Family gatherings are some of the best occasions, and for good reason. After all, it’s not every day you get to spend time with the whole family. And since the holidays are almost here, now’s the perfect time to start rearranging the layout of your living room so that there’s plenty of space for everyone. Here are five design tips for a living room where the whole family can hang out.

Plan Space for the Children

If you or your extended family members have small children, you’ll want to make sure they feel right at home. Since small children are more rambunctious than adults, they’re going to need an area to run and play. Find a safe space in your living room and turn it into a safe play area. Make sure to put up a baby gate and pick up anything that is dangerous to children, so they can enjoy their play time without an issue while the adults visit together.

Choose the Right Furniture

You want to ensure that there are enough seats for everyone, but when you pack in extra furniture, the space will feel cramped and cluttered. Even when you have a larger-than-average living room, the room will feel cluttered when the furniture doesn’t suit the space. If you’re feeling this way about your own living room, the people attending the family gathering will as well.

Rather than cramming in several sofas, larger sectionals can provide the same number of seats in less space. While these are large pieces of furniture, they tend to fit the space better than a collection of smaller couches. Sections tend to come in either L-shape or U-shape configurations, so you can find the shape that fits your living room best. Even once your extended family goes home, this is a great area for you and your kids to hang out and watch a movie or play a game.

Don’t Forget the Proper Lighting

Nothing sets the tone and atmosphere of a family event than proper lighting. Proper lighting can create a feeling of intimacy and coziness. Harsh lighting can make the room feel uninviting. Try to find the perfect blend of light and shadows to set the mood for the evening. Often, you’ll want a combination of general, task, and accent lighting.

Use Warm and Welcoming Colors

Colors can also have an effect on the overall tone in the house. Aside from brightening the room, the right colors can help your guests feel like they’re at home. For example, if you have high ceilings, it’s easy for the space to feel overwhelming and less intimate. You can easily correct this by identifying the color of your walls and then painting the ceiling a few shades darker.

Don’t Hesitate to be Repetitive

If you have a specific aesthetic you’re trying to achieve throughout your home, there’s nothing wrong with repeating in more than one room. However, that doesn’t mean only putting random pillows or similar furniture into multiple rooms. You need to arrange it in a way that’s visually appealing and creates the aesthetic you’re looking to create.

Creating a space where you can hang out with family or host gatherings doesn’t need to be stressful. In addition to your personal preferences, research what works best in your home to make it inviting and somewhere everyone looks forward to visiting.

By Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing.

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