8 Secrets to Creating a Liveable Living Room

How to make a lounge you'll want to luxuriate in, whatever your budget...

Unforgiving armchair? Too-small sofa? Dearth of occasional tables? An uncomfortable living room is a terrible penance (we know; we've lived there). Scroll down to see the eight top tips that could transform the feel of your living space?

Image: Nathalie Marquez Courtney

1 Don't underestimate the all-essential side table. Not having a spot for your tea or G&T is a disaster in the living room (you WILL spill that mug/glass/bottle if you use your floor as a coffee table). Stacking nests of stylish little tables can be picked up affordably and stored away when not needed if you're tight on space. Don't be afraid to move your furniture to suit your patterns?

Image: Doreen Kilfeather


2 Count on cosy blankets. Seeing as how we only get a few days of notable heat in this country a year, wrapping up warm is very necessary, so make sure your blankets and throws are long-lasting and manifold. If your furniture is less than stellar (rental people, we feel your pain), they can also drastically improve the look of your suite.

Image: Al Higgins

3 A ?nap-able? sofa. Having a seriously comfy sofa is key to any living room and, as far as we are concerned, peace of mind. If you can, make sure your couch is long enough to allow you to lie down fully and soft enough to melt into. Don't forget that sofas are a good spare bed, so a great one is a wise investment in your social life!


Image: Mark Scott

4 Ditch the digital. To the best of your ability, try not to let any screen be the focal point of your living room. (The furniture should not all point at the TV, no matter what Joey Tribbiani says!) If life without a telly is not for you, try covering it up for times when you want to escape the screen. This customised TV cabinet by LyonsKelly is right on the money.

Image: Verity Welstead


5 Focus on the fireplace instead! Frank Lloyd Wright considered the hearth to be the centre of the home and it has been the congregating spot for families since the Stone Age. If you're lucky enought to have a functioning chimney, light the fire, or install a wood-burning stove; if not, consider a convincing firefront to evoke that real-fire feel. If have an old defunct fireplace, try filling the hearth with candles for a similar evocative effect.

Image: Mark Scott

6 Let in light. If getting sufficient light into the room is a problem, consider inserting something like this high-level circular window. The one here was added to a 1930s cottage in Rathfarnham, and is strategically placed the catch the last of the evening sunshine.

Image: Mark Scott

7 Embrace the darkness. If tip number 6 is not an option, go back to black. Keep to a dark palette for your room and layer interesting contrasts of texture for a luxurious feel. Remember, dark blinds are a great way of cutting out the light.

Image: Simon Watson

8 Go multi-functional. Why not swap your coffee table for an ottoman; then, when you have to share the couch, you can still put your feet up in comfort. Win.


1 Fairview House / 2 Dark Beauty / 3 Earthy, Arty Apartment / 4 Rathfarnham Cottage / 5 Architect's Refurb / 6 Bespoke Home / 7 Dublin 8 Apartment / 8 Scandi-Inspired Home

For more top homemaking tips, click through to 9 ways to keep you kitchen clutter in check.

Michelle Hanley for @Image_Interiors / @hanleymi

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