San Francisco interior designer Noz Nozawa gives a room depth with bookcases and shelves. “Layering is one of my favorite ways to warm up a room; especially in a multifunctional living room, built-ins around a fireplace can add warmth; around a TV they add more dimension and add an analog contrast to the screen, and the objects or picture frames fill the room with memories.”
11. Bring in floor lamps, sconces, and chandeliers
“Lighting plays a huge part in creating a cozy atmosphere,” says Ami McKay, founder and principal of Pure Design in North Vancouver, Canada. “Pendants, lamps, and sconces allow for ambient lighting at night.” Uplights behind plants, candles on the mantel, and floor lamps that light up the ceiling will create a beautiful glow.
Ponterio is also over recessed downlighting and canned lights, which he says are not great for conversation or watching a show. “You want to see the effect of the lighting and not see the source, that’s the trick,” he notes. One solution is to put those bright lights on a dimmer switch. Another thing you can do to achieve a soft and warm glow is to add table lamps or decorative light fixtures and chandeliers.
Nozawa’s alternative to overhead can lights is not only table or floor lamps but sconces too. “Don’t sleep on the walls,” she says. Sconces, whether you install them hardwired with an electrician or use a plug-in sconce, bring a warm glow at face-level and free up floor and tabletop space for other room furniture, home decor, coffee table books, and drinking glasses!
McKay recommends warm light bulbs. Tip: Install in-floor electrical outlets for floating room furniture arrangements.