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house party social living room

Make your living room a cool, practical space to socialize in with these tips and ideas.

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Living rooms are spaces for relaxing, playing and socializing. When’s the last time you’ve had a party in your bedroom? (Okay, not THAT kind of party. Just a party-party.) But when the living room is too stiff, too formal and uncomfortable, there isn’t much social happening.

With the holidays coming around and plenty of occasions for socializing, why not make your living room more social with these ideas and tips? Your parties will suddenly seem a lot more fun.

1. Make seating intimate

There’s nothing more intimidating than large seating with wide spaces between them. It makes it seems as if everyone is sitting far away from each other, which isn’t really conducive to good conversation.

To help your friends break the ice and start chatting, consider bringing your seating closer together, and maybe using an oversized rug to define the chatting space. Place the seating so that people can comfortably converse, without having to wring their neck. Make conversation (not the TV) the centre of your living room.

2. Use soft colors

Although bright shades can be energizing, when trying to have a social space, softer colors are better. They won’t distract or be too jarring on your system–and that of your guests.

As good ideas for color palettes that are perfect for socializing, I suggest Rainy Day or On The Rocks. These subtle, neutral palettes are soothing and perfect for accessorizing.

white oak living room floor

3. Give seating freedom

By this, I mean provide many ways of seating so your guests can be comfortable: sitting normally, tucking your feet under your legs, lounging, sitting on the floor, perching on an armrest, etc.

Think about the many ways your guests can interact with each other, whether standing, sitting or lounging around. Add cushions on the floor to make up for lack of chairs, put blankets around so people can keep warm, and make sure that there’s enough stable flat space so people can put their drinks down safely–you wouldn’t want to ruin your carpet with a misplaced glass of red wine!

4. Put plenty of accessories

A living room will seem cozier and more personal if it’s filled with accessories that seem like they’re being used–so not placed perfectly at the optimal angle in the corner of your couch.

Throw blankets over the couch, put two mismatched cushions on the armchair, add a lamp in a corner to brighten up the space. With accessories, you can also play with more colors: try matching up brights and neutrals to give plenty of visual interest.

5. Show your interests

Are you a travel lover or a Lego collector? Do you play guitar, paint, knit? Use the living room to display your interests and help break the ice when having new (and old) friends over. Beginning with your interests is a good way to get to know people, and they might even do this without you!

Don’t be shy–display your favourite art, your weird poster collection, or your children’s drawings. This will give personality to your living room and help your guests to get to know you.

Eclectic Living Room by Chicago Photographers Cynthia Lynn Photography

6. Provide a good view

Within the measure of the possible, make sure you provide a nice view to your guests. Don’t leave a messy closet door open or a dirty kitchen visible. If things need to be cleaned up and uncluttered, do so before your guests arrive.  A fairly clean and uncluttered home will give nice, comfortable vibes to your guests.

And, of course, make sure that the view to your living room is also cool and comforting. Put the seating in a prominent space that invites guests to sit and chat. Make accessories easy to grab and use whenever they’re needed. Take advantage of a nice window view on the park, the beach or the beautiful Victoria building across the street by leaving your blinds open.

A social living space

During the holidays, our living spaces become more social. Make sure your guests appreciate your hospitality and have a good time by putting more emphasis on the social part of your home decor. By following these tips, your events and parties will have a great social factor and will be remembered fondly by everyone invited.

Do you have any tips to encourage guests to socialize at parties and events? How do you improve your space to be a better host? Let us know in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.