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How to transform your lounge into a sociable space

How to transform your lounge into a sociable space

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re a party animal or you live alone, in at one time or another, your lounge or living room will end up as the gathering spot in your home. This could be because you have an impromptu ‘all back to mine’ evening, an invitation-only movie night or simply have someone over for a quick cuppa. So it’s always a good idea to have a lounge that makes your guests feel relaxed and welcome, and want to stay for as long as you’d like them to. 

This article will offer you advice on how to create a sociable and welcoming space. We’ll suggest ways to arrange furniture to encourage conversation and how to incorporate comfortable seating options. We’ll recommend how to use lighting to create a cosy ambience, and add accessories to personalise the space. We’ll also provide tips on how to make the lounge or living room a functional space for different activities. Let’s begin!

Arrange furniture to encourage conversation

This is the major way to transform your living room or lounge into a sociable space. If you arrange the furniture in a pattern that encourages conversation, you’ll more likely to get people feeling relaxed and want to start talking to each other.

We’d suggest making sure the seating is close together so people don’t have to shout to make themselves heard above music or other guests. If you have the space, set up your seating so it creates small pockets of togetherness, rather than in a long line. You don’t want your lounge to feel like the dentist’s waiting room!

Our tips on alternative seating options

Try these simple ideas to change up your lounge whenever you have company:

  • If you can, move the TV so it’s not the focal point of the room
  • Place sofas or chairs opposite each other
  • Bring in as many single chairs or stools as you can, so people don’t feel they have to squash themselves up against strangers on your sofa – unless that’s your plan!

How to use lighting to create a cosy ambience

A harsh overhead light can make people feel they’re about to be interrogated or examined. That’s the opposite effect you want to achieve. Instead, create as much warm lighting as you can to reflect the atmosphere you want. That means switching off the ‘big’ light, and relying on wall-fixed lights, table or floor lamps to provide pools of light and shade and set the mood. For more tips on choosing the right lighting, head on over to our handy guide.

Think about switching up your bulbs for warmer-toned ones, changing the lampshades, or having an accent light on somewhere you want to draw attention to, for instance, the buffet. However, if you want to inspire a party mood, create a club at home by making the lounge dark, adding some flashing lights and turning the music up loud. Use existing mirrors to reflect and bounce back the glow of candles or fairy lights.

Start a fire

It’s not strictly a lighting option, but having a fire is a wonderful addition to any sociable space. You may have an open coal fire or a wood burner, you may have a gas or electric fire. They’re also a great conversation starter and will keep your guests warm and cosy. As an alternative, place a collection of candles safely on a high surface. As the flames flicker, your guests will be drawn to them.

Add accessories to personalise the space

Everyone unwinds once they feel comfortable, so the following tips will help to create a sociable space that allow friends and family to relax. It’ll also make your gathering more memorable if you personalise the space.

  • Adding rugs
    As well as making the room cosy, or covering up a carpet or flooring that’s seen better days, rugs can be useful at creating specific zones. You may want to lay down a rug so that it sections off a corner of a room as a place for children to play, for instance. Tapi sells ready-made eco-conscious rugs in many stores that will do just the job! You can also feel great that you’re preventing good quality materials from going into landfill. Alternatively, once you buy a new carpet from us, we’ll turn the offcuts into a rug through our carpet whipping service.
     
  • Use throws and cushions
    Even if your sofa may not be that comfortable, you can create a sense of ease by draping a blanket over one arm or the back, or piling on the pillows or cushions. This also applies to putting beanbags on the floor – and they can act as bonus seating, too.
     
  • Insert your personality
    Remember you’re not selling your home, you’re inviting people in. So don’t feel you have to hide away personal or sentimental items or favourite photos (unless you have anything that could get broken). It’ll give new friends an insight into who you are, your passions or interests, and could also provide an icebreaker conversation too. Now, where did you put that ukulele?!
     
  • Make your lounge smell beautiful
    Smell is an often overlooked but vital sense. It can make a room more sociable without being obvious how you’ve done it, too. Imagine a living room that smells of disinfectant – it projects a clinical atmosphere. How much more welcoming would it be to walk into a room that has the aroma of vanilla or lavender?  
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How to make your lounge a functional space

So, you’ve rearranged your furniture, lit the candles or the fire, turned on the lamps, added some rugs, comfy cushions or throws… what’s next?  Here are some ideas to create a space that works for everyone as well as being a sociable hub.

  • Somewhere to put a drink
    It doesn’t have to be a fancy coffee table. It could be a stool or merely coasters, but it’s always a thoughtful touch to give people somewhere they can feel comfortable to set down a drink. It’ll also save you finding ringmarks on your precious furniture the morning after, too.
  • A home cocktail bar
    You could create and serve a cocktail but it might be more fun to ask your guests to become mixologists for the evening and make their own. Arrange spirits, mixers, fancy glasses, a shaker and some ice on a tray. You don’t need to have a cocktail cabinet or a bar, just a clear surface will do. Provide a simple recipe sheet or suggest they come up with their own concoctions. Don’t forget the straws and paper umbrellas! We’ve written an article on how to create your own bar cart at home here.
  • Cue the music
    Ask your guests to choose their favourite hits before your gathering starts, and then play their songs throughout the evening. This is another personal touch that also encourages people to be sociable.
  • Open plan living
    If you have a through lounge or a kitchen-diner, motivate your guests to make the most of the space by putting chairs everywhere, not just in the lounge. But prepare for the inevitable – people always end up in the kitchen anyway! You can make your space flow much better by using the same flooring throughout - flooring like laminate or engineered wood is great for use throughout all of your sociable spaces. 

We hope you’re buzzing with ideas on how to convert your lounge into a sociable space, and we can help you make the transformation with ease. Drop by your local store, and speak to our experts about buying rugs, carpets or smooth flooring and they’ll provide you with a  free, no-obligation quote and lots of advice on the best way to create the living room you deserve.

Alternatively, for more ideas and inspiration, head on over to our Ideas Hub, where you can discover guides on how to host a brunch party, through to tips on holding an engagement party, and much more.

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Published: 25-05-2023