Posted by Dan O'Malley in Home Design

​When you think of creating an inviting hangout in your home, what feelings come to mind? Is it comfort? Relaxation? Serenity? With all the responsibilities life hands us, your home should be a place to retreat to and help you feel your best.

Colors, décor, and furniture placement in the home can directly affect your mood and emotions, also known as the psychology of interior design.

Whether you’re looking to encourage feelings of warmth and coziness or wanting to add more light and brightness to the space, transforming your home into one that makes you feel your best has become a necessity for many in today’s busy world.

Here are some tips to help you enhance your home’s natural beauty.

From Dark and Drab to Light and Bright

When living in a home with an open-concept layout, where the family room and kitchen flow seamlessly together, it becomes easy to combine the look and feel of these two spaces into one.

Adding more natural light and brightening up these areas of the home can enhance happiness, which is great as these tend to be your gathering areas. Bringing natural light into a dark room can transform this space into one that feels light, airy, and filled with elegance.

Light-Colored Kitchen

Tips to Brighten a Room

  1. Use Mirrors
  2. Angle Your Furniture Towards the Light
  3. Use White, Light Tan, or Light Grey Colors
  4. Add a Light-Colored Rug
  5. Skip Blinds on Windows
  6. Use Floor-to-Ceiling Curtains
  7. Add Floor or Table Lamps
  8. Opt for Light Furniture
  9. Invest in Recessed Lighting
  10. Choose Wide, White Interior Trim
  11. Choose Light-Colored Lampshades

Learn about more tips to bring more natural light to dark rooms.

Galaxy Draperies advises, “As a rule, lighter colors will generate feelings of openness as they appear more light and bright like the sky, whereas darker colors give off a heavy feeling and can make you feel more enclosed. Beware of overpowering your home with too much darkness when choosing some of your favorite colors.”

White Morning Room

White walls in today’s homes are becoming more and more of a design trend as people are loving a more crisp, clean, and modern look.

White can be elegant and open up a space when used in moderation, so it looks great on walls and can really brighten up a room. It’s also great for making smaller spaces feel larger; however, too much white is sometimes associated with sterility, resembling a medical environment, so use wisely.

Warm, Cozy Spaces

If relaxation is what you crave, introducing cozy living room décor can do wonders for your home when you’re looking to unwind. Consider using décor and fabrics that are soft and touchable to enhance feelings of comfort and well-being.

Galaxy Draperies also says, “Brown represents a neutral color that can be very grounding in accents as it’s associated in the mind with wood, organics, and stability. Be careful not to overuse though, as monochromatic areas may dull your senses or make you feel sleepy. Blue represents confidence, openness, and stability. The most popular colors for living rooms are light blue for calming.”

Cozy Living Room

Mixing in some of the colors mentioned above are sure to enhance feelings of well-being by encouraging stability and by inducing a calming effect.

Remember this is your space so don’t be afraid to mix in items that personally bring you relaxation and contentment. If you find essential oils to be helpful, a nice diffuser can be added to any room.

Tips for Cozy Living Room Décor:

  1. Use Warm-Textured Fabrics Rich in Color
  2. Strategically Place Tall Potted Plants
  3. Trade Coffee Tables for Oversized Ottomans
  4. Use Console Tables to Define Separate Spaces
  5. Fill a Large Living Room with a Large Sectional
  6. Add a Few Throw Blankets
  7. Enhance With Natural Light
  8. Paint Your Walls Two-Toned
  9. Utilize Floor and Table Lamps
  10. Use Floor-To-Ceiling Curtains
  11. Use a Large Area Rug on Hard Surface Floors
  12. Add Warmer Tones to Your Color Palette
  13. Place a Few Candles Throughout

Read about more tips to bring warmth to your space.

You can even try combining a light and bright space with some cozy living room pieces to heighten feelings of warmth and ease. Add some soft throw pillows, blankets, and an oversized ottoman, and you might just get the best of both worlds.

Whether you are looking for crisp and clean or prefer cabin cozy, either one can provide the comfort and solace you crave after a long day or on a lazy weekend morning! Find your living room style and make a space perfect for you in your home.


Dan O'Malley
Dan O'Malley


Dan O’Malley is the Vice President of Product Development for M/I Homes.With over 30 years of expertise in residential architecture and design, Dan has been overseeing the product needs of the company's 16 divisions located throughout the Midwest, Southeast, Nashville and Texas for the past 12 years. Before joining M/I Homes, he was a partner in the Chicago office of BSB Design, a national residential architectural firm, for 14 years. Dan is an expert in all aspects of single-family and multifamily design and has received several awards for his successful projects. He is also a popular speaker at various industry events, including the International Builder’s Show, Midwest Builder’s Show, and Multi-Housing World.

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