double as a chaise or an upholstered bench with extra storage can add function to a room.

living room with fabrics, leathers, and various textures

3. Mix and Match Textures and Patterns

Getting the balance right when mixing patterns and prints is vital to making sure your room is visually appealing. While there are no hard and fast rules, layering pattern on pattern can create the most interest, so consider pairing stripes with florals or geometrics with abstract designs. While texture comes in all forms, from warm woods and leathers to cool linens to touchy-feely velvet to brick and stone, on furniture that’s heavily used, such as a sofa, it can pay to opt for durability. Like stain-resistant fabric is a great example, as it’s pet-, child- and life-friendly — and the covers are easily removed and washable.

Textures and patterns are so important to any space. They’re what draws the eye (and body) in. Even a neutral home can maximize both.

a well lit kitchen

4. Use Lighting Strategically

There’s nothing worse than a room that’s too bright, dark or dingy, so use layers of lighting to set the mood and help create a comfortable feel. Natural light is very important to any space, but I do think adding additional light fixtures is key. Consider adding some sort of floor and table lamp to use in the evening to create a soft light for a cozy evening — perfect for movie nights or cozying up with a good book. While striking pendant lights or chandeliers are ideal as a focal point, it’s wise to include different levels of ambient lighting on dimmers so you can control the brightness depending on the situation. Consider using recessed lights to show off artwork or shelving, along with wall lights and lamps to add pools of light to darker areas.

Top Tip:

In an open-plan layout, use lighting to “zone” the spaces, with pendants over a kitchen island or dining table and softer lamps in the living area.

photos and art on a wall

5. Add Personal Touches and Artwork

Decorating your home should be fun, and surrounding yourself with items you love and that have meaning to you helps create a comfortable setting. Design is so personal. How boring would it be if all of our houses looked the same? Adding personal touches like treasures collected from family vacations, heirlooms, artwork from local artists — or even framing your own kid’s art — can layer in so much personality and joy into your space. Your home should always tell your story — your likes, experiences, travels and memories. Other personal items to display are photos, books, souvenirs, bits of nature from walks or travels, my favorite scents through candles and fresh flowers, just to name a few!

Need some guidance to enhance the comfort and style of your home or business? Interior Designer Gwen Canfield can help! Book a free consultation call today!

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